The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

Hyperlinked Library Modules 1-3

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Reflection #1

I have begun my first module for “The Hyperlinked Library” and it is really amazing to be part of this community. The content that has been provided for us to review is the most exciting part, I am like a kid in a sweet shop I don’t know what I want to read first!

So my plan is to watch the lecture post by Michael which I have to say is very well done and then I am going to pick a few introductory bits which I will reflect on first and from there I can gather pace with the more detailed pieces which have been outlined for our reading.

So to begin, Michael provided a timeline of change within technology and how society has adapted to this change. Here many academics and authors were referred to in order to gain valuable insight into this change and how we as people adapted to this change.

Change within society is a given, however this technological change has had a massive effect on libraries all around the world. This change does not particularly worry me if anything I am super excited to see how libraries will embrace this change and renew the traditional idea of a library.

What does worry me is the perception of this change and how society along with librarians are going against the idea that libraries will not survive this technical input. These challenges have been acknowledged by Michael and the one piece I picked up on is the “Silos of Knowledge” How the knowledge pillar and the communication pillar are separate in some cases.

Broken-Bridge

If all you can see is technical change and have a vision that libraries will not win this change you are already part of this silo, you need to build that bridge between the 2 pillars in order for you to understand the bigger picture.

Recently a local radio station here in Dublin did a documentary on Librarians in the capital city and ask the question “Do you think libraries will be around in 20 years time”? And to my disappointment one man was adamant that they would not be able to survive because of the evolution in technology. It is ideas and thoughts like these that in my mind have already closed every library door in the world, we need to change these perceptions, if these ideas are in library structures they need to be talked about there needs to be discussions, there needs to be hope. Some people may not have this hope any more as they do not understand the ability that technology and libraries have and can give society.

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Reflection #2  

Wow this MOOC really is taking shape, and making me think. There is such a diversity in the way each module is laid out, different tangents which all collectively fit together.

Last week I really enjoyed reading how to redesign library services, I found it hard to relate to a library as I am not currently working in one, so I am try to fit the context into what I have seen in many of the libraries I have joined.

Reading everyone’s blog has also given me a great insight into other people’s world’s and how they relate to the topics and reflect on them, there has been many wise words said already.

For this week the task was to see how one could create a “Hyperlinked Community” In addition we were asked to look at the reasons why I should create this community and how my skills as a information professional would enhance this creation. So this was very tricky for me, as I am a newly graduate and my only experience of working in a library is a 6 week internship. The only way for me to do this exercise and really get something out of this reflection was to give myself a virtual space first.

I decided to looked back over what I had learned from my MLIS and began to pick out the modules I was really interested in and see if I could map them to 1. my virtual space 2. my virtual community.

So I began with taking my Management module and looking at an aspect: team work etc which I found very difficult while doing the MLIS, next I took the module “Information behaviour” and picked some of the theories that would match the type of virtual community that I had. From here I could one of a few things, teach my virtual staff how my virtual community seeks information, and by understanding their pattern we could then build it through an online way.

For example: if each team made a mind-map of each age group that was serviced in the virtual library and mapped their behaviour, then maybe we could collaborate together to build a widget or improve the existing libraries website by tracking the communities interests and then providing an easier access to these interests online. This way each user group is looked at and now we have a deeper understanding of “why” they are looking, the staff will be much more stronger as they have come together to collaborate and their interests have been met by analysing the user group they are interested in.

To take this a bit further you could maybe integrate 1 member of the library from each user group to see how it would work, or get their feedback as the process is developed, especially with children/teens/parents if you grouped them together it would work at a 3 fold collaboration, parent-librarian-child/teen child/teen-librarian-parent etc etc.

It is difficult to map what I could do in situations like these, but I would definitely incorporate alot of the reasoning behind why we do things, be it a librarian or a user, and I think alot of people don’t understand the reasoning behind seeking information and if your librarians are of the traditional kind it is good to keep them abreast of new ideas and collaborations. These new collaborations and discussion may change their perspective of the current situation libraries are in and hopefully give them a renewed confidence in technology.

Reflection #3

I was chuffed with last weeks comments and feedback from my many fellow MOOC’ers I felt a little bit out of my comfort zone and it took me a while to focus and embed myself into a library, here I decided to look at how the internship that I did last year reflected the many areas that we are dealing with here, and this helped as I am from the town where this library is so I have an idea of the community at hand, which makes it a bit easier.

images cI really liked the idea of libraries creating a story, and asking the community what experiences they have with their library and to evaluate the many opportunities that can arise from being embedded within a community and using the library as their main resource.

My local library had begun to incorporate this idea by having a simple stand with a sign or sentence “Why I love my Library” and here they had some post-its and let people add their reasons of why they love their library. The posts were very simple and sweet with many from kids. I think these simple engagements with the community can then be built on as you develop that dialogue and build on the connection you both have.

I think ideas like these are good, the library has a dialogue already with the community but the community has never really thought of it in this way before, they request something and you give it to them end of story, so as a librarian you need to slowly involve your community. If you never before had a dialogue and jumped in with an intense engagement it could hinder people’s reaction and they might not express their ideas or frustrations 100%.

The models that Kyle showed us were very impressive, and the readings provided to give a great insight….so for my second post!!!

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Author: siobhanmac

Loves Libraries, Books, and Sunshine!

2 thoughts on “Hyperlinked Library Modules 1-3

  1. Many communities have emergency plans that include libraries because they contain a community’s history. But those everyday interactions are history too. Maybe they are not documented, cited and cataloged, but they are the history that affects how people relate to each other, build futures, and share their experiences with others. Libraries tell stories in the invisible footprints that patrons take with them. Siobhan, I believe you make history everyday. Bravo.

    • That is a lovely way to look at a community I never thought of it like that before, the communities in Ireland are changing so much with the influx of immigration and rise of emigration by young Irish people, and the communities are struggling to adapt to this, libraries have taken on massive projects in order to involve these new communities and integrate them into a Irish way of life but yet giving them access to their own culture and heritage. Thanks Joyce you have inspired me for the community assignment.

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