The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

Hyperlinked Library MOOC Assignments


Here is a little look at my journey of becoming a library professional and how the #hyperlibMOOC has become an amazing part!

I have put together a prezi presentation as I find them very engaging!

Check out the presentation here

Thanks to everyone in the MOOC it has been fun!!


social mediaFor this assignment Social Media Policy Doc (MOOC) I ask many of my fellow classmates for ideas that they might have on this topic, and I got great advice.

However as I am not embedded in a library I used the context of the library I did my Internship in and from there developed some research. The many sources given to us from the MOOC were very helpful, however I thoroughly enjoyed digging into the literature surrounding the topic of social media, social media sites and social networking.

My first thoughts were that in some instances the tool can become something that you did not intend it to be and this was the first brainstorm I had, that in order to keep the tools active in the purpose you intend it to you need close maintenance and clear guidelines as to keep the content on that path you intend it to be.

It can have an element of marketing throughout the tool but if you are seeking that it should just do that it is missing the core aspect of any community, the community and their voices.

It is the next step that needs to be a clear and intended focus, the use of the tool and the group within the community that you want to engage with.

This with time and a clear focus of the tool and it’s intended purpose that will give the library and its users a new view of technology and will help the library and it’s community keep abreast of the many changes technology is giving society.


IMG_0049For this Assignment I have chosen Clay Shirky’s book “Here Comes Everybody”. here the best thing about the book is the insightful articles he has noted and the debates that can be clearly linked to this MOOC and most importantly Libraries.

To begin I shall give you 3 topics that I picked from his book, and them from there try to illustrate how these ideas can be linked to libraries and librarians and the many debates we are seeing today.

Firstly Shirky gives many good stories to illustrate how technology has allowed us as a society to engage more and most of this dialogue and collaboration is happening because people want to, they give up their free time to write blog posts about a topic they love they freely go on Wikipedia to edit and contribute to articles, the question that Shirky addresses through these stories is not the WHY? but the HOW! His first story gives a great concept though not produced by Shirky it is a resource I shall be looking into, he quotes a journalist who calls society “the former audience” so  these are the people who ‘react’ ‘participate’ and ‘alter’ stories as they are unfolding.

As he moves on the detail the HOW, he states that “social tools provide a third alternative: action by loosely structured groups, operating without managerial direction and outside profit motive” (Shirky, 2008) so if we take libraries and the endless debate for their survival, is this what we are doing within this MOOC finding ways to engage with an alter the story of the library into something that will adapt and survive the technology overload? If you look at my Twitter account, (@shivguinn) I follow librarians not to show my blog or tweet library articles but to engage and understand the many different communities that need libraries and to react to the voices that are saying paper is dead ….technology has overtaken…. the library it is not needed anymore etc etc…

My favourite part is how Shirky explains these opinions and at last it made sense, they views of people out in the world who think libraries cannot survive is by the general public and yes there are librarians themselves say libraries will not survive (it has been said here in Ireland on national radio). However an explanation that just may change this view is how “most professions exist because there is a scare resource that requires ongoing management” (Shirky, 2008) and in our case more than ever the resource is very scare, yet the profession is also changing, the many people involved in this MOOC are professional long-term librarians, or newly fresh faced and eager wannabe’s. It is the various elements of librarianship that does need organising, managing and producing a resource that is a need for society.

This book was written in 2008 and I have since been watching alot of clips of Shirky giving talks, here is a recent clip of his appearance at the CFA Summit, and he is truly remarkable in his thinking..


As someone who is not embedded within a library I have had a difficult time in putting myself in the situation of trying to reflect on this this assignment.

So I had a brainwave and I have gone out on the limb here so I hope it works, so I have picked one community that has become embedded into many communities in Ireland and that is the many Polish people who have moved here as they became a member of the European Union.

And because of this the library has developed a Polish Day for the community in order for the Irish people to engage and have conversations with each other and learn from them, the reasons for moving to Ireland topics about their culture.

Many of the resources that are used in the library by the Polish community would vary, the main resource would be the computers that are available for these people to keep in contact with their family and friends at home, another way this community uses the library is to learn English a big collection is the Adult learning section that gives the community in general many different ways of expanding on various topics like developing their Irish etc.

The idea I have for an Engagement Plan is to make these Polish day’s a place were you can help the Polish community manage the resources they need within Ireland. Maybe you could organise a panel and from there develop something online, if for instance the library website has an interactive reading group were they can post reviews that this panel could set up their own reading group, in addition the local/national state employment agency could become involved in helping and engaging people with poor English  and help them move into a place where they can teach them how to apply for a job.

Building Partnerships between the Polish community and the local community would need to be analysed as the Polish community would need to have a need to use these new contacts and engagements, the situation in Ireland is that many of these communities have settled in mini-communities of there own and there is very little engagement with the local people.

If the libraries Facebook and Twitter account is active it can be used as a tool to invite both communities into a dialogue so that we could both start each other’s needs, idea’s and belief’s of how we can organise the community together.


Author: siobhanmac

Loves Libraries, Books, and Sunshine!

10 thoughts on “Hyperlinked Library MOOC Assignments

  1. Hi!!
    Just a friendly reminder to post your assignment in the Post Your Virtual Assignment comments in the home page.

  2. Yay for increased confidence, and best of luck with securing the volunteer position you are interested in.

    • Thanks for this Cath, I am finding it very hard to gain the experience needed and it is very disheartening to apply for jobs and not even have a chance at an interview 😦

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