Learning for School, Social Media and Librarians

It is heartening to read the article by Mathews, where he writes about professors moving away from traditional interfaces such as Canvas and into virtual communities on WordPress such as the one we’re using for the Hyper-linked Library.  Having the capability to be fully mobile with the class has the effect of a greater level of engagement and is a much easier format to attend school in than being physically chained to a computer, even a laptop.

Again, in the same theme, Balance writes about the benefits of “Dealing with smaller screens and shorter attention spans requires distilling key concepts into easily digestible chunks of knowledge that are accessible on any device—smartphone, tablet, or laptop.” (from Mobilizing Knowledge to Create Convenient Learning Moments).

The advent of social media has created a trend of micro-blasts where information is presented in a truncated manner, usually short paragraphs where it is easy to see at a glance how much further attention a piece of information merits.

Libraries utilize this concept well in their posts on Twitter and Facebook, promoting workshops, events and new features at the library.  As more library professionals take enrichment classes that teach social media skills benefiting them both personally and professionally more libraries will come onboard and explore social media. This in turn can create a connected community that supports their library.

Mobile Environments, the San Francisco Public Library and Older Adults

Libraries serve people in many kinds of demographic groups and now have the capacity to reach their entire audience on mobile devices.  Many libraries, especially large ones, have created apps for their patrons.

It is worth noting that internet use grew to 67% among all seniors in 2017 (http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/05/17/tech-adoption-climbs-among-older-adults/), while the numbers of this group who use library services is a relatively low 40% (2016, Pew Research Center, Internet and Technology Report, http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/09/09/a-portrait-of-those-who-have-never-been-to-libraries/).  The most recent research shows that there are many younger seniors using the internet, with nearly two-thirds of which are using mobile devices to do so (http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/05/17/tech-adoption-climbs-among-older-adults/).  Contrast this with 55% of 16-29 year-olds that use library services; many in this demographic are in school.  While this is a 15% differential, 40% is a huge number.

The San Francisco Public Library uses an app to publicize programs and events at their libraries. They offer workshops on Aging and Disability Resources, a Senior Meet-Up, and occasionally memory improvement classes.  There is a dearth of programming for 65+ adults, who ironically may have more free time or “me time” than the average citizen. There are 3 events listed in the next six weeks, while for teenagers there are 7 events/workshops offered in one day.  As the population ages and more seniors are using mobile devices online access, particularly apps, could be used to offer 1) a selection of music and movies from earlier eras, 2) synchronous attendance at the existing classes and workshops, as well as new ones aimed at high functioning older adults. There is a vast, untapped market for senior citizen programming that will enrich lives and build connection with the library.  Politically, citizens over the age of 65 are 4 times as likely to vote in San Francisco than an 18-34 year old, which is an important base for libraries to maintain their funding.

Who Votes in San Francisco

































Emerging Technology Plan

                                      Peanut Butter, Meet Jelly


The New York Public Library and many others use the Bibliocomons OPAC interface.  Part of the Bibliocommons platform includes a Review feature that is used to review Books, DVD’s and Music by patrons across all their participating libraries. At the same time, “While reading [and DVD’s and music] can remain a solitary, enjoyable activity for all… some may choose to experience a more conversation-based form of consumption of content. (Stephen, 2011).

The NYPL states as part of its’ Mission Statement: Engage in great exploratory conversations. This part coincides with the participatory portion of the idea presented here. The proposed idea carries forth this mission by combining two  participatory technologies, the Review feature and a forum in which conversations can be held in addition to reviews.  In the words of Peter Block from his book Community: The Structure of Belonging, “Communities are human system[s] given form by conversations that build relatedness” ((2009), from The Hyperlinked Communities lecture, Michael Stephens).


Action Brief: This is an opportunity for Bibliocommons that will maintain their reputation for innovative programs.  By creating an interactive discussion board for reviewing items they will be ahead of the curve and create an ongoing community because expanding the possibilities for communication would further the libraries’ goals of increasing traffic and engagement for their websites.


The current system:

Patrons leave comments about the materials they’ve accessed.

The proposed change:

Patrons can engage in an ongoing conversation on a discussion board about items they are reading, watching or listening to.

This idea comes from participating in Freecycle, a site where people interact on a discussion board to ask for or give away items for free, and the Review items webpage at the San Francisco Public Library.


Bibliocommons uses, among other computer languages, Java and Javascript, There is a videosite on Vanilla multi-lingual open-source software on YouTube; their system is built on PHP5.

Here is a video on how Vanilla Forums is installed:

Open-source forums, including Vanilla Forums, are mentioned in this article:


On the hellhound bloggers list, there are workable open-source forums in many different computer languages.

Alternatively, the staff at Bibliocommons may be interested in independently creating a discussion forum.  It can be administered the same way as the current Review Site, however it may be possible to create a moderator position to oversee comments.


In today’s Web 2.0 world, people in the world are interacting and communicating at a steadily increasing level.  The popularity of social media sites with “Over 2.5 billion people hav[ing] social media accounts” in 2016 (Source: https://www.socialpilot.co/blog/125-amazing-social-media-statistics-know-2016) is indicative of an innate desire to connect and share.

In changing the review system to an interactive forum it would be necessary and useful to poll current users of the Review feature and ask them what features they would like included.

It would also be useful to offer each user who posts a choice of Avatars to put into place, or alternatively a photo option along with a user name.  As the users may have differing privacy needs, options in this area can be considered.

Once the system is up and running its’ success can be evaluated by viewing the number of posts, or by sending a questionnaire to participating patrons asking what they like/dislike about the discussion board.  This information can be used for revising the forum.


There are two journal articles that are related to the core idea of changing the static review pages to an interactive discussion.  There is Participatory Networks: The Library As Conversation and Finding Good Reads on Goodreads Readers Take RA into Their Own Hands.  In the first, Lankes, Nicholson and Silverstein state that “The phrase [participatory network]…has been used to describe online communities that exchange and integrate information.” (p. 24, 2007).  The proposed idea is a clear example of a participatory network.  In the second article, Naik writes that: “[Avid readers] simply are interested in finding good books to read and then perhaps discussing them with others…” (p.319, 2012).  Think of it as an ongoing online book club.


Libraries are capable of fostering “A shared interest and a way to communicate” (Seth Godin, 2008, from the Hyperlinked Communities Lecture). The web and the world are becoming increasingly hyper-linked to each other; conversations are sparking ideas.  While there are an infinite number of places to communicate about what one is interested in, leaving comments is two-dimensional while participating in conversations has the tone of three-dimensions.  It is hopeful there will be discussions centering about, for instance, a favorite author or the best movie ever.


The proposed discussion board

…can be used as a tool to further communication


The basic idea is already in place

…taking it to the next level is possible


The discussion board builds on existing ideas

…it is a logical progression





Block, Peter (2009) Community: The Structure of Belonging. Oakland, CA Berrett-          Koehler Publishers: Oakland, CA

Godin, Seth (2008) Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us. London, England: Portfolio, a         division of Penguin Publications.

Lankes, R.D., Nicholson, S. & Silverstein, J. (2007). Participatory Networks: The             Library As Conversation. Information Technology and Libraries, 26(4), 17-33.

Naik, Y. (2012). Finding Good Reads on Goodreads Readers Take RA into Their             Own Hands. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 51(4), 319-323.

Social Pilot. https://www.socialpilot.co/blog/125-amazing-social-media-statistics-know-2016

Stephens, Michael, (n.d.) Hyperlinked Communities Lecture, INFO 287, San Jose         State University.

Stephens, Michael, (2011). http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2011/03/opinion/michael-stephens/scanning-the-horizon-office-hours/





Adventures in Academic Libraries

Academic Libraries are exploring new directions with innovative designs; one example, the most renowned, is the Hunt Library at North Carolina State University.  Interestingly, the design of the library is taken from the world of textiles, which North Carolina has a long history with: http://www.ncglobaleconomy.com/textiles/overview.shtml


The revolutionary changes at Hunt make it possible for students to engage in play, AKA learning on multiple levels.  It is a living example of, “an entrepreneurial spirit, eager to experiment with many nontraditional tools in order to connect with users in new ways.” (From community to technology… and back again, Andy Havens and Tom Storey, Module 5) There is an explanation on how their book retrieval system (the BookBot) works in this article: https://www.ourstate.com/hunt/

As children, we have an innate sense of play that we utilize in exploring the world around us.  Libraries such as Hunt have the potential to bring forth a sense of experimentation and exploration to higher learning institutions.

What is work if not an outgrowth of the play we exhibit as younger beings?  Ideally, it is accomplished with interest and joy in our actions.  There is sometimes frustration as well, hopefully as a part of the process, rather than the entire process. For millennials, especially, who were born with a chip in their hand, it is essential to provide a habitat for “…challenging, technology-oriented instructional activities.” (The hyperlinked school library: engage, explore, celebrate, Stephens, M. (2010), Module 3)

To paraphrase my favorite quote from the Hunt Library information in the module, “Employers who have come to see the library have realized that they will need to provide opportunities to students with amazingly advanced skills.”


The most interesting article, to me, in the Hyperlinked Academic Library adventure section was in Things to Explore, and is a report on redesigning signage, the directional/informational signs found in libraries: Signage by Design: A Design-Thinking Approach to Library User Experience by Edward Luca and Bhuva Narayan.

This is a comprehensive look at using signs in a library, with both a great deal of research and explanations of how and why they changed their signs.  They asked students what they thought about the proposed changes, which is an excellent idea, and also used complementary colors for the signs.  It is not only that the article showcases the changes, equally important is they detail their strategies in doing this.







Quiz Answers

Thank you to everyone who participated.

1.The percentage of Overdrive ebooks borrowed from 2010 and 2013 increased by 1,875%

2.Libraries loan many types of materials.  In 2014, what percent of those materials checked out were ebooks? 4%

3.The results from a 2013 survey show that the percent of teens online, most often on a smartphone is: 25%

4.Your best guess as to how many school libraries there were in 2015: Nearly 100,000

5.The number of public libraries operating in 2015 was: 16,700

6.Age of people who are the most frequent library users: 16-17 year olds

7. Not all public libraries offered wireless Internet access in 2015.  What percent did? 92%


Constituent Feedback, Sociological Thinking and Innovative Ideas


Part One

The SFPL (San Francisco Public Library) is renowned for their innovative programs.  They are Beta-Testing the latest version of their online catalog, which is a newer version of their new catalog.  They also have had the good sense to retain their original online catalog, which is handy for less technologically minded people; it is also useful when the new catalog isn’t working.  I’m mentioning this in reference to the Professor Stephens article from August 22, 2013 in which he asks, “Does your library engage with a group of constituents to map out possible ideas for programs and events?”

When the Beta-Test site appeared after I logged in last week, it gave me the choice to use the regular new catalog, which I did.  I’d like to give feedback for the Beta, but haven’t yet been able to find an answer for how to return to that version.

Feedback is important – the SFPL recently asked patrons at different branches to provide anonymous feedback.  At the Main Library, the goal they set was 60 surveys in 4 hours.  People walking by were very focused on their missions, and no one appeared to hear that their opinion was requested.  A banner/sign could possibly call attention to these types of opportunities to provide input.


Part Two

The sociological insights of West (21st Century Digital Divide, 2014) and Boyd (What World Are We Building, 2016,) are interesting.  While West writes from a local perspective and Boyd writes from a nation-wide one, they’ve both provided a snapshot of what is happening culturally in the U.S. What I found most interesting in the first article is that the issue of filtering policies, i.e. restrictive requirements that occur when using technology incorrectly, is gaining attention.

As an aside, when I first started using apps (and to this day) my question is, “Where are the manuals for these?”

Boyd’s article brings home that while racism still exists, there are pockets of change in the United States.  I have seen groups of multi-racial teenagers on the San Francisco bus system, friends brought together by common interests and goals.  This is very heartening to me, and I hope the rest of the country catches up soon.

His article was also helpful by explaining how clicks drive Google’s algorithms.

The part of Boyd’s article that most impressed me was how big data was/can be harnessed as a means of accomplishing Social Good in his example of providing teens with support.  It is very encouraging to see a positive, non-commercial use for Big Data.


Part Three

The Idea Box (Oak Park, Illinois), ribbons (Charlevoix, Michigan,) walls (New Orleans, Louisiana,) as well as the San Francisco Public Library’s Teen Library are a few of the innovative methods libraries use to draw in their public’s contributions.  My vote among all of the ideas mentioned in Modules 4 and 5 for most inventive is Eli Neiburger (AskACPL. (2012.)  The summer program with teenagers who learned about social media/how to be online wisely is noteworthy because it was entertaining as well as educational.



Context Book Homework on BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google


There were many good books on the list to choose from. I feel fortunate that my final choice was interesting, well-written, timely and concentrated on both the choices of and the possibilities for libraries.


BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google (hereafter referred to as BiblioTech,) by John Palfrey is an illuminating look at the factors impacting libraries and by extension, librarians both historically, in the present and in terms of an optimal future.

Palfrey begins BiblioTech with the historical background of libraries overall in the first chapter.  He explains the importance of the Carnegie funds in making it possible to have structures, books and librarians and how the idea of free libraries on a grand scale was conceived of and carried out.

The author of Bibliotech was instrumental in the creation of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which collects archival information from smaller libraries around the country.  The DPLA is a not-for-profit organization.  When his book BiblioTech was written in 2015 the organization had, “[A] tiny staff [and] 7.5 million curated objects in its database.” (p.98-100) Collected materials include movies, sound clips, pictures and much more.  These materials are available online and are accessible to anyone who would like to use them.

Around the world there are other countries that are digitizing their collections.  Palfrey envisions the ability to access a global digital library in the future.  Within the scope of what can be accomplished with this kind of library is this example from the book: A student can access “notebooks that Sir Isaac Newton” used in 1661, then with click over to a “BBC radio production that puts the notebooks in context.” (p.117)

What is just as amazing as the idea of the DPLA is that their site is built on open-source code.  This code is free to all and has great potential for “…build[ing] innovative new applications.” (p. 103) Palfrey cites this as an example of a successful library platform.  An explanation he gives of library platforms is that they are similar to digital enterprises by private companies like Amazon and Google, but when the library world creates them they are free to use. (p.104)

The DPLA was built collaboratively with many libraries participating.  Palfrey states that working in collaboration is key for librarians in the future, both with each other and with companies from outside of librarianship.  One example from the book is an ongoing joint project between librarians and Wikipedia, with the goals of, “…improv[ing] the quality of Wikipedia articles and associated metadata.” (p.96)

The Digital Public Library of America is also notable because there were only a small number of people involved in its implementation. Beginning in 2010, 40 people solicited feedback about the prospective DPLA, with widely diverse input. (p.96) That the DPLA was up and running well in just a few years’  highlights the rapid rate of change in our world of technological advancements, and how accomplishments can be measured in years, rather than decades or centuries.

Below is a link to a short quiz (7 questions) featuring statistical data where you can test your knowledge about libraries in the United States.  All answers are anonymous.


A week after the due date for this assignment an entry will be posted on my blog with the correct answers.


Foundational Blogs

The bad news, libraries are underfunded.  The good news, they are innovating in what they offer their communities, and communities in places such as DOK in Holland are leaps and bounds ahead in their implementation of first-run services. DOK is the environment that I wish I had had to play in as a child; maybe I would have kept up with my music lessons.  What they have done in their library is taken concepts from technology and repurposed them.  The commercial applications are utilized in a public space, with much enjoyment by all.  As Professor Stephens wrote, “[Hyperlinked] [l]ibrarians are tapped in to user spaces and places online to interact, have presence, and point the way.” (2011, p.2)

There’s a book by Eli Pariser called The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You.  The explains how and why on Google two different people will receive two different sets of search results.  From my Google search on ‘DOK Library Delft’ comes this link:



I read Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto with great interest.  He was prescient in many of his determinations. As Buckland says in his chapter on The Electronic Library, “What counts is what is conveniently accessible” (1992, p.41) This is borne out by the much more recent article by Denning which explains that Borders became obsolete because they focused on traditional materials, while Amazon is thriving. (2015, no page number)


Definition of librarian

  1. : a specialist in the care or management of a library

From the online Merriam Webster Dictionary…

But librarians are so much more…

Increasingly, a useful expert is not someone with all the answers but someone who knows where to find answers. The new experts have value not by centralizing information and control but by being great “pointers” to other people and to useful, current information. (Weinberger, 2001, Let’s put the hyper back into hyperlinks section) This is the quintessential definition of a Librarian.


The articles in Module 2 and 3 were thought-provoking, and while I was inspired by the majority of them I was also occasionally at odds with the material:

I really would like to be on the selective side of technology, where I make conscious decisions about how and when I incorporate it.  There would be a loss to the human race if serendipity were to disappear.  How many of us, in our travels, followed an amazing odor to a little-known restaurant?  A future of being bombarded with information about every place to eat in my immediate area is unappetizing.

Roush’s 2005 short article about the possible uses for future technology brought up mixed feelings – Of course, the world is digitizing, but many people are buying the dream of the stake-holders and those with vested interests.  It would be good to take a step back, not necessarily to undigitalize, but to step away from our cell phones and laptops.  It’s even better to use this opportunity to LOOK AT and SEE the world around us without a digital filter.

In an analogy to food, a good meal suffices; no need to gorge at a buffet with a surfeit of consumables.


Again from Weinberger, I’m heartened to hear of corporations/companies like Aetna who build up their employees by providing them with informational opportunities that they can access at work. (2001, Personal Work Time section) Good companies such as these are successful because they treat their employees as people, rather than replaceable units.  This is an example of what human is.



Interesting Articles

There are some interesting links and one post in particular I’d like to share.  In the post is my book review of Made to Stick, in the Archives from February 2016. It’s here:  http://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/info/lauretteblog/2016/02/ The links can be found by clicking ‘Thought-Provoking Webpages’ here: http://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/info/lauretteblog/thought-provoking-webpages/   The articles include a link to a fabulous introductory video to an academic library and information about SJSU’s being a Green Open Access Repository, meaning that when work is submitted there people can view and reference it without a costly database subscription.

The link to my ischool blog is here: http://ischoolblogs.sjsu.edu/info/lauretteblog/

Introductory Post

I’m hoping to learn new methods of incorporating technology in the library world.  Last year, in INFO 200 with Bontenbal, Michael was a featured speaker in some of the modules.  I was inspired to take this class by his presentations.

I am aiming towards working in a Public or Academic Library, in either case in the area of Reference.

My favorite part of the world is the island of Kauai in Hawaii.  It was surreally beautiful there when I visited.   I live in San Francisco, another tourist destination and appreciate the shopping here, but would love to be somewhere where the sun shines more.