Lisette's Teaching Journey

My experiences throughout my career

Assessment 4 INF506 – Evaluative statement

February 10, 2014 by lisettehamilton · No Comments · INF506 Social Networking for Information Professionals

Part A

Throughout the journey of INF506 the learning objectives have been met, as clearly demonstrated through my knowledge and understanding presented in my online learning journals (OLJs). Three journal entries titled ‘Social Bookmarking’, ‘Second Life’ and ‘What is Library and Web 2.0’ will be discussed, to indicate my level of conceptual understanding of social networking, Web 2.0 technologies and the practice of Library 2.0.

Social network sites are vital to libraries, information agencies and the work of information professionals. Boyd & Ellison (2008) define a social network as something that is web based, which allows individuals to construct a profile, articulate a list of users whom share a connection; and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

In this subject we have been encouraged to develop an understanding and explore a range of social networking applications. Social networks aren’t going away, and the future of the Web in general is going to be largely social; libraries need to be a vibrant part of that future (Griffey, 2010).  So it vital, that as a Teacher Librarian, (in training) we must immerse in all that social networking has to offer and adapt to this new way of learning, interacting, and teaching in a collaborative, connected world.

My personal improvement as a library practitioner (or soon-to-be) is evident from the experience in various social networking tools. As demonstrated in ‘Social bookmarking’, developing an account with ‘Delicious’ allowed me to utilise an effective bookmarking tool to store, tag and share my unlimited amount of resources with others within my organisation and personal learning network (PLN). From this resource I am able to reflect back to previous information that I have stored, at a later date. I have found this tool to be beneficial and successful in organising a range of websites and recommended readings for INF506.

Another social networking tool I was able to discover during this course was ‘Second Life’. During my exploration of ‘Second Life’ I was able to see the benefit that this would contribute to students learning and the virtual world of gaming in education. Second Life is a ten-year old 3D virtual world, considered as a social network where people can collaboratively create and edit objects into the virtual world (Boulos, 2007). Librarians and educators have been exploring the use of Second Life, with more and more users now headed towards the use of virtual worlds (Frank, 2008).  From this experimental participation in Second Life I have learnt the educational purpose this Web 2.0 technology can primarily play in becoming a member of an online community/environment.

Grasping the concept of ‘Web 2.0 technologies and Library 2.0’ was quite foreign in my knowledge and understanding at the beginning of this unit. Library 2.0 refers to ‘user centred change’. It is a model that encourages change by inviting users to participate in the creation of both physical and virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating these services (Casey & Savastinuk, 2006). Therefore, librarians must trust and listen to their users, ‘getting rid of the culture of perfect’ and ‘being aware of emerging technologies and opportunities’ (Farkas, 2008).

The OLJ post ‘What is Library and Web 2.0’ allowed me to develop into what I now perceive is an enthusiastic lifelong learner, reflective of the top 3 essential knowledge, skills and attributes an information professional requires. However, as enthusiastic and tech-savvy a TL may be there are still significant challenges for librarians who want to incorporate social media and other new technologies in their school libraries or to transform the physical environment. Show the school the value of social networking within education and do not take no for an answer. Focus on collaborating with other colleagues in order to allow them to implement new technologies into classroom activities (Wanchek, 2010).

The opportunity to create a social networking policy document that could be implemented within a school library program allowed me to realise just how important this document is in providing students, teachers and the school community with a deeper understanding of communicating and learning within an increasingly socially networked world. It raised my awareness to the social, cultural educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world and how from this document you are able to support such issues.

As an information professional I have not only grown through the opportunity to learn new tools but gained skills and knowledge that I will keep with me for life. One thing that remains constant in social networking is change. The ever evolving role of a teacher librarian allows for this career path to be a very exciting one.


Boulos, M. N. K., Hetherington, L., & Wheeler, S. (2007). Second Life: An overview of the potential of 3-D virtual worlds in medical and health education. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 24(4), 233-245. Retrieved from

Boyd, D. & Ellison, N. (2008). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Retrieved from,889,Social_network_boyd_2007.pdf

Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September. Retrieved from

Farkas, M. (2008). The essence of Library 2.0. Libraries, Our digital future, social software. Retrieved from

Frank, I. (2008, August 4). Second Life: A Virtual World Why Are Librarians There?, in First Monday, 13(8).

Griffey, J. (2010). Chapter 5: Social Networking and the Library. Library Technology Reports, 46(8), 34

Wanchek, N. (2010). Library 2.0: Enter the Teacher Librarian Enthusiast. Retrieved from


Part B

As I reflect back over this subject I am able to view through my online blogging and social networking discussions the development within me as a Teacher Librarian. There have been several topics of interests and numerous discoveries made during this subject that have improved my skills and conceptual understandings of social networking and Web 2.0 technologies.

At the beginning of this subject I had a very vague idea of what exactly Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies were and their importance to the broader library and information services sector. It wasn’t until I started doing some research required for my first assignment that I began to understand what it truly was.

Casey & Savastinuk (2006) demonstrate the importance of library 2.0 for user – centred change and that as Teacher Librarians we need to encourage this constant and purposeful change. We must invite user participation in the creation of both physical and virtual services whilst also consistently evaluating services in an attempt to reach new users and better serve the current ones. Their ideal of making sure each component by itself is improved, allows for us to become one step closer to not only better serving our users but through its implementation we can reach the heart of Library 2.0.

The top 3 essential knowledge, skills and attributes I believe an information professional requires is:

  • Understanding of and knowledge in Web 2.0 technologies and Library 2.0;
  • Providing clients/ users with several avenues to access information and meeting their clients/users needs and wants,
  • To become a positive active participant in moving their library forward into the future.

Partridge, Lee & Munro (2010) discuss the significance of skills, knowledge and attributes required by a Teacher Librarian in order to be innovative in a Web 2.0 world. They suggest that everyone who works in a library must stay nimble and ready to receive new skills and understanding whilst also having the ability to gain insight and knowledge to influence the creation of this new dynamic.

With the popularity of the internet and the accessibility of social networks to gain access to information we need when researching and collaborating with others, came the concept of Library 2.0. It allowed the encompassing of the Web 2.0 technologies and the 5Cs of Web 2.0 (collaboration, conversation, community, content creation and crowd sourcing) to embark on a journey which now provides libraries and information agencies with the opportunity to discover interesting ways to connect with their cliental (Gerts, 2013A).

In today’s day and age information professionals are starting to realise the importance of connecting with their users. The most important thing is about finding the best possible way to do it. How we engage with our users and potential users of our collections, research and online resources is all about social media presence. However, there can be several implications that can contribute to the development of this within an organisation.

In all organisations, new initiatives usually require significant amounts of money to kick-start new projects. This is a major fear of most libraries and information agencies. However, working towards a Library 2.0 approach does not necessarily require major start – up funding, but it does require support from management for individuals or teams to invest some of their time into exploring the potential of Web 2.0 technologies (Gerts, 2013B)

The focus throughout INF506 and the course itself, for me, was the opportunity to develop as a Primary Teacher Librarian. Teacher Librarians must be innovative and collaborative with other librarians, staff and users. A school teacher – librarian is the person who ensures that students and teachers can effectively interact with information and leverage it to create and share and make a difference in the community and beyond. The best time in history to be a teacher-librarian is now! (Valenza, 2009).

INF506 has empowered me as an individual to utilise tools I would have never had thought possible. I have learnt new skills and knowledge within a range of social networking environments with a particular focus on Web 2.0 technologies and how I am able to present these newly developed skills and knowledge to my school community.

So my final thoughts are to make sure that I am always innovative and ready for change, always researching and building my personal learning network (PLN), that I am collaborating and creating new advances in the information and communication technological world, but most importantly… that I am being an excellent information professional and the best one that I can be at that.

I will leave you with two videos which impacted me throughout INF506


Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September. Retrieved from

Cohen, L. (2006). A Librarian’s 2.0 manifesto. Retrieved from

Gerts, C. (2013A). Library 2.0 and participatory library services [INF506 Module 3]. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from Charles Sturt university website:

Gerts, C. (2013B). IMaking Web 2.0 work for your organisation [INF506 Module 4]. Retrieved February 5, 2014, from Charles Sturt university website:

Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming “Librarian 2.0″: The Skills, Knowledge, and Attributes Required by Library and Information Science Professionals in a Web 2.0 World (and Beyond). Library Trends, 59(1-2), 315-335.

Qualman, E. (2011). The Social Media Revolution 2014. Retrieved from



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