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See also Social media and Twitter
Simple statement of problem
- literature about using Twitter in academic libraries is minimal but growing in academia in generally; see http://www.danah.org/researchBibs/twitter.php
- how are academic librarians using Twitter?
- what barriers or obstacles do academic librarians identify if they do not use Twitter?
- do academic librarians feel that there are any solutions to 'reacting' to new technologies beyond trying them out themselves?
Research question or issue
- study of Canadian academic librarians' use of Twitter, an extremely popular social networking tool
- academic librarians use/non-usage of Twitter; microblogging as means to connect with users; attitudes towards these tools disruptive vs. innovative?
- explore social networking technologies to create and market library services; does Twitter provides a flexible space to interface with large numbers of library users
- questionnaire/survey; in-depth interviews for those who agree; content analysis of narrative text
- tease out attitudes & perspectives on microblogging 'status updating' as a tool for communication, reference and outreach in academic libraries
- majority of academic librarians have their own online social network profiles but anecdotal evidence suggests few use Twitter
- many academic librarians do not use SNSs at all for library services provision - why is that?
- some reasons hypothesized for negative attitudes towards SNSs are: encroachment on work and professional activities; blind pursuing of technology carries hidden dangers
- many academic librarians use SNSs with extreme caution - but may miss out on new communication practices and learning in digital spaces
- as academic librarians adopt digital/social technologies, what impact do they have on our intellectual traditions; values, culture and behaviours?
As online social network sites have become extremely popular, academic librarians have started to question and explore how this technology can be used in providing library services.
- Linh NC. A survey of the application of Web 2.0 in Australasian university libraries. Library Review 2008
- provides overall picture of web 2.0 technologies in Australasian university libraries
- focus on what types of technologies were applied in libraries, purposes and features
- two-thirds of Australasian university libraries deployed one or more Web 2.0 technologies. Only four Web 2.0 technologies were used for specific purposes and with some basic features. The general Web 2.0 application indexes were still low as the mean application index was 12 points and the highest index was 37 points (out of 100).
How does this fit into research agenda for CARL/ABRC?
According to the CARL/ABRC site, what are the issues and problems in need of research?
Directors of Canada’s major research libraries identify the following (within ten categories) as some of the key issues in academic librarianship in need of research
Technology & access
- Library 2.0 / Web 2.0 – impact on access and organization of library resources, support and promotion
- Digitization of materials – sustainability, preservation, dissemination, funding, management, participation
- Evaluation of social media
Benefits to academic librarians
- To assist in evaluation of Twitter
- To provide a more detailed picture about the perceptions of tools like Twitter among librarians
- Twitter is easy to use, requires little effort to reach multiple people at once, more immediate than a blast email
- Marketing/Public Relations
- Twitter is an excellent way for libraries to grow their online presence and profile). Twitter gives libraries a chance to promote their content
- extends library’s audience by finding new users/patrons/readers; using a third party application such as rss2Twitter or Twitterfeed, libraries can drive traffic to their website or blog
- Networking and collaboration
- libraries can use Twitter to network with other libraries, librarians, bloggers and patrons; market their services, provide user-centered information; create a community with constant updates
- several librarians mentioned following others as they twittered at conferences – it was as if they were virtually attending
- Cost; although there is the cost of staff time, Twitter is free
- libraries can avoid using expensive software or hardware to communicate with their constituents
- Forward-thinking; several librarians note that using Twitter is positive as it shows forward-thinking thinking;
- lack of support or interest from colleagues
- Technological Problems
- Reaches only a select audience/Not popular amongst patrons…yet
- Yet another thing to update
- Time waster/Not necessary. Some librarians find Twitter time-consuming and use other tools (e.g., GoogleTalk, IM, Meebo, Skype) that serve their purposes better
Facebook and Twitter in teaching & learning
- what are the implications of FB and Twitter in learning?
- some tensions arise between personalized tools and institutional tools, loosely coupled and integrated; student vs. institution 'control'
- four ways this affects librarians:
- literacies- what do they mean in a web 2.0 world; roles & structures, skills set, strategies and policies
- "teaching and learning paradigms"
- what are the major issues? danger of adopting a technological deterministic approach; being beguiled by technology;
- can we articulate a web 2.0 pedagogy? what models might be useful?
- we need new models to understand relationship between pedagogy & technology;
- we need to experiment with these ideas; atomistic (small bits; make sense of them? piecemeal - do we need a schema as a way of representing this kind of atomistic learning) vs. wholistic (principles underpinning or butressing learning/sharing/collaboation)
- what is the best of web 2.0? what makes good learning? how do these go together with traditional learning?
- can we bring the best of web 2.0 and evidence based practice in education?
- What is learning? learning through thinking; experience and activity; communication and interaction; evidence and demonstration
- are early adopters of social media being subtly encultured (subconsciously) to behave as if the content of the librarian-user interaction is pre-determined by 'the system' while deluding themselves that they have control
- are we vacuously seeking to fulfill the requirements of the system (La Technique, Ellul) and while being rewarded for doing so are we losing our core intellectual orientation and even our humanity
Possible survey questions
1. How did you learn about Twitter?
2. What are the pros and cons of using Twitter for your library?
3. What has been your experience using Twitter?
4. Are there any third party applications you use to enhance your Twitter experience?
5. Who organizes/runs the Twitter account for your library?
6. How is Twitter supported in terms of human labor and technological infrastructure?
7. Do you/have you faced challenges or obstacles in offering/participating in Twitter?
8. Why does your library use Twitter?
9. What value does Twitter have for your library?
10. Have you dealt with constraints or limits in using Twitter?
11. How accessible is Twitter to your diverse clientele?
12. For the future, do you plan - or have you thought - about using Twitter in a different way than
how you are using it right now?
13. Do you believe Twitter allows for greater participation by your patrons/clients in your community? If yes, how?
14. What benefits does Twitter have for outreach to patrons/clients of the library?
15. What are the potential benefits of using Twitter for your library's information services?
- Aharony N. Web 2.0 use by librarians. Library & Information Science Research. 2009;31(1):29-37.
- [Chawner B. Spectators, not players: information managers' use of Web 2.0 in New Zealand. Electronic Library. 2008;26(5):630-649.]
- Connell RS. Academic libraries, Facebook and MySpace, and student outreach: a survey of student opinion. portal: Libraries and the Academy. 2009;9(1):25–36.
- Conole G. Disruptive technologies or new pedagogical possibilities. Eduserv Foundation Symposium 2008.
- Couper M. Whither the web: web 2.0 and the changing world of web surveys.
- Daou P. The philosophical significance of Twitter: consciousness outfolding. Huffington Post. June 16th, 2009
- Giustini D, Wright MD. Twitter: an introduction to microblogging for health librarians. JCHLA / JABSC. 2009;30(1).
- Hawn C. Take two aspirin and tweet me in the morning: how Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are reshaping health care. Health Aff (Millwood). 2009;28(2):361-8.
- Hendrix D. Use of Facebook in academic health sciences libraries. J Med Libr Assoc. 2007;97(1):44-7.
- Lenhart A. Twitterpated: mobile Americans increasingly take to tweeting. Pew Internet & American Life Project. 2009
- Majoo F. To live, Twitter must die: microblogging has become too important for one company to rule the field. Slate. July 2009
- [Powell RR. Basic research methods for librarians. Contemporary studies in information management, policy, and services. Information Management Policies and Services Series. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997.]
- Putnam LL. Professional writing and publishing: resources for librarians. College & Research Libraries News. April 2009;70(4).
- [Rogers CR. Social media, libraries, and web 2.0: how American libraries are using new tools for public relations and to attract new users. German Library Association Annual Conference, 2009]
- Secker J. LASSIE: Libraries and social software in education. Case Study 5:Libraries and Facebook January 2008. University of London Centre for Distance Education Teaching and Research Awards.
- [Rea LM. Designing and conducting survey research: a comprehensive guide. Jossey-Bass, 1997.]