Effectiveness of library blogs and social networks
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Effectiveness of library blogs and social networks Document Transcript

  • 1. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 71 EFFECTIVENESS OF LIBRARY BLOGS AND SOCIAL NETWORKS OF KENDRIYA VIDYALAYA PATTOM: A CASE STUDY S. L. Faisal Librarian, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom Thiruvananthapuram-04 slfaizal@gmail.com ABSTRACT Blogs and online social networks are handy web 2.0 tools which can be easily incorporated into an academic library’s user service profile. The inherent features of these applications help library professionals to reach out to new generation users at their own space and time. Blogs are easy to create, maintain and cost free solutions to disseminate information on library resources and services. Social networks allow the library to facilitate collaborative learning and resource sharing. Emergence of social media as an important channel for interaction, communication, collaboration, sharing and creation of new knowledge among the academic communities made it relevant for libraries also. The present paper discusses how blogs and social networks can be exploited as user centric service tools in academic libraries by studying the content and analysing the effectiveness of library blogs and social networks created and maintained by Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram. Keywords: Blogs, Social Networks, Web 2.0, Academic libraries 1 INTRODUCTION The impact of Internet and related web technologies on the delivery of library services is evident in the first decade of the Twenty First century. The conceptual shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and its real life implications affects modern libraries and information centres in such a way that make them to reinvent their web based resources and services and become a part of the updated version of library coded as Library 2.0. The users of the web who could only “see” the static pages with limited or no interactiveness are now armed with revolutionary gadgets and connected to myriad networks that changes the way they think, communicate, share and experience. A large number of Web 2.0 tools or technologies can be incorporated into library sphere to reach out and engage with the new generation users those are conversant with and like to live in the new era of communication, information sharing, interoperability and collaboration. 2.0 Relevance of the study The modern academic community constitutes students and teachers those are more oriented towards web generated information resources. Since a large part of academic knowledge is now freely available on internet (the size and non-accessibility of quality information located INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIBRARY AND NFORMATION SCIENCE (IJLIS) ISSN : 2277 – 3533 (Print) ISSN : 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June (2013), pp. 71-88 © IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijlis.html Journal Impact Factor (2013): 5.1389 (Calculated by GISI), www.jifactor.com IJLIS © I A E M E
  • 2. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 72 in deep web remains a problem), the users tend to spend more time on the web. To meet these digital natives at their own hideaways and redirect them to the authentic and high quality resources available online and also kept in libraries, new service models should be designed. The knowledge about web 2.0 tools and its applications in web based library and information services are more relevant here. The significance and impact of blogs and social networks as a technology having a greater share of user generated content and as a medium which allows users to comment, share and analyse what they care have lead marketers and libraries to make use of it. They incorporated these tools into their developmental strategies and redesign them according to their needs. Blogs are easy to create, maintain and at the same time costless, whereas social networks help libraries to link with the users effortlessly. These web 2.0 tool shave all characteristics that can be manipulated in many ways to enhance the Library 2.0 experience. Library blogs are now become an essential component of online services profile of modern academic libraries. A large number of libraries worldwide are now using blogs. Libraries in India are slowly catching up with the paradigm shifts that resulted by the impact of web 2.0 on web based library service in developed countries. The basic theme is that Library 2.0 is an update but not a replacement of Library 1.0 which makes our libraries more social, human, and participatory (borderless) and invites unprecedented user inputs. Libraries in KendriyaVidyalayas (central schools), which span around India, are in the forefront of adopting these technologies from 2008, the year when the first KV library blog launched by Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. 3.0 Objectives of the study i) To find out the application of blogs and social networks in libraries ii) To study the web page contents of the library blogs and social networks of Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom iii) To analyse the effectiveness of library blogs and social networks of Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom as user centric service tools. 4.0 Methodology i) Web page content study of library blogs and social networks: Detailed web page content analysis of the blogs and social networks were carried out using the blog pages and statistics available from the blog's administrator interface. ii) User surveys: Two user surveys (out of which one was online) among the students were conducted to find out the effectiveness of the blogs and social networks under the study using questionnaires. 5.0 Scope and limitations The study has a greater scope of implementing web 2.0 applications in academic libraries. The developing field of Academic Library 2.0 situation in India and its prospects are studied here. The presence of mute and immeasurable virtual respondents on internet was the main limitation.
  • 3. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 73 5.0 Web 2.0 tools for Libraries There are hundreds of web 2.0 start ups using different technologies and tools. The common tools used by the libraries are, Blogs (Weblogs), Wikis, RSS feed and aggregators, Social Bookmarking, Folksonomy/Social Tagging, Social Networking Services, Content curation tools, Microblogging (Twittering), Podcasting, Vodcasting, VoIP/Instant Messaging/Synchronous Messaging, Web conferencing, Virtual world applications, Mash-ups, Library tool bars and widgets, Mobile (SMS) The present study is limited to the application of Blogs and online social networks. 6.1 Blogs At its simplest, "A blog (a contraction of web log) is a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog." (Wikipedia, 2013) The term weblog, or blog, was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997 and refers to a simple webpage consisting of brief paragraphs of opinion, information, personal diary entries or links, called posts, arranged chronologically with the most recent first, in the style of an online journal. Blog entries may contain images, links, video clips, and polls, as well as text. Each blog entry has a link to a comments area where readers can comment on the blog entry. Blog comments may be opened to all, moderated, limited to registered and approved users, or completely disabled. Discussions often develop in the comments area between the blog author and her readers, furthering the communication between librarian and patron. Blogs are a way to let patrons know what is new at the library by posting information about new materials, library news, event announcements, policy changes, etc. 6.2 Applications of Blogs in academic libraries Promoting your library's services, resources and programmes online can be a lot easier with the help of a blog. A great library blog requires three ingredients: inspiration, motivation and dedication. Inspiration is that “ah-ha” moment when your new marketing idea meshes perfectly with a blog as the delivery vehicle. Motivation is the energy to put good ideas into practice and helps launch the new blog. Dedication is what comes next. It's the hard work that keeps the blog updated with pithy lively posts on a constant basis (Fichter, 2003). Creating a blog for your library is as easy as opening an e-mail account. Many websites provide blogging software which are either free or inexpensive. Wordpress, Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type, Live Journal are some. The best way to start a blog is to jump into the blogosphere and get wet your feet by trying to create some new posts or pages. Once it happened, then you have to decide the type and size of your indented audience and the services that you could have to imbibe on your new blog. 6.3 Library blogs of Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom: Web page content study The Library Media Centre at KV Pattom has been successfully maintaining four blogs. Home page of the library blog is shown in figure1 and the main features of the blogs are detailed in
  • 4. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 74 Table 1. Fig. 1: Home page of the Library Blog Table 1: Details of the Blogs developed by the Library, KV Pattom S. No Details of the Blog with key features 01 Library @ KV Pattom (http://librarykvpattom.wordpress.com)  launched in September 2007  Acts as a portal to web resources for students and teachers  Regularly updated information on library resources and services  New book alerts and announcements  Downloads category contains study materials, previous question papers, e-books, online text books, etc  Book of the week, author of the week, article of the week, website of the week categories  Videos of writers and art forms and school programmes  Library instructional videos and links  A subject directory of websites  E-mail subscription service for users  RSS subscription  Chat reference and E-mail reference services  'Ask the librarian' and 'Suggest A Book' facilities  Comment facility to ask questions  Face book and Twitter integration  Receives more than 1500 hits per day (on an average)
  • 5. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 75  Upto 31 June 2013, received more than 25,00000 hits and more than 1500 comments  Listed in the national and international library blog directories  The blog functions as a library information and publicity tool. 2 LibZine-the E-Magazine (http://libzine.wordpress.com) Launched in January 2008 as an online platform for students and teachers to publish their creative talents such as poems, stories, articles, book reviews paintings, photos, cartoons, experiences, etc Main features  Selection by an editorial team consisting teachers and students  E-mail subscription facility  Students can e-mail their contributions  Comment facility, Links to other related websites  Regular colums of teachers on life skills and career development  Online competitions (quiz, puzzles, etc)  Materials are selected for school magazine  Received more than 109,000 hits by June 2013 3 My Dear Book (http://mydearbook.wordpress.com)  Exclusively for publishing book reviews  Provides wider audience for student's reviews  Online book review competitions  Develops students writing skills  Comment facility  Giving awareness about books which are available in the library.  Attracts students towards books and reading  Received more than 19,000 hits by June 2013 4 Home works and Assignments Online(http://homeworksonline.wordpress.com) To provide 24x7 access to learner’s curriculum resources.  Class wise arrangement of home works  E-mail subscription facility to new home works  Contact information (e-mail) of teachers  Announcements regarding examinations and tests  Links to learning resources  Comment facility  More than 2,60500 hits by June 2013  Used widely by students from other schools The web page content analysis of the blogs under study shows how these blogs are used as a user centric service tool. The main applications of blogs in academic libraries are, i. as a library and information service ii. as a tool to promote creativity and reading habit iii. as a feedback and an evaluation instrument iv. as an interactive communication medium v. as a collaborative learning platform
  • 6. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 76 6.3.1 Blog as a library and information service Library blogs can be used as a publicity and promotional tool to inform the users about the new additions, library services and programmes. The KV Pattom library blog on its home page gives information on its mission, opening hours, borrowing details, frequently asked questions, etc. Announcements, New arrivals, reference books, periodicals, newspapers, multimedia and other resources such as previous year's question papers, study materials, ,etc are posted on the pages. As a library service it reviews a book every week (Book of the Week) and presents an author as the “Author of the week”. The reviews and author articles are linked with relevant internet sites. The section “Books of the month” lists five books which are most popular among the students. “Article of the week” publishes an article on a current topic where as “Website of the Month” reviews a useful website. Book reviews by students and teachers along with links to author websites, interviews or videos and a “Fan Club” which contains web links to famous writers are some interesting features. One category which gets numerous hits every day is the “downloads”, where down loadable documents or links to study materials, board exam question papers, marking schemes, online textbooks, e-books etc are given. To kindle the inquisitiveness of students a weekly updated quiz section , to give them information on career options, a “career corner'' and to encourage creative talents of teachers, a “creative teacher” section are some other components of the blog. “Ask the Librarian” online reference, chat reference, SMS reference and e-mail reference are some other services given through the blog. The internet is a gold mine for the students in their information search but at the same time it is a huge store house of unauthorized, unevaluated and poor quality information. To help students in their information search, a subject-wise directory of reviewed websites with live links is added on the blog. There by the library blog acts as student's one stop entry point to safe and quick web search. The students can search inside the blog using keywords and retrieve current and archived information using the search box given on the homepage of the blog. 6.3.2 Blogs as a tool to promote creativity and reading habit “LibZine” and “My Dear Book”are value added services from the library. LibZinewas launched to promote student's creative talents online and thereby attract them towards reading and books. Book reviews, poems, short stories, articles, paintings, experiences, photographs etc by students and teachers are published on this blog. The posts are mailed to library's e-mail ID and edited by a team of teachers. Accepted entries are published at any time since it is always live. The posts generate discussions among the visitors which facilitate exchange of ideas and information. “My Dear Book” blog is exclusively for publishing book reviews written by students and teachers. Only books available in the library are reviewed. This helps the users to identify and select good books and publish own book reviews. The main advantage of these services in library perspective is that it increases the online visibility of the library along with original content creation. For students, it is a window to bring out their talent by harnessing the e- publishing possibilities. 6.3.3 Blog as a feedback and an evaluation tool The comment box attached to each and every post/ page on a blog encourages feedback from readers/users. They can provide information about their experiences and suggest improvements
  • 7. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 77 through a medium in which they feel safe enough to express themselves. Polls and surveys can also add to blogs using some free software tools. Questions related to the effectiveness of library sources and services may be asked here and results can be evaluated. 6.3.4.1 Blogs as an interactive communication medium Communicating with the users is the most important aspect of the effectiveness of a library. New media tools particularly blogs open up channels for real time and instant interactions between the librarian and the user. Instant messaging (IM) is a type of communication service that enables you to have real time text-based conversations with another individual. Some IM software could be attached to the blog (e.g. Meebo).This online chat facility can be act as a good communication tool. The comments links on the blog also facilitate interactive communication. The responses given by the respondent can become the starting point to more discussions and exchange of ideas. 6.3.5 Blogs as a collaborative learning platform The Homeworks and Assignments Online blog maintained by the library is a part of its online collaborative e-learning services. Students can download their class home works and assignments from this blog. The Class, division, name of the teacher and the date of submission of the homework are given. It is particularly useful for students who are absent in regular classes. Homeworks are categorized according to their class and subject Students can comment on the given homework and ask questions using the links. E-mail Ids of all the teachers of the Vidyalaya are also provided to encourage student-teacher interaction. All the four above mentioned blogs tell success stories which repositioned the library as a hub of all technological initiatives in the school. These sites got good coverage in the media and acceptance among students and parents. The blogs maintained by the Library at Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom, set an example for library blogs and its effective use in an academic set-up. 6.4 Online Social Networks for Libraries The applications of web 2.0 tools in libraries are turning innovative day by day and social networks are no exceptions. The feasible and custom made features provided by some websites such as Ning and Grou.ps serve the needs of a library in the creation of its own online communities. Face book and Twitter are two most popular social networking services those could be used as reaching out tools. These networks depict the basic characters of a library 2.0 component such as user generated content, socializing , sharing, collaboration and live interaction. Social networks can be used in libraries as, i) a tool to network library with the users: library administered online user communities. ii) a library promotional and publicity medium: the virtual bulletin board of the library. iii) an e-mail communication forum: information can be passed to the users quickly through their e-mail ids en masse. iv) a library evaluation tool: the discussion forums and surveys on the Ning can be used to collect user feedback on library resources and services. v) an on line personal space for the library users: the user designed profile pages act as personal spaces where they can express themselves through text, images multimedia and invite other members of the community. vi) a collaborative sharing and learning platform: the internal groups created on the network around topics or issues facilitate sharing and forging of ideas and assist collaborative learning practices.
  • 8. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 78 vii) a user generated knowledge base system: the content created and transmitted by the network members enriches the total knowledge base of the library. viii. a tool to create love towards books and developing reading habit: a platform to promote books and reading through groups, discussion forum and blog posts. 6.4.1 Social Networks of Library at Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom The library maintains a dedicated social network, Library Junction (http://libraryjunction.net ) and own Face book and Twitter accounts. Fig. 2: Home page of Library Junction “Library Junction” (Fig. 2) launched in January 2010 with a catch line “Where minds meet and ideas pop up!”.The targeted members of the network were those who have genuine interest in books, reading, libraries and good websites. The launch was announced through media. More than 1000 people joined Library Junction by May 2013, out of which 650 were the existing off line users of the library comprising students and teachers. 6.4.1.1 Networking with users Library Junction has become an on line community of library users networked together around the motive of the love towards books, reading, libraries and good websites. The member base includes academicians, students, librarians, professionals and laymen. The administrator, here the librarian has the power to accept or decline one's request for membership if the applicant's credentials found dubious. He/she can even ban the member from the network for not following the stated guidelines. The heterogeneity of the members invokes alternative views on different issues discussed on the network and encourages sharing of ideas and thoughts. 6.4.1.2 Publicizing the library Promoting and publicizing the resources and services of the library remains one of the main reasons to launch Library Junction. Information regarding new arrivals, services and events are announced through the network. The members can join the events organized by the library and if desired, create own events and promote it.
  • 9. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 79 6.4.1.3 Communicating with users The library possesses a database of its network members with different fields such as name, date of birth, e-mail id (these three entries made essential to join the network by default) and the information collected by means of a data sheet (created by the administrator) to be filled by the members at the time of joining which can be later modified by them if required. On Library Junction, “LJ Link of the day” is a daily information alert service through which useful web links are send to the members along with updates from the library via e mail. Blog posts (by the administrator and the members) are another means of information dissemination tool which can be used for spreading and sharing news on related topics.Library instructional videos and images were uploaded on the network which help the users in exploiting the resources. Along with that, on Library Junction, videos on current issues, interviews with literary figures, books, reading and events are added by the administrator and the members. 6.4.1.4 Library evaluation by the users Effectiveness of the library, its services, resources and policies can be put on for discussion on the network. An user who is reluctant to express his/her views before the library staff might be ready to throw away that on an on line forum. The feedback collected through this platform is a quick and handy set of user data which can be analysed for future qualitative improvements. 6.4.1.5 Creating personal spaces The custom made profile pages of the members on the network display their uniqueness, sense of design, interests and attitudes. These are their personal spaces (think about traditional carrels in libraries) where they can invite other members, befriend and share literally anything which is possible on any other social network. 6.4.1.6 Collaboration and sharing Collaboration and sharing are the fundamental characteristics of a social network. Library Junction channelized this to facilitate internal data flow within groups which were created around favourite authors, books, characters, events and websites. Members were permitted join any number of groups according to their interests. The group members started discussions on the famous literacy character and its author. They interact each other through group messages and comments. These internal group activities and the data exchanges held on the main home page step up the overall data flow on the network and boost collaboration and sharing of ideas and information among the members. 6.4.1.7 Knowledge bases created by the members Highly learned members and potential discussions on the network produce new knowledge which will enrich the existing (library) system. These small but valuable knowledge bases created by the members through comments, opinions, suggestions, blog posts, images and videos adds up the total intellectual worthiness of the social network and eventually turns the hosting library a place for more learning and resource sharing. 6.4.1.8 Creating love towards books and developing reading habit The main objective of the Network was to create love towards books and reading in the mind of net savvy young library users who spend a good share of their time in gaming, surfing and social networking sites such as face book and orkut. Library junction was designed in such a way that at every module of the network, the members are guided towards books, reading and good websites. The online social network, Library Junction helps the library to reach out to the new generation library users those who are familiar with and like to be on popular social networking services. This network acts as a publicity tool, communication medium, collaborative learning platform,
  • 10. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 80 information sharing platform and a tool to promote reading habit and information literacy skills. 6.5 Library on Face book The library created page on the most popular online social networking service Face book (http://facebook.com/LibraryKVPattom). More than 1650 users have became "Friends" and “followers” of this page.(Figure 3) Fig. 3: Screen shot of KVP library on Face book The services offered through Face book are, i) Publicizing new arrivals, library events and activities ii) RSS feeds (aggregations) from the Library blogs iii) Shares photos, videos, links and current news (embedding and uploading) iv) Acts as a virtual reference desk (chat reference with the librarian) v) Integration of reading applications such as Visual Book Shelf and Library Thing. 6.6 Library on Twitter The twitter interface of the library (http://twitter.com/librarykvpattom ) works as a short message service of the library. Updates from the library blogs and other library related information are disseminated through twitter. (Figure 4)
  • 11. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 81 Fig. 4: Twitter home page of the library 7.0 Analysis of data The data collected by a survey conducted among the students of Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom was assessed to find out the effectiveness of the library blogs under study. The questionnaire was distributed among the students from Class VI-XII in a random order.106 students participated in the survey. Inferences derived are as under: 7.1 Rating Library blogs by its user friendliness The respondents rated library blogs by its user friendliness. Mare than 50 % rated that as Very good where as 35% as Good which is presented as Table 2. Table 2: Rating Library blogs by its user friendliness Rating Percentage of responses Very Good 54 Good 35 Average 8 Not known 3 The responses showed that the blogs should be more user frienly. 7.2 Rating Library Blogs by its information content It is clear from Table 3 that when rate by its information content, 56 % said that the blogs contain the adequate amount of information.
  • 12. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 82 Table 3: Rating Library blogs by its information content Rating Percentage of responses Adequate 56 Good 35 Average 11 Not known 3 7.3 Helpfulness of comment, e-mail reference and downloads sections on the library blog Respondents were asked to assess the helpfulness of the three most popular components of the blog, comment facility, e-mail reference and download. 58% of the respondents said that they were very helpful whereas 14 % said that these sections help them to some extend. Remaining 28 % rated it as helpful. Fig. 5: Usefulness of the blog components 7.4 Reasons for the students to visit the library blogs Why the students visit the library blogs? As shown in table 4, more than half (58 %) of the respondents expressed that they have been visiting the library blogs for getting information on books, library and its activities. 29 % thought that they could find and download some carriculum related materials from the blog. Table 4: Reasons to visit the library blogs Reason Percentage of responses To get information on books and library activities 58 To find and download curriculum related materials 29 Just for the sake of browsing the web 13 The analysis showed that the students visit the library blogs to know more about the books, library and to find or download some information useful for their studies. 7.5Libzine: The e-Magzine as a medium to promote students' creative talents online The LibZine-e magazine blog is an online self-publishing platform for students and teachers. 63 Very Helpfl Helpful To some extend
  • 13. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 83 % of the respondents think that it helps them to promote their creative talents where as 33% said that to some extend it acts as a medium to develop their creative skills represented by figure 6. Fig. 6: Libzine Blog as a medium to promote students' creative talents From the responses, it is clear that the e-magazine blog effectively helps students to showcase their creative talents to the world. 7.6 “Homeworks and assignments online” blog as a curriculum support tool Among the respondents, 55 % termed the blog from where they can download daily homeworks as very useful as represented in figure 7. Fig. 7: Home works online blog as a curriculum support tool The results indicated that the blog helps the students in their studies and remain connected with their school activities. 7.7 Home works online Blog as a collaborative learning platform Students can communicate with the subject teachers utilizing the comment facility and e-mail links provided on the blog. 43 % of the respondents communicate and collaborate with teachers Yes To some extent Not know n 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Very useful Useful To some extent Not know n 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
  • 14. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 84 through E-mail and comments regularly where as 33% interact with them sometimes as given in table 5. Table 5: Blog as a collaborative learning platform Activity Percentage of responses Collaborate with teachers regularly 43 Collaborate with teachers some time 33 No collaboration 24 7.8 Periodicity of visit Nearly half of the respondents visit any of the library blog everyday where as 32 % visits 2-4 times in a week. 18% of the students visit the blogs once in a week and 3 % visit once in a month, represented by table 6. Table 6: Periodicity of visit Periodicity Response (%) Daily 47 2-4 times/week 32 Once/week 18 Once/month 3 7.9 Library Junction: The online social network of the Library An on line user survey was conducted to measure the effectiveness of the Library Junction as an added library service. Questionnaire was mailed to all network members and from the responses received, the analysis was carried out. The main findings are given below. 7.9.1How the respondents knew about Library Junction The major source of first-hand information about the social network was internet followed by library (20 %) as shown in the table 7. Table 7: Primary information source on Library Junction Source of information Response (%) Friends 14 Teachers 10 Library Newsletter 3 Internet 53 Library 20 7.9.2 Frequency of visit The daily visitors of the network were 27 % of the respondents, where as 34% of them visit the network once in a week as indicated in table 8.
  • 15. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 85 Table 8: Frequency of visit Periodicity Response (%) Daily 27 Once in two days 14 Once in four days 16 Once in a week 34 Once in a month 9 7.9.3User behaviour From the analysis it was found that, as represented by the table 9, a maximum number of students read blog posts, discussions and comments (67%). 34 % of the users liked to visit other member's profile pages. Table 9: User behaviour Activities Response (%) Read, blog posts/discussions/comments 67 Visit other member's profile pages 34 Communicate with other members (messages, comments, etc.) 25 Visit groups and interact with group members 30 See/upload images and videos 20 Just to surf 27 The table shows the high participation level of users in discussions and the eagerness to interact with other members on the network. 7.9.4 Library junction and reading habit As indicated in the figure 8, more than 90 % of the respondents believe that the network helps them to develop reading habit, interest towards books, libraries and good websites. Figure 8: Promotion of reading habit Helps to develop reading habit Not helpful
  • 16. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 86 7.10Evaluation of the effectiveness of blogs through blog statistics Blogs have inbuilt statistical tools (Blog Stats) to analyze its reach and effectiveness. Daily, weekly, monthly hit counts are given along with most visited posts, pages, incoming links and refereed sites. A screen shot of the daily statistics generated on 19 July 2013 of the blog under study is given in figure 9. A hit counts statistics of the library blog is shown using the figure 10, which indicates the total number of hits gained by the library blog on a monthly basis. Figure 9: Daily blog statistics As shown in figure 10 and 11, in February 2012 the library blog recorded the highest number of 105,611 hits. The statistics showed that on an average the blog got more than 1061 hits per day (from September 2007 to June 2013). The maximum hits in a day (3642) were recorded in the month of February 2012.
  • 17. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 87 Figure 10: Hit count statistics (monthly) Figure 11: Hit count statistics (daily) A general analysis of the data collected from the user surveys and the blog statistics clearly showed that the use of library blogs and social networks as user centric service tools in an academic library environment is effective and workable. A well designed library blog can increase library's reach to the new generation users. Social networking helps the library to interact and collaborate with the users. 8.0 Findings The findings are presented under two broad headings.  Web 2.0 tools and its applications in academic libraries On the basis of the study the important findings regarding the application of web 2.0 tools in academic libraries are following. i) Web 2.0 provides user-friendly applications which help connect information and people ii) Academic libraries can effectively incorporate web 2.0 tools to serve the net generation
  • 18. International Journal of Library and Information Science (IJLIS), ISSN: 2277 – 3533 (Print), ISSN: 2277 – 3584 (Online) Volume 2, Issue 1, January- June 2013, © IAEME 88 users iii) Blogs and online social networks are powerful applications in Academic Library 2.0  The effectiveness of library blogs and social networks as user centric service tools The major findings regarding the effectiveness of library blogs and online social networks are, i) Internet and the library remain the primary source of information about the library blogs and social networks ii) Blogs and social networks help to disseminate or publicise library resources and activities iii) Blogs and social networks help the library to give virtual reference services iv) Collaborative learning can be facilitated and supported by blogs and social networks v) Library blogs and social networks develop reading habit and creative skills. vi) Blogs and social networks act as curriculum support tools. vii) Blogs and social networks acted as guides to selected and aggregated information sources. 9 Conclusion A famous U.S Court judgment rejecting censorship in the 1990s described the internet as a 'never ending worldwide conversation' (Dochartaigh, 2007). This description emphasizes the interactive aspects of the new technologies. Web 2.0 provides the platform on which a library can pursue for its excellence by effectively utilizing these tools. The application of blogs, social networks and other new media technologies helps the library professional to serve the stake holders better and re-construct his/her image as a well-equipped, proactive, conversant and human entity. The new era libraries are the centres of interactive communication and collaborative learning where the users create content. The power of networking between these two components ie., users and library strengthens each other and create new avenues for a more open, user friendly, social and dynamic interface where the wisdom of the users meet and enrich the existing knowledge system of the library. The study conducted with library blogs and social networks gives ample evidences in this direction and presents nemerous possibilities before libraries. The new technologies should be harnessed relentlessly for the betterment of the users and to reach them where they are. The future of libraries lies there. References 1. Dochartaigh, Niall (2007). Internet Research skills. London: Sage Publications. 2. Fichter, Darlene (2003). Why and how to use blogs to promote your library's services, Marketing Library Services. Retrieved 10 June, 2013 from http://www.infotoday.com/mls/nov03/fichter.shtml#1 3. YALSA (Young Adults Library Services Association) (2009). Teens & Social Networking in School & Public Libraries: A Toolkit for Librarians & Library Workers, YALSA , Chicago. Retrieved 10 June, 2013 from www.ala.org/yalsa 4. Wikipedia (2013).Retrieved 10 June, 2013 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog