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Building Grassroots Think Tanks with Social Software



From the ALA 2007 Annual Conference.

From the ALA 2007 Annual Conference.



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    Building Grassroots Think Tanks with Social Software Building Grassroots Think Tanks with Social Software Presentation Transcript

    • Building Grassroots Think Tanks with Social Software Meredith Farkas ALA Annual June 24, 2007
    • The Problem • Where does a new librarian go to get good ideas and learn from other librarians? • Librarians are pretty bad at sharing their success stories. • Success stories out there are scattered all over the Web; hard to find.
    • The Solution: Library Success Wiki
    • Encouraging new content • Don’t do too much yourself! • Barn-raisings • Encourage people passionate about certain topics to use the wiki to collect information about their interest • Encourage folks with already existing collections to wikify them
    • Lessons learned • Seed the wiki with content, but don't do it all alone • Get spam protection • Have documentation for wiki novices • Resource will develop slowly • People need reminders • Wikis are great for collecting the things we think no one would care about (but they do!)
    • The Problem • Lots of people don’t have access to quality continuing education. • One-off Webcasts are great, but don’t ensure continued learning/use of the tools discussed. • Importance of hands-on learning and reflective learning. • Online courses could be run more cheaply.
    • The Solution: Five Weeks to a Social Library
    • Five Weeks to a Social Library • The first free, grassroots, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries. • 40 participants • All kinds of libraries • Application process • Chosen on basis of need and perceived benefit
    • Building the class • Found five other lovely librarians to help • Michelle Boule, Dorothea Salo, Amanda Etches-Johnson, Karen Coombs, and Ellyssa Kroski • Solicited presentations from experts in the library world • Used open source software whenever possible. • Planned the entire course using wikis and instant messaging.
    • Tools Used
    • Structure of the Course
    • Comments from participants •“My favorite part of this course is the variety of ways to learn. To read an article, listen to a Webcast, experiment with the technology and then chat about it -- what a great combo. Each part built on the other to help deepen my understanding.”
    • Comments from participants • “My favourite experiences had to be the weekly chats. This was probably the most valuable learning tool - if I wasn’t learning from my peers, I was gaining their support and encouragement. I treasured the time I spent with these folks -- being among your ‘peers,’ even if it’s just an hour a week, can be valuable when you’re in an environment where you’re not quite sure your efforts are appreciated.”
    • Comments from participants • “In just a short time, I created 2 wikis, a book discussion group web page that pulls in RSS feeds, developed a blog and I am completely obsessed with Flickr. I couldn’t stop!”
    • Comments from participants • “This 5 weeks has been one of the most invigorating and energizing professional development activities I’ve engaged in 20 years of being a librarian. I’ve discovered an entire sphere of activity and conversation and interaction going on in the library world that I knew nothing about.”
    • Lessons • Playing with technology is essential to learning technology. • Reflective learning makes ideas stick. • Learning from peers can be more important than learning from a “sage on the stage.” • Online learning can be developed on the cheap.
    • The Bigger Lesson Anyone can develop tools that help other professionals learn, share ideas and innovate.