Keeping up: strategic use of online social networks for librarian current awareness


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Presentation for VALA 2010 by Sue Cook and Con Wiebrands. If reusing please remove CSIRO branding and template. Copy of paper available via (registration required)

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  • I
  • So I started reading online. I got a smart phone and read some forums and then blogs about that. I discovered Shifted Librarian and Lorcan Dempsey’s (he was a keynote at VALA2004) weblog and a whole world of library blogs. Soon I had discovered RSS feeds and then I had a couple of hundred feeds and was drowning in information.
  • I needed filters.
  • Roberts Scoble’s sphere of influence on twitter in 2007
  • Of 118 respondents who answered the question “How long have you been working in the library sector?” 53 (44.9%) said they have been working for ten or more years in the library sector. 29 (24.6%) respondents had been working for between five to ten years in the sector, while 34 (28.8%) had been working for one to five years. Only 2 (1.7%) respondents had less than a year’s experience in the library sector. From these results it would appear that the age of a library professional does not necessarily predict their use (or otherwise) of SNS.
  • Twitter, Friendfeed and Ning were predominantly used for sharing and obtaining information whereas Facebook was used for contact with family and friends
  • Non reciprocal relationships aids information discovery
  • A brief look at Twitter might be in order. Trending topics – by the minute, of the day, week
  • To use, as with all other SNS you will need to create an account
  • Twitter is about who you follow. Think about having a phone. If none of your friends or family have a phone it would be a very dull experience
  • Show followers numbers @flexnib Direct messages Favourites Retweets
  • E
  • I receive notifications of people that have started to follow me. I can choose to just let them but I tend to evaluate them to see whether they are worth following or I can choose to block them if I consider them to be spammers. I evaluate them on their profile, what they have said, if they are conversing with anyone that I am already following. A recent feature of twitter designed to help “curate tweets into meaningful real-time experiences” according to the Twitter developers for the obsessive categorisers amongst us. However it is proving a useful evaluation tool. If someone new appears on someone else’s “librarian” list I know a little more about them. Have a look at this example. I received notification of this follower. I had a look at his tweets and profile and was undecided. A look at the lists he was on however showed me that at least two other people cared enough to list him as a spammer.
  • Using twitter for research
  • A trending or popular topic of discussion Note the #
  • Celebrities
  • More celebrities
  • Keeping up: strategic use of online social networks for librarian current awareness

    1. 1. Keeping up Strategic use of online social networks for librarian current awareness Sue Cook, Information Specialist, CSIRO Information Management and Technology Constance Wiebrands, Manager: Library Services Edith Cowan University Library
    2. 2. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA DSpace OpenURL Open Archive Initiative Unicode XML STORS VERS Open source Sirius AARLIN CONZULSys SWIFT PDA ILMS Distributed authentication OCLC Virtual Learning Environment
    3. 3. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    4. 4. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    5. 5. Filters CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    6. 6. It works CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    7. 7. Evaluation with regard to purpose <ul><li>Social networking has many possible uses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connecting with client/patron community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing programs/events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Client service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connecting with family and friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connecting with other libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Connecting with other librarians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing and obtaining information </li></ul></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    8. 8. Current awareness tool evaluation criteria <ul><li>Current and timely </li></ul><ul><li>They are flexible and can be tailored </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver relevant information </li></ul><ul><li>And they are easy to use </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    9. 9. Current and Timely <ul><li>Chinese earthquake example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I reported the major quake to my followers on Twitter before the USGS Website had a report up and about an hour before CNN or major press started talking about it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Robert Scoble, 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    10. 10. Hyperconnectivity CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    11. 11. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    12. 12. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    13. 13. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    14. 14. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    15. 15. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    16. 16. Flexible CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    17. 17. Relevance is tailored by filters CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA International Librarians Australian Librarians Perth Web Developers
    18. 18. CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    19. 19. Questions <ul><li>What is it about online social networks that make them good current awareness tools </li></ul><ul><li>What makes any social network better than another for professional information? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we apply traditional librarian methods and thinking to information on social networks? </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    20. 20. The survey <ul><li>&quot;Using Twitter to publicise a survey is an interesting exercise: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>quick responses from respondents (cf my first Tweet at 7:09; 30 responses by 8:14am!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>quick feedback on survey: where is LinkedIn, questions confusing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>retweets by many people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>contacting people overseas - Germany (Matthias), US, Canada. I also chatted on Twitter with Malaysian contact who asked if he could retweet it (shall see how many responses we get from Malaysia!) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10:57am: 66 responses!&quot; </li></ul></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    21. 21. SNS are being used but not relied on CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    22. 22. SNS are not just the toys of the young CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    23. 23. Features are not as important as community CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    24. 24. Most had used for longer than a year CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    25. 25. Different sites = different information CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    26. 26. Twitter was the site most used for sharing or obtaining professional information CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    27. 27. Non reciprocal relationships <ul><li>“ Facebook tends to be more for social and people I know (friends/family). Twitter opens a wider community - it has enabled me to develop closer links and maintain contact with people in the Library/Information field I have met through conferences and workshops, as well as learn from Information professionals who I have never met.” </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    28. 28. Simple and flexible <ul><li>“ Easy to dip in and out of. You can pick a suitable application that fits in with your style of working. I use TwitterFox at work to and dip in quickly and discreetly - even though it's pretty much all work stuff others may not perceive it that way; and Tweetdeck at home to scan at leisure.” </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    29. 31. Numbers <ul><li>Metcalfe's law: </li></ul><ul><li>“ the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2)” </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    30. 33. People Discovery- tools <ul><li>Friend of a friend </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the people that you are already following talking to, retweeting, following </li></ul><ul><li>Directories </li></ul><ul><li>Groups/rooms/ </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter lists </li></ul><ul><li>Search </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation tools </li></ul><ul><li>Follow friday </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    31. 34. Evaluation-profile information CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    32. 35. Evaluation - Twitter lists CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    33. 41. Weeding tools CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA As at 1/ Feb listed 50+ tools to help follow or unfollow people
    34. 42. Image credits <ul><li>Donges, G., 2008. aHeadByOne , Available at: [Accessed December 15, 2009]. </li></ul><ul><li>Seitzinger, J., 2009. Filter failure , Available at: [Accessed December 15, 2009]. </li></ul><ul><li>Solis, B., 2009. Preview: The Twitterverse v0.9 by @BrianSolis & @Jess3 , Available at: [Accessed December 15, 2009]. </li></ul><ul><li>Mayfield, R., 2007. Twitter Visualization , Available at: [Accessed December 15, 2009]. </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    35. 43. <ul><li>World Map of Social Networks | Vincos Blog. Available at: [Accessed January 30, 2010]. </li></ul><ul><li>File:Network effect.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Available at: [Accessed February 1, 2010]. </li></ul>CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA
    36. 44. Thank you CSIRO IM&T Library Services Sue Cook Information Specialist Email: Edith Cowan University Library Constance Wiebrands Manager: Library Services Email: CSIRO. Keeping Up- VALA Contact Us Phone: 1300 363 400 or +61 3 9545 2176 Email: Web: