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Using social media to address professional issues in LIS


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By Lauren Smith (Research Associate, University of Strathclyde) at MMIT 2015

Published in: Technology
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Using social media to address professional issues in LIS

  1. 1. Lauren Smith | @walkyouhome Using Social Media to Address Professional Issues in LIS
  2. 2. An ‘individual’ perspective on social media rather than institutional use of social media
  3. 3. What I Do… • Research Associate, School of Education, The University of Strathclyde: Researching the efficacy of interventions for access to higher education for young people • Doctoral Researcher, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, The University of Strathclyde: Researching young people’s experiences of political information and the role of critical information literacy in supporting political agency • Independent Researcher, CILIP ILG Research Bursary: Researching Scottish school librarians’ experiences of supporting pupils’ information needs during the Scottish Independence Referendum and General Election
  4. 4. On Social Media… • Library advocacy • Discussing LIS issues • Tweeting for SLIC • Source of information • Being a general pain • Knitting/sewing • Cats
  5. 5. Ethical Principles • Concern for the public good • Commitment to intellectual freedom • Commitment to access to information • Promoting equal opportunities and human rights • Equitable treatment of users • Commitment to professional development
  6. 6. Library advocacy is an issue of the public good
  7. 7. Voices for the Library • Launched website in September 2010 • Founders met on Twitter • Supported by CILIP, Unison, The Reading Agency • Initial sponsorship from Credo Reference, ExLibris, Encyclopaedia Britannica • • @VftL_UK
  8. 8. Voices for the Library aims to provide the facts about the public library service and the role of professional librarians in the UK, and to provide a space for library users to share their stories about the difference public libraries have made to their lives.
  9. 9. We also aim to support and provide a platform for the many public library campaigns that have sprung up across the country in defence of the public library service. We aim to provide a link to these campaigns and to draw attention to some of the battles that are being fought.
  10. 10. Options for Local Authorities • Closures • Volunteers • Privatising / outsourcing • Trusts • “Efficiencies” • Cuts to opening hours • Sometimes connected to broader policy, sometimes reactionary
  11. 11. We use social media… • To crowdsource our manifesto • To publicise our site, opinion pieces etc. • Communicate with campaigners • Communicate with the press • Offer a point of contact • Raise awareness of campaigns and events • To crowdfund projects like Library A to Z
  12. 12. Materials can be downloaded from the Library A to Z website, including: • Illustrations • Book (print and e-book) • Greetings cards • Posters - editable Adobe Illustrator files and sample PDF files Download the materials from Dropbox. The illustrations are also available on Flickr.
  13. 13. Questioning LIS practice and policy is necessary for the public good
  14. 14. Radical Librarians Collective • Talking about: – LIS qualifications – Professional divide – Communicating with users – Equity of access – User experience – Critical pedagogy – Gender issues – Users as ‘customers’
  15. 15. Radical Librarians Collective aims to offer a space to challenge, to provoke, to improve and develop the communications between like-minded radicals, to galvanise our collective solidarity against the marketisation of libraries and the removal of our agency to our working worlds and beyond.
  16. 16. Radical Librarians Collective is not owned by a single group or individual. It is not centrally run by committee. Anyone can host or organise a Radical Librarians Collective event (provided it reflects the concerns expressed above) and anyone can contribute to the ongoing discussions.
  17. 17. • Annual gatherings • Regional groups • Journal of Radical Librarianship • Radical research • Cataloguing parties • Cryptoparties • #radlibchat • @RadicalLibs
  18. 18. #radlibchat #radlibchat is a monthly online chat about an article or research paper relevant to the principles upon which Radical Librarians Collective operates. Articles will be Open Access only to ensure everyone can engage whilst also showing support for the Open Access model.
  19. 19. Collaborative Work • Radical research - #critlib research interest matchmaking and #radlibs • Co-authoring journal articles • Sharing practical experiences and advice • Keeping up to date with relevant events internationally
  20. 20. • Co-authored journal article with Kevin Sanders and Stuart Lawson • Collaborated online for planning and writing • Written in Google Docs • Published Open Access Lawson, S, Sanders, K, Smith, L. (2015). Commodification of the Information Profession: A Critique of Higher Education Under Neoliberalism. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 3(1):eP1182.
  21. 21. Filtering in Libraries • Standardised packages • Often controlled by central IT • Theoretically possible to remove • Complicated policies • Prevents access to information • Blocked content includes LGBTQ information
  22. 22. FoI Requests • To all the local authorities in the UK (using WhatDoTheyKnow) • Asking them: – What filtering software they use – How much it costs – What categories/sites it blocks – What policies are in place for people to request access – How often people have requested access
  23. 23. Initial Results • Most authorities use filtering software • Most (!) were happy to release information • It’s usually whatever the council uses • Filters are pre-determined • People usually have to make specific requests to IT for unblocking • Few people ask for that • Data not held about how many times sites have been blocked
  24. 24. Digital privacy is an issue of intellectual freedom
  25. 25. Library Freedom Project • Directed by Alison Macrina (@flexlibris) • Privacy toolkit for librarians • Online privacy classes • Digital Rights in Libraries Conference (DRIL) • Tor exit relays in libraries
  26. 26. Privacy-protecting browser plugins • Disconnect: blocks malware and tracking • AdBlock Plus: blocks tracking, malware domains, banners, pop-ups and video ads • HTTPS Everywhere: browser extension that encrypts communications • Privacy Badger: blocks spying ads and invisible trackers
  27. 27. Tor is a service that helps you to protect your anonymity while using the Internet. Tor is comprised of two parts: software you can download that allows you to use the Internet anonymously, and the volunteer network of computers that makes it possible for that software to work. Tor
  28. 28. An exit relay is the final relay that Tor traffic passes through before it reaches its destination. Exit relays advertise their presence to the entire Tor network, so they can be used by any Tor users. Because Tor traffic exits through these relays, the IP address of the exit relay is interpreted as the source of the traffic. If a malicious user employs the Tor network to do something that might be objectionable or illegal, the exit relay may take the blame. People who run exit relays should be prepared to deal with complaints, copyright takedown notices, and the possibility that their servers may attract the attention of law enforcement agencies.
  29. 29. Literacy is an issue of human rights
  30. 30. Literacies and Pedagogy Information literacy Media literacy Digital literacy
  31. 31. Literacies and Pedagogy • Hybrid Pedagogy blog and twitter @HybridPed • #s from education and LIS conferences • Thinking about digital pedagogy, implications of new technology, rationale behind engaging with it
  32. 32. Supporting our colleagues is an issue of solidarity
  33. 33. My Network Image from NodeXL
  34. 34. Online Professional Networks • Geographically dispersed – Internationally as well as nationally • Limited budgets – Keeping up with conferences and events online • Niche expertise – Finding those few people into your stuff too!
  35. 35. Social media is being used for… • Sharing information • Engaging in discussions • Forming opinions • Making unheard voices heard • Collaboration • Upholding professional ethics
  36. 36. Thank You!