Ecology M10


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  • P 82 Nardi read excerpt - “It wasn’t a problem!” Dobbie Te Rau Ora p3
  • Ecology M10

    1. 1. between a rock pool and a hard place
    2. 2. librarians as a keystone species in the information ecology
    3. 3. nardi says <ul><li>“ access to information is a fundamental need in today’s world, it must be supported to the fullest, which means a living breathing community of helpful people. the human touch will become more, not less important as online information resources grow and information tools proliferate ” </li></ul><ul><li>Information Ecologies: Using Technologies with Heart: </li></ul><ul><li>Nardi, O’Day:1999 </li></ul>
    4. 4. a little background <ul><li>Neither O’Day or Nardi are librarians. They both have research backgrounds and have spent many years in Silicon Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Nardi is an anthropologist. Her ethnographic study at the Apple library was part of a project to develop computer based “intelligent agents” that could do reference and research as well as humans…sound familiar? </li></ul><ul><li>it was her aim to study how intelligent human agents operate….agents in the form of Reference Librarians </li></ul>
    5. 5. ecologies:the diversity of life <ul><li>biologist Edward O Wilson writes </li></ul><ul><li>“ as biodiversity is reduced, so is the quality of services provided by the ecosystems. As extinction spreads in stressed ecosystems, some of the lost forms prove to be ‘keystone species’…The loss of a keystone species is like a drill accidentally striking a powerline. </li></ul><ul><li>It causes lights to go out all over” </li></ul><ul><li>Wilson: The diversity of life p347-348 </li></ul>
    6. 6. why info r mation ecologies? <ul><li>“ an information ecology is defined simply as a system of people, practices, technologies and values in a particular local environment. In information ecologies the spotlight is not on technology but on human activities that are served by technology” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nardi:1999:50 </li></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. library as an information ecology <ul><li>a library has </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>librarians </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>clients </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a specific set of work practices - reference interview </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>techniques - electronic database searching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>different technologies - print, paper, electronic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>values </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. characteristics <ul><li>information and biological ecologies both have </li></ul><ul><li>diversity </li></ul><ul><li>locality </li></ul><ul><li>presence of a keystone species </li></ul>
    9. 9. diversity <ul><li>Necessary for the health of the ecology itself </li></ul><ul><li>it permits the system to survive continual sometimes chaotic change </li></ul><ul><li>in an information ecology there are different kinds of people with different kinds of needs (engineers, lawyers, doctors, anthropologists)and different tools to meet these needs (books, journals, web resources, people) </li></ul><ul><li>everything works together in a complementary way </li></ul>
    10. 10. locality <ul><li>Different and specific needs </li></ul><ul><li>not one size fits all </li></ul><ul><li>attention to distinctiveness of particular local ecologies </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the four Special Libraries at UNSW Kensington (Law, Social Science & Humanities, Biomedical and Physical Sciences) cater to discipline based information needs. Academic faculties value expertise in their own areas of research </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. keystone species <ul><li>the wedge-shaped stone at the pinnacle of an arch is the keystone- it stabilises the arch and holds it together. </li></ul><ul><li>like the keystone, certain species in an ecosystem are crucial to the shape & stability of the system. </li></ul><ul><li>the presence of the keystone species is crucial to the survival of the ecology itself </li></ul><ul><li>librarians are the keystone species in the information ecology, we are facilitators, translators, navigators, mediators mentors and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>a lot of our work is invisible, keystone species don’t wear their indispensability on their sleeves </li></ul>
    12. 12. invisible nature of our work <ul><li>part of our professional practice is to protect our clients from the messy details of our work </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the many different places we look & people we talk with </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what worked </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>what didn’t </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>refinements / deletions/ paper & e-trails </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>how long it took really </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>few people have much of an idea of what librarians do and are unaware of how libraries work </li></ul><ul><li>our ‘therapist’ activities are largely invisible </li></ul><ul><li>there’s a real temptation to assume librarian’s work can be easily automated -- “Desk Set” </li></ul>
    13. 13. values <ul><li>a library is an integrated system of people, technology, practices, and values. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information access </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>privacy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>service </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>respect for the uniqueness of the question </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>access is a core value . It shapes the policies around which the library is organised, this includes policies related to technology </li></ul><ul><li>our values are too complex to program. Our work honours complexity. The values that promote robust, diverse ecologies are </li></ul><ul><ul><li>extensibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>creativity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>d </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. that thing that we do <ul><li>Nardi identifies three important things librarians do </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information therapy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>mediation between clients and technology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>quality and cost control </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. information therapy <ul><li>needs analysis - helping people determine what they really need (reference interview) </li></ul><ul><li>reflective and timely interactions- modify as they go (mentor) </li></ul><ul><li>refinement of goals, ‘to hell with the criteria’ OR sometimes the client doesn’t know best (our expertise) </li></ul><ul><li>cross reference linkages including people and local knowledge (knowledge management) </li></ul>
    16. 16. mediation <ul><li>Between humans (clients) and technology (information seeking tools) </li></ul><ul><li>between client’s perceptions, expectations and reality, taking into account variant information seeking behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>reference interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>clearing the vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the question behind the question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>determining the client’s real need </li></ul></ul><ul><li>not simply finding THE answer but helping to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>refine the question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>find type and level of technology that best serves the search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>choosing best fit: the ‘question behind the question’ and what the user wants to do with information retrieved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>all the above is more difficult in electronic environment </li></ul>
    17. 17. quality <ul><li>Find, filter, sort and interpret information (erlich & cash) </li></ul><ul><li>tracking changes / quality of resources </li></ul><ul><li>evaluate resources and their appropriateness to specific tasks </li></ul><ul><li>assessment/recommendation of information seeking tools </li></ul><ul><li>expertise in knowing the information landscape and how to traverse the terrain </li></ul><ul><li>‘ knowledge management’ - local database of expertise (people) </li></ul>
    18. 18. what we do that IT doesn’t <ul><li>We talk to people : full natural language capabilities are needed for this interaction </li></ul><ul><li>we talk to each other : exchange tips and pass on search tasks to others with more expertise or local knowledge; we build relationships with others </li></ul><ul><li>we read search results: (completely) citations, abstracts, TOCs, reviews, the whole article, weed out duplicates, irrelevancies and keep the high beam on the client’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>we look at intermediate results and adjust our strategies accordingly, maintaining contact with the client </li></ul><ul><li>we make connections </li></ul><ul><li>we use print resources </li></ul><ul><li>we evaluate resources over time </li></ul><ul><li>we incorporate values... the human touch </li></ul>
    19. 19. university of new south wales <ul><li>Extending our local expertise to remote users </li></ul><ul><li>Subject guides - web based </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>internet links </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>databases - quick links to “biggies” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>electronic journals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information skills guide </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>external students webpage </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tailored services, forms and resources for remote (FAQ) (link) maintained and delivered by ‘dedicated’ reference librarian </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>ask a librarian </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>email link to Special Library email address read daily </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>live reference </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LivePerson interactive chat with a reference librarian </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LILT interactive, self paced information literacy web tutorial </li></ul>
    20. 20. our experiences <ul><li>Julie </li></ul><ul><li>liaison - ‘the friendly face in the faculty’ demystification of the information seeking process </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>proactive - anticipate information needs, match needs to resources and tools, promote appropriate tools and resources, collection development according to user needs, in-situ hands-on training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>information desk </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>special library allows in-depth one on one reference interview and on-the-spot training. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>post-graduate consultancies: in depth 1:1 tailored to research project,personalised web page produced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Ask a librarian” - read and answered daily or referred on </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Lesley </li></ul><ul><li>roving eye at terminals </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ blue-tooth chip” // catalogues vs databases </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>assignment questions in the literal sense </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ degradation” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>ITET: LILT </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information literacy as a graduate attribute for life-long learning </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. our experiences <ul><li>Lesley </li></ul><ul><li>blue tooth chip boy </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>needed help with Word, saw his assignment had just read a special issue in New Scientist about the topic, suggested it - he was happy - said he couldn’t find anything (didn’t do dbase thing - quick) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>degradation girl </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>using ‘degradation’ wouldn’t use anything else </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 librarians came up with various keyword/combinations in different dbases none of them used ‘degradation’ good results but user hard to convince - literal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lecturer contacted - request to change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>LILT need for information literacy awareness, acceptance, integration into mainstream academia </li></ul>
    22. 22. the spotted owls <ul><li>“ We are not a McDonald’s of information, defaulting to the lowest common denominator, but instead we offer client-specific service engaged with local circumstances and provide a human orientation to information access.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jo Falcon:2000 </li></ul>
    23. 23. references and urls <ul><li>Ehrlich, Kate & Cash, Debra. (1998) “The invisible world of intermediaries: A cautionary tale” Computer Supported Cooperative Work 8 (1-2) 147-167 </li></ul><ul><li>Dobbie, Hazel. (2001) “It wasn’t a problem!” Library Life: Te Rau Ora 262 Nov. p3 </li></ul><ul><li>Falcon, Jo. “Weirdly Wonderful”-Librarians as Spotted Owls (2000) The Bulletin Special Libraries Association San Francisco Bay Region info_ecology.html </li></ul><ul><li>Nardi, Bonnie & O’Day, Vicki. (1999) “Information Ecologies: Using technology with heart ” Massachusetts, MIT Press </li></ul><ul><li>Nardi, Bonnie.(1998) “Information Ecologies” Keynote address Reference service in a digital age Library of Congress </li></ul>