2014 06-12--redefining books-and_library_collections--final

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We’ve seen tremendous changes in our concept of what a book is over the past several years as online content has joined on-the-shelf printed content, and more change appears to be on the way.

This presentation for PCIWebinars explores how current conversations are expanding our concept of books to include online volumes curated by individual instructors who create custom-made textbooks for individual courses by licensing content to be included in anthologies; digital coursework that combines text, graphics, video, and other content; and the idea that connectivist MOOCs (massive online open courses) and the learner-generated content they produce might become a new form of textbook.

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  • Preparing for our time together today made me realize that no other book cover quite captured the theme as well as the cover to David Lankes’s The Atlas of New Librarianship. It’s a radical book in the best sense of the word radical; it goes to the heart of much of what we do to serve our libraries, our library users, and ourselves. And it’s a call to arms for those of us who recognize that we’re talking as much today about the title you see on this slide…
  • …as we are about what I finally realized is the real title for our explorations together during this webinar.
    Let’s start by making the direct connection between the promotion copy you saw before registering for this session and what is at the heart of the webinar:
    “We’ve seen tremendous changes in our concept of what a book is over the past several years as online content has joined on-the-shelf printed content, and more change appears to be on the way.
    “Recent conversations in a variety of settings are expanding our concept of books to include online volumes curated by individual instructors who create custom-made textbooks for individual courses by licensing content to be included in anthologies; digital coursework that combines text, graphics, video, and other content; and the idea that connectivist MOOCs (massive online open courses) and the learner-generated content they produce might become a new form of textbook.”
    And much of what we’re looking at is how we learn together, and how library collections support that dynamic level of learning. So let’s do a typical learning exercise in a somewhat atypical fashion. The next few slides will help us benchmark where you are in your thinking about books, library collections, and learning. It might be useful to you to jot down your responses to you can compare them to where you are when we return to a similar exercise at the end of the session.
  • Ironically enough, it was an article in a magazine many years ago that first made me think about what a book is—and what a perfect container it is.
    A very long story made very short: Isaac Asimov’s January 1973 playful article “The Ancient and the Ultimate” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction led readers though an exploration of what a perfect mechanism for reading would be. When all was said and done, the predictable conclusion he reached was that anyone attempting to create the ultimate vehicle for reading would pretty much come back to the printed book as we knew it then. Books, he noted, are portable; don’t need to be plugged in to be used; are objects that “should be seen and heard only by you”; and allow readers to pick up exactly where we leave off when we set them aside.
  • OK, case closed, right? Except that technology has evolved in ways that Asimov somewhat anticipated in his article, and we now have our printed books alongside our ebooks. We even have tablets and other ereaders that continue to make books portable. And the rapid progression of digital variations has provided us with extensions we may not have generally though about as books because it was too soon to extend our thinking in this direction:
    Remember how encyclopedias began evolving into multi-media CD-ROMs like Encarta before further evolving into an online version called Wikipedia? We didn’t call Encarta a book, but what’s to stop us from looking back with our “container and content” point of view to see it as part of the family at this point?
  • Or think about a dynamically creative website like WorldChanging.org that started with original news and feature stories posted online and eventually circled back to produce two editions of a book comprised of some of that online content—which raises a chicken-and-egg sort of question: Is the “book” what we hold in our hands, the online content, or a combination of the two?” when we think about content as much as container to (re-)define the word “book”?
  • Then think about where some teacher-trainer-learners are headed through services like Education Portal, which allows them to custom-make their own textbooks to meet their learners’ unique needs. Could be a nice twist on the Maker movement if we expand our horizons a bit.
  • And then we’re primed to consider how massive open online courses—MOOCs—might be a further extension of the conversation.
    The wonderful point to be made, over and over, is that readers—we—don’t have to make absolute either-or choices; we can use our printed books and our ebooks when the formats serve our needs. And those of us involved in collection development at any level need to acknowledge the possibility of and-and rather than either-or choices to be sure our libraries continue to meet the needs of those we serve—a theme we’ll return to in the context of David Lankes’ Atlas of New Librarianship in the second section of this webinar.
  • But let’s take this right to the heart of the topic you signed up to explore: redefining books and library collections in learning.
    It was John Shank who inadvertently provided me with a sense of clarity and possibilities earlier this year when he suggested that massive open online courses (MOOCs) would be serving as a new form of textbook for many of us. John is an instructional design librarian (and much more) at Pennsylvania State University’s Thun Library, and he drew upon his experience in that capacity to toss out the idea that few seemed to absorb at the time.
    But it stuck. And it resonates. If we draw a line from tablets (the old ones made of stone or clay, not the wireless ones we use today) to scrolls to printed books to ebooks, we note something interesting.
  • It’s something that Florence Mason, a wonderful instructor/colleague/mentor from the University of North Texas MLIS program suggested in one of her courses: if we allow ourselves to focus only on containers, we miss the larger picture—which is the content those containers provide. And even though most of us arriving at the beginning of this webinar probably had pretty set ideas of what books are—the physical as well as the ebook versions—we probably need to be open to an expanded version of what is possible. Not just because it’s interesting. But because it affects the way we view the day-to-day work we do.
  • So let’s finish with this introductory part of the webinar by taking Florence Mason’s question a bit further by creating context:
    Is Romeo and Juliet any more or less Romeo and Juliet if we read Shakespeare’s words from a printed page…
  • or access them online through Project Gutenberg…
  • or hear those words in an audio recording…
  • or see them come to life in a live performance in the Globe Theater…
  • or see them dramatized on film?
    There’s no denying that each experience is quite different, but the response we provide makes us conscious of the different responses we elicit when we focus on container rather than content…and I think that’s something well worth exploring as we consider how far we can stretch the concept of “book” when we focus on content rather than container.
  • And before we take a few minutes to begin exploring what this means to us and those we serve, let’s take a sneak peak at where we’re going:
    In a few minutes, we’ll dive into a further exploration of what David Lankes’s thoughts on New Librarianship suggest in terms of the work we do and how that work serves library users onsite and online. We’ll then look at a few MOOCs, including the Educational Technology & Media MOOC that was offered in the early part of 2013; the point of those explorations will be to see how learning facilitators and learners are collaborating to create versions of the sort of online textbooks that John Shank is leading us to consider.
  • Time to breathe and think and talk. Let’s consider two basic and far-reaching questions:
    Is there value in expanding our definition of the word “book?”
    What would that expansion mean concretely to you, your library, and those using library resources?
    Please add your thoughts into the chat window; I’ll read or summarize comments so those listening to the archived recording of this session won’t be left out of the conversation.
  • Let’s do a quick survey of three different MOOCs to see how they might be viewed as textbooks.
    We’ll start with the MOOC that David Lankes offered last year and that is going to be offered again later this month, starting on June 27 (2014); a link to his blog and registration information is at the bottom of the screen.
    This is a great place for us to explore MOOCs as textbooks because there are obvious connections between the familiar and the unfamiliar.
  • There is obviously already an existing physical print version of much of the material he uses in the MOOC, so the MOOC is grounded in the use of a familiar version of books.
  • There are also numerous videos that take learners deeper into the materials, and we have to consider these videos part of the overall course “textbook” in this context.
  • And if we see the online interactions between Lankes and his learners as parts of the text—the online bulletin board postings, the numerous interactions on Twitter that included links to related materials so that the “textbook” is partially comprised of that learner-generated content, and the blog pieces that some of us posted to expand the content available to other learners who were taking the course at that moment and who will be taking it again—we see an amazing resource:
    A textbook initially generated by the instructor, expanded within the online video content and forums, and then expanded even more significantly by learners who became partners in the teaching-training-learning process.
    That’s quite a learning resource, and quite a textbook—one that reflects the overall learning-facilitation skills of the instructor and also offers an example of learners as participants in their own learning process—creators of learning objects useful to other learners as well as the learning facilitator.
  • With the “Exploring Personal Learning Networks” MOOC that was offered in fall 2013 through Northwestern University, we’re quickly moving away from familiar textbook models. The website—actually using a Wordpress blog to provide content—serves as the primary textbook. Weekly posts create the framework. Live online sessions that are quickly archived as learning objects become part of the course textbook. Learner interactions online in a variety of settings, including Twitter and blogs, allow for additional contributions to the course textbook. And blog articles again become learning objects that could be considered part of a textbook that extends over multiple platforms rather than being contained between the covers of a printed book or an ebook as we currently envision ebooks.
  • And then we’re back to the Education Technology & Media MOOC which, for me, is the most creative and dynamic example I’ve yet seen of how a MOOC grounded in connectivist learning theory serves as a new form of textbook.
    It has the same sort of introductory “text,” on a website, that we saw in the “Exploring Personal Learning Networks” MOOC.
  • It also has multiple live weekly online sessions that are archived and become an extended part of the textbook-in-progress collaboration between the learning facilitators and the learners—which means that the term “learner” actually expands to include the instructors, and the word “author” expands to include instructors and students through the collaborative contributions they produce.
  • #etmooc also has a Blog Hub that serves as a central container for articles produced by course participants. Our work literally becomes part of the expanded textbook through that portal.
  • There is also a section of this virtual textbook on YouTube in the form of learning objects produced by course participants.
  • There are records of live chats held on Twitter.
  • There are Google Hangouts that serve as additional potential learning objects, and there’s an ongoing community of learning that continues to thrive on Google+ more than a year after #etmooc’s modules were completed by the initial group of learners.
    Again, this carries us quite a way from our traditional view of what a book or a textbook is. And it obviously creates tremendous challenges in the sense that what used to be packaged between physical front and back covers now extends across multiple online platforms. Which is what we’ll explore in the final section of this webinar, after we pause to reflect a bit on what we’ve just reviewed.
  • Time again to breathe and think and talk. Let’s consider another couple of far-reaching questions, starting with this one…
    Please add your thoughts into the chat window; I’ll read or summarize comments so those listening to the archived recording of this session won’t be left out of the conversation.
  • Let’s consider a second question…
  • If our time together was only about whether to expand our vision of what books are, we would have done nothing but blow a lot of hot virtual air and then returned to what we consider to be “our real work.”
    What I really hope you’re beginning to see is that it raises fundamental questions about our work and about how we serve library users—so I suspect that you’re not, at this point, at all surprised to find that the choice of Lankes’ Atlas of New Librarianship as a continuing resource was far from haphazard.
  • Readers of the book or of his blog know that he proposes a radical and intriguing new mission statement for us…
    You also know that he takes a multi-pronged idea to what it means to develop and maintain library collections.
    Two of those prongs include the following ideas taken directly from his book:
    “The collections that exist are important and need to be maintained.”
    “If we do not establish that any collection development in the future is at the service of librarians fulfilling their mission of knowledge creation, we will ultimately find ourselves out of a job.”
    And that, for me, is where librarianship—notice the focus here on librarians more than on physical buildings or collections—meets the idea of MOOCs as textbooks. If librarians continue to connect library users with information resources—or to keep us on track with our topic today, with “learning resources” as we continue meeting our goal of having libraries and librarians serve as resources for lifelong learning—then we are going to have to be adept at helping library learners navigate and use these multi-level collaboratively-created textbooks.
    We can’t just do this by reading about them or surfing the Web a bit; we need to learn through engagement—which means we need to find MOOCs that appeal to us, participate in them as learners, and come to viscerally understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of this dynamic and very young offshoot of the containers we’ve so lovingly and willingly embraced as essential to the work we do on behalf of the extended onsite-online communities we serve.
  • I would suggest that there’s a theme that connects some of our brightest, most challenging thinkers in Library Land and that it brings us full circle in our “Cover to Cover” consideration of “Redefining Books and Library Collections in Learning.”
    When we read or listen to Lankes, we encounter someone who passionately supports the importance of librarians not only to their organizations but to the communities they serve. And he is counting on librarians to be able to create collections that go far beyond traditional ideas of what collections contain and do for their communities. Which suggests that we need to be among the first—not the last—to spot changes in something as basic and elemental as books, and react innovatively to how those changes affect those we serve.
  • We see the same passionate dedication to promoting the importance of librarians in the work that John Chrastka and his colleagues do through EveryLibrary. A first glance at EveryLibrary leads us to the obvious conclusion that John and others are strengthening libraries by supporting them at the ballot box. But there’s far more going on here, as we learn if we sit with John for even a few minutes: EveryLibrary is gaining support for libraries by helping current and potential library users understand the important roles library staff members play in their community.
    It’s an evolving role—one that builds upon firm and positive traditions while accepting and incorporating change into what we do. And if that means identifying the changes that are taking place in our library learning environments and finding ways to overcome the challenges they present, then I think we’re well up to the challenge of broadening our definition of what we find in our collections, and finding ways to make those definitions work to the advantage of the library users we serve.
  • Time to breathe and think and talk again. Let’s see how we can immediately begin to use what we have considered during our time together…
    Please add your thoughts into the chat window; I’ll read or summarize comments so those listening to the archived recording of this session won’t be left out of the conversation.
  • 2014 06-12--redefining books-and_library_collections--final

    1. 1. Facilitated by Paul Signorelli Writer/Trainer/Consultant Paul Signorelli & Associates paul@paulsignorelli.com Twitter: @paulsignorelli Coverto Cover: Redefining Books and Library Collections in Learning…
    2. 2. Facilitated by Paul Signorelli Writer/Trainer/Consultant Paul Signorelli & Associates paul@paulsignorelli.com Twitter: @paulsignorelli …or, Really?MoreChange??????
    3. 3. Observation 1: Books A book, for me, primarily is: A. One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library
    4. 4. Observation 1: Books A book, for me, primarily is: A. One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library B. One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections
    5. 5. Observation 1: Books A book, for me, primarily is: A. One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library B. One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections C. One of many containers for information that I find in my library’s collections
    6. 6. Observation 1: Books A book, for me, primarily is: A. One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library B. One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections C. One of many containers for information that I find in my library’s collections D. Harder and harder for me to define as I consider these frustratingly amateurish definitions
    7. 7. Observation 2: Magazines A magazine, for me, primarily is: 1.One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library and generally offering news/feature stories
    8. 8. Observation 2: Magazines A magazine, for me, primarily is: 1.One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library and generally offering news/feature stories 2.One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections and generally offering news and feature stories
    9. 9. Observation 2: Magazines A magazine, for me, primarily is: 1.One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library and generally offering news/feature stories 2.One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections and generally offering news and feature stories 3.A television program that includes news and feature stories
    10. 10. Observation 2: Magazines A magazine, for me, primarily is: 1.One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library and generally offering news/feature stories 2.One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections and generally offering news and feature stories 3.A television program that includes news and feature stories 4.Harder and harder for me to define…
    11. 11. Observation 3: Movies A movie, for me, primarily is: i.A feature-length three-dimensional presentation projected onto a big screen in a movie theater
    12. 12. Observation 3: Movies A movie, for me, primarily is: i.A feature-length three-dimensional presentation projected onto a big screen in a movie theater ii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me in movie theaters, on television, on tablets, or on an individual screen on a Virgin Airlines flight
    13. 13. Observation 3: Movies A movie, for me, primarily is: i.A feature-length three-dimensional presentation projected onto a big screen in a movie theater ii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me in movie theaters, on television, on tablets, or on an individual screen on a Virgin Airlines flight iii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me online via Netflix
    14. 14. Observation 3: Movies A movie, for me, primarily is: i.A feature-length three-dimensional presentation projected onto a big screen in a movie theater ii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me in movie theaters, on television, on tablets, or on an individual screen on a Virgin Airlines flight iii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me online via Netflix iv.Are we done yet?
    15. 15. Books and Reading “The Ancient and the Ultimate” -January1973
    16. 16. Variations on the Theme “The Ancient and the Ultimate” -January1973
    17. 17. Variations on the Theme “The Ancient and the Ultimate” -January1973
    18. 18. Variations on the Theme “The Ancient and the Ultimate” -January1973
    19. 19. Variations on the Theme “The Ancient and the Ultimate” -January1973
    20. 20. Two Thinkers on the Evolution of Books John Shank
    21. 21. Two Thinkers on the Evolution of Books John Shank Florence Mason
    22. 22. Containers
    23. 23. Containers
    24. 24. Containers
    25. 25. Containers
    26. 26. Containers
    27. 27. The Evolving Face of Books
    28. 28. Explorations 1: Definitions Is there value in expanding our definition of the word “book”?
    29. 29. Explorations 1: Definitions Is there value in expanding our definition of the word “book”? What would that expansion mean concretely to you, your library, and those using library resources?
    30. 30. MOOC as Textbook: New Librarianship MasterClass http://quartz.syr.edu/blog/?p=5819
    31. 31. MOOC as Textbook: New Librarianship MasterClass
    32. 32. MOOC as Textbook: New Librarianship MasterClass
    33. 33. MOOC as Textbook: New Librarianship MasterClass
    34. 34. MOOC as Textbook: Exploring Personal Learning Networks
    35. 35. MOOC as Textbook: #etmooc
    36. 36. MOOC as Textbook: #etmooc
    37. 37. MOOC as Textbook: #etmooc
    38. 38. MOOC as Textbook: #etmooc
    39. 39. MOOC as Textbook: #etmooc
    40. 40. MOOC as Textbook: #etmooc
    41. 41. Explorations 2: MOOCs as (Collaborative) Textbooks What benefits do you see to viewing/using MOOCs as a type of textbook?
    42. 42. Explorations 2: MOOCs as (Collaborative) Textbooks What benefits do you see to viewing/using MOOCs as a type of textbook? What challenges do MOOCs as textbooks present?
    43. 43. What Does This Mean To Us?
    44. 44. What Does This Mean To Us? “TheMissionof Librarians is to ImproveSocietythroughFacilitating KnowledgeCreationintheir Communities.” --Lankes, The Atlas of New Librarianship, p. 10
    45. 45. What Does This Mean To Us? R. David Lankes – New Librarianship
    46. 46. What Does This Mean To Us? R. David Lankes – New Librarianship John Chrastka – EveryLibrary
    47. 47. Explorations 3: Applying What We Have Discussed What are the advantages and disadvantages of expanding your own definition of what a book is?
    48. 48. Explorations 3: Applying What We Have Discussed What are the advantages and disadvantages of expanding your own definition of what a book is? What, if anything, can you immediately do with what you have considered here?
    49. 49. Observation 1 Revisited: Books A book, for me, primarily is: A. One of the many text-based physical objects I find on the shelves of my library B. One of the many text-based virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections C. One of many containers for information that I find in my library’s collections D. Something far more expansive than I realized before I attended this webinar
    50. 50. Observation 2: Magazines/Journals A magazine article, for me, primarily is: 1.Part of a text-based physical object I find on the shelves of my library 2.One of the virtual objects I find online as part of my library’s collections 3.One of the elements of a television program that includes news and feature stories 4.A potential element of an online book
    51. 51. Observation 3: Videos A video, for me, primarily is: i.A feature-length three-dimensional presentation projected onto a big screen in a movie theater ii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me in movie theaters, on television, on tablets, or on an individual screen on a Virgin Airlines flight iii.A feature-length two-dimensional presentation available to me online via Netflix iv.A potential element of an online book
    52. 52. Resources http://tinyurl.com/9wmfeqt
    53. 53. Resources http://tinyurl.com/9wmfeqt http://ischool.syr.edu/future/grad/newlibopencourse.aspx http://mslocopen.wordpress.com/ http://etmooc.org/
    54. 54. Questions & Comments
    55. 55. For More Information Paul Signorelli & Associates 1032 Irving St., #514 San Francisco, CA 94122 415.681.5224 paul@paulsignorelli.com http://paulsignorelli.com @paulsignorelli http://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com

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