Open and Social


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21st century school libraries presentation to School Library Association of Victoria 2009 provides an overview of trends and possible futures for 21st century school libraries, collection management and service delivery. Based on ideas from We-think (Leadbeater 2008)

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  • It is certainly an unknown future we face in terms of technology. This session provides an overview of trends and possible futures for 21st century school libraries, collection management and service delivery. I am going to share some scenarios for libraries that are being discussed in blogs and journal articles, and being considered by some libraries. I would like you to consider the implications of these scenarios for your workplace, and to come up with ways of addressing these technology-related issues.
  • One popular description of Web 2.0 is the ‘read/write web’ (Gillmor 2004, p.3). Libraries have fantastic processes for managing physical resources, and many have applied these processes to dealing with the ‘read’ part of the web. Charles Leadbeater’s book We-think talks about the importance of mass innovation not mass production in the digital age. Resnick (2007) states “if we want children to develop as creative thinkers, we need to provide them with more opportunities to create”. His message is that consuming and interacting with content alone is not enough, we need to be involved in creating, constructing, designing, and reflecting about what we create. However, it is difficult to find evidence of libraries that deal effectively with digital content that makes use of the ‘write’ capabilities of Web 2.0 or user-generated content. The Horizon Report (2007, p.9) identified user created content as the technology then most likely to have an immediate impact on teaching and learning, with the people formerly known as the users now very much in control of everything “from classifying and tagging to creating and uploading.” As organisations that declare the users (or the learners) to be at the centre of their service, libraries seem particularly slow to trust their users and give them any of this control.
  • This presentation considers three elements of Web 2.0 philosophy and practice which represent a starting point for library staff seeking to optimise the learning potential of the read/write web. User-generated content recognises that contribution from the community builds authenticity, creativity and innovation and raises issues of digital archiving, personalisation and point of view. Social bookmarking invites users into the process of collecting and helps them develop concepts and practices around collaboration, collective intelligence (O’Reilly, 2006) and social tagging. Open licensing maximises the value of content by facilitating free flow of information, media, data and ideas, and by enabling users to remix these to create new content.
  • Learning about social tools and their use is important for students, but learning about this in Web 1.0 style information literacy programmes is not particularly helpful. McCrindle’s (2007) research on attitudes of 21st century learners counsels that “rather than traditional structure, hierarchy, and control - they are looking for relating, mentoring and guidance.” If we accept that educational institutions have an obligation to help their students develop the skills they may need to work in this environment, then we must also accept the imperative that educational institutions will employ the tools and principles that underpin the read/write web. There is a potential disconnect between those who are teaching about user-generated content but are not themselves experiencing or modelling active contribution in online communities. Experience is the best way to learn about the online safety, identity management and digital footprint issues (Madden, 2007) which arise because the very personalisation which delivers the power of Web 2.0 requires users to publish information and opinion which would traditionally have had a much smaller, more controlled audience. Collaborative learning and publishing and online community building require new skills and plenty of practice in goal setting, sharing, considering viewpoints, negotiation and responsible citizenship. There are benefits for teachers and students in developing such skills, and teachers who have gone down this path highlight the power of writing for a real audience, of the reputation building that happens as those with special skills and interests can connect with a wider community of learners and of the self-esteem boost for writers, bloggers and media producers when others comment favourably on their work.
  • Half table to come up with 5 benefits of buying food at the local grower’s market and half table come up with 5 benefits of buying food at large chain supermarket
  • Web 2.0 users are contributors, not consumers (Dodds, 2006) What is the content produced by students – teachers – library staff – school leaders that is not currently collected and shared digitally? What would be the issues to be resolved in turning that content over to the education cloud? Teachers create curriculum, lesson plans, teaching activities and presentations. They design assessment rubrics, tests and examinations, and increasingly they develop online courses. Leaders create policies, reports, promotional material, speeches, building specifications, strategic plans and professional learning programmes. Students create artworks, models, stories, essays, oral presentations, games and research projects. Library staff create displays, reading lists, procedures, user guides, answers to reference questions, teaching programmes, promotional material, presentations and catalogue records. Many people take photographs, videorecordings, take part in sport, drama, dance and music performances and write reports on school activities. How much of the content created by the people in your organisation is collected, organised and curated in the organisation? How accessible is it to other members of the school community, and how is it shared with the wider education community? What if this content was published openly? If staff were to post their reading lists, procedures manual, teaching programmes and photos of their displays online, would this negatively impact on their reputation, their job or their ability to do their job? Would anyone else be harmed by publishing this content online? If not, then perhaps there could be some benefit from a change in practice. Staff and leadership within the school might have a better idea of what library staff are doing and offering. Staff in other schools might be able to save time and produce better informed policy and learning activities. Students of school librarianship might build their knowledge on practitioner resources and be better prepared for their role. Policy makers might see what was happening in schools and better appreciate the demands and value of school libraries. Parents might be more aware, and perhaps more engaged in what is happening in their child's school. The staff member who is sharing their material might enhance their reputation in the education community.
  • Now, I’m sure you can all come up with many issues around the suggestion that school libraries might get involved in user-generated content. One of the issues with user generated content is that it doesn’t often come well-labelled and you certainly won’t find a SCIS record for it. How are your school’s sports day photos organised at the moment? Anyone involved with editing a school magazine knows the horrors of information and records management in schools. The shared drive is a nightmare etc However, there are technology solutions to some of this. Flickr, YouTube etc automate a certain amount of metadata, right down to things that you may not want collected and revealed, eg latitude/longitude location information, and type of camera used.
  • Flickr, YouTube etc also demonstrate that the creator of the content will be inclined to add metadata (catalogue record) if you make it easy enough. And LibraryThing demonstrates that people will improve that metadata if you make it easy enough
  • Libraries provide an amazing array of material but the only people who seem to be able to find anything they want are the library staff. The searching system that is available for the public often sucks despite how much you are often paying for it. All OPAC does is provide a location in your library - then I usually have to go and find a paper map or ask at the desk where that location is. Users expect to click straight through a la Google maps – what about shelf view. I go to Amazon or IMDB to get some actual information – even Wikipedia has more interesting stuff about a book than the typical OPAC – what do I care about the size of the book? Use 21st century standards designed for web world, not for catalogue cards Some libraries are looking at getting rid of the old style OPAC, joining with other libraries online to make something useful for patrons, getting them engaged, and contributing to the catalogue via the web. Library of Congress report says “Library users will continue to bypass catalogs in favor of search engines. Some studies have found that over three-quarters of library users start with a search engine and not the online catalog” It's all too fussy, and library staff are so hung up about perfect metadata – most of which is never used. In Web 2.0 world everyone accepts and expects works in progress. Integrate with Libraries Australia, WorldCat, LibraryThing, Google, Amazon, IMDB, Wikipedia Education organisations – integrate with Learning Management system/repository We don’t yet know what the optimum resource discovery infrastructure of the future will be, but we can start trialling options and investigating what works. Some things can be predicted from current user behaviour. For example, stand alone databases are often under-used (Kim 2006) unless access to them is seamless from wherever the user is. This will no doubt be the same with user generated content and social bookmarking. To be useful the search interface has to be wherever the user is, whether that be the learning management system, the library catalogue or a search engine. There is also a strong indication that connections with other people will become as important in resource discovery as resource collections themselves, and while the role of the library in this new scenario is still evolving. Farmer (2007, p. xi) provides a simple way to judge the impact of the library in supporting this world of connections. “If the librarian impedes the connection then a disservice has been done. If however, the librarian facilitates the connection, then a value-added service has occurred.”
  • Social bookmarking – make the most of it. Selection and recommendation by users. If Wikipedia can harness so many editors, surely your library which is so important to its community will generate even better success. Reference and marketing literature has long referred to the power of personal influence and informal research networks in how people make choices about resources. According to a Nielsen survey (2009) recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted online are now the most trusted forms of advertising. Vuorikari & Koper (2009) in researching techniques that assist users in obtaining information to meet their information needs by harnessing the knowledge or experience of other users, found that “search taking advantage of Social Information Retrieval (SIR) methods yields more relevant resources with less effort from the user.” If part of a library’s mission is to help patrons find resources, then surely techniques that yield more relevant resources more effectively would be readily adopted and promoted?
  • There are obvious ICT and digital literacy skills implied in this process, and while ePortfolios can be developed in PowerPoint or Inspiration etc, the large majority of ePortfolios are web-based and knowledge of basic linking and html are going to be useful to students. Recognition that server space is not unlimited is also an issue unless you are comfortable hosting your media rich ePortfolio resources in the ‘cloud’ Will we collect everything they produce, or is there a place for an ePortfolio collection policy? How much storage do you have after all? At what stages will you cull/weed your collection of resources/assets? Record WHY you have collected something (part of the reflection stage). ePortfolio owners need to be cataloguers also. They will need to apply subject headings (tags) to their work so they can retrieve it easily at the selecting and presenting stages. They need skills in subject analysis, probably need to develop a personal ePortfolio taxonomy (or list of headings) so they don’t end up with half their Personal development evidence coming up under Development. The concept that one piece of work might fulfil requirements for more than one assessment criteria can be new, understanding database and field-driven searches. Eg as the library catalogue to demonstrate how the same book might have 2 subject headings. Understanding rubrics (selection criteria) helps you select the most appropriate work from your collection, taking into account the format you are to present in. You might also select particularly original and interesting work to be ‘collected’ by the library or the institution for archival or promotional purposes.
  • Social bookmarking – connections again At the same time as they are consuming more and more information online, we find that people are struggling to find the information they want tailored to their context. Increasingly we look to our network to filter and recommend for us. Social bookmarking has now been incorporated in –including discussion on shared resources. The ecosystem then needs to be completed by feeding the popularity/significance metadata back into the search. In this way the community is acting as filter and recommendation agent for its members
  • as a learning stream
  • Earlier this year iPhone application developers were threatened with legal action for incorporating NSW RailCorp’s timetable data in their applications (data which was available only from their website with copyright terms prohibiting any re-use without prior written permission). The NSW Premier has now intervened promising to release the data feed to the public. "I spoke to the transport minister and we couldn't find any reason to withhold the data, especially given that RailCorp doesn't offer an equivalent service and this information actually belongs to the people of NSW." [i] So what does this story have to do with libraries? It is a great illustration of the distinction between ‘free’ information and ‘open’ information. The train arrival information was free (as in available at no cost to searchers) but it was not open for re-use or re-formatting and republishing to meet a new need or technology. This is exactly the situation with much of the information that we use in education. It may be ‘free to education’, but due to copyright restrictions it is not open to educators or students to use in creation of a new information product and republish in new contexts. While copyright licensing regimes and processes served education quite well in the 20th century, there is increasing concern that education can no longer afford the cost, complexity and restrictions of traditional copyright as it is being applied to digital content. Just as there is a move towards open licensing in Government (thanks to the government 2.0 taskforce, there is a strong case for moving education towards open licensed curriculum resources. [i] NSW Premier releases government data, 7 Sep 2009, Government News
  • It’s not only the high cost of current education copyright licence regimes that makes use of openly licensed resources attractive. The ability for teachers to adapt, build upon, remix and re-share learning resources licensed this way has the potential to greatly enhance efficiency and creativity of teaching and learning. Allowing teachers and students to find resources that are licensed in a way that encourages them to use, share and modify content will assist educators to more easily develop relevant learning materials for their students, will encourage them to build on the work of others and to share their own work with other educators. The terminology: mashups The Horizon report (2009) refers to the personalisation of learning resources enabled by Web 2.0. “Many online texts allow professors to edit, add to, or otherwise customize material for their own purposes, so that their students receive a tailored copy that exactly suits the style and pace of the course.” This provides a challenge for schools and libraries that have systems set up around cataloguing and managing resources and textbooks as static physical objects rather than as flexible, digital content that can be repackaged according to individual needs. Creator of the Web 2.0 term, Tim O’Reilly (2006a) makes the point that Web 2.0 saves users re-inventing the wheel continuously, and admonishes data and service providers to “open your data and services for re-use by others, and re-use the data and services of others whenever possible”. We all learn faster when we piggyback on the learning of colleagues. The web builds faster when we build on the back of those who have similar requirements.
  • Also public domain material – Australia finally realising the wealth it has locked up in archives. 3.5 million articles so far digitised from out of copyright Australian newspapers from all states 1800s - 1950s, full-text searchable content. Wiki format so users can correct the OCR errors A great public service assignment for students
  • Creative Commons licences offer content creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them - to declare "some rights reserved”. An excellent way to introduce staff and students to the ideas behind open licensing is to use one of the short videos such as Mayer and Bettle [i ] or Wanna work together . [ii ] All Creative Commons licences require the user to provide attribution to the creator and just as we teach citation and referencing, school library staff need to ensure their community are informed about the correct and most effective way to fulfil their obligations in use of Creative Commons licences. A useful overview of the licences and their education is available from Smartcopying [iii ] . A more detailed look at attribution requirements is also available in draft version, Creative Commons attribution guide for teachers and educators [ i] Mayer and Bettle 2008 Creative Commons Australia [ii] Wanna work together 2006 Creative Commons http:// -work-together [iii] Creative Commons Resources” 2008 Smartcopying , MCEETYA
  • This example of best practice from Smartcopying website. Note that attribution can look cumbersome for print publications, but for online where hyperlinking is possible it does not have to look ugly. Remind teachers that attribution is like citation – not a new requirement just one many of them have been ignoring. Recommend that as a rule give attribution for ALL images/media used, even if GPL or public domain or purchased stock photos so that all subsequent users know immediately how to get permission themselves. What proportion of your time is spent teaching about copyright and how to reference information? What proportion of your time is spent teaching about open licensing and how to attribute under Creative Commons?
  • Find photographs related to your physical education topic Correctly attribute them
  • Skimming very quickly over copyright for education, concentrating on the Free for education and Open Education benefits and solutions. If you want to know more about copyright in education, use the website – NOT general copyright agency websites Start with some free for education licences and resource repositories, then move into Australian cultural repositories, then international open education collections Activities: have you seen this/used it?
  • But your library spends so much on purchasing content and information that it is not allowed to share. Copyright that might have worked OK for physical resources are now being applied to digital content which doesn't have anything like the cost of production and distribution. Copyright licences are costing way too much, and are far too restrictive. There is plenty of good quality content available via Creative Commons, Research is being put into open access research repositories Many of the world's most brilliant thinkers are sharing their output openly Look at the huge volume of blogging, of podcasting and other user contributed content. Top universities release entire courses, podcast their best lecturers. But your library is not guiding people to this valuable content through their catalogue. They are promoting commercial interests only. Public funded libraries should not promote commercial interests. Surely the commercial content providers can pay for marketing their own stuff. What incentives can we provide for students, teachers, leaders and library staff to share their content? It is important to make the process easy and also to ensure contributors receive feedback on who or how many people are accessing their content. Provide access for other users to comment and provide feedback, and take opportunities to promote and re-use locally grown material with acknowledgement in your own bibliographies/information packages. However, if we are to assist our community to move from being merely consumers of information to contributors and creators, one of the areas that requires urgent attention is our community’s understanding of 21st century copyright.
  • Wikimedia projects are the ultimate in the sharing economy Wikis represent one of the most accessible and flexible platforms for building knowledge and collaborative learning. Todd (2008) describes the power of wikis in terms such as “open, contributory, living documents that facilitate social construction of knowledge, negotiation of meaning, and group’s best effort, not an individual.” In helping students learn about wikis and collaborative learning, it is impossible to ignore the power and potential benefit of collaborative projects such as Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects, and we do our students a disservice if we fail to address the specifics of these projects in our information literacy programmes. Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available over three million public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to all and to which anyone can contribute. The important page to work through with students and teachers is Commons: Reusing content outside Wikimedia . [i ] [ i] Commons: Reusing content outside Wikimedia , 2008 – search for pictures, videos etc School libraries can support creative educators and students by providing and promoting efficient access to sources of open learning resources. The Wikimedia (2009) philosophy of bringing free content to the world is one example.
  • A new world…. Discuss: Is this is where we are heading? Are we there yet? What are the signs? Is this desirable? Do we want to be part of this? How will we get there? Quote from The CapeTown Open Education Declaration A good introduction to this topic is found in an international declaration on the benefits of open education Q. What qualifies as an open educational resource? The Cape Town Declaration defines open educational resources as "openly licensed course materials, lesson plans, textbooks, games, software and other materials that support teaching and learning." It goes on to state that these resources should be "... licensed to facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone." The text in the Declaration was inspired by the definition of open educational resources established by UNESCO in 2002. If you (or your organisation) signed this declaration what impact would it have on your practice?
  • Small steps: Blog Upload worksheets, lesson plans Start creating multimedia/digital stories Licence your workshop presentations as Creative Commons Get your school to start considering this The library should be promoting content that users can re-use, remix, improve/translate and republish. Make digitisation of rare/unique/your own content a high priority Shift your mental perspective – don't try and apply 20th century patterns to 21st century libraries. If you do even 10% of this you will have positioned your library service for an exciting and relevant future.
  • This is being picked up by other projects such as WikiEducator (2009), which is working to develop free content for e-learning. It is timely to consider how your school library policies reflect the value of openness? What proportion of your time is spent teaching about copyright as opposed to time spent teaching about open licensing and attribution of digital content? Does your school library catalogue include or promote open licensed resources and media? Other sources of learning resources with open licences are available at at Smartcopying website Creative Commons and other Open Access Resources on the Web [i ] . [ i] Creative Commons and other Open Access Resources on the Web 2008 Smartcopying MCEETYA OER Commons
  • There are many tools and services that can assist students, teachers and library staff to share and be creative in new ways. Implementing some form of social bookmarking that aggregates user-generated interest indicators such as ratings, bookmarks and tags is an excellent starting point, and one that can quickly provide diversity of viewpoints and formats compared to traditional collections. Amongst all these opportunities to be creative Godwin (2008, p.178) reminds us that information literacy remains the most important of the patchwork of capabilities which will help make sense of the world. As information specialists it is our responsibility to show leadership in the shift from traditional educational content to the read/write web. By constantly asking ‘is there an open way of accessing and organising educational content?’ library staff can reduce duplication of effort and cost of content. By inviting the people formerly known as the users into the collection, we can reduce the ‘content miles’ of that educational content and showcase the variety, freshness and freedom of open, user-generated content that has local interest and context.
  • Open and Social

    1. 1. 21 st century school libraries open and social Pru Mitchell
    2. 2. We-think <ul><li>mass innovation not mass production </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Leadbeater (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>We-think </li></ul>if we want children to develop as creative thinkers, we need to provide them with more opportunities to create Mitch Resnick (2007)
    3. 3. application to school libraries <ul><li>user-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>social bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>open licensing </li></ul>
    4. 4. Learning 2.0
    5. 5. To market [or not to market?]
    6. 6. Commercial content User-generated content available nationally local flavour standardised fresh, unique global, big brands community-based expensive supply chain builds local economy safe, standard quality fun, quality varies professional metadata user tagging
    7. 7. user-generated content curriculum policies plans PD programmes FAQs photographs displays concerts artworks essays oral presentations
    8. 8. clean skin content
    9. 9. we are all cataloguers <ul><li>the only group that can categorize everything is everybody Shirky, 2005 </li></ul>SLASA photo shoot 2008. Used with permission
    10. 10. there is no shelf: tell the OPAC
    11. 11. Social bookmarking We are smarter than me
    12. 12. collection management <ul><li>collecting </li></ul><ul><li>reflecting </li></ul><ul><li>tagging </li></ul><ul><li> linking </li></ul><ul><li>selecting </li></ul><ul><li> presenting </li></ul>collection policy cataloguing selection criteria born digital web 2.0 media rich
    13. 13. tagging triples
    14. 14. education tag cloud
    15. 15. Horizon report 2009 <ul><li>Technologies to Watch </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Internet Devices </li></ul><ul><li>Private Clouds </li></ul><ul><li>Open Content </li></ul>
    16. 16. Credits : Wikimedia Commons, GoogleTransit, GoogleMaps
    17. 17. Why is open important? <ul><li>able to republish material in new formats </li></ul><ul><li>able to publish online </li></ul><ul><li>able to reuse material </li></ul><ul><li>promote innovation </li></ul><ul><li>promote equity & accessibility </li></ul>
    18. 18. Newspapers Australia <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>public domain </li></ul>
    19. 19. 21 st century copyright
    20. 20. attribution skills Original Chart: Cogdogblog (Flickr) Made available under Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution Licence: Available at: Original Chart: Cogdogblog CC-by 2.0
    21. 21. attribution tools
    22. 22.
    23. 23. The sharing economy <ul><li>In the 20th century you were identified by what you owned. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the 21st century we will also be defined by how we share and what we give away </li></ul></ul>Charles Leadbeater, 2008
    24. 24. the sum of all human knowledge
    25. 25. Open Education Revolution <ul><li> </li></ul>Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge.
    26. 26. Licensing your own creations <ul><li>The open education revolution depends on people in education freely sharing their resources </li></ul><ul><li>What part do you play in this? </li></ul>
    27. 27. building the education commons <ul><li>digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research </li></ul> Wikieducator
    28. 28. Transaction to transformation <ul><li>Too much of our work in libraries is about transactions rather than conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than deliver a service, create a capability in the consumer </li></ul><ul><li>The point is to allow consumer to help themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Leadbeater </li></ul>