Skip to content

Job Posting: Second Life Reference Librarian

2011 August 19

Libraries were regarded to have “concentrated on acquiring and organizing materials, and library users were expected to find what they needed independently” according to Bunge and Bopp. The modern concept of reference work was first presented by Samuel Swett Green in 1876 and then accepted all over the world. Since then, the world has undergone various technological advancements, which has also added to the opportunities of the library in reference works. Reference services are conducted in various media like face-to-face, phone, e-mail, instant messaging, and immersion. An interesting feature I see with the immersion medium is that it is capable on encompassing all the previous means of communication of which reference work is based. With immersion reference service, the reference librarian and the information seeker could assume a face-to-face communication, via their avatars, communicate via voice over internet protocol (VOIP), and engage in email/instant messaging via chats in the virtual world they choose.

So, what are the qualifications for the position of a reference librarian in these virtual environments? Definitely, the real-life qualifications of a librarian are very important and needed for a position in the virtual world. A common and often the first of listed qualifications is “graduate degree from an accredited Library Science program.” In the world of Second Life, here are some of the qualifications I would add.

  • One year signed-on and active user of Second Life: Being used to the world of Second Life is imperative, as many ready reference questions might be related to the virtual world of Second Life. As a new user in Second Life, I find it hard to maneuver in the environment.
  • One year experience as a virtual reference librarian in real-life: The communication media in real-life virtual reference services are the means of communication in Second Life. An experienced real-life virtual reference librarian would perform perfectly well in a virtual world like Second life.
  • A realistic human-like representation of applicant avatar in Second Life: According to Buckland and Godfrey, avatars visually represents users, and those that have human faces have the attributes of human characteristics. This would help to increase the feelings of being in a physical library and communicating with a real person.

The interest in using Second Life and other virtual worlds is increasing in higher education and this will definitely create opportunities for libraries in reference services as well.

Users of social media aggregators

2011 August 13

Social media aggregators are used in two different ways. The first is for private use and the second for public/social networking. On the social networking part, social media aggregators are capable of making some or all of its aggregated contents available to the public. The screenshots below show sharing settings for two social media aggregators. These settings provide affordances to learners and librarians.

Google Reader – private and public access Settings

Symbaloo – private and public access Settings

From the definition of Personal Learning Environment (PLE) systems, learners are able to set goals, manage learning contents and process, and share with others in the process of learning. These are achievable with social media aggregators. So, the main users of social aggregators are learners, in which librarians (or information professionals) are included, since they are in a lifetime learning profession. In a case where learners’ progress need not be tracked and monitored, as provided in a virtual learning environment (VLE) or learning management system (LMS), social media aggregators would help such learners to manage their learning process and progress.

The social networking aspect of social media aggregators is a strong case why first, information professionals (particularly librarians) and second, learners use social media aggregators. In recent times, libraries have employed multiple social media sites to connect with their users. As libraries and librarians increase their digital footprints, the need to use social media aggregators arises. This is also the case for learners, who would like to share a collection of their social media sites with others in a “one stop shop” manner.

An example of a learner using social media aggregator (Symbaloo) is seen in the Welcome to My PLE!. BCIT library uses Netvibes for its Occupational Health & Safety resources, which I think demonstrates how social media aggregators can be used by libraries to support their patrons in social media environment.

VoiceThread: Introduction to Surrey Libraries Website

2011 August 4

I got to know about VoiceThread about three weeks ago during the first week’s class, on Affordance. I checked its About page and fell for it, after seeing the five different ways one can comment. Considering commenting by video, you don’t have to record your video comments, save it, and then upload it to the site. With a webcam attached to the computer, VoiceThread captures your video comment right into the site. Another interesting one is about audio comments, which can be made via telephone. See a demo on commenting by telephone.

The NYPL uses VoiceThread to share information about some of its digital gallery. Libraries, archives, and museums can also use VoiceThread to showcase some of their digital collections. Another way of using VoiceThread in libraries is for creating introductory videos to some of their services. Some are

  • How to use library catalogue
  • How to self checkout items
  • Introduction to the Library’s website
  • Accessing Library’s Wi-Fi network

I used VoiceThread to introduce the Surrey Libraries website homepage. With the aid of a free screen capturing tool, Jing, I captured images of the homepage of the website. After uploading these images into VoiceThread, they were converted into video clips after adding audio comments on the images. Jing also could capture video clips from the computer screen, and be uploaded into VoiceThread.

I found this experience fulfilling and would be trying other tools, like Glogster to share information in social media sites.

Why use collaboration 2.0 tools?

2011 July 26
by doyin25

Creativity is a driving force behind collaboration. Collaboration is not necessarily an effort to create a new product, improve on an existing one, or develop a process or an event, but it is the creation of a shared understanding among collaborators. With tools like e-mail, fax, telephone, collaboration has moved away from F2F interaction to a more sophisticated one. These tools used alone or with another do not make such collaboration, 2.0.

Collaboration 2.0 tools allow interaction among members with the ability to create content, update/Edit content, comment on content, have discussions, keep a history of activities, and operate directly in a cloud system. At the setup stage of a collaboration 2.0 activity, emailing or other communication means including F2F interaction may be used, basically to notify members of the activity. Once every member in the group is on board, a good Collaboration 2.0 tool can be used throughout the activity without using emails or F2F interactions. David Coleman wrote how a CEO of a software company mistakenly sent a confidential information to him by email instead of another “David”. The CEO later called to correct the situation, but time (which is money) had already been lost by the time the information was sent to the intended David. This is a classical example of the advantages of using collaboration 2.0 tools.

One factor I think makes collaborators to switch between email/phone, and collaboration 2.0 tools is lack of commitment in the part of the collaborators. With my experience in collaborative class projects, I found out that collaborators are more committed in the collaboration 1.0 case than in the 2.0. This is not a problem with the collaboration 2.0 tools but with the collaborators.

Collaboration 2.0 tools allow both synchronous and asynchronous collaborations. I think this is of great benefit over the F2F collaboration.

Anything 2.0

2011 July 22

From Anything 2.0 it is sure that the 2.0 has been used for diverse ideas. The main purpose of using 2.0 as a suffix has been to show participation between web administrators and the readers of the website. Just as the .com also had its effect in having some businesses adding .com to their business names, the “e” for electronic also had its own time. I think the ‘e’ formerly ‘e-‘ started with email and then we have elearning, ecommerce, ebusiness, escience etc. This show how einnovative (e-innovative) or innovative 2.0 we can be, to show our presence in the “new thing”.

The addition of prefixes, or suffixes to terms are forms of participation. These additions to “anything” are like comments from the public (critics). In the form of interviews or lectures, some of the inventors (creators) of these prefixes and suffixes have responded to the critics, and also the general public (spectators). The concept of Long Tail also has its effect on Anything 2.0 because as time goes by, new words keep coming up and joining the “Anything 2.0”

In chapter 5 of Library 2.0: a guide to participatory library service, Casey and Savastinuk gave two elements that make a service Library 2.0 as 1) constant change and 2) participation. Though technology was not included, but they mentioned that “technology is the tool that the administration employs to help them and their customers carry on a dialogue in the easiest manner possible.” I would include Technology 2.0 (Web 2.0) as a necessary element. So, my litmus test for services that are Anything 2.0 would include constant change, participation, and technology 2.0.

Components of social participation

2011 July 18
by doyin25

As I mentioned in my last blog on Affordance: YouTube and VoiceThread, that “some people prefer audio/visual to textual communication,” I think l am one of such people. I learn better with graphics information, and slide 14 of articipation serves perfectly well for me to appreciate the components of participation in social media.

I considered this slide with respect to a ladder and have two thought to share. First, I think some might set their highest level on the ladder not as Creators, but as Critics, Collectors, or Spectators. Secondly, I wondered if one should necessarily start participation as a spectator, but I concluded that it is possible to start at any of the levels.

Affordance: YouTube and VoiceThread

2011 July 14
by doyin25

After reading McGrenere and Ho, I was able to differentiate between usability and affordance. I think the term usability deals with user’s experience with a system, while affordance deals with the properties of the tools that are utilized to design a system. For example, a blog might not be usable (usability) if “comment” is hidden whether by its location with the post, colour, or/and size. In the case of affordance, the designer of the blog is availed of the tools, i.e. comments, search, blogrolls, tag cloud, and many other widgets, in blogs.

The FVRL maintains a Youtube account that helps both librarians (public library especially) and the public. The videos are educative and serve as resources for librarians of public libraries, especially. Posting comments in a similar fashion as blogs is a good prove of its affordance as a social media tool. Comments in YouTube are only textual. I think this is a limitation to YouTube affordance.

Some people prefer audio/visual to textual communication. VoiceThread gives one the opportunity to comment on posted video (or multimedia file) in different formats other than typing the comments. Thanks to Dean for making reference to VoiceThread in one of the class discussion forums. Its About page is a starting point to know more about its affordance.

About me

2010 December 17
by doyin25

My name is Adedoyin Adenuga (Doyin). I am a graduate student at SLAIS rounding up my first year in the program and getting ready for a 4-month CO-OP. I have an undergraduate degree in engineering and love technical and practical endeavors. I have also spent some years in supporting computer users and IT systems.

I wasn’t going to create accounts in the social media sites, but when I registered for this program, I figured out that there would be a lot to gain than loose in using some of the social media tools. My Twitter account, @nugadoy, and blog are new and I hope to keep them active and alive.

I look forward to learning from and with all of you as we discuss virtually in the LIBR 559M class!

Spam prevention powered by Akismet