Evaluation of the learning process

Web 2.0 has gained momentum since it was first recognised in 2005 (O’Reilly), and many of the original platforms have thrived. Its initial definition remains relevant, and the concepts and practices of maintaining a complicated on-line life continue to evolve because users invest and participate. Library managers noticed users embracing the platforms and quickly saw potential, nominating the term Library 2.0 (Miller, 2005), which stuck. Library 2.0 takes advantage of the participatory nature of Web 2.0, allowing libraries to reach out directly to patrons. However, educators on a quest to build safe, inclusive, and welcoming networks for young people still face many challenges.

Users embrace the social networks that are the most functional and friendly (Mallory & Kleingartner, 2011). The business models of Amazon and Google profit from the immersive online world (Belden, 2008), and while these sites have some use in education, librarians have embraced other social platforms (Bain, 2011; Young and Rossman, 2015). The Arizona State University (ASU) projects an on-line presence through a range of social media channels. Their librarians realised the need for YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, because different students access material in different ways (Schrier, 2011).  Academic libraries are able to leverage social media more effectively than school libraries (Yi, 2014), because schools must be more assiduous with filtering, distractions, and user behaviour. One of the biggest challenges for schools is balancing the need for safe spaces with the reality that young people are already on these sites (Lenhart, 2015). It’s crucial to consider a site’s concern for users by carefully examining their advertising (Pearson, 2009) and privacy policies (Hudson, 2006) before allowing students to use them. Unfortunately, it is also important to observe the way developers update their sites, or sell them to the highest bidder, because these changes can mean the site is no longer appropriate or useful.

There are other concerning issues for information professionals who serve school-aged children, digital natives who show little regard for privacy (Raynes-Goldie, 2010), piracy, or authentic research (Garfinkel, 2008). Digital citizenship, while encouraged, is not mandated or consistent across schools. Information professionals accepted the challenge to create programs and lesson plans which highlight the importance of a positive digital presence. As in most real-life situations, the majority of students know how to conduct themselves appropriately in virtual environments, but it only takes a few recalcitrants to trigger calls for more censorship, more filters, and more rules.  As for the inquiry process, students left to their own devices, without explicit intervention from an information professional, are unlikely to develop the ability to critically evaluate websites, and are unlikely to understand the importance of citation. With an overwhelming amount of data already at children’s fingertips, skills to manage and process it all are needed more than ever.

While it might seem easy to reject Web 2.0 tools and justify that as child protection, libraries cannot avoid them and still remain relevant. Social media is arguably the most efficient, cost-effective means to prove the value of libraries to patrons (Bain, 2011; Casey & Savastinuk, 2006; Lorenzo, 2007). The digital world is no longer an option, or an add-on—it is immersive. Librarians in such a world recognise its benefits. Studies show over 70% of libraries worldwide (Taylor & Francis, 2014) acknowledge the need to engage patrons in on-line environments. The biggest obstacle to school libraries having effective social media programs is how time consuming maintaining a social media presence can be. Locating and cataloguing resources, and assisting individual staff and students with support and expertise are the most fundamental library tasks. To add tweeting, posting, blogging, and uploading pictures to the load, means something else has to go. Yet, what is the point of purchasing print resources or subscribing to online databases if nobody knows about them or how to access them? A well planned, coordinated approach can only be achieved when a library team collaborates successfully (Burkhardt, 2009). By targeting a small number of social networks, developing a consistent method and tone of delivery (Ramsey & Vecchione, 2014), and sticking to a well-documented social media policy (Burclaff & Johnson, 2014), school libraries can build effective and purposeful relationships with users.

It’s not surprising educators are feeling fatigued and overwhelmed by the responsibilities placed on them for student learning. Trust is a word linked to Library 2.0 (Jenkins, et. al., 2006; Reynes-Goldie, 2010; Young & Rossman, 2015), and teachers could be much more flexible about the way their classrooms are conducted. On-line communities and social networks are built on trust, and for the most part, this trust is validated. Information professionals must take on a mediated role, harness students’ enthusiasm for technology, and help teachers direct that energy in a positive and meaningful way.


Bain, T. A. (Producer). (2011). Leveraging Social Media to engage library users. Retrieved 14 April 2015 from http://www.slideshare.net/PickeringPublicLibrary/pickering-public-library?next_slideshow=1

Belden, D. (2008). Harnessing Social Networks to Connect with Audiences: If You Build It, Will They Come 2.0? Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 13(1), 99-111. doi: 10.1300/J136v13n01-06

Blummer, B. & Kenton, J. M. (2014). Reducing Patron Information Overload in Academic Libraries, College & Undergraduate Libraries, 21:2, 115-135, DOI: 10.1080/10691316.2014.906786

Buckley, P. (2015). Authentic information in a socially networked world. Retrieved 24 May 2015 from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/missusb/2015/05/22/authentic-information-in-a-socially-networked-world/

Buckley, P. (2015). Define: Librarian 2.0. Retrieved 24 May 2015 from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/missusb/2015/04/10/define-librarian-2-0/

Buckley, P. (2015). Did you know? Retrieved 24 May 2015 from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/missusb/2015/05/13/did-you-know/

Buckley, P. (2015). The ASU social networks. Retrieved 24 May 2015 from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/missusb/2015/04/07/the-asu-social-networks/

Buckley, P. (2015). Young people’s on-line identity, privacy & trust. Retrieved 24 May 2015 from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/missusb/2015/05/21/young-peoples-online-identity-privacy-trust/

Buckley, P. (2015). Trisha Buckley Pinterest Boards. Retrieved 24 May 2015 from https://www.pinterest.com/missusb1/

Burclaff, N., & Johnson, C. (2014). Developing a social media strategy Tweets, pins, and posts with a purpose. College & Research Libraries News, 75(7), 366–369.

Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four reasons libraries should be on social media. Information Tyrannosaur. Retrieved from: http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next generation library. Library Journal, 51-62.

Garfinkel, S. L. (2008). Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84-86.

Hodson, S.S. (2006). Archives on the Web: Unlocking collections while safeguarding privacy, First Monday, 11(8), August. Available http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1389/1307

Lenhart, A. (2015). Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015.   Retrieved 12 April 2015, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the new education culture. (March). Retrieved 18 May 2015 from https://web.archive.org/web/20110409150214/http://www.edpath.com/images/IFReport2.pdf

Mallory, T., & Kleingartner, J. (2011). Multi-Media Marketing with New and Traditional Media. PNLA Quarterly, 76(1), 74-81.

Miller. P (2005) “Web 2.0: Building the New Library”. Ariadne Issue 45 http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller/

O’Reilly, T. (2005). What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. O’Reilly. Retrieved 17 May 2015 from O’Reilly website: http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a//web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

Pearson, J. (2009). Life as a Dog. Meanjin, Vol. 68, No. 2, Winter: 67-77. Retrieved 18 May 2015 from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=346579933206675;res=IELAPA

Ramsey, E., & Vecchione, A. (2014). Channeling Passions: Developing a Successful Social Media Strategy. Journal of Library Innovation, 5(2).

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010). Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook. First Monday, 15(1), 1-1.

Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital Librarianship & Social Media: the digital library as conversation facilitator. D-Lib Magazine, 17, 7-8.

Francis, T. (2014). Use of social media by the library: current practices and future opportunities. In W. Frass (Ed.), (pp. 29).

Yi, Z. (2014). Australian Academic Librarians’ Perceptions of Effective Web 2.0 Tools Used to Market Services and Resources. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3–4), 220–227. doi:10.1016

Young, S. W. H., & Rossmann, D. (2015). Building Library Community Through Social Media. Information Technology & Libraries, 34(1), 20-37.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s