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Thoughts on CILIP, Twitter, Library School and Web2.0

April 29, 2009

Today, like a lot of other UK based librarians I participated in the CILIP Council Open Session on the use of Web2.0 via Twitter (tag #cilip2). The live session included presentations from Phil Bradley and Brian Kelly and a Q&A/discussion. It was also live blogged on the Library & Information Update blog.

My initial intention had been to just monitor the event just to keep up with what was happening. The experience however drew me in and at one point this morning (before the event started) I was up in the top 10 list of tweeters. If this event does nothing else it will have brought together a group of librarians professionally and geographically diverse.

I have high hopes however that something more will come out of it. I am not a member of CILIP and haven’t been since I graduated from library school. My personal feeling is that CILIP doesn’t engage me enough to warrant my membership fee. Depending on the outcome of today I may change my mind.

Anyway, what I really wanted to write about in this post were some thoughts I had on my cycle ride home as I was digesting the comments from the event. It’s one thing to ask how CILIP are using web 2.0 tools and what their role is in leading the profession in their use but I also wonder how these tools are being used in teaching future professionals and whether they are being taught how these tools can be used in libraries and by librarians.

I graduated from library school nearly 3 years ago. We did a module called Hypermedia in which we had to create a website but there was no mention of the new technologies that were creeping on to the scene. My cohort were just beginning to use Facebook socially but there was no thought that it might have a place professionally. We used or perhaps it’s better to say were forced to use Blackboard to communicate with the group and participate in group assignments. I wonder if today this is still the case or are people using tools like Ning to create social networks specific to their course?

Are future professionals being encouraged to experiment with new technologies and think of new ways to use them in libraries? Are they being asked to think about the potential drawbacks or legal issues? Are they being taught best practice? Are they debating where to draw the line between personal and professional or, if indeed there needs to be a line? Or are they teaching themselves?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2009 10:07

    I’m currently a student at Aberystwyth University (via distance learning) so thought I could maybe give an insight into this.

    I have completed my Diploma so have done all the taught modules of my postgrad course, and Web 2.0 was only mentioned in one module, which was an optional module. Even then it was only very briefly mentioned (less than two pages in the whole module pack). When I started my course (Sept 2006) we were using the First Class software to communicate but following feedback from students and the fact that most students were choosing to use Facebook instead, distance learning support is now done via Moodle which is slightly more social network based than First Class.

    There are currently (as far as I am aware) no modules on using new technologies and it is only briefly addressed in passing in other modules. I’m not sure if it is any different for full time students, but there doesn’t seem much academic support for new technologies yet which could explain why it isn’t offered.

    I was a little disappointed to find out that there isn’t at least an optional module covering the sort of issues you mention in your post, I know from the blogs I followover in the States they seem to be covering Web 2.0 technologies in library school courses. I think it’s a shame that Web 2.0 tools aren’t used more to support students – there is a Facebook group which I am part of but it’s mainly a gathering place for past and current students – as far as I am aware blogs, RSS, twitter, social networking etc. isn’t being used to support teaching yet.

  2. April 30, 2009 10:43

    Hi Jo,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I’ve been following with interest the posts by Michael Stephens on Tame the Web about what he’s been doing with his LIS group.

    It’s interesting, and not altogether surprising that something like this has yet to be integrated into the teaching here.

  3. April 30, 2009 11:39

    Yes, I’ve been following that too – and Meredith Farkas’ teaching at San Jose State University.

  4. April 30, 2009 15:56

    I’m two-thirds through the MSc at City University, and there’s very little focus on Web 2.0. It’s certainly not “officially” covered in any of the modules, although there is talk of restructuring the computing module in the first term to include using Web 2.0 technologies for learning support and collaborative working. One of our lecturers is very keen on all things Web 2.0, so she encourages us to experiment with different tools, but she’s really an exception. We do have a VLE, and a lot of the communication with other members of the course (as well as all of the coursework submission) happens online, but the VLE itself is extremely clunky. I doubt anyone would use it if they didn’t have to.

  5. Juanita permalink
    May 1, 2009 16:02

    I’m a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University and I certainly use Web 2.0 tools as part of my teaching. I provide references via delicious, for keeping up todate sessions I refer to RSS feeds, blogs etc, have talked about Twitter when discussing community information services and use Flickr Creative Commons images for my presentations.

    One of my colleagues is working on a Web 2 module, so it will be coming into the curriculum too.

    So it is getting into the curriculum, and I hope will become more widespread too. The point though is not the tool in itself, but to what extent it supports the pedagogy and the learning. I think a number of these tools do support this in LIS and so I will be using them as appropriate.

    And for those of you wanting to see how they can be used in a library environment I recommend following Mashed Library 2009, #mashlib09 there are still some places available for students on LIS courses so you have a chance to get involved.

    • May 1, 2009 16:11

      Thanks all for your comments, it’s great to have contributors from both the teaching staff and students.

      Juanita – I agree that the tools should not be used for the sake of it but must support the learning. It’s exactly the same in the library – web2.0 tools should only be used where they add value to your service rather than for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon.

    • May 1, 2009 16:49

      That’s excellent news Juanita, I’m glad there will be the opportunity for future students to study Web 2.0 as part of the course at Aberystwyth. :)

      I agree wholeheartedly with both yourself and Emma that it’s not about the tools themselves, but about the capabilities the tools enable.

  6. Nicole Schulz permalink
    May 1, 2009 16:30

    Hi All

    I am also Teaching Fellow at the Department of Information Studies at Aberystwyth University. One of my main research topics is the use of social media in organisations from a records management point of view and, as Juanita mentioned, I am currently developing a module that will look into social media, its uses in society, organisations etc. We are also going to revive a discontinued module on electronic publishing that will now focus on social media such as blogs, wikis, websites, RSS, social bookmarking, photo sharing and podcasting. I have a feeling that quite a few academic institutions are beginning to look into the whole ‘web 2.0’ arena but as ever it takes time to catch up and to develop suitable modules that effectively integrate social media use into the teaching agenda – there is always a danger of practising something popular as l’art pour l’art. It is, however, great to see social media in use and I was impressed by the activity on the twitter stream for cilip2. I find it interesting that the library sector seems to be on the forefront of using it to interact with ‘customers’ or readers, students etc. and hope too that more can come out of the momentum we generated just now. I am interested in all your thoughts and suggestions on how to use web 2.0 in the academic, library or even organisational environment and if you feel like it you could tweet me your thoughts @nicoleschu.

  7. May 28, 2009 15:25

    Hi there! I used to live in Aberystwyth (worked in the Nat. Lib. for 3 years) – I am a European Ethnologist /Kulturwissenschaftlerin, been working in museums, libraries and archives. Web 2.0 is one of my big interests now. I have taught myself.


  1. CILIP2.0 (or #CILIP2) Round-up « Stuart Benjamin’s Blog

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