Week Fourteen: Information programs wrap up post

Published / by Heidi Stevens / 3 Comments on Week Fourteen: Information programs wrap up post

So that’s a wrap: Information Programs has come to an end.

Well actually just one last thing before I curl up and read a book under the jacaranda tree… My end of semester reflection on what I learnt & how. Following the reflection prompt structure I will start looking at my contribution to the IFN614 learning community.

Part 1: Your contribution to the learning community this semester

In my Week 2 reflection I noted my preference for intimate interactions, true to form I got a lot out of the face to face meetings with Leela for assessment 2 & 3; of which I talk more in part 4. For now I will focus on the data collected through the Connected Learning Analytics Toolkit (CLA toolkit). The CLA toolkit has helped to quantify my engagement to the learning community in IFN614. The following data provides an overview of my actual contribution:

  1. Platform total activity: Twitter 40%|Blog 60%
  2. My total activity: Shared 5%|Comment 35%|Created 60%
  3. Sentiment: Neutral 13.3%|Negative 8.3%|Positive 79.3%
  4. Community of Inquiry: Cognitive Presence: Triggering 72%|Other 24%| Resolution 4%

The 72% triggering is more then I had anticipated at the commencement of semester and possibly the most important data collection for reframing my contribution to the learning community. In this context triggering is the initiation of conversation or dialogue around a particular topic. The type of profile originally intended was an information provider & resolver of problems. As the actual resolution data is very low at 4% I did not achieve this goal. Rather, learnt I am a questioner rather then solution finder. The total activity could have been higher for the comments section. It took some time for me to immerse myself in the community engagement with only 29 comments on my blog in total, of which 10 are my responses didn’t leave a great deal of room to flesh out my own content with peers. Whilst my posts where significantly more triggering then expected I am pleased that the majority of the posts where positive at almost 80%. With this understanding of my contribution to a community of learners I would like to turn my attention now to Twitter & IFN614.

Part 2: Twitter:

Ah Twitter, I was hesitant at the start of semester (see week two reflection on twitter). Come to the end of semester & I have shifted my resolve – not because I trust in the platform but because I have learnt that library & information professionals are generous, engaged & open on this platform. This was particularly reinforced with industry professionals joining in on our Twitter chats. I will happily continue using Twitter  to connect professionally. On reflection trolling was my main concern.  Thanks to the LIP community this concern has been alleviated over my participation in the 7 twitter chats spread across the semester. Realistically the subject matter is professional & therefore unlikely to cause flaming or trolling on my account. As for the matter of using Twitter outside of the chats: I tried. I have limited my Twitter usage to professional content and if something occurred that was of professional interest, I tweeted it. I also took the time to follow peers and those in the broader LIP community. I predict my Twitter usage will increase as I become immersed in the profession.

Twitter provided me an informal platform to follow & interact with my peers right through to established professionals. I wouldn’t say I enjoy the platform but I clearly see the advantages of it as an high speed information exchange. I particularly enjoyed the Twitter chats as a real time way to engage with my peers, it was an equaliser for me as an online student. It made participating simpler then trying to communicate in the chat box of collaborate. I do think I will miss this as post-grad life moves into lecture and research exclusive modes. The Twitter chats aided my capacity to engage in discussion with peers and expand my understanding of the profession.

Part 3: Your learning in the unit

Despite my reservations, as an online student, the Twitter chats were beneficial for me: it offered me an opportunity to connect with peers in a way I had been unable to do until now. Improving my sense of connection and community within the profession. I feel this was more important then the information learnt: That is I learnt that this profession is highly connected and encourages engagement in & sharing of ideas.

The connectivity of Twitter chats has informed my understanding of the LIP community. While, assignment 1 has allowed for the exploration of topics based on interest. Over the course of the semester I got to peek inside a plethora of topics, following my nose on areas of interest. That is pretty luxurious in and of itself. That is not to say fun and frivolous but actually really important to understand the scope of the profession and ones own position in it. Also a stroke of brilliance as the 2nd part of this course is research: Find the right topic to wet the appetite and there maybe the making of a sizeable research project.

While I learnt a great deal researching and publishing the blog posts I did not like that the information about the course was in this format. The blog format is dynamic, which is fine for the community of enquiry explored in blog posts & Twitter chats. In the initial weeks of semester it took a lot of time becoming aquatinted with the site and how to find information. I understand that BlackBoard is a beast but I feel like a static site with the course requirements and assessment material clearly laid out would have made the first weeks of semester (and my earlier posts) more engaged with the learning community.

Assessment one was a useful learning tool, looking back over my posts I learnt a great deal in a shortened period of time by researching each topic independently. Furthermore, not once did I have to produce content on a subject that didn’t spark at least some interest in me: this is key for me as a learner to care about the content and see its relevance in a broader context.

Part 4: Reflect on the quality of your work

The focus so far has been on Assessment 1, partly due to frequency & partly because I am new to the public nature of professional learning communities. Assessment 2 & 3 is where I did some of my best work. In the collaborative environment the quality of learning & understanding group dynamics became intrinsic to the projects unfolding. The assessment outcomes may not result in the highest marks, rather I am commenting on the quality of my work within the collaborative learning environment. I am interested in the process of watching an idea unfold between two people and the stress reduction of chipping away at an assessment and knowing there is another person available to talk over the more complex components of the assessment. Assessment 2 & 3 provided me with a new framework, where group dynamics and the enjoyment of producing content collaboratively count. I look forward to engaging in the process of group work again & again & again, because it would seem LIP are fond of this style of work.

Now onto something more concrete: Clair commented on it & I know it: my written communication skills are lacking. Particularly punctuation & gramma despite reading widely. I  recently reading Stephen King: On Writing as a highly recommended & fun book on writing and rather then cure me of my gramma issues it helped me focus on reducing my perfectionistic tendencies. I now embrace the principle of good enough. While, I am slowly improving my punctuation and gramma but am consciously trying not to get hung up on the details. The outcome maybe lower grades but an improved quality of life & ability to spend more time producing content as a pathway to learning. I am happy to take the pay off. Overall it is a higher priority to get my  ideas are out then to be crippled by the fear of syntax… Saying that I am also open to suggestions for improving it.


And on that note I’d like to end with a happy end of semester & start of summer:

Well done we made it !


Week Eleven: Research Support & Endnotes: Program review

Published / by Heidi Stevens / Leave a Comment

Australia has invested a great deal in the higher education sector: The position is that research and innovation are linked to the countries future success both economically and socially. For those with an interest in research the Australian Research Council (ARC) is a central government resource worth immersing oneself in.  The Australian focus on higher education research and development has involved significant investment in universities and has shaped the provision of programs & services university libraries offer: Higher Degree Research (HDR) Student Support is embedded in libraries, as this weeks reading: Library Research Support in Queensland: A Survey points out, (in particular pages 267-8). While Alice Keller highlights the privileged access to library support for HDR students on page 7.

With this contextual understanding of the importance of research in Australia & its application within the university setting I will now focus in on one way librarians are supporting HDR students through Endnotes training. Endnotes is a small part of the  HDR puzzle but essential to free up the time & energy of our best and brightest brains from the torture of correctly referencing. I liken referencing to stepping on lego after running a marathon, both cruel and unnecessary*. Referencing is more painful then initially imagined. I am certainly one of those people who over emphasises my cognitive ability at the end of an assignment writing marathon: Enter endnotes.

The following is my program review for  QUT Training – EndNotes Essentials session I attended earlier this semester at the Kevin Grove campus library. This training session assumed no previous knowledge about Endnotes and was specifically targeted for PC users. As a mac user I went along with my computer expecting to have to learn on across both platforms. The two librarians running the session where seamless in flipping between pc & mac interfaces. There was no need for me to worry about learning across both platforms. Despite the training targeting PC the librarians where able to provide detailed step by step notes for the few mac users in class. In addition to the librarians meeting mac users needs they also offered additional attention to the international students in the class. I was impressed in particular overhearing the librarian staff encouraging one of these students, who was grappling with English language comprehension, to attend the QUT library Study Solutions: 1-on-1 consultations to get further assistance with referencing & endnotes.

I am disappointed that I didn’t note the librarians names as the training was executed with intentional inclusivity which I admire entirely.

Now: Endnotes the program. I made the all to common mistake of attending the program training & then didn’t put the training into practice until my next assignment was due. Thankfully the training cheat sheet that was provided along with my own notes got me over my first Endnotes referencing hurdle. The few times I have used Endnotes has saved me hours of assignment work (or gifted me hours of extra sleep – depending on how you want to frame it). I would encourage anyone looking at research to book into an Endnotes training session and start using this program sooner rather then later.

* Please note: Academic integrity and correctly attributing knowledge and research through referencing is imperative to good academic practice. This process has a long history and should be continued to show academic pedigree.



Week Twelve: Children & teens

Published / by Heidi Stevens / 2 Comments on Week Twelve: Children & teens

An argument in favour of latchkey children in the library:

latchkey children in the library is not a new phenomenon. There is much written about this in the American library context: What about Australia? The Australian newspaper published Our latchkey kid shame in 2008. So what has happened within the public library sector in the past eight years to address the sociocultural issue of unattended children in our communities?

Firstly it is important to realise that there is a catch 22 for families in Australia. The normalisation of returning to work for parents clashes with the the legal age for leaving a child unattended depends largely on locationIn Queensland this age is 12 or around the time children enter high school. Formalised child care is available in the early years with long day care &  before and after school care for primary school aged children. This is good because within the library context I don’t think wild toddlers or screaming babies should be heaped onto the librarian. So just to be clear: I do not, in any way advocate that Librarians are childcare workers but the library as institution must service its community and I think unattended children is a community issue.

Public libraries have a mandate to service their communities. This includes younger member of the community. Tweens have been identified by Alyssa Pisarski in Finding a Place for the Tween: Makerspaces and Libraries* as an under serviced demographic in the library sector. Depending on your state or territory legal requirements for unattended children the development of after school programs for Tweens maybe a possibility.

The teen demographic should also be attended to. Books such as: Better Serving Teens through School Library – Public Library Collaborations offer potential solutions for this demographic. Focusing locally: Logan city council libraries offer a range of programs targeting teens. These programs are reflective of the community within which it operates with 26% of the population born overseas & a high representation of multilingual homes. In this context homework help and YourTutor improves the educational outcomes for teens whom may be unable to ask members of their family with English language homework help. Whats more, specific programs like the Krank school holiday program meet the needs of this community. The latchkey children in our community is unlikely to change, so libraries must focus on servicing their communities as best as possible. Logan city council offers an example of meeting community needs through library programs.

I am not advocating that libraries break the law by targeting underage latchkey kids through programing what I am interested in is seeing libraries extend the offering of community support. The family structure has changed, the public library must service this changing community. More after school programming and homework clubs would bring willing students into the library to further their education and keep in public consciousness the safe space the library offers. Also as a resident of beautiful Brisbane (yep totally biased) we have some exceptional library spaces to use.

* Note: To access article you must be logged into the QUT system.

Week Nine: Twitter chat champion #makerspaces & creativity

Published / by Heidi Stevens / 6 Comments on Week Nine: Twitter chat champion #makerspaces & creativity

At my core I believe creativity is the thumping, beating heart of life. The beautiful chimera that keeps us alive, engaged and participating in our own existences. Creativity, which is the at the core of the makerspaces movement is this weeks twitter chat topic. How then did creativity present itself in the chat:

The strong connection between creativity and the makerspace movement came up a number of times in the twitter chat and was embedded in the final question. Early in the chat, questioning the point of makerspaces @JasmineD_R response was that makerspaces foster creativity therefore they should be a priority for libraries. Later in the chat @thorpe_clare made the historic link between libraries and the 19th century mechanics institutes, whilst @kaley_schelks points out that makerspaces are put in place to extend peoples creative thinking. Inline with this notion of extending creative thinking, it was aptly questioned by @sharee_cordes why this type of creativity is being supported in libraries rather then art spaces; which it could be argued are more invested in an object based or visual outcome of creativity.

The questioning of libraries investment in makerspaces, when arts institutions are seemingly more aligned with cultural objects begs further analysis: How does the creativity of makerspaces align to libraries core goals? For this I turned to ALIA core values statement. If we turn to core value statement number 3. Commitment to literacy, information literacy and learning. I would argue from this librarians and libraries have a view towards life long learning, encouraging research and servicing their community. This should in many cases include a space for making, imbedded in Library as Place dialogue. While life long learning does encompasses skills such as learning how to code & gardening it also includes other forms of literacy and information. Digital literacy in the case of coding and life skills such as gardening are well understood. I would argue that visual literacy and visual learning have their place in the library context also, as they too are a form of literacy. Art colleges have pushed hard to have the visual acknowledged as a type of language where visual research occurs within the academic context (For further reading on this topic: Image-based Research: A Sourcebook for Qualitative Researchers). So lifelong learning and visual research line up with libraries core principles, whats more Libraries have come a long way from limiting their horizon to the use of words on paper or typed into a word processor.

On the subject of “promise of the future” in ALIA core values statement the STEM sector is being pushed by the research policies of Australia today and it has brought about interesting connections between the arts and traditional STEM sector workers as creativity is at the centre of innovation. QUT – The Cube  and The State library of Queensland: The Edge are two spaces in Brisbane that are fostering a sense of creative play to engage new ways of problem solving, creating and innovation. These spaces are servicing different sectors of the community but make the argument that space & space to make or innovate are necessary as we look into the future. These spaces show that makerspaces are servicing the community in different ways and are providing innovation to the communities they service. Makerspaces are hubs for libraries to engage user creativity to achieve the outcome of life long learning, diverse research and expanded forms of literacy which seem to sit within the contemporary libraries scope.

Week Seven: The necessity of fluid definitions within moments of social change

Published / by Heidi Stevens / 12 Comments on Week Seven: The necessity of fluid definitions within moments of social change

Digital literacy and information literacy as this weeks readings eloquently point out are difficult terms to define, slippery if you will. Digital literacy is partly defined by Henry Jenkins as building on traditional forms of literacy. So, I ponder, if digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy but is argued to build on the foundations then why does it need to be accounted for as a seperate form of literacy. Is it not the medium to access rather then the message?

Ok, ok I’m coming up against a Marshall McCluhan The medium is the message: probably a little ambitious for a 500 word blog post. Let me explain:

The twitter chat this week sort to draw out the classes understanding of why digital & information literacy are important, what technology literacy means and how library staff should be expected to support users needs. In the class discussion Kate Davis mentioned the difference between this years conversation & last years (available here). This is the seed for this weeks post. I take the position that from within moments of social change, which the web 2.0 has brought forth, fluidity of definitions are required. Digital access is important with the UN declaring it a basic human right and may require a separate definition until such time as it is freely available. We commonly understand literacy to mean reading & writing. It maybe in the future that a definition of digital literacy is redundant in the same way ‘book literacy’ sounds ridiculous.

Sculpture: OMG LOL / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studio
Sculpture: OMG LOL by Michael Mandiberg / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55420.P1.L1. / SML

Until such time as ‘digital literacy’ sounds as ridiculous as ‘book literacy’ I would argue that the discussion around digital literacy and information literacy in web 2.0 requires a working definition of what this means with  reference to current events and the way communities make meaning from it.  The internet has altered the way information is made & made available and the amount of information accessible in ways not seen since the invention of the Gutenberg Press in 1440. As the expansion and social impact of the digital technology that makes accessing and shaping information is in its infancy, comparatively to almost 600 years over which we have become accustomed to the printing press technology. It is important to keep discussion open, from a range of sources – not just the top down authority of subject that was valued before web 2.0.

The 2016 Australian census affords looking at in this context: #censusfail a little case study on how infrastructure, lack of confidence in centralised bodies of power and the digital divide must all fit within the definition of ‘digital literacy’. This event has come to represent the frustration in the governments slow movement for citizens to be given the infrastructure to become digitally literate (Sky Muster for remote citizens & NBN for rural & urban dwellers). These events are happening around us now. Static definitions will not do. As we feel the impact of changing technology in our daily lives a working definition is necesary.

Digital literacy includes more then knowing how to use a digital device. It includes available infrastructure, the trust of users and the wide adoption of skills necessary to participate digitally. To go back over 600 years: Libraries where very different places before the reproducibility of literature. Until such time as digital access is normalised I argue that there is a necessity of a fluid definitions.

Week Six: Trends reflection on readers advisory in the digital/data world

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Story telling is an inherent characteristic of humans. This desire to share, create meaning and generally communicate is linked to our social natures…. It has been shown that story telling can produce oxytocin (the magic love, safe, harmony chemical), is a way to communicate values and share our lived experiences with each other.

Great, fabulous, we are librarians in training, we get a good story is worthy… no need to convince my audience. Well… in recent years the trend has been for library training and hiring to be technology focused. Great of course, web 2.0, need to stay relevant in a hyper information rich world: Got you! Well I ask: where does this leave librarians who are asked for users advice on reading for pleasure, you know for the emotional engagement a good story can elicit?  This is where readers advisory comes in. Reading materials comes in many forms the novel, the story, the poem… We can read online, on screens, on printed paper or receive these stories via audio books (my personal favourite way to receive an oxytocin boost).

With readers advisory skills such as understanding appeal characteristics & asking the right questions you can locate the source of joy found in a favourite book and stretch and move it around you can beat those amazon algorithms (which may not be in the users best interest anyway) and have your users drowning in reading. How do we beat the algorithms? We don’t, we join them: sort of. What I am suggesting is embracing the potential user data of libraries and bring with us our super power… human care outside the consumer cycles. We listen, we know our communities & our ‘stock’, we engage in real conversations… we know the important resources available to assist us and undertake professional development as readers advisory. We channel our inner Nancy Pearl!

Lets get down to brass tacks, technology is fabulous but story telling may be the reason we survived historically (The Storytelling Animal:How Stories Make Us Human takes you deep into the heart of this). Lets take the trust our customers have in libraries and build on it… show them we are just as trustworthy online as in the physical world. That we handle their magic data with respect (with a opt in/opt out of data collection?) no one in the business community can afford to do. Lets blast our clients out of the water with synergies of interest that skip across genre without batting an eyelid. That keep them sleep deprived and curled under the blankets muttering ‘just one more chapter’ until the sun rises. Lets get them connected. Lets get our people feeling the incredible range of human emotions available in our stories… Lets get our users hooked on the good stuff… because it nurtures the soul and what more could life be about.

Lets take the principles of readers advisory, our trustworthiness branding, love of data collection and get back to the business of every reader his/her book & every book its reader.


Week Three: QUT Cite|Write a service review

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The reference librarian conjures up images of the serious business of being in charge of the library. Of having a static desk. Of laying in wait for your users to approach you… Fast forward to the present & the library 2.0 couldn’t be further from this stilted, although somewhat romantic, model of the librarian. One of the ways reference librarians operate in contemporary libraries is by embracing technology & occupying the virtual reference desk to meet users needs in convenient multi faceted ways. In the following post I will be reviewing my experience as a user of QUT’s virtual reference service/product:  Cite|Write

Screenshot of http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/
Screenshot of http://www.citewrite.qut.edu.au/

Cite|Write is a introductory guide to academic writing and referencing. The aim of this service is to provide students with a guide to academic writing and citation expected within their discipline (APA, Harvard, legal & numbered). An important part of academic culture is to correctly attribute knowledge production in your assessment. Cite|Write is a central tool to successfully completing this, as incorrect citation of published work can lead to a range of academic penalties from loss of marks through to academic exclusion for plagiarism.

The Cite|Write tool is highly visible library service within QUT. The promotion of this service starts early; once I had accepted my offer to study, email communication about the services offered to students began with Cite|Write highly visible in these emails. It was made clear that you could download a PDF, pick a paper copy up at the library or access it online. Follow up communication in the time leading up to commencement of study continued to include information about this essential library service. In particular emails discussing the importance of citation to academic integrity and successful life as a higher education student.

This library service is a valued tool throughout the university system. As a keen user of libraries it didn’t take much prompting for me to go and pick up my paper copy of cite|write available at QUT libraries as an excuse to check out the library space. As I picked up the paper copy the librarian handed it to me and recommended I spend some time on the website. Although he did suggest I keep the paper copy as a backup resource. I am so pleased the librarian gave me that one last push towards the online resource. The Cite|Write website offers dynamic interactive citation with clear simple tabs for each information source and potential variations in reference style. Need to reference APA online material from social media? No worries Cite|Write has you covered with explanations for the different scenarios. Course requires Harvard referencing, no problems QUT libraries Cite|Write has it covered. The online resource offers a contemporary dynamic platform to get referencing right, comparatively the paper copy I picked up from the library has taken up residence on my bookshelf.

In addition to student outreach, once first semester commenced teaching staff would regularly talk about the cite|write web resource, encouraging its usefulness as a tool to simplify referencing. In the lead up to assessment the teaching staff and support teams would encourage the students to use this service online. The high visibility of this service through direct communication and teaching staff regular recommendation corresponds with the importance of attributing the source of knowledge correctly within the university culture.

QUT Cite|Write service is by no means unique in the modern academic library services landscape with teaching staff identifying the usefulness of looking at other universities online citation tools. In particular Griffith Universities referencing tool being identified by teaching staff as a secondary source if the QUT resource doesn’t identify your referencing requirements.

Now into my second semester of study, the Cite|Write web resource has not failed me and even as I have begun using Endnotes I still use Cite|Write to double check that references are correct. The paper copy can not compare to this, nor could dropping into the library to discuss referencing with a librarian. Cite|Write is a comprehensive online service that simplifies the style of referencing by breaking it down into pre existing categories allowing the user to focus on correct attribution. The ability for libraries to occupy a virtual space and meet the users needs in those final hours of completing an assessment is one of the true luxuries of library 2.0 users.

Week Five: A speed date with design

Published / by Heidi Stevens / 5 Comments on Week Five: A speed date with design

The perfect library experience for Belinda potentially means never seeing her step foot in the library.

Technology by Thom; from: https://unsplash.com/@thomweerd?photo=XyNi3rUEReE https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Technology by Thom; from: https://unsplash.com/@thomweerd?photo=XyNi3rUEReE

The client is a non school leaver with a young family this means greater time restrictions and competing priorities. The client has voiced concerns about her competencies with technology that have made academic life difficult.  There is also the concern that despite being a second year student the client is still not confident with the expectations of academic writing. Identifying that she did not feel capable compared to her younger peers who are prepared through high school for the type of writing expected at university. The largest underlying issues for this client is self confidence within an academic environment including use of technology, written skills and access to information within the library system.

To provide the perfect library experience for our client a range of resources need to be used to build self confidence within the academic environment by  identify gaps in academic writing skills, build up user knowledge of technology and improve self reliance in accessing information.

The speed date with design project I would implement is a library run outreach website and downloadable app. Through this website the library would target resources that make non school leavers transition to university easier and instil self confidence in their ability to navigate the academic system. This would be done by  outlining expectations for assessment writing, time management videos and access to introductory videos on technology that are base line expectations in todays academia (excel, word, email). This website would need some content to be written specifically for it but would primarily be a database of highly relevant information for non school leavers. This site would include a priority chat emphasising that no question is off limits: modelled on QUT ask a librarian service. Time management techniques and in person bookings available. The allocation of understanding library staff available for face to face consultations and a link to the university careers counselling, psychologists and mentor programs (which are all pre existing programs at universities and would really just be a hyperlink on the website). An interactive game of spot the plagiarism & highlight the best passage might be a good add on experience for the app to be an interactive way of showing the academic thresholds that the client expressed she is concerned about.

There was no mention or hint at a budget so I went to town. In truth I am not sure ‘curating’ a web resource of relevant already available materials for the students would be that expensive when a cost benefit analysis is run against loosing non school age leavers. University data on non school leavers would be used to target the promotion of this web resource along with the universities marketing department.

The idea of meeting the user at the point of their needs rather then waiting for them to fit into a pre-established (and potentially intimidating) culture could improve the user experience at university and have positive flow on effects for self confidence & improved reliance which will encourage life long learning: a core goal of the library community 


Week Two: Community engagement

Published / by Heidi Stevens / 3 Comments on Week Two: Community engagement

Community engagement is an important enriching part of the human experience. The communities we engage & feel comfortable in, act in part, as definitions of one’s self within our larger environment. After a rather lovely trip down memory lane I came to identify that my own style of communication is consistent. I tend towards one-on-one communication or small group interactions. This is not born out of a fear of public speaking although I tend towards introverted characteristics, it is rather a love of deeply engaged meaningful communication with other people that draws me into these one-on-one interactions.

My preference for one-on-one or small group settings cuts across my offline life. Never one for a party I prefer intimate catchups where I can bask in engaged conversation. In my online world interactions this pattern of behaviour is slightly modified as I can move across platforms without interrupting the conversation. This ability to move between platforms allows me to easily move a conversation from the public forum, where say I have been tagged in an interesting article, to text message, email or another form of private digital communication. If I were to replicate my natural tendency in the online world to the offline world, it would look something like responding to an interesting conversation or piece of information by taking the communicator somewhere quiet to really be able to focus on the thing that sparked my interest. In doing so I would be breaking social norms but this form of breakaway communication is possible in online communities. So while my communication style is consistent the way it can take shape is dependent on the platforms available.

The type of profile I would like to have in the learning community is the information provider & resolver of problems. Although thinking critically about my style of communication & tendencies for private online communication pathways I foresee a need to actively pursue public contributions to this community to achieve this outcome. It also became obvious to me while learning about the Community of Inquiry and the Connected Learning Analytics (CLA) Toolkit that my preference for private communication pathways would not be measurable or visible enough and my outcome would be the dreaded social media ‘lurker’. So in a world that celebrates the extrovert the quiet private communication style I preference may get overlooked. So it maybe time to actively shape my online communication style – to improve my community contribution & sense of belonging overall.

The conscious act of modifying my online communication within this learning community is something, I believe, will make me a more engaged and relevant library and information professional. I foresee my contribution to the community as someone who supports and cheers on my peers, disseminates information and maintains a high standard of support. Positive engagement go a long way… For now I will focus my energies on improving my public contribution to this online community.

As an aside for anyone who identifies with introverted traits I cant recommend Susan Cain’s Quiet: The power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking enough!



And finally: Communication and the Twitter platform:

Additionally, please write a short (100-200 word) reflection on Twitter: My initial thoughts on writing a 100-200 word reflection ON Twitter was… “Isn’t twitter 140 characters how do I write 100-200 words that are meaningful.” So now that I realised it is about twitter not on twitter I still feel like I don’t “get” this platform. I hold a deep reverence for aesthetics so I find the twitter platform challenging to engage with, it appears so messy. In an attempt to ‘get’ into twitter I have limited my other social media platform usage to encourage my compulsive content checking towards the Twitter platform… I will know how it goes in a couple more days. I do like the open nature of twitter but am acutely aware of the aggressive trolling the platforms anonymity provides. I can proudly say my first like was from someone proposing ‘Pleasure…Love…etc” in their bio. I’m not convinced they are a committed participant in the library and information professional sector but I was chuffed to have a tweet liked.  Despite my dubious first liker I am trying to foster a regular relationship with this medium as I can see it is a high energy exchange between professionals all over the world especially the Twitter chats.


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