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The Library in a Social World

September 11, 2008

Today’s topic is broadly about changes in how we interact with information and more narrowly about three interrelated (at least in my mind) topics: social learning, popularity versus authority online, and changing library spaces.

But before we get into that, I got a great comment from Luna Yang of Cooliris, Inc. who alerted me that the Lewis and Clark Library is already using Cooliris to show off their new books. It looks fabulous. Just thought I would share that in case you didn’t see the comment on the last post.

Beginning with popularity versus authority of online resources, we have Seth Finkelstein’s chapter “Google, Links, and Popularity versus Authority” from the book The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age. The entire book, along with New Media World’s other books are available for free online. This is a very relevant issue, especially as we try to teach our students evaluation skills in information literacy courses. I am going to have my students read this chapter. I think it could stimulate great discussion about search engines and democracy online.

The Engaged Learning Blog has 15 Objections to Social Learning post. It makes for interesting reading, especially in the context of the library, because so many of these objections we often here more generally as objections to change and using Web2.0 technologies in the library. So what do you think about this issue? Let’s start a discussion about this topic. Because social learning and social networking isn’t going away, so we need to figure out where we fit in this new landscape.

Finally, just another article about changing library spaces. But check out the comments, they are really interesting. As we re-imagine the library, what do we want to see the physical space become? How can we brand the library and stay relevant through all of the coming changes?

As always, I welcome your opinions and thoughts about anything related to libraries and learning.

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