Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Archive for the ‘Library Web Quest’ Category

Reflective journal on the Web 2.0 library quest

Library Web Quest wiki

Posted by andrewey on September 5, 2008

As part of our Inspiring Learning project Coleg Llandrillo library staff developed and piloted an online tutorial (using a combination of the library service’s blog, a wiki and our Moodle VLE) to train library staff in the use of Web 2.0 tools. The tutorial is based loosely on PLCMC’s established Learning 2.0 programme and having been piloted the content is now freely accessible as a self-contained wiki.

I will be attending two CyMAL Social Web events delivered by Brian Kelly of UKOLN to talk about our Inspiring Learning Web 2.0 project and to promote the Library Web Quest wiki.  These events take place at University of Wales, Newport on 10 September and Bangor University on 24 September and are free to library staff in Wales – see links for more details.

We found that the web quest worked well with an administrator to support staff undertaking the quest and to monitor their reflective blogs. However, most staff completed the web quest simply by supporting each other and by sharing their reflective blogs.

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Library Web Quest week 8 Facebook

Posted by andrewey on August 4, 2008

The last week of our Web Quest (based loosely on PLCMC‘s established Learning 2.0 programme). Library staff have now completed exercises on the following Web 2.0 technologies:

  • Blogs (WordPress)
  • Photo Sharing (Flickr)
  • Social Bookmarking (
  • Wikis (PBWiki)
  • RSS Feeds/Aggregators (Pageflakes)
  • Video sharing (YouTube)
  • Social networks (Facebook)

The Web Quest will be made available to library staff in Wales (and anyone else who’s interested) as a Wiki with support material available publicly through Moodle. The Web Quest can be completed as a weekly task (as we have done)  – if the library has someone to act as administrator – or at your own pace simply by working through the wiki.

In Facebook we have created a group for the library staff at Coleg Llandrillo. This will probably be used as an alternative method of communication to e-mail.

I’m debating setting up a page for this blog on the Facebook Blog Network (an application I picked up on at Joeyanne Libraryanne). The idea is that having a blog presence on Facebook will boost your readership numbers. I’m not convinced this is true where library blogs are concerned because you have to be a member of the blog network to access the blogs. This suggests that only other bloggers are likely to come across your Facebook page and, if interested, they would probably have come across your blog in the normal fashion anyway.

There are a number of library groups on Facebook relevant to FE, including CoFHE and UC&R. It would appear that the groups are primarily using Facebook to promote events at present.

If your library is using Facebook please leave a comment on how it is being used here.

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Library Web Quest week 7 YouTube

Posted by andrewey on July 30, 2008

This is the penultimate week of the Web Quest.

We are looking at producing a library induction video (which can go on YouTube) to support learners who are not able to attend a face-to-face induction. We have been using the Cephalonian method of face-to-face inductions for the last couple of years successfully – in the form of an interactive tour.

I have found a couple of FE library inductions on YouTube:

Stratford upon Avon College uses LRC staff and students to successfully promote the service.

Norwich College has a general college induction on YouTube, which includes a segment on the LRC. The video uses prompt cards rather than dialogue.

There are a couple of good examples from HE as well. The Library induction video from UWIC uses a member of library staff to talk through the facilities available.

There is also a very professional looking video from De Montfort University which uses students to promote the library service.

The other main potential use of YouTube (or other video clips) would be to teach information skills/literacy. At present there appear to be relatively few examples of this on YouTube and there seem to be none from FE. In terms of style there is a ‘talking head’ series from Bob Baker in the States on information literacy, much of which would be relevant to FE in the UK.

Or if puppets! are more your style try the humorous approach of Gareth Johnson. Gareth covers library staff training as well as information skills training for academic staff and students.

There are plenty of YouTube clips suitable for (library or academic) staff training. A good series on Web 2.0 which could be used by staff or students are available from Commoncraft.

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Library Web Quest week 6 RSS Feeds

Posted by andrewey on July 24, 2008

This week we are looking at RSS Feeds and RSS aggregators/news readers. The library staff are evaluating Pageflakes, although I opted for Google Reader simply because I use iGoogle (so one less username/password to remember) and there is a widget for my iGoogle homepage.

There certainly seem to be a number of uses for newsreaders in a college setting. Having recently looked at what scholarly activity encompasses in a HE in FE context (see John Widdowson for a good overview), one aspect is current awareness through professional reading. In conjunction with a more academic alerting service (like ZETOC) this would be a good acedemic use of a newsreader. Similarly, for CILIP Chartership/ACLIP candidates, setting up a newsreader for library sites/blogs would be good evidence of professional awareness/CPD.

From a tutor’s perspective it is a useful tool for monitoring class blogs. Using the same principle we have a Pageflakes page showing all the library staff blogs (in relation to their reflective accounts on the Library Web Quest).

As regards RSS feeds – newsreader services seem to be a better way of keeping upto date with regularly consulted websites/blogs, but an RSS feed is a good way of promoting the library service (and the library blog in particular). Currently we have an RSS feed to our library blog on the college’s Moodle (VLE) homepage and we will add one to the MyAthens homepage (which students use to access online resources remotely).

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Library Web Quest week 5 Wikis

Posted by andrewey on July 17, 2008

This week we are looking at Wikis. Wikis are already being used by tutors in the college for collaborative exercises with students.

Again wikis are free tools which allow you to create content quickly and simply. In contrast to blogs they are more useful for creating information sources, particularly as they are more structured. Like other web 2.0 tools they enable collaborative creation and can be accessed anywhere.

I have used PBwiki to create a site containing examples of good practice in the use of Web 2.0 technologies by FE libraries. If you know of any good examples from FE that I can add then please leave a comment here.

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Library Web Quest week 4 flickr

Posted by andrewey on July 10, 2008

I can certainly see the use flickr as a way of promoting special collections. As a practical example storing photos from our recent Library awards event would be a good use of this tool.

The transfer of files to/from Flickr (and directly into a blog) is straightforward and it is useful to have the option to download photos in different sizes.

I’m still building up my collection of bookmarks on and have now created a virtual reading list for every unit on the Applications of ICT in Libraries course that I deliver/co-ordinate. This will hopefully save myself and the students much time in the future in terms of finding and sharing good online resources.

As regards blogging, in addition to my weekly Web Quest blogs, I’m going to add regular posts on Library 2.0 issues and the use of Web 2.0 technologies relating to FE libraries.

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Library Web Quest weeks 1 to 3

Posted by andrewey on June 30, 2008

This is the first instalment of my reflective blog on the library Web Quest (which lasts for 8 weeks) I am undertaking to improve my knowledge of Web 2.0 resources.

Week 1 Introduction

Web 2.0 videos

I didn’t find Tim O’Reilly’s explanation very helpful – surely ‘users add value’ is an outcome rather than a definition of Web 2.0?

I really like the ‘Machine is using us’ – even though I’d seen it before. A very good ‘taster’ for Web 2.0 (classic ’selling the sizzle’ rather than ’selling the sausage’).

‘What is Web 2.0′ was more about ’selling the sausage’ and was a good overview – if a little long. The opening titles are terrible despite the tango music.

Wasn’t impressed with ‘Web 2.0 a brief introduction’. The imagery was a bit confusing – half way through it seemed to turn into an ipod commercial – and I didn’t like the music.

Week 2 Blogs

I now understand how blogs are structured in terms of the fact that they are not organised like you would a library website (eg by pages and subject grouping).

Tags and categories are a good way of organising information. I particularly like the fact you can have two (or more) words in a tag on the blog unlike other Web 2.0 resources which require you to use underscores etc.

Widgets seem fairly easy to use and I’ve already created one of my own by copying code from another website.

I can see the blog being a useful place to store information I come across – whether it is spoken, a file or a website. This makes it more useful than say which of course I can only add websites to.

Week 3

I already use igoogle to make use of my bookmarks across PCs. I can see as being more versatile in terms of creating virtual reading lists as suggested on the Web Quest video  (what is it with adding random bits of music – jazz this time – to these things?). also allows you to see what others have linked to – a facility  I had already used.

 Roll on week 4

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