Wednesday 20 November 2013

The End of the Hyperlinked Library Journey

This week is the final week of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC and whilst I won't be sorry to have a bit more time to myself I will miss taking part. The creators of the MOOC have managed to create a really inclusive atmosphere and I hope that plans to continue some of the collaborations really happen.

The final assignment is a virtual learning symposium where participants are asked to summarise the highlights of the course in some way. I chose to produce an infographic as I thought this would be a good way to outline the main points and also give me some practice with the format:

I've been a big fan of this course and would really encourage others to take part if/when it runs again. I've learnt a lot and made some great connections which was pretty much the aim of the course for me!

Wednesday 13 November 2013

Online Professional Learning Network

I've very nearly completed the Hyperlinked Library MOOC, my final blog post and assignment will be completed at the weekend. It's been everything it promised to be and a really useful experience. One of the things that drew me to the MOOC was the assignments (yes, I'm that much of a geek). I thought they were practical and really made you think rather than just asking you to complete a random task for the sake of it.

One of the assignments was to compile an online professional learning network.  I thought this was really interesting and not totally unlike the Chartership experience. In the words of the assignment, the network is defined as:
The Online Professional Learning Network (OPLN) will stimulate you to begin curating online professional resources that will continue your learning outside of your formal learning experiences here an elsewhere. We define an OPLN in the broadest way possible: If a resource is online and it helps you to achieve your learning goals, it is a part of your learning network.

I've included my OPLN below to give people an idea of what was expected. Even if you're not working towards something like Chartership I still think it's a worthwhile exercise. As the assignment says, it's just normal web surfing but with a purpose!


Wednesday 6 November 2013

Promoting Your Collection With Pinterest

I'm probably late to the party but I've recently discovered Pinterest. It's very visual and also very popular at the moment. I've recently taken over the management of our library science collection and I've been looking for something to promote it via social media that didn't require too much upkeep (like a blog for example). I liked the look of Pinterest so I thought I'd give it a go.

For those that don't know it, Pinterest is basically an online pinboard where you can share discoveries from around the web. Users create boards on a theme and then add individual pins. This is a really simple process which I do via an add-on for my Google Chrome browser. You simply click the little Pinterest logo next to the toolbar and this brings up a page with all of the images present. You can then 'pin' whichever image you like.

One of the first things that drew me to the site was the fact that it's very visual so is something a little bit outside the norm. Pins can be easily liked or shared via re-pinning on another users board. Users can also follow your board and/or invite you to pin to their boards. I thought that using Pinterest would provide an interesting way to demonstrate new additions to the library science collection and by linking the pins to the catalogue record I was able to create a sort of visual reading list, something I know other libraries have done with great success.

Once you have installed the Pinterest widget this allows you to pin any image from a site. You can edit the details of the pin, in my example I changed the basic bibliographic details and added a classmark. This can be done by clicking on the little pen symbol in the top right of the pin.

You should then see a box like the one below where you can edit the details as needed. You can also change the board that you are pinning the picture to if you like. Editing doesn't have to be done at the time of pinning, the box can be called up at any time using the little pen symbol (see above).

The next step was to make sure that the pin linked back to the catalogue record so users could go straight to it. We use Library Search so it was important to make sure that the stable URL was used to avoid users seeing just the search screen. Once the URL had been copied I pasted it into my pin details and voila!

The finished product looks like this:

A small word about copyright, which is obviously at the forefront with images. You should always respect the copyright of others when pinning something, especially for professional purposes. If in doubt ask. Having said this Pinterest is essentially free advertising for the book, similar to the way that cover photos are included in our catalogue. As social media copyright was explained to me, if you're using the image to promote/discuss the item in some way then it's a valid use of the image. More details on the use of images, copyright and Pinterest can be found here.

I'm slightly stunned to report that the site has gained nearly 400 followers in a matter of hours! I think that this really shows the popularity of Pinterest. I have no idea if this popularity will last or whether it's just the fact that Pinterest is 'the' site to use at the moment. I guess time will tell...