Internet Librarian International – day 2

The day started with a keynote from Kevin Anderson and Suw Charman-Anderson about overcoming the information overload and crowdsourcing. The amount of information is overwhelming, said Kevin Anderson (“we`re talking exabytes”), and the amount of information is in a way making us psycologically “dumber”. We cannot understand the complexity of, say, climate change and instead we deal with car crashes and celebrity gossip – it is easier. A new model is emerging: from mass to relevance. It is not the number of followers you have on Twitter that counts anymore, it is the context-driven lists and so on. The social web becomes a filter through and similar media, and services like the one Huff Post social news have; news articles recommended by your facebook friends or twitter followers.

Suw Charman-Anderson spoke about crowdsourcing and mentioned sites like OldWeather and the Galaxy Zoo. Very interesting what she said about: Can we trust the general public to contribute on things like classifying galaxies, and the answer is YES, we can. They were right in more cases than the professionals.

The first choice of the day had to be made, and I chose to see Michael Stephens open Track C: Teaching others, developing ourselves. Stephens opened by saying that what library directors want are librarians who are innovative, creative and who can teach. These things are not emphasised in our education in college. We are not prepared. Studies that Stephens did in Australia showed that librarians that were given courses in social media felt much more confident about going into meeting and talking to patrons about technology. The participants in the study said that they felt comfortable and talked a lot about personal change and how that led to self-directed learning, and thereby self-directed work.

Stephens also talked about how there are many factors that influence our learning networks: Definitions, Ideas, Techniques, Social media, and Motivators. Transmedia storytelling is the new thing; like a TV show that has an online counterpart with its own community.

After Michael Stephens` session, my turn as speaker came. I shared my session with Jenny Evans and Ruth Harrison from Imperial College in London, and Andy Tattersall from the University of Sheffield. Evans and Harrison talked about their “23 things”- inspired course for academics, and Tattersall spoke about “Bite size technology” sessions given by his library.

I spoke about the experiment that I did as part of my master thesis; the methods I used for teaching and assessment, and about the outcomes of the experiement. I tried to emphasise the tools that I used and some of the things I found out. I also gave some tips for other teaching librarians. You can see my PowerPoint presentation here. I tried to make an audio recording, too, but the sound was not good enough to publish here.

After lunch, I went to my collegue Cathrine Fjeldstad`s session on her “Count the traffic” project and the statistical data she found from our library. It was really interesting, even though I have followed the project for a year. (Well done, Cathrine!)

After that, my brain stopped functioning, and the conference came to an end. As always, even though several of the sessions were good, the most interesting thing about conferences is talking to your peers. At least, I always find it so. It is really uplifting to meet so many great librarians! Good to know that you are all out there.. Thank you all:-)

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