Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Drafting a "Web 2.0 + Young Adult services primer for librarians"

On a whim, I posted this status update at my Facebook account yesterday:

Facebook Status

In case you can't see the image, my status said: "Ivan is writing a Web 2.0 + Young Adult services primer for librarians."

Within minutes, Isaak commented: "Need any help?"

Soon followed by another Facebook contact Kelvin, wrote: "Interesting - will you be making it available on your blog?"

Then today, Ivy commented: "I thought you are finally writing your own book! I'm looking forward to reading it."

Telling the world about your "status"
Thinking about it, I realised posting a status message about what I was doing (thinking or feeling) isn't a frivolous activity at all.

It's a way to de-stress (you have to try it to believe it!)

Also, it's an indirect way to seek inputs from others. Subconsciously, I'd hoped some people would offer to help.

This also turned out to be a nice way of illustrating the point of using social media for professional work, doesn't it? : )

Which brings me to the document I've been asked to write.

"Web 2.0 and Library Services for Young Adults: An Introduction for librarians"
On my last day in Zagreb, Dr. Ivanka Stricevic, Chair of the IFLA Literacy and Reading Section asked if I could write at least 22-pages on how librarians can use social media in serving Young Adults. Written in English, for translation into Croatian first.

My initial gut-reaction was "Noooooo!"

There are professionals out there who are more qualified that me to write this sort of thing.

But I asked for more information on what was required.

Ivanka explained:
  • By now, librarians would have heard of things like Blogs, Wikis, and services like Facebook and YouTube. But they might not have the time (or maybe confidence, even) to try those services for themselves.
  • I was involved in drafting the IFLA Guidelines for Services to Young Adults, so having me write this was a natural extension to that. And the guidelines did not cover Social Media in-depth.
  • Plus, I'm a librarian an a new media user and practitioner.
  • I'd have plenty of time to write something on the flight back to Singapore.

After some internal struggle, I said OK (wow, how could I argue against those reasons?)

Then I asked, "When do you need it?"

She told me.

I went, "Whaaat?"

Two weeks.

To come up with 22-pages, at least.

Anyway I've a deferment for SCL News, thanks to the Chair in my own IFLA Section, Ingrid (the newsletter was due the same time as this new assignment).

This was what I drafted while waiting at the airport:
"Chapters" to be included:
- Facebook
- Images (flickr etc)
- Music
- Podcasts
- Twitter
- Video
- Wiki
- Second Life
- MySpace
- Ning
- Chat
- Google Docs
(some chapters need may be lumped together)

Keep language simple, concise. Document meant to be translated to other languages.

Approach it from an introductory level. Less of
"What is it". A little of "How to use it". Enough to let readers know "Why use it" and "What to look out for if I do it".

For practitioners. Examples on "how it can be applied" for Teens services.

Writing it was harder than I anticipated (so what's new?!)

Plus my tendency to procrastinate (I mean, I was letting my subconscious work out some things first... ahem).

But once I'd completed a chapter, writing went at a faster pace. Mentally tiring though, as it became more mechanical, just putting the facts together.

Plus I have to attend to my day job.

Still, I'm glad I took this up. I'm enjoying the writing and research.

A "Web 2.0" example to end this post
Yesterday, within an hour of this response, I took up Isaak's offer to help. Chatted with him in Gmail (he's moved to Australia but we can continue to collaborate efficiently, thanks to Web 2.0)

He agreed to draft the chapters on "Chat and Video-conferencing tools".

Then I spotted Preetam online as well. He blogs, among other things, instructional posts on using Web 2.0 tools. I asked if he had any posts on using Google Documents. He didn't but after I explained why I needed it, he agreed to help with that part.

I told them how they'd be appropriately acknowledged in the IFLA document, as co-contributors (I know they'd still help me even if I didn't mention it but I like to clarify such things at the onset).

Both guys sent me their drafts today (Preetam did it via Google Docs!)

Minutes ago, I sent Isaak my edited draft via Google Docs (in case he wants to add stuff).

This morning, I also "met" Ivy online. She was kind enough to comment on my drafts. Said she can evaluate it from the "techno-newbie" view point. She gave the green-light overall it, so I've greater confidence that I'm in the right direction.

Gotta love Web 2.0 (though in truth, it's really the personal networking and friendship that's key to making Web 2.0 work).

Two more days!
Am giving myself two more days to finish up all the text, tidy up the citations. Plus screen shots.

I'd like to share the drafts via this blog, or a wiki. Might be worth the time to do it, but we'll see.

My priority now is get everything written down as close to the final version as possible (still old-school thinking? lol)

[To be continued: Part 2 - wiki created!]


  1. I find the update status section in Facebook useful as a tool to invite conversations with friends, just like how you would do so when you meet them in person - you talk about what's new recently and then that's how relationships are built. It's a great tool because a large part of Web 2.0 is about conversations.

  2. Good point, QQ. Hey, let me see how to mention that in the guidelines I'm working on. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous9:04 am


    Putting and Telling the world about your "status" .. there are pros and cons.

    I have been lately trying to that. And, I found that a number of people are really following my movements.

    For youth, we need to advice the pros and cons .. the privacy .. and some of my networks also thought those are real, for real.

    I have just discussed with a couple of friends from a New Media Focus Group : Melayu 2.0, a project to tackle the social issues via new media platform.

    This status can be misleading. We need to advice the difference between virtual and physical world. Well, if a young adult can't differentiate this perceived of information. Denial of information will raise in a personal characters.

    The pro.. I agree it does relief the stress. Totally, I am loving it to be frank. Plus it is does amazing, with seconds a simple thought can be generation into a list of feedback and even into arguments. This is where first thought is share and morphed into the next step in KM.

    Well, above just my two cents worth. It is great to explore .. for librarians, it is a good aspect for marketing ... if we were to look into this perspective. "Status Marketing".

  4. You're right, Hazman. There are pros and cons. I think in everything we do, it's about striking a balance. Hey, I like that term -- "Status Marketing". :)


Join the conversation. Leave a comment :)

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.