OLJ – INF506 – Tagging and sharing

Bookmarking is as old as the World Wide Web. Having found a great site we want to easily find it again. When I first discovered Delicious, my main concern was its use for saving what I had found; then tags were useful for discovering these items amongst all the other items I had saved. Bookmarking and tagging hark back to Ranganathan's five laws (Ranganathan, 1996) as they relate to discoverability (“save the time of the reader”). Delicious also made sharing groups of resources very easy. Delicious has changed and (now!) has an easier to use mobile version. I have also used Pearltrees, BagTheWeb and now Diigo.

Pearltrees is very easy to use and its visual representation works very well on the iPad. However there is limited ability for note taking and no tags as such. Very easy process to create and share with teams.

BagTheWebis easier to use on laptop than mobile device as it is web based. I love the hierarchical arrangements, display of notes and the ability to post documents. Tagging works like Twitter with hash tags.

DiigoWorks like a browser with Chrome. Easy to tag and view items offline. Stand out feature is the ability to take notes on webpages!!!! These show up as a summary with the resource in your library view. So easy to edit and also create groups. Works fairly well on mobile devices.

Organisations today often rely on content management systems and web intranets to store documents. Having experienced searching in these environments it would seem the use of tagging could add a sorely needed layer of discoverability. There is a caveat. In contemplating Yahoo's mooted decision to axe Delicious, Vander Wal makes a very important point about redundancy (Vander Wal, 2010); one just as pertinent today in the ephemeral world of mobile devices and apps.

Ranganathan, S. (1996). Five Laws of Library Science . Bangalore: Sarada Ranganathan Endowment for Library Science.

Vander Wal, T. (2010). Closing Delicious? Lessons to be Learned. Retrieved from http://vanderwal.net/random/index.php

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Technology Overload – INF506 – Thoughts on Module 2

My working life has paralleled the rise of computing technology so I have become very used to learning new technologies. It's been fun for someone like me who enjoys learning and exploring. A quick glance at INF506 notes for Module 2 confirmed that yes, I had heard of and played with all of the Web 2.0 tools used in social networking as listed. It then struck me how mind numbing this must be for those of my classmates who had no familiarity with these tools… there are so many of them! This array must be even more overwhelming for those of our library's customers who have never experienced computing technology in their workplaces. We offer programs at our branch for those wanting or needing to learn – but many find it too intimidating to even contemplate.


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Introduction to INF506 – Welcome to my blog

Painting: On the Beach by Kerryn Whiteside

New vistas await me!

I would define Social Networking as the process by which we share information, experiences and ideas and generally connect with each other in social settings. This has been happening from time immemorial and could occur at work just as well as settings more conventionally viewed as social.  Since the inception of the internet Gamers have communicated with each other via online gaming and other social networks have sprung up via listservs and other internet fora. The advent of Web 2.0 technologies now means even more of this “Social networking” can occur over the internet – reaching across time zones and countries to link people with common interests and backgrounds. Now individuals and organisations across the world use Facebook and other social sites to promote themselves and communicate with each other about ideas, issues and events.  Businesses use these sites to link with and market to their customers. Everybody with a computer or mobile device can be a creator of content. The new technologies have enabled Social Networking to expand outside the geographical and social boundaries that once constrained it.
Prior to study in INF506 I have been a user and creator of content on;
  • Facebook  – Personal and work (professional networking and book reviews!)
  • Pearltrees  – Personal and study
  • Delicious  – Study and work (professional development)
  • BagTheWeb  – Study
  • Twitter – Personal
  • LinkedIn – Work (professional networking)
  • WordPress (blog) – Personal and work (professional networking and book reviews!)
  • Blogger (blog) – Personal and work (professional networking and book reviews!)
  • Goodreads – Personal and work (professional networking and book reviews!)
  • Flickr – Personal
  • Pinterest – Personal
  • Google+ – Personal
  • Reddit – Personal
  • wikis – Work
  • Words with Friends chat – Personal
I have also used YouTube, Wikipedia, IMDB, Yelp, eBay and Reddit. Since commencing INF506 I have registered on Diigo and Instagram and expect I will discover many more!
I hope that this course will provide me with an opportunity to learn new social networking technologies and explore the way social media works in a variety of settings. I look forward especially to learning about the potential use of new social networking technologies in developing communities of interests in library and information environments.
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The Magicians Book by Laura Miller

Just finished a great book.
Check out The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia on Goodreads.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3790544. See my review on Goodreads and here

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Bagging the web – Digital literacy and young

Bagging the web – Digital literacy and young learners

 For this activity I chose to create a kind of online bibliography, a collection of resources about digital technology and young people to share with other practitioners. Social bookmarking tools seemed to be most suitable platform as they can more easily aggregate a virtual collection of links to information on the web.  According to eBizMBA ranking popularity of the top 15 social bookmarking sites (eBizMBA, © 2013), Pinterest and Twitter are the two most popular followed by redditStumbleUpondel.icio.us, tweetmeme and digg. I had already used the first two and del.icio.us extensively and experimented with the others to see if they would work. I also considered Pearltrees (Pearltrees, ©2013) which wasn’t listed in the top 15 but has many of the characteristics I needed combined with a more visual layout.   I rejected the idea of using a blog for this as it was to be more about other sites than my own writing.

Why I chose BagTheWeb

 The application needed to run easily on both computers and mobile devices and use a simple process to add items, such as an extension or bookmarklet on the browser toolbar. All of the applications I considered have this facility. 

 StumbleUpon is like a combination between Pinterest (a visual pinning tool) and a more feed aggregator style of bookmarking like reddit or digg. Both reddit and digg are very good at sharing web based items. Reddit is more about the meme or conversation related to the items as is Twitter.  Pearltrees with its greater control and visual layout came closest.

Ultimately, I chose to use BagTheWeb (© 2013 ).  

 What I liked about BagTheWeb

  • Ability to change and re-order items (no ordination in Pearltrees)
  • The quality of suggested sites to add – these enabled me to add some good quality resources I would not have found otherwise.
  • Ready visibility of comments (Pearltrees allows comments but you have to click on the item to see it)
  • Being able to post a your own documents (this meant I was able to add a reference list of non-web resources)  

My main gripe was not having automated tagging. You can add your own using hashtags but not as easily as in del.icio.us.  One Pearltrees feature that may have been nice in this case would be the ready ability to form teams.

Compiling my bag

In selecting my items I recognised key themes in the research; digital natives and digital literacy, impacts of digital technology on teens and the learning environment and tried to include good resources to present ideas from these areas. I used Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus to identify seminal, heavily cited items and also to identify newer articles that were of good quality and I used Ulrich’s directory to identify peer-reviewed journals.


In researching this I learnt about a lot of social bookmarking sites and how they differ from each other.  I also learned about digital literacy and information literacy and they way they bleed into each other in terms of definitions in the research (Muller, 2009). The digital divide still exists even in the case of our digital natives and choosing appropriate technology and activities is a big part of addressing this (Spatariu, 2012).

I also reflected a lot on the idea of curation and wondered in some ways if this was obsolete?   With new information constantly being generated and the improving capability of search engines, searches on Google Scholar, and other engines will bring up new ideas and research all the time.  The ability to share good information winnowed down from the regular sea of information and opinion out there is a good thing otherwise the social bookmark sites and apps would not have been as popular as they are.  I have been collecting using del.icio.us and Pearltrees for a while, but find I don’t often going back to the collections I have made. I seem to search all the time for new resources, and I am not really sure why I do this.  Naturally currency is important but it isn’t everything. I suppose there is always the possibility that new research which is even more applicable to your question/need can be found and in the case of evolving technology this is perhaps even more so. As each new wave of technology hits we find that children and young adults are responding in new and different ways. The current generation of teenagers for example treats photos as ephemeral items, rather than precious things to keep (The List, 2013).   It may come down to the individual’s ability to decide what is worth knowing, and whether the information is worth saving. 

My bag is available at http://www.bagtheweb.com/b/6sKRwE


BagTheWeb. (© 2013 ). bagtheweb.com  Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.bagtheweb.com/

AVOS.  (© 2013 ). Del.icio.us (or Delicious) from  https://delicious.com/

eBizMBA. (© 2013). Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites | June 2013. eBizMBA  Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-bookmarking-websites     

Müller, J., Sancho, J. M., & Hernández, F. (2009). New media literacy and the digital divide. In L. Hin & R. Subramaniam (Eds.), Handbook of research on new media literacy at the K-12 level: Issues and challenges (Vol. 1, pp. 72-88). 

Pearltrees. (©2013). from http://www.pearltrees.com/

Pinterest. (©2013). from http://pinterest.com/

Reddit. (©2013). from http://www.reddit.com/

Spatariu, A., Peach, A., & Bell, S. (2012). Enculturation of Young Children and Technology Technology and Young Children: Bridging the Communication-Generation Gap (pp. 24-48): IGI Global.

StumbleUpon. (©2013). http://www.stumbleupon.com/

The List. Food is the new rock, Angelina’s breasts and male makeovers. (2013), The List. [Radio Broadcast] ABC Radio National. Broadcast on May 17th 2013.

Twitter. (©2013). https://twitter.com/  

Whiteside, K. (2013). Digital literacy and young learners, from http://www.bagtheweb.com/b/6sKRwE

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EEI – Some musings and personal reflections on censorship

For this activity I chose to write an article for Incite magazine’s Energise Enthuse, Inspire column. This column provides an opportunity for students and new graduates to write and reflect and have those writings published in a national professional magazine.

When I thought about the topic of censorship it seemed most natural to write some kind of reflective article although I did toy with the idea of reviewing a website or participating in a blog or forum about this issue.  I discovered a great US site called Kidspeak (http://www.kidspeakonline.org/) supporting the First Amendment rights to “Free Speech” which provided a forum for kids to speak out about infringements on  their rights to free speech. Sadly the website looks not to have been updated since sometime in 2005.  This may be due to Brigham’s ice-cream changing hands, as Brigham’s appears to have been the original funding behind this Not for Profit venture.

Censorship is a big topic and there is a lot of research out there. So much so that I struggled to come up with a theme small enough for a magazine article. In the end I went with my own personal experiences and reflections as this seems to fit in best with the nature of the EEI column and I tried to balance interest with information.

In the process of researching and thinking about this article I learned a lot about censorship in terms of books.  I also found out that though much has been published on the recent US situation for books for young people, less information is available on what is happening here in Australia.  In 1993, ALIA/Thorpe published Brought to book: censorship and school libraries in Australia by CL Williams & K Dillon.

The Looking Glass published a special edition on censorship in 2008, however the articles here were reflective rather than research based.  It is still hard to know what is happening on the ground.  Most recently the big censorship topic in Australia seems to be Internet censorship and given Australia’s perennial fascination with new technology this perhaps rightly so.  Only today I heard of a friend’s shock at discovering her twelve year old daughter was being “groomed” online.  Incidents like this highlight the divide between those who would censor and those who would emphasise that education is what is needed.

In terms of youngsters’ responding to censorship there is some evidence to suggest that blogs and other social networking platforms are providing fora for speaking out against censorship (Hildebrand, 2013). I think there is definitely some scope for Inside a dog or other teen book networks to provide spaces to discuss censorship and support youngsters who want to speak out against it.


I also learnt that it is a good idea for library staff and teachers to prepare to face book challenges.  Knowing how to respond in these situations can really help to prevent the situation escalating and books from being banned (Jenkins, 2011).

I need to familiarise myself with our collection development policy!

Read my article here


American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. (© 2001). Kidspeak  Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://www.kidspeakonline.org/

Hildebrand, P. (2013, May 20, 2013). Young-adult censorship.  Retrieved from http://whatsnextthereadersgotoblog.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/young-adult-censorship.html

Jenkins, C. (2011). Censorship. In S. Wolf, K. Coats, P. A. Enciso & C. Jenkins (Eds.), Handbook of research on children’s and young adult literature. New York, NY.: Routledge.

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No monkeys were harmed in the making of this cartoon!

 No monkeys were harmed in the making of this cartoon!

This professional development activity saw me creating a cartoon about diversity for young children while learning how to use Toontastic (2013), an application developed by LaunchPad toys to assist learning through creative play.  My cartoon called “Simone and Mark make a new friend” is available from http://toontube.launchpadtoys.com/240064

 Our library is looking at offering courses for parents on mobile apps that can be used to promote learning for toddlers and pre-schoolers, so I began this project with the idea that I would review an app, game or ebook, available for iPad (or Android) that dealt with diversity.  After some searching I found some interesting games (Blinq, 2013; Duck Duck Moose, 2013) and a cute animated eBook that seems to be missing some of its images (InteractBooks LLC, 2012) but nothing that really answered my need.  After toying with the idea of creating a picture book or ebook myself, I came across Toontastic and used it to create a short cartoon aimed at pre-schoolers advocating diversity.

 In creating my script I had to learn Toontastic and work out how to use it to tell my story.  Trying to fit my pre-existing ideas for a story about a family who all played different sports into the pre-existing characters and scenes provided by Toontastic proved problematic. After viewing a couple of other people’s cartoons on the website, I decided to create a version of the ‘playground encounter with new person’ theme.  I spent some time writing a script, selecting characters and a setting that would fit in with my new idea.  I decided to ‘normalise’ one very unusual character and make my rejected character differ only slightly from my main characters; my intention was to highlight the futility of focussing on difference when people have essentially the same feelings and aspirations.  

 So why and how is diversity so important?

‘Respect for the diversity and individuality of all people’, forms one of the core values of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA, 2013) and it is commonly held by many in the profession that this respect for diversity underpins intellectual freedom and equity of access to information which help make a functional society (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 2013) – one which encourages the full intellectual and moral development of the child in an ultimately safer world. Another key and important reason for acceptance of diversity for youngsters, is that as they develop, and begin to explore their individuality, they need to feel it is okay to be different (CILIP, 2002; Miller, 2010).

 Is Toontastic fantastic?

I downloaded the iPad version of Toontastic. As with any new software, even “easy to use” tools like this one take time to learn.  It was relatively quick though and didn’t require much reading, although the great parent resource (ref) does provide some good background and tips.  I think the beauty of this tool is that since much of the “mechanics” of animation is done for you (characters and settings), you are free to concentrate on the themes and other creative elements of your story. Scenes can be added and customised with a simple add music tool. The downside is that the stock characters and settings may not be want you want, but for those needing more, Toontastic has a simple drawing tool and a camera tool. So not fantastic but pretty useful.

 In a library setting Toontastic could be used with older children such as Tweens and teens to explore topics while developing skills in digital and information literacy without needing the artistic skill that many of the other animation software programs require.  With younger children it could be used to develop an understanding of story elements as part of their developing literacy skills.



 Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). (2013). Core values  Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.alia.org.au/alia-core-values-statement       

Blinq. (2013). Brains My Body [Software – mobile app]. Available from https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/brains-my-body/id624511702?mt=8

CILIP. (2002). Start with the child. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals website, from http://www.cilip.org.uk/filedownloadslibrary/groups/ylg/startwiththechild.pdf

Duck Duck Moose. (2013). Peek-a-Zoo [Software – mobile app]. Available from https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/peek-a-zoo-by-duck-duck-moose/id477766317      

InteractBooks LLC. (2012). Sam and Ben.  Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/sam-and-ben/id502432918 

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). (2013, February 28, 2013). IFLA Statement on Libraries and Intellectual Freedom  Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.ifla.org/publications/ifla-statement-on-libraries-and-intellectual-freedom           

Launchpad Toys. (2013). Toontastic [Software – mobile app]. Available from http://launchpadtoys.com/toontastic/       

Miller, P. (2010). Piaget’s theory: past, present and future. In U. Goswami (Ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development (2 ed., pp. 649-672). Hoboken: Wiley. Retrieved from http://CSUAU.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=555065.   


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