23/03/2012 § 26 Comments
The word “curation” in common usage has lost some its meaning. We think of it more in terms of collector, aggregator or disseminator and not as “caretaker” as is its true definition. We future and current archivists and librarians, are all curators of information. We are shepherds and superintendents of data and particularly in the online space, we should be setting the example for proper care.
Anyone who tweets, facebooks, blogs, links, writes, or shares in the online space is similarly a curator of information. A webpage is just like a piece of paper in a library with all accompanying metadata. The shared hyperlink to that paper is both amazing tool and the source of conscientious curation questions.
The new information economy is not based on amassing huge amounts of data but curating and providing context to important, true, interesting, and/or relevant information. A link deserves to be attributed if shared. No brainer right? This is usually accomplished by linking to the original post or page. Equally important, however, is the source of the material – who or whatever lead to it – similarly deserves credit.
I have been ruminating on this idea of late after reading the Curator’s Code by Maria Popova. You can visit the original Curator’s Code site here and for more mind fodder you can watch, read, read and, for the contrary view, read - links via @brainpicker and Google. Basically, the Code advocates using “via” and “HT” (Hat Tip) with your links to attribute your source if other than the original creator, either a from direct link or a stream-of-finding respectively.
The idea is that just as you attribute an idea you espouse to a person, book or quote, you should also reference from whom – from what curator – you found your item of information (picture, link, article, post etc).
25/02/2011 § 27 Comments
As libraries are developing ways to use Web 2.0 for outreach and advocacy purposes, future librarians are (or should be) doing the same for themselves. Building an online presence is fairly easy, and many people already have one, whether they are aware of it or not. However, using this to our advantage is not something that is being taught in all library school programs. None of my professors have told us that potential employers might Google us, but it’s a truth. I stumbled across this advice from the ALA’s Get a Job website on how to prepare for an academic interview, and one of the main points is to be “Google-able”. If that’s not enough proof, my friend and fellow classmate, who has been on a search committee for an academic librarian position, can attest to the fact that these committee’s do look up candidates to see if they can dig more information.
Keeping that in mind, it’s important for students to understand that as creepy as the internet can be, it can really help give other people some idea of who you are and what you’re interested in. Being stalk-able, I mean findable is a good thing. Maintaining virtual presence shows engagement in the field and that you’re thoughtful. Not to mention, you can show off your awesome web design skills, knowledge of social media/ability to network, projects that you’ve done, and more, just by posting it online. Even just posting comments on other library blogs or using social networking sites (I like the premise of Linked In, even though I need to work on my profile) can make you visible. This article from American Libraries Magazine has a ton of great advice for students on how to promote themselves using Web 2.0.
On the other hand, the need for privacy is another issue. As a student, it’s sometimes hard to separate the private and the professional. What I share on my Facebook page isn’t necessarily the same as what I share on my blog. That doesn’t mean I’m two different people, but I am becoming more aware of what I share about myself online. Another issue that I have with my own virtual presence is that there is someone else with the same name as me. It’s amazing what a simple search of my name revealed: another Annie with a budding career as a shoe designer! This means I had better start working on an online librarian version of myself, otherwise people might get confused.
There are countless reasons why you want to be findable on the internet. All MLIS programs should really be stressing the importance of social media and how to use it; but using Web 2.0 isn’t really a secret, it’s like another tool that can be used to help you. It doesn’t cost much to be a somebody on the Internet and the benefits are potentially boundless.
What do you guys think? Do your programs teach the importance of online presence?