Students in the SJSU School’s graduate programs are required to “demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.” In this digital age of librarianship, it is crucial for information professionals to understand and utilize technology effectively. It is necessary for future librarians to be able to understand and implement Library 2.0 practices and web 2.0 technologies and more to be successful in this ever-changing field. Library 2.0 is defined as, “the application of the interactive, collaborative and multimedia web-based technologies to library services and collections”(Kwanya, Stilwell, and Underwood 187-197). Utilizing digital tools as part of library services, this includes using social media to promote libraries or to answer reference questions. This can also include the use of coding to create web pages that allow users access resources. Library 2.0 encourages an environment that exchanges user-generated content via applications such as social media. Libraries are implementing web 2.0 technologies in their library services. Web 2.0 technologies are, “revolutionized web technology giving users the liberty to control data”. Libraries are using social media to create a digital presence and to market their libraries. It is increasingly more common to see information organization creating blogs, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Pinterest. The current issues related to fake news and the spread of misinformation it has become increasingly more vital that information professionals use these sites to in the battle to combat fake news that is spreading rampantly and negatively affecting our society. Actively using these communication technologies helps information professionals to disseminate accurate information to our communities, promote library services, reach new audiences, and gain a better understanding of the information needs of our users.
This means that information professionals need to be proficient users of digital communication technologies and they must keep abreast of new digital sharing technologies in order to keep libraries relevant in the future. Information professionals need to understand how to connect to a new generation of users that have grown up utilizing digital technologies and to whom digital technologies are a daily part of their lives. Information professionals also need to be able to create web pages or other applications that allow users to access information and develop new ways of research or scholarship for example in the digital humanities fields. New applications have opened new possibilities in this field of research such as the fragmentarium digital research laboratory. Projects like these have made rare materials more accessible to researchers such as the Library of Congress’s online lab for information exchange. Technology is opening doors for new avenues of research, but with it, information professionals must be aware of the possible infringement of copyright and privacy that is increasingly difficult to maintain in this digital world of open information.
The need for information professionals to be able to create new digital technologies and evaluate technologies is becoming increasingly more prevalent. Information is exploding and evolving the previous methods of information management, archiving, and preserving information are struggling to keep up with the evolution of technology. Modern information professionals need to be able to use, create, and evaluate new technologies to assist in preserving our culture. The Library of Congress’s Twitter project struggles has demonstrated the need for proficient information professionals who can utilize emerging technologies so that projects like the Library of Congress’s Twitter project can be searchable and achievable for research as well as for the future generations. The ability to build, maintain, and evaluate technology is important to determine which technology will meet the needs of your organization or project. Evaluating technology is an essential skill when negotiating with vendors or choosing databases for your information organization. Whether it is understanding how to evaluate the usability of a database interface for your patrons or understanding which digital analysis tool is, best for your digital humanities this skill is necessary for information professionals to make optimal choices for their information organizations.
My first piece of evidence is my Tool Analysis assignment from my INFO 220 (digital humanities) course. This assignment was to choose and evaluate a digital humanities tool in each of the three different applications: text analysis, visualization, and mapping. We evaluated these tools for their ease of use and described their application to the digital humanities field. I evaluated three digital tools for the applicability to the digital humanities field. I chose twXplore a tool used for social media analysis, Voyant Tools 2.0 (Corpus View) a tool used for text analysis, and CONTENTdm a tool used for digital content management. I included this as evidence of my ability to evaluate the purpose and usability of digital management tools. This is evidence of my skills of understanding how digital tools are used and evaluating these digital technology tools. The skills gained through this assignment would allow me to choose the optimal tool for digital humanities project and would be applicable for evaluating a myriad of digital technologies. This assignment demonstrates my understanding of user interfaces, design, and understanding the appropriate purpose for many types of emerging technologies.
My second piece of evidence is the Nexus Library Facebook Page from INFO 240. I created a Facebook page to link to a webpage that I coded as part of my assignment for INFO 240. I set up a library Facebook page, uploaded photos, create statuses, and market library services to my fictional library. This page could be used for reference services, for posting library events and sharing information about new library materials. Social media is an excellent tool for promoting library services. I included the Facebook page I created as part of my assignment as evidence of my ability to use social media and digital communication tools to promote information organization.
My third piece of evidence is my Twitter trends assignment from my digital humanities course INFO 220. This assignment required students to search Twitter for trending topics and follow that trend using hashtags to monitor the conversation via Twitter. Then create a story using the website Storify.com and shared relevant posts relate to the trending topic. The assignment also required students to include any hashtags related to the trending topic and links to additional social media sites to help tell the story and identify the main points from the discussion related to a digital humanities tool. I chose to do a trending digital humanities topic on Fragmentarium digital research lab. Then I wrote a 500-word abstract summarizing my story. I included this assignment as evidence of my ability to identify and use current digital communication technologies. Using websites like Storify allows information professionals to stay abreast of relevant information related to current trends. It also allows information professionals to organization information on social media into a collection or story that can be easily utilized by information seekers.
My final piece of evidence is assignment #3 from my INFO 246 class Advanced Information Technology Tools. Students in INFO 246 were asked to design a webpage for a library that would collect and track patron information. The assignment stipulated that the webpage must accurately collect the data and inform the patron they had completed registration. I used HTML and CSS style-sheets to design the layout of the webpage. Using PHP programming language I coded a program that collected and organized patron information. The program also informed patrons that had correctly registered. If the patron failed to enter information correctly, the program would notify them of the null value. I also used PHP to author an additional program that recorded patron information in a file that I linked to the homepage using HTML.
Returning to graduate school after many years the exposure too many digital technologies and gaining new skills such as coding has been the most rewarding part of my time at San Jose State University. The skills that I have acquired from San Jose State University in digital technologies have been vitally important to my future as an information professional. The course I have taken have given me the technical skills such as Google Drive, social media analytics, data analysis, digital content management, HTML, PHP, MYSQL, and visualization tools. These skills have provided me with a much-needed technological update that allows me to be competitive and effective information professional that can help bring information organizations into the next generation of technologies.
Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2010, May 21). Library 2.0. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2010/05/technology/library-2-0/
Kwanya, T., Stilwell, C., & Underwood, P. (2013). Intelligent libraries and apomediators: Distinguishing between Library 3.0 and Library 2.0. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 45(3), 187-197.
McGill, Andrew. “Can Twitter Fit Inside the Library of Congress?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 04 Aug. 2016. Web. 02 Nov. 2017.