The Prep – 6 library to date has not had a high online profile. The school website has a link to the Online catalogue and another to an insipid Prep – 6 website. Establishing a direction is a necessary first step. It is important that there is a clear vision for embracing social networking in an educational context. It’s important objectives are based on good pedagogical practice and current literature is reviewed. It should not be embraced as a gimmick. This process needs to involve all stakeholders – administration, library staff, teachers, parents and students. There needs to be a commitment to using the website regularly so that it is active and valuable useful content is consitently uploaded. If there isn’t new information for users to view they will soon stop visiting. Priorities need to be examined to ensure that time is allocated to this task. Librarians need to actively listen to clients and respond to their needs. It is important to involve students in the making of the content. Using an educational social network such as Edmodo allows students to make valuable contributions by uploading their own book trailers, videos, images or reviews. As patrons are underage for most SN sites, Edmodo can teach students basics skills and ethical online behaviour. Edmodo also has a parent membership. With cyberbullying on the rise, this is crucial to educate both parents and students. More students than ever have mobile phones. Edmodo has a mobile app. It may also be important to make a library mobile app. Conduit.com facilitates this. Students are more likely to engage regularly. Brown (2012) on her post of ‘Top Ten Social Media and Libraries Predictions’ forecasts more libraries will have mobile friendly websites. Texting is also another key way to connect with students. Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project shows that 75% of mobile phone users text! Text reminders could be used for book returns, upcoming assignments and events. It is quick, easy and not obtrusive. No response required. Updating the school website to include active blogs, wikis and student created content may act as a catalyst for embracing other social networking tools such as Edmodo or Gooru. Mobile technology is key.
Brown, A. (2010). A-Z of social networking for libraries. Social Networking Librarian, (January). Retrieved from: http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/
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