OLJ – Creating an Online Personal Learning Network

If considering Utecht (2008), I sit at Stage 2 – Evaluation within the 5 Stages of PLN Adoption. Initially I engaged with many social media sites and had profiles galore (Stage 1). Professional connections were mixed with personal (Cowan, 2013) and it became obvious that some social media pruning was needed. At Stage 2 I find myself deleting profiles that I do not use frequently such as Twitter (I just don’t have enough occurring in my life to warrant regular tweets), LinkedIn (I believe the chances of an employer discovering my profile amongst a sea of better qualified individuals are slim) and also culling Facebook friends (I wasn’t fond of various individuals in high school so why do I accept these requests?). Given my current studies, I have begun to focus contacts and content towards information management. Using Delicious to bookmarks resources I may find valuable in future workplaces, saving poster images via Pinterest and limiting Facebook to colleagues – it feels better.

The above changes have brought about the following:


* Connection and sensible conversation – professionally these people are like-minded. I’m enjoying reading posts and comments that are not complicated by family feuds.

* In the loop – although not working full-time, I find that I am still updated with the latest happenings such as online conferences.

* Motivation – I like to see where and what my colleagues are up to. Asking questions or brainstorming opportunities exist via Facebook and my news feed is no longer clogged with items that are a distraction.


*Still striving for Stages 4 and 5.

*initially, I had a ‘detox’ period where I felt I needed to re-engage and was missing out on important happenings – I wasn’t.

* Negative reactions of de-friended individuals.


Although I have made many positive changes to my PLN, none of these have been a part deliberate plan but a general sweep of the obvious. Time permitting, I would like to better assess how social networking can be utilised for professional use. This would involve studying examples of other librarians and perhaps considering how I may market myself for future job prospects.

A visual of my PLN:

 image (2)

Image source: Apple ‘Inspiration’ App


Cowan, A. (2013). How many social medial social profiles do you needs, exactly? Retrieved from http://www.aliciacowan.com/social-media-and-digital-marketing/how-many-social-media-profiles

Utecht, J. (2008). Stages of PLN Adoption. Retrived from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/



OLJ – Critical evaluation of ASUL achieving the 4c’s of social media

Arizona State University Libraries (ASUL) have created an interesting and informative page. Easy to navigate, I was motivated to explore the various services offered by this institution.The Library Minute YouTube collection and use of web 2.0 social tools certainly promoted and achieved the 4c’s of social media – Collaboration, Conversation, Community, and Content-Creation. Web 2.0 technologies utilised included Facebook, RSS Feed, Twitter, YouTube and also a presence on Instagram and iTunesU. The one minute videos highlighted various library services and resources such as location of academic articles and audio-visual materials. Further, clips also addressed library exhibits and media issues.

Conversation and community

Certainly an attempt at conversation via ASUL’s Facebook and Twitter pages was encouraged with regular posts and tweets.  Although Twitter as a community seems to be favoured by students with 2,547 followers as opposed to 594 likes on Facebook. A reason to explain such a difference may be that ASUL tweets contain useful and practical information such as links to the university’s feed and last minute changes whereas Facebook is more promotional, mentioning future events such as ‘Education Week’.


There was very little collaboration between library and users. Most Facebook posts had less than five likes and there was very rarely a comment. However, I do not feel the library is at fault, the option for suggestion, comment or feedback exists. Perhaps actually inviting opinions or comments may remedy this.

Content creation

The majority of content existing is created by ASUL staff and this may deter users from creating new content.  The promotion of Instagram may reduce feelings of vulnerability with users tagging images rather than having one’s name exposed such as on Facebook. The library’s Instagram account is successfully adding a human element in that the culture of is not perfect (Farkas, 2008) and constantly changing as shown with informal and fun photos. Pictures show librarians as Star Wars characters, cleaning up of big rubbish, working with students, big smiles and funny faces – all visually communicating that the library is alive, amongst the user community and working behind the scenes to improve.

Clips viewed:

The Library Minute: LIB 101 ASU Libraries Introduction. Retrieved 1st May 2014.

Important Library Minute: Mobile Security

The Library Minute: Interlibrary Loan Document

The Library Minute: Study Spaces Video

Access Week Continues!


Farkas, M.G. (2008). The essence of library 2.0. In Information Wants To Be Free. Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/

OLJ – del.icio.us critical evaluation

Arranged as a folksonomy (Allen, 2011), del.icio.us is an online tool used to save and organise web links. Classifying links using tags and subject stacks, a user can keep many links as well as view other public link lists.

Creating a del.icio.us account was relatively quick and easy. Instructions and functions of the site are clear. This was possible due to the simple lay out of the site and few advertisements or pop-ups. Before INF506 I had not experienced del.icio.us and had struggled with an impossibly huge favourites list. Keeping an online collection of bookmarked links seemed risky given many links were essential to research and assessment. However, it seemed users can access bookmarks regardless of online location.

Finding and tagging links proved to also be a simple process. I was able to record information about each link such as date linked, comments regarding nature of link and tags to categorise each link – something that was not possible with home bookmarking. From here, my links could be organised and I could search other lists held by members of this strong community.

Del.icio.us is an incredibly simple way for organisations such as libraries or universities to engage with users and develop an online collection of resources. Value is again given when such institutions have access to further lists from any other organisation. This arrangement or collaboration means professionals, educators and students have access to organised resources and are not having to re-research already discovered information about a particular topic. Lists or stacks of such extent would, however, need to be monitored for out of date or broken links to ensure all sources remain current.


Allen, A. (2011). Taxonomies and folksonomies. Retrieved from http://knowledgebird.com/taxonomies-and-folksonomies/