Jason Puckett With great power comes great bibliography.


ALA session attended: Info in the world of digital natives (Saturday a.m.)

Presenter: Ken Breen, Gale


digital immigrant: individuals who were not born into the digital world, digital native: native speaker of video games, internet
prefer to access info in a linear manner; process text first, images second random access linked info, working collaboratively, personalized and customized
work independently generally born in 1980s; probably first learned to compose and write on keyboard

Digital native: workflow

  • 71% of students used the internet as the major source for their most recent school project
  • Google, wikipedia and facebook used heavily
  • 73% of college students used internet for research more than the library
  • 85% have facebook account; use it as platform for study guides etc
  • 20% reported using installed learning management system (or realized that they had)


  • Personalization – expression – collaboration
  • e.g. “social search” -- allows users to see others' searches (& build off them)
  • flickr, delicious, etc


Digital immigrants' worldview

  • External to the information ecosystem – with limited choice and constrained paths
  • user would go to one place on the internet and follow a linear path to the information; this was web 1.0 to about 2002


Digital native worldview:

  • Diagram of user at center of sites, interacting with user and with one another:
  • digg, flickr, last.fm, meebo, wikipedia, facebook, youtube
  • “at the center of the information ecosystem with multiple choices and paths”


Myspace “Your patrons are hanging out in myspace”

Many libraries create myspace portals but disable communication options, telling patrons “call us at...” -- most digital natives will not bother to do this

Thomas ford memorial library

  • left sidebar: action driven “do you want to...” get a library card etc.
  • center, embedded meebo

user tagging: penntags

  • users allowed to tag collection; displays tag cloud


Conclusions for libraries

  • understand your users' tools, workflow and worldview
    • cultural assimilation necessary
    • participate in their information ecosystem and be findable at multiple endpoints
    • Let your site indexed by google and yahoo so it's discoverable
  • Role of media specialist is evolving – information auditor: patrons may ask not “where do I find this info,” but “I found this, help me evaluate it”
  • reference desk expertise may be disseminated more virtually
  • newsletters -> blogs, in place of or addition to
  • put pressure on vendors to insert their content into patrons' workflow



how receptive are students to libraries in facebook and myspace?

  • Meredith farkas at acrl reported that students are horrified at the idea of us in their “social space”
  • academic librarian reports that students are posting how-to questions; students respond to one another and she feels like a lurker
  • comment: the internet is not one homogenous place: it seems as strange for us to crash facebook as users' apartment
  • My thought: maybe it's a place to promote programming and events first?

how is Gale incorporating web 2.0?

  • “Access my library” capture them via google and yahoo search results and direct them to their own library

Further discussion, not so much Q&A format any more:

digital natives need librarians as much or more than the previous generation did to help audit the information: while digital natives might not always want us in their space, they may find that they need us

if libraries could “grow their own” academic/library social networking, connecting to others, maybe students would buy in

How do you go into social networking space? As an institution or as individuals? Are you representing your institution or as yourself?

  • one institution created a wikipedia page for itself, and their page was threatened with takedown for self-promotion: each community has its own standards and rules and we have to be aware before we go in

Beth Gallaway talked about Second Life in response to a question and explained the basics.

  • question – SL reference questions are about how to use SL, not library questions.
  • Beth: SL librarians discovered that they were becoming a public library for the citizens of SL rather than representing RL libraries in SL space, and some (many?) concluded that this was a valid mission

Does social networking aspect detract from the research process?: one opinion: this largely depends on the level of research

Students are afraid to use databases because it would count as their “one internet source” allowed. Librarians are educating students and professors about what format means now – format is less significant – students and teachers need to learn to use library resources in whatever format. Questions come up more often about how to cite.

Students are creating web bibliographies using delicious! Create one tag for the bibliography and give the professor that link! (Me: Wow, do profs accept that?  That's pretty cool.)

Teachers are beginning to ask for bibliographies up front rather than at the end, to make sure that students are approaching the information up front.  (Me: Brilliant strategy.)

Problem: teachers are giving print-based assignments and trying to force them into digital format. One comment: “sometimes you just have to wait for the teachers to retire.”

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  1. Well, I’VE concluded that being a SL public library is valid — can’t speak for ALS or all 500 volunteers ;)

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