Effectively Leveraging Social Media in Library Programs

What are the best practices when it comes to incorporating digital and social media into library programs?

About The Speaker(s)

Nichole Pinkard is the Founder of the Digital Youth Network and Visiting Associate Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. In collaboration with the Chicago Public Library, Dr. Pinkard helped found YOUmedia, as well as Remix Learning--an online platform for schools, cultural institutions, libraries, museums, and after-school programs to create their own customized social learning network. Nichole's research focuses on the design of tools, curriculum, and social practices to develop students’ digital literacies both in formal and informal spaces.

Crystle Martin is a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Connected Learning Research Network. She recently completed her PhD in the Digital Media program in Curriculum & Instruction at University of Wisconsin–Madison, studying with Professor Constance Steinkuehler. Crystle has previously served as a Graduate Reference Assistant at Wayne State University's library system, and Public Services Project Assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Library & Information Studies.

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Resources

Download a PDF of this session's Livestream Chat archive

Access the collaborative document of key points, insights, questions and resources from this session (open to public comments)

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Key Questions and Comments

  • (04:18) Success isn't having the most number of computers per student and making sure that everything is the newest form of technology...for us, it's a combination of the social practice, the technology, the goals, and the interaction with mentors--they all work together.
  • (05:55) From a 'success' standpoint, we also have to understand how we're helping youth take home what they're developing and learning in the libraries, and making those connections back to their schools, their communities.
  • (08:05) How about we start by talking about what we think are some ways we can help youth build digital literacy around things like internet safety, online identity, and professionalism?
  • (11:07) Especially in terms of online identity and safety, I think it's bringing the conversations with the youth and the mentors together...I think it's really about that two-way conversation...Youth could probably teach us a lot about online safety, too.
  • (14:41) What's interesting about the library as we're seeing it now is that the walls are broken down...there's this ocean of information that pours from the physical space--which young people should be accessing--but also the digital space and how they're accessing it.
  • (16:25) When youth are producing digital content that can be viewed outside the library walls (as part of a library program), how much do librarians and mentors need to be involved in that kind of production?
  • (19:39) Do you think that adults in libraries need to be more tech-savvy than the youth themselves, or do you think...it's useful and helpful for there to be some co-instruction/co-learning going on in those situations?
  • (23:04) Someone working with youth has to have the capacity to learn new things, and really have the desire to learn new types of technology.
  • (27:07) So, to foster these kinds of activities in the library, what sorts of operational supports do you all think absolutely need to be in place? Is it more staff training? Is it the actual technology? What kind of things do you need in order to help youth create in these kinds of spaces?
  • (31:06) It's not necessarily about getting staff on-board with technology, it's about getting your IT department on-board with technology whether you're a giant library or a small library. Being able to explain why those services are essential is key...
  • (35:09) How do you explain to library admins that a tech-enabled program is 'working'?
  • (36:02) Technology is a conduit for learning and for exploring, and for discovering. I think that's what we have to keep in mind when we may be explaining this to an admin who doesn't support technology.
  • (41:21) So much of the time, the biggest problem with using technology and social media in library programs is that it's completely undervalued. So, it's launching that larger educational campaign...
  • (43:22) How do we address internet safety issues with youth, parents, admins? And how do you ensure you're creating a safe space while providing access to social network platforms that carry inherent risks? (Or how do you moderate those risks?)
  • (46:36) I think that, a lot of times, adults are afraid to be in the same social media space as teens. And I think one of the keys that Brother Mike is talking about is this building of a community. Adults and mentors need to be in the same place as their youth...
  • (47:34) I wanted to know if anyone had any examples that they wanted to share out on how youth are using digital media to create their own learning or economic opportunities?
  • (58:42) Really make sure you engage this journey with others in figuring out the relationships and joining the organizations and having a group of other librarians who might be from across the country who are trying out similar things and learning similar things...

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List of Hangout Participants

  • Nichole Pinkard - Founder of the Digital Youth Network
  • Crystle Martin - Moderator, Postdoctoral Researcher for the Connected Learning Research Network
  • Jack Martin - President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), 2012-2013
  • Brother Mike Hawkins - Lead YOUmedia Mentor and Coordinator
  • Chris Shoemaker - Young Adult Programming Specialist at the New York Public Library
  • Taylor Bayless - Librarian at the Chicago Public Library and YOUmedia Mentor

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