Migration of this blog

As the Hyperlinked Library MOOC Web site is about to close, with participants’ blogs being deleted, I have taken a copy of this blog and published it on Brian Kelly’s Hyperlinked Library MOOC Blog which is hosted by WordPress.com.

I intend to maintain the content of the blog and the new URLs for an indefinite period. The intention is that the content and the URLs will continue to be available for a period of at least three years, up to the end of 2016.

Assignment 6: The Director’s Brief – Library Use of Wikipedia and Other Wikimedia Projects

About the Final Assignment in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC

The final assignment for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC requires participants to produce a Director’s Brief. The Director’s Brief provides participants with:

the opportunity to hone in on a technology-enhanced service that was mentioned through the course content or lectures, or perhaps you encountered it in conversations with your peers. Situated as a report-of-sorts for a library director, you’ll be crafting a brief that informs your administrator of its origins, related terminologies, uses for LIS environments, and addresses its potential pitfalls.

The requirements for this assignment are to:

write an examination of an emerging technology of your choice. Craft the report as though you are sending it to your library director, a technology planning group, or the recipient of your choice (to fit your career goals). The brief should be structured in logical fashion following these points:

  • What is the technology? Define any terms or related vocabulary.
  • What should the recipient understand about the technology? Affordances? Negative issues?
  • How do user populations use it?
  • What research or studies can inform the decision to plan and implement?
  • How can libraries successfully implement it?

The report should be 800 to 1000 words and can include graphic elements and screenshots to enhance this type of report depending on the technology chosen.

The Context for this Director’s Brief


The scenario for this director’s brief is as follows:

The Library at the (fictitious) University of Poppleton has decided to embrace Open Educational Practices in order to (a) enhance the quality of the learning experiences and employment prospects for its students; (b) enhance the visibility of its research activities and (c) support its engagement with the local community.

In order to implement these aims the Library, IT Services department, Student Enhancement Unit, Research Support Unit and the Centre for Widening Participation have been asked to describe plans which will ensure that these key strategic goals are being addressed. The university’s senior management teams has made it clear that only very limited additional funding is available; preference will be given to proposals which require little or no additional funding. In order to minimise risks that inappropriate proposals are accepted, proposals should clearly document associated risks.

The Library has decided to focus on use of Wikipedia since the community encyclopedia and related services are felt to be able to support these goals with relatively little investment of effort.

The university has asked Cetis, the Centre for Educational technologies and Interoperability Standards, a national centre for the UK’s higher and further education communities to provide a report on ways in which the library can make use of Wikipedia services as a key aspect of its Open Educational Practices.

I should add that although the University of Poppleton does not exist, Cetis does! Since 28 October 2013 I have been employed at Cetis as an Innovation Advocate.

In the planning for the Director’s Brief I have used the planning process for the HyperLinked Libraries Emerging Technology Planning assignment which suggested that students should use the following structure to assist planning of technological developments:

Convince ______ that by _______ they will ________ which will ________ because _______.

In my case I will aim to:

Convince the senior management team in the Library that by promoting creation and maintenance of content using Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons they will provide a cost-effective way of providing access to quality content and provide students with valuable skills which will enhance the employability of students and raise the profile of the institution within the local town because of the popularity of the service and its growing importance within the educational and cultural heritage sectors.

The Director’s Brief should be 800 to 1,000 words long. The document which follow, is 998 words long.

Director’s Brief: Library Use of Wikipedia and Other Wikimedia Projects

About Wikipedia and Wikimedia

Wikipedia is a global encyclopedia which can be edited by anyone. Wikipedia is managed by the Wikimedia Foundation which supports  other projects including Wikimedia Commons, a database of over 19 million freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

Using Wikipedia as a Consumer

Since its creation in 2001, Wikipedia has grown into one of the largest reference websites; in February 2012 it attracted 470 million unique visitors monthly.

Despite such popularity its radical openly editable model was initially met with ridicule and scepticism. However in 2005 the BBC reported on a study which concluded that Wikipedia is about as accurate on science as the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Despite such findings, in a recent keynote talk at the EduWiki 2013 conference which asked “What’s left to teach now that Wikipedia has done everyone’s homework?“ Dave White, University of Oxford, reported that although students feel that lecturers do not approve of use of Wikipedia, the students will make use Wikipedia and use references obtained for Wikipedia articles – although they don’t necessarily read the references. There is an ‘elearning black market’ based on content from Wikipedia which students use but are not willing to admit to using.

The first part of Library’s use of Wikipedia is to ensure that Library staff provide training in use of Wikipedia, which includes when it is appropriate to make use of encyclopedia’s such as Wikipedia and how to assess content in Wikipedia, using tools such as the history of article updates.

Editing and Creating Wikipedia Articles

Providing digital literacy skills relevant for use of Wikipedia for staff and students is part of the Library’s remit; it is being mentioned to emphasise the point of the value the Library sees in the service.

This main focus of this proposal, however, is on the support the Library will provide for staff and students in maintaining and creating Wikipedia articles across the following areas.


We have been inspired by the vision of “the student as producer“. We wish to encourage students to create and develop digital resources. We feel that creation of Wikipedia articles will be particularly valuable since the public visibility of the resources can help to raise student confidence levels. Expertise in Wikipedia editing should also be a skill potential employers may regard as valuable, not only for the technical knowledge but also for the skills in collaborative working across distributed contributors which successful content creation will entail.


In the Wikimedia UK Annual review 2012-13 (PDF format) Cameron Neylon argues that:

If you’re serious about ensuring public engagement in your research then you need to make damn sure your work can be incorporated into Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the most important engagement channel for your research.

Since the University of Poppleton’s research strategy states our intention to “produce integrated external engagement strategies to underpin and ensure the reach of our wide-ranging activities, focusing on public engagement with research and engagement through our economic, social and cultural impact’ we feel that use of Wikipedia will help achieve these aims.

Additional uses

As part of our institutional desire to strengthen links between “town and gown” we intend to make archives of the history of the institution (which includes our long-standing connections with the town dating back to our establishment as a college almost 100 years ago) freely available, with images being uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

We intend to run Wikipedia Editing courses which will be hosted by the Continuing Education department. In addition a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon day will be organised in conjunction with the local press or the council, which will provide an opportunity to create Wikipedia articles about the institution and its links with the town.

Understanding and Addressing the Risks

The risks in engaging with Wikipedia are summarised below.

Risk Further information Response
Wikipedia service is not sustainable Wikipedia does not have funding to continue to operate and so the service is discontinued. As described in a comment on the UK Web Focus blog: “Each year Wikimedia reaches its fundraising target in a shorter time: the strategy of relying on many thousands of tiny donations from people around the world has advantages, and could be said to be more sustainable than the funding for a lot of educational projects, or even for education institutions.
Wikipedia content is not trusted. Wikipedia content is regarded as untrustworthy by academic staff, potential employers, etc. Recent initiatives, such as the Wikimedia residency posts at the Jiscthe University of Bristol and the National Library of Scotland demonstrates that key national educational and cultural heritage organisations see the value of engagement with Wikipedia.
Wikipedia content changes. Content published in Wikipedia articles is updated and significant changes made. The volatility of Wikipedia articles should be regarded as a key strength! It should be noted that at times of rapid change (e.g. the demise of the Iron Curtain, the Arab Spring, etc.) much information provided in text books was clearly out-of-date. Wikipedia now provides a channel for rapid peer-reviewing and dissemination for newsworthy topics.
Content provided by staff and students is rejected. The Wikipedia community rejects updates since they are felt not to be note-worthy or are provided by contributors who do not have a neutral point of view. This is a legitimate concern. It will be addressed by ensuring training on Wikipedia’s fundamental principles are provided. In addition senior management will be made aware of the dangers of involvement in content updates by the university’s marketing department.
Library staff do not have the necessary technical skills and awareness of Wikipedia culture. Library staff will require skills in Wikipedia markup in order to provide training and support. In addition there will be a need for staff to understand Wikipedia principles and the Wikipedia culture. This concern will be addressed by engaging with Wikimedia UK and Wikipedia ambassadors who have provided support across the public sector. Use will be made of freely available training and support resources.

Next Steps

The next steps for this director’s brief would be to describe a project plan if the proposal were accepted by the University of Poppleton’s senior management team. However since the University of Poppleton does not exist an implementation plan will not be provided!

However I would be interested in feedback on whether this proposal would be of interest to real universities and libraries. Feel free to leave a comment on this blog or get in touch with me on Twitter (@briankelly) or by email.

Assignment 5: Virtual Symposium

MOOC cartoon

About Assignment 5

Assignment 5 of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC provides three options. The one I have chosen is “Utilize your blog, video, audio, slides, or any media-based online tool to create a 3-5 minute presentation about your learning and assignments. Highlight your work and your own critical thinking“. The assignment should be submitted during Monday, 18th November to Sunday, 24th November.

Assignment 5: Planning Development of an Online Professional Learning Network

The title of my assignment is ” Planning Development of an Online Professional Learning Network”.

A Slidecast (slides with audio track) of my assignment is available on Slideshare and embedded below (note it appears that in order to play the audio you have to go to the resource hosted on Slideshare – this may be a limitation of the HyperLinked Library blog environment).

But whilst this submission should satisfy the MOOC requirements, I am also providing some additional information and resources which may be of interest to other participants on the MOOC.

Preparing the Final Version

My first version of the presentation was too long (it lasted for about 10 minutes) so I recorded another version, which was also too long (7 minutes). I decided to reuse the original sound track, but to delete some of the slides and remove the corresponding audio. I have decided to publish the alternative takes, in part because the additional content may be of interest. In addition, as described in a recent post about the tools I used to create this submission, the outputs of the tools I used (Slideshare, Audacity and Screen-o-matic) may be of interest.

The original longer version of the presentation is available on Slideshare as a Slidecast (slides with audio track) and is embedded below.

A video of the second take of presentation (6 mins 24 second long, created using Screen-o-matic) is available on YouTube and embedded below.


In addition a Slidecast of an earlier version and slightly longer version of this presentation is available on Slideshare as a Slidecast (slides with audio track) and is embedded below.

The Script

Note that I prepared a script for this presentation. The script used in the longer presentation is included below (although note that I did not stick to this script).

Slide 1: My name is Brian Kelly and this is my submission for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC Virtual Symposium assignment. The title  is “Developing My Online Professional Learning Network”.
Slide 2: For the assignment we were asked to provide an answer to the question “What are you taking away from the Hyperlinked Library MOOC?
For me the most important tangible aspect of the MOOC has been the assignment which asked participants to document plans for their development of an Online Professional Learning Network, or OPLN. I will summarise my plans and provide the context which made this assignment particularly relevant to me.
Slide 3:Looking at my personal professional network this mosaic, created by the Frintr service, comprises the avatars of my Twitter community. It provides a powerful illustration of the notion that “You Are Not Alone – You Do Not Live In A Vacuum!”
Slide 4: This depiction of my Twitter connections illustrates my diverse communities. It was created by Tony Hirst, a friend of mine. Tony annotated clusters of related online connections. As can be seen as well as the Web management community, there are also large clusters of professional contacts who work in libraries, in educational technologies and the museums sector as well as a more niche regional community.
Slide 5: In October 2013 I started a new job as Innovation Advocate at Cetis, at the University of Bolton. This is an exciting role working for a well-established and highly regarded national body with an international reputation in elearning, standards and related areas.
Slide 6: I also face some new challenges. I need to:
  • Build links with new colleagues
  • Respond to the challenge of working from home (everyone is normally an online contact!)
  • Develop connections relevant to my new role
Slide 7: The Hyperlinked Library MOOC has been useful in my new job, with several of the assignments being of particular interest to me.
The MOOC also provided the motivation to write several blog posts and create digital artifacts that are relevant for my new post.
Slide 8: The fourth assignment, to write plans for the development of my Online Professional Learning Network was particularly useful.
Slide 9: I published this assignment on 6 November. This was two weeks before it was due. However I decided to publish it early as I hoped that it might be of use to other students and that their feedback might also be of use to me.
Slide 10: The first requirement was to produce a goals statement.
I hope my goals statement provides a meaningful summary of how I regard my online learning professional network and the benefits I hope it will provide.
Slide 11: The second requirement was to define the scope of my network. There were two main areas: clearly identifiable groups of people, such as my new colleagues, and people who are working for key organisation. For this group, I will be able to name names. The second group related to people who are working in areas which will be important in my new role, such as those working in elearning, learning analytics, etc. For this group there will be people I do not know & will only be able to find by engaging in social media services.
Slide 12The third requirement was to describe my Resource Network: the resources which will satisfy my goals and scope. The mainstream resources are easy to identify; Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Slideshare, mailing lists, etc. Other tools, such as Skype, led to re-acquaintance with a former colleague and an invitation to speak at a conference in Australia (although my using networked technologies!) This made me realise the potential value of serendipitous contacts: not everything has to be planned in advance.
Slide 13: Also, not everything has to be done online. The social aspects of professional relationships can also be important. In the case of my new job at Cetis, I’m looking forward to meeting my colleagues in the Old Man and Scythe, an amazing pub in Bolton which is one of the tenth oldest pubs in Britain.
Slide 14: The final requirement was to document plans for the maintenance of my network. This is very relevant for me, as I have strong network connections from my previous job. I will have a need to prune the network, as otherwise I may find myself inundated with too diverse a range of tweets, blog posts, mail messages, etc.
Slide 15: I am looking at tools such as Justunfollow and ManageFlitter which can help me to understand my network better. The next step is to make use of such tools. I currently follow over 1400 Twitter accounts. Can I prune it to 1,000, I wonder?
Slide 16: I’ve summarised my key communities in the blog post for my assignment. However I recently came across the coggle.it tool which I have used to provide a visualisation of my OPLN.
Slide 17: For this assignment the MOOC participants were asked to provide the key learning points they’ve gained from the MOOC.
My takeaways are:
  • The value of planning for an Online Professional Learning Network.
  • The need to maintain the network – and even delete contacts in the network (though, as I’ve mentioned, this may be painful).
  • But we mustn’t forget the face-to-face contacts.



The Tools I’m Using for the Virtual Assignment

Preparing for the Virtual Assignment

The submissions for the nments/virtual-symposium/”>virtual symposium assignment of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC need to be published between 18-24 November 2013. The requirements of this assignment are to:

  • Utilize your blog, video, audio, slides, or any media-based online tool to create a 3-5 minute presentation about your learning and assignments. Highlight your work and your own critical thinking.
  • Highlight your top blog reflections in a “best of” post and synthesize your critical thinking over the course
  • Create any digital artifact that explores your learning and the Hyperlinked Library: your own graphic of the model, an “info-graphic” style presentation, a song, etc.

Since the initial deadline is less than a week away I have begun work on creating a multimedia presentation. In this post I will summarise the tools I’ve used.

Creating a Slidecast

My aim is to provide a PowerPoint presentation with an audio soundtrack. The presentation will include examples of various tools which I have found useful and I will include links to the tools so that others who find them useful can easily access them.

In order to create the presentation with an audio soundtrack I first used the open source Audacity tool to record my presentation and exported it as an MP3 audio file. I then uploaded the slides to Slideshare and used the edit option to include an audio track with the presentation: a Slidecast, as this is referred to. Once the audio had been uploaded I then had to sync the audio, so that my talk was associated with the specific slides. Note that as I have created Slidecasts previously I knew that it was advisable to leave a pause when speaking, which can make it easier to identify the audio portion for a new slide.

The interface for doing this is shown below.

Slidecast for the MOOC symposium

Note than in order to minimise the number of “umms” and “errs” in the talk, I had previously created a script which I used while giving the presentation. This script will also be useful in providing a transcript, as requested by the MOOC organisers.

I had observed that my talk was too long, lasting for about 10 minutes. Rather than remaking a shorter Slidecast I decided to use another tool, and to make the Slidecast available when I submit my assignment for those who may feel that the slightly longer version provides additional information which is useful.

Creating a Screencast

A fellow participant on the MOOC recently suggested the Screencast-o-matic tool which can be used for capturing screen sessions, with the free version able to make a recording of up to 5 15 minutes.

Since the presentation had to be shorter I deleted a couple of slides and adjusted the script accordingly. I then launched Screencast-o-matic, positioned the recording window over the PowerPoint slides and began recording.

This second presentation is still slightly too long. I may submit this version in any case. However if anyone has any suggestions for other tools which I could use, I’d be grateful.

I hope these notes on the tools I’ve used will be useful for other MOOC participants who have not yet got found to selecting the tools they’ll use for the assignment.

The Screen-o-matic recording

Assignment 4: My Online Professional Learning Network

About The Assignment

This assignment for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC requires MOOC participants to develop plans for use of an Online Professional Learning Network (OPLN) which will “stimulate you to begin curating online professional resources that will continue your learning outside of your formal learning experiences here an elsewhere. We define an OPLN in the broadest way possible: If a resource is online and it helps you to achieve your learning goals, it is a part of your learning network.” The specific requirements are to produce:

A Goals Statement: which will clearly indicate what you hope to accomplish in your OPLN.

A Defined Scope: brief narrative that can help define the scope of where you will be culling your resources.

A Resource Network: essentially, lists of resources that meet your goals and scope. The network should be diverse, comprehensive, and include from a wide range of types of resources, from e-mail listservs, to Facebook groups, to Twitter hashtags, websites, etc.

A Network Maintenance Plan: This will provide answers to questions such as: How will you maintain your online professional learning network? When will you adjust it? At what points will you actively add to it or delete from it? Is there a particular type of technology that you will employ to make the best use of your network? Will there ever be a point where you would create a new plan from scratch?

The deadline for the assignment is Sunday 17 November 2013.

My Online Professional Learning Network


When I first registered my interest in participating in this MOOC I was working at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management based at the University of Bath. However JISC. our funders, had announced the cessation of our funding and so I would be redundant from 1 August 2013. By the time the MOOC was launched, in September, I regarded the MOOC as providing an opportunity for professional development and for gaining greater understanding of MOOCs which would, I hope, prove useful in a new job, if I was successful in finding a new job.

I’m pleased to say that I was successful in finding a new job and started work at Cetis, University of Bolton on 28 October. Cetis is a national centre which was also funded by JISC but was more successful than UKOLN in obtaining further funding for the organisation. My job title is Innovation Advocate, and I will have responsibilities for encouraging takeup on innovative technologies and approaches, especially those relevant for the support of teaching and learning. I will therefore for a requirement to further develop my online professional network. This will be particularly relevant as I will be a home worker and will not have the regular stimulation which the physical proximity in working with one’s colleagues can provide.

This assignment is therefore very relevant to me and comes at a timely moment!

My Goals Statement

What do I hope to accomplish in my OPLN? In brief I would say:

My online professional network will provide a soundboard for my ideas, a way of finding out about what my user communities may want and what they find interesting, a means of helping to identify new funding opportunities and, last but not least, a way of having fun in my professional activities and ensuring that my work is interesting and stimulating.

I’d welcome feedback on this goals statement.

The Scope of my Online Professional Learning Network

The Cetis web site explains how: 

Cetis is the Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards. Our staff are globally recognised as leading experts on education technology innovation, interoperability and technology standards. For over a decade Cetis has provided strategic, technical and pedagogical advice on educational technology and standards to funding bodies, standards agencies, government, institutions and commercial partners.

I am looking forward to working in the area of education technology innovation, interoperability and technology standards and exploring ways in which my skills, expertise and professional networks can be used to support and enhance Cetis’s activities. In addition to my work in these areas I will also be looking for new funding opportunities which may include exploring new areas of work.

In order to put some flesh to this broad summary I have identified the following groups which I will need to engage with in order to support my work at Cetis.

  • Staff at Cetis and the University of Bolton: I have already made contact with a number of my new colleagues. In addition I have been in touch with the IT services director and a professor at the University of Bolton who I have met briefly previously. In addition to strengthening these links I will look for other key contacts within the university.
  • Key national event organisers and committees such as ALT (e-learning) and UCISA (IT Services) and SCONUL (libraries).
  • Funding bodies, which will primarily involve engage with staff at Jisc but may also include the EU.

I will need to enhance my connections in specific subject areas which will be relevant to my work. This will include:

  • The e-learning community: my Cetis colleagues will be able to advise me on key contacts, organisations and channels.
  • The standards community: I have links with the W3C community. My Cetis colleagues will be able to advise me on key contacts, organisations and channels for other relevant areas including learning standards.
  • The accessibility community: I have strong links with web accessibility researchers and practitioners across the UK and additional contacts in Australia.
  • The learning analytics community: this is a new community for me.
  • The openness community: this will include those working in the areas of OER (open Educational Resources), OEP (Open Educational Practices) and Open Data.

In addition it will be beneficial to maintain links with established communities, in particular:

  • Members of institutional Web management teams.

It would also be useful to cultivate links with members of the media, ranging from broadsheets, such as the Guardian, sectoral newspapers such as the Times Higher Education and professional journals. I appreciate that such contacts could be regarded as being part of a professional dissemination rather than learning network. However I have found that discussions with journalists, writing articles for the mass media and giving interviews of the radio can be helpful in ensuring that you have a good understanding of the subject you are talking about and can respond to concerns about limitations in a way which is easily understood by non-experts. I therefore feel that it is legimate to include the media in my Online Professional Learning Network.

The Resource Networks

Having identified some of the communities I will be looking to engage with there is a need to identify how these links will be made.

Ye Olde Man & Scythe, one of the ten oldest pubs in Britain.

Some of the connections will be by face-to-face meetings, both formal and informal. This will be particularly important in getting to know my new colleagues within Cetis, Although I have already arranged a number of Skype meetings it will be important to have face-to-face meetings in order to get to know my colleagues better. I have already found a good pub in Bolton (the Ye Olde Man & Scythe which, according to Wikipediawas first recorded by name in 1251 making it one of the ten oldest public houses in Britain“) which is popular with some of my new colleagues – this could well form the basis of my DPLN (Drinking Professional Learning Network!).

But this assignment requires details of one’s focus Online Professional Learning Network. I will therefore summarise some of the key network resources and services.

I will start by mentioning Skype. Skype is used by Cetis staff for online meetings and so will be part of the repertoire of tools I use to support my work. It occurs to me that I should investigate whether there are aspects of Skype which I may have limited expertise of (e.g. sharing desktop applications) or Skype extensions which may provide useful (and should I get a Skype phone number so that I on’t have to divulge my home phone number?), However I’m mentioning Skype first because as I was writing this post I noticed one of my Australian Skype contacts had appeared online. I had not previously configured Skype so that notifications were displayed when they came online. However this option appeared to be the default when I installed Skype on my new PC. When I noticed my contact I sent a Skype message and had a brief chat on what we’ve both being doing since we were last in touch. This led to an invitation to give a talk at the OZeWAI conference in Australia next month! However the presentation will be given online, so I won’t be travelling to Australia. This fortuitous event made me realise that (a) alerts when contacts are online on Skype can provide an opportunity for making contact and (b) starting a new job provides an ideal opportunity to instigate a conversation.

Twitter will for an important channel for engaging with my OPLN. However as illustrated in the example of Skype there is a need not just to identify a tool but also to document how the tool may be used. In the case of Twitter I intend to create relevant Twitter groups (e.g. CETIS-staff) so that I can easily view all tweets from the group.I will also follow relevant Twitter event hashtags which cover events of interest to me.

I subscribe to many blogs. However I should use the start of my new job as an opportunity to revisit the blogs I subscribe to and the way I classify them. The process of identifying key individuals, groups and organisations will also provide an opportunity to discover and subscribe to associated blogs.

I use LinkedIn as my interactive address book: as well as enabling me to have a list of contacts details for members of my professional network, my LinkedIn stream enables me to see details of changes, such as new jobs, responsibilities or endorsements as well as status updates, new slides uploaded or blog posts, if these have been added to my contacts’ profile.

I will follow the Slideshare accounts for professional contacts who use the service.

I will invite contacts with whom there is some level of personal social connections to my Facebook account.

I will identify relevant mailing lists to subscribe to.

In addition to these resources I will also explore tagging strategies which will make my resources and my presence on social media services easier to find and therefore easier for others to include me in their online professional learning networks. There do seem to be some name clashes for my organisation, Cetis, (e.g. the Centro de Estudios Tecnologicos Industriales y de Servicio and the Cetis, Graphic and Documentation Services, d.d.). However Cetis in Englash language resources appears to relate to my employer, so perhaps that should be the the tag I use with my resources.

My Network Maintenance Plan

My new job will provide an opportunity to prune my professional network, removing Twitter accounts, blog feeds, etc. which are no longer relevant to my new role (unless, for example, I still gain value for the personal connections).

Visualising My OPLN

The final instruction in the assignment is to “Post your OPLN to your blog as a post using images and media where applicable“.

I recently came across a link posted by Beth Kanter, one of my Facebook contacts, to a post she had written on Celebrating Beth’s Five Years As Visiting Scholar at the Packard Foundation, The post included an image depicting her “reach as a visiting scholar at the Packard Foundation from 2008-2013″. In addition to the static image it was also possible to access an interactive image, which had been created using the coggle.it service.

I felt the publication of this post would provide an opportunity to try this tool which was new to me. The coggle.it visualisation of the online professional learning network is now available and a static representation is shown below.

My Online Professional Learning Network (20131031)

I’d welcome feedback on my plans for the development of my online professional learning network in my new post.


Assignment 3: Review of ‘Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything”

Wikinomics coverWhen I glanced through the list of publications to be reviewed for the third assignment on the Hyperlinked Library MOOC I realized that Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams was already in my bookshelves, but I hadn’t got around to reading it. The assignment therefore provided the motivation to take it down from the shelf and put my feet up while I skimmed through the book.

The notes I made were written seven years after the book was published. And as the book has had a significant impact I feel that I am familiar with the core concepts without having opened the book. The book’s sub-title “How mass collaboration changes everything” provides a summary of my expectations of the content of the book. It will, I felt, provide a variety of anecdotes of how exploitation of social media and associated principles (such as the Web 2.0 ideas of ‘always beta‘ and ‘trust the users‘) will be shown to have had beneficial effects.

By page 2 the rhetoric, however, was beginning to grate. The statement “this new economic model extends beyond software, music, publishing, pharmaceuticals, and other bellwethers to virtually every part of the global economy” was followed by an admission that “many managers have concluded that the new mass collaboration is far from benign“. And yet in the following paragraph such concerns are dismissed: “Yes, there are examples of pain and suffering in industries that have so far failed to grasp the new economic logic. But the forthcoming pages are filled with many tales of how ordinary people and forms are linking up in imagine ways to drive innovation and success“. The concerns that exploitation of new social technologies may not always have beneficial effects is dismissed with the comments that those who may have such reservations simply “fail to grasp the new economic logic“. However there is no need to be too concerned about such clearly flawed views as the holders of such views have only “so far” failed to accept the new reality. I wonder what fate will await those who continue to hold views which are less than gushing about the new environment!

What companies are helping to build this ‘brave new world’? I’m still reading page 2 and I’m hearing how “a number of the stories revolve around the explosive growth of phenomena such as MySpace, InnoCentive, flickr, Second Life, YouTube and the Human Genome Project“. MySpace, Second Life? Looking at TechCrunch articles on MySpace I find posts which describe how “Obviously MySpace has very few friends left to alienate — Tom has long since moved on — but that hasn’t stopped it annoying the hell out of its few remaining fans by forcing through an update to its shiny new music discovery platform that’s swallowed their old blog content, with no guarantee it’s ever going to be retrievable” (12 June 2013) and “MySpace Squandered the Only Thing It Had Left” (2 Feb 2013).

But since the authors’ arguments were based on the role of mass collaboration to stimulate innovation, creativity and growth it would be inappropriate to place too much emphasis on the failures of specific companies. By page three the authors had described how they had carried out large-scale surveys which “explored how new technology and collaborative models change business designs and competitive dynamics“. Of course the authors expressed no reservations in summarizing the reports: “The conclusion from all of this work is striking and enormously positive. Billions of connected individuals can now actively participate in innovation, wealth creation, and social development in ways we once only dreamed of.

So the large numbers who update their Facebook profile with their views on the contestants on X-Factor on a Saturday night or engage in discussions on Twitter about Strictly Come Dancing will, I assume, be classed as actively participating in ‘social development’. But whilst it may be inappropriate to be dismissive of popular culture (after all, I watched Coronation Street and listened to The Archers for many years) what of the bullying, racial abuse and similar ways in which social media is being used? Where does this fit in with Tapscott and Williams’ utopian views?

They are, however, on safer ground when they point out the innovation and wealth creation surrounding popular social media services. Clearly companies such as Google and Facebook (who, incidentally, aren’t mentioned in the book) have developed innovative services and do make lots of money. But how do they make their money? From advertising and monetized the attention data from the large numbers of users who access their services. We do not seem to be seeing a sharing of the wealth creation but rather centralization. You may welcome this (‘it’s what capitalism is about’) or be critical (‘technological developments should provide benefits to all’). But you won’t find such issues being addressed in the book.

The book was published in 2006, before the economic crash. I wonder if there was another book written at the same time which described the wealth creation which marketing of sub-prime mortgages was responsible for?!

The book concludes with the question “Is your mind wired for wikinomics?” Perhaps it is; after all I am happy to make use of social media to support my professional activities and share approaches with my user communities. But this doesn’t mean I’m right. Or that what works for me necessarily works for others and in different circumstances.

To summarise the book in a tweet “Wikinomics: optimistic view of social media from 2006. It is now time to revisit benefits of mass collaboration with a critical perspective.“.


Implementing Ideas I’ve Gained From The Hyperlinked Library MOOC

Earlier this week I attended the Internet Librarian Conference, ILI 2013. This is my favourite library conference and I’ve attended (and spoken at) 14 of the 15 conferences. It is also the conference were I often meet Michael Stephens, a regular inspirational speaker at the event.

This year I ran a day-long workshop on “Future Technologies and Their Applications“. As I described in a blog post about the workshop I used the planning for the deployment of emerging technologies which formed the basis of the Emerging Technology Planning assignment on this MOOC.

The slides I used for this particular exercise are available on Slideshare and embedded below. Many thanks to Michael and Kyle for showing me this approach which helped me in the preparation and delivery of the workshop. Note that the slides I used in the workshop are available with a Creative Commons licence and I invite others who may have responsibilities for delivering such workshop to make use of these resources.

Assignment 2: Emerging Technology Planning

Remit For The Second Assignment

The remit for the second assignment in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC is to “craft a  plan for incorporating an emerging technology or participatory service into a library setting of your choice“.

Selecting an Emerging Technological Area

The page about this second assignment suggested that topics might include blogs, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, commenting on library catalog items or a mobile app. However since I am familiar with use of Twitter and Facebook and have some experience in using mobile apps I felt that I would go beyond my comfort zone and explore use of a technology which I have little expertise in. I have designed to chose the creation of badges for my community not only because of my lack of experience in this area but also because of the doubts of the benefits of badges which I described in a post entitled “The Pros and Cons of MOOC Badges“.

Importance of Planning

In the early days of the social web the doubts and concerns expressed by those who felt social media had little or no relevance for those working in libraries tended to be rejected by the early adopters and evangelists. I myself published a paper entitled “Web 2.0: How to Stop Thinking and Start Doing: Addressing Organisational Barriers” in which I argued that organisations should stop simply taking about barriers to use of social media, embrace the technologies and base further developments on the experiences gained. Such approaches were probably relevant in 2007 when the paper was published. However six years later we have gained a broad range of experiences in use of social media and the benefits they can provide are now more widely appreciated. However we are also in a better position to appreciate the limitations of social media and the resource implications which their use will entail. In 2009 I wrote a follow-up paper entitled “Time To Stop Doing and Start Thinking: A Framework For Exploiting Web 2.0 Services” which acknowledged that there were risks associated with use of social media, but these risks should be acknowledged, understood, risks minimisation strategies adopted and organisations and individuals should be prepared to accept certain levels of risks – after all getting out of bed and travelling to work may entail risks, but we are prepared to accept such risks!

My plans for use of badges will therefore be based not just on the methodology outlined in the assignment details but also on the risks and opportunities framework described in the paper given above and further developed in a paper on “Empowering Users and Institutions: A Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web“.

It should be noted that the plans given below are being published in an open fashion and comments and feedback are welcomed; such open and transparent approaches can help provide benefits which have been described in the module on Transparency and Privacy.

Badges for the IWMW Event

In this post I have used the checklist provided in the post which outlined the requirements of this assignment.

Planning Checklist

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:
The main objective of the “IWMW badges service” is to provide participants at IWMW events with a visible indication of their involvement in IMW events.

An important secondary objective is to provide the community with an opportunity to gain experiences of badges, which may be valuable in an institutional context.

Action Brief Statement:
The assignment suggests that an action brief is provided by filling in the blanks in the following statement:

Convince ______ that by _______ they will ________ which will ________ because _______.

Since there are two key objectives for this service I have produced the following two action brief statements:

Convince IWMW participants that by claiming an appropriate IWMW badge they will demonstrate their involvement in IWMW events which (a) will provide a visible indication of their involvement in the event which may be useful in sharing of expertise and interests beyond their host institution because of their shared participation with other attendees and (b) will demonstrate active engagement in Web development activities because of their willingness to carry out Web activities beyond their host institution.

Convince IWMW participants that by claiming an IWMW badge and engaging in discussions about the pros and cons of badges they will be better able to engage in discussions about the value of badges within their institution make which will provide benefits to the institution and the individual because they have personal experiences of the processes.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:
The following resources will be used:

Mission, Guidelines and Policy related to Technology or Service:
A small group (say 3-5 people) will be established which will provide advice and suggestions on (a)  information to be
published on the purpose of the IWMW badges service; (b) the number and types of badges to be provided; (c) the design of the badges and (d) an FAQ about the IWMW badges service.

Since the badges are for participation at events, similar examples will be sought.

The FAQ will include details of guidelines for use of the badges; sustainability of the badge services; risks of use of fraudulent badges; etc.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:
Sponsorship of the badges for the IWMW 2014 event will be sought.

Action Steps & Timeline:
The service will be prototyped for participants at the IWMW 2013 event. This event featured a plenary talk on “Mozilla, Open Badges and  a Learning Standard for Web Literacy” given by Doug Belshaw of the Mozilla Foundation, which generated interest in further evaluation of badges. The aim will be to make a prototype available in January 2014. There should be no additional dependencies, apart from the time needed for the work

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:
I will do this work.

Training for this Technology or Service:
I will read relevant resources and explore participation ij a badges MOOC.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:
The service will be marketed to IWMW participants and those with responsibilities for managing institutional Web service within the UK.

The numbers of badges claimed will provide an important performance metrics. In addition associated discussions about the pros and cons of such badges will be equally important.

If there is sufficient take-up of the badges, advice and support may be provided for other national bodies which organise large-scale events.

Risks and Opportunities Checklist

The risks and opportunities frameworkIn addition to the planning checklist provided by the MOOC organisers, the “Risks and Opportunities Framework for Exploiting the Social Web” mentioned previously is also being used to ensure that possible risks which may hinder the effective take-up of the services have been considered and appropriate risks minimisation approaches used.

  • Intended purpose: Covered above.
  • Benefits: Covered above.
  • Risks: Possible risks include:
    (a) There may be a lack of interest in claiming badges;
    (b) It may be time-consuming to learn about badge-making and deployment; use the tools and engage in discussions about the pros and cons of the creation and use of badges.
    (c) Due to lack of experience in this are mistakes may be may in selecting the number and granularity of the badges; the design of the badges; selection and use of badge-creation services.
  • Missed opportunities: Not engaging in this work could lead to Web managers missing out on opportunities to gain expertise in this area.
  • Costs: Felt to be little (see above)
  • Risk minimisation: Seeking feedback from other participants in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC should help in getting feedback from others with similar interests. It should be possible to make contact with key members of the IWMW community in order to discuss the development of the IWMW badges service with those who have a direct interest.
  • Evidence base: The interest in the Badges at the Library tribe on the Hyperlinked Library MOOC indicates the interest in this area.
  • Biases and subjective factors: As previously mentioned in a post which gave my Initial Reflections on The Hyperlinked Library MOOC and the Badges I Have Acquired I have some scepticism as to whether experienced Web managers would be interested in claiming badges.


I’ve found completing this assignment helpful in focusing my thoughts on the planning processes for use of badges for an event I’ve been involved with for 17 years. I’d welcome feedback on the plans, especially from those whom may be making similar plans or who have experiences (whether good or bad) in the creation of badges.


Assignment 1: Community Engagement With UK University Web Managers

Assignment 1: Community Engagement

The first assignment of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC requires participants to “consider one of these two questions by adopting a role: either that of community guide or community creator“. The tasks are to identify a community, analyse the community and write an engagement plan. A blog post should be used for the assignment and the post should be written in the first-person.

There is no formal word count requirement, but the post should provide links to relevant resources where appropriate.

My post will describe my role as a community guide for Web managers in UK universities. This is an existing community which I have helped to developed in my previous role as UK Web Focus at UKOLN. The community was based around an annual event, the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) which I established in 1997. Following the cessation of core funding for my host organisation in July 2013 the future of the event is now uncertain. However I do have continued interests in working with this community.

About the Community

This community consists of people with responsibilities for managing large-scale university Web services. The purpose of the community is to enable the community members to work more effectively as a group than would be possible by working in isolation.

Many members of the community do meet, at the annual IWMW event and at other events, including regional events or more specialist events such as events for developers, marketing people or those with particular interests in elearning, eresearch, etc.

The community tends to be proactive in sharing information related to significant national developments. Recently this has included the launch of the ‘cookie’ legislation and the requirement of all universities to provide standardised KIS (Key Information Sets) data elated to the student experiences at UK universities. In the past discussions did take place on email lists about specific technical issues, but the decrease in use of the main national mailing lists has seen a drop in such discussions on centralised mailing lists.

Analysis of the Community

Web managers have represented one of my key communities during my time at UKOLN. Now as an independent consultant I will be looking to build on my connections with this community. In addition to continued involvement on relevant mailing lists I intend to continue to publish surveys of institutional use of social media within the sector, which can help to stimulate discussion and debate and inform the development of best practices.

In addition to involvement online I also hope to attend a number of events which will provide opportunities for face-to-face meetings.

Engagement Plan

I will publish details of surveys on the main mailing lists for the community. I will also announce plans for the future of the IWMW 2014 event which will include details of further engagement with the community online. The benefits of the event will be described following an analysis of the survey carried out during the IWMW 2013 event. The sustainability of the event will be described in a business plan which will include details of the relationships with other organisations with whom I will be working.

  • Who would I contact in the community?
  • How would I contact her?
  • What would I say in regard to what the library/organization or I could offer to her community?
  • How would I explain the symbiotic relationship that could emerge between the community and my library/organization?

More detailed plans will be outlined in this blog shortly.



The Library of the Future (Part 6): The End of History?

The End of History?

An article in Wikipedia provides background information to the phrase “the end of history“:

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy may signal the endpoint of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and the final form of human government.

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

Are we seeing the end of history for libraries? Will the ‘hyperlinked library’ mark the end of developments, with the ideology of, say, the collection-focussed library being consigned to history and the global social networks infrastructure being provided by companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google?

This might be one interpretation of the mantra “don’t build new services” which, as described by Rebecca in her post on “Reinventing the Wheel” which summarized the key messages of Sarah Ludwig’s guest lecture:

1. Whenever possible, use tools that already exist.
Don’t reinvent the wheel!  If you can utilize a current social media platform which does everything you want, you don’t need to create something from scratch that users won’t be as familiar with.  Even something as simple as a message board will be used more often if students can log in with a Gmail or Facebook account instead of having to create an entirely new profile.


However it would be a mistake to take this advice too literally. I feel this advice is based, in part, on the support benefits which can be gained from standardizing on common applications but, more importantly, the benefits to be gained from use of common social web service which can improve as the numbers of users grow (e.g. there are more people with similar interests who can provide relevant advice and answers to queries).

But does this advice suggest that, although there may be changes in the tolls and services used to deliver the hyperlinked library environment, the hyperlinked library represents the pinnacle of library evolution?

The hyperlinked library has been described as “an open, participatory institution that welcomes user input and creativity” which “provides spaces and places for users to interact, to collaborate and to create content“; in brief the hyperlinked library “is simply the Read/Write library, where conversations, connections, and community are born“.

But of course we didn’t see the end of history, with Francis Fukuyama failing to foresee the implications of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 9/11 bombings and the economic crisis. The era we are currently living in will provide interesting material for future historians! Might there also be a move away from the hyperlinked library? What could come next?

Beyond The Hyperlinked Library

Ownership of the Hyperlinked Library

The hyperlinked library based on popular global services such as Facebook and Twitter could be replaced by open source alternative which address concerns such as the ownership of content posted on such social networks, privacy concerns, etc. Although such alternatives, such as app.net, have not gained a significant user base, we could imaging a scenario in which there is a backlash against the current market leaders (perhaps a reaction against these companies providing access to personal data to the US authorities?). But, as described in Michael Stephens’ summary of the characteristics of the hyperlinked library, the vision isn’t dependent on any specific services. Such a scenario might represent a development (a welcome development for many, I suspect) of he hyperlinked library, but not the demise of the hyperlinked library.

Library 3.0

A few years ago after the ‘Web 2.0′ term (and the ‘Library 2.0 ‘term) grew in popularity we saw the term ‘Web 3.0′ beginning to gain some momentum. This term was a rebranding of the vision for the Semantic Web environment. According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee “The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries“. Might library services based on the Semantic Web (or Linked Data) – Library 3.0 - emerge as a replacement for the hyperlinked library?

Sig.ma provides an example of a tool which providesa demonstration of live, on the fly Web of Data mashup. Provide a query and Sig.ma will demonstrate how the Web of Data is likely to contain surprising structured information about it (pages that embed RDF, RDFa, Microdata, Microformats“.

As shown in the image a sig.ma search for “hyperlinked library provides many search results from social web tools, such as blogs, Slideshare, RSS aggregators, etc.

sig.ma search for 'hyperlinked library'

Since social web services are widely-used and centralised it should be possible for these services to provide data they host as linked data. Indeed Facebook currently make use of the Open Graph Protocol which illustrates such approaches. As described on The Open Graph protocol web site this protocol “enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.”

This would suggest that the technologies used to provide the hyperlinked library will provide an evolutionary path to a more structured linked data environment.

People’s Interests May Change!

But if it does not appear that there are technological developments which would make the hyperlinked library obsolete, perhaps we might find that users lose interest in the highly connected environment which the hyperlinked library seeks to provide. Might the development which could make the hyperlinked library obsolete simply be a loss of interest from the user community?

But how could this happen, in light of the current worldwide obsession with social media and the success of companies such as Google and Facebook? Some thoughts on why a backlash could develop:

  • Spam: Just as the early generation Internet services such as Usenet fell into disrepute as they became channels for spammers, we could see today’s social media services become marginalised due to a takeover by spammers and marketeers.
  • Lack of trust: People may feel that social media services aren’t to be trusted, and move to more traditional information sources.
  • Information overload:Users may react against the information overload which social media services may provide be ceasing to make use of the services.
  • Reactions against government monitoring: User concerns that government is spying on their use of online services may result in a move away of use of such services.   
  • Reactions against commercialisation of social networks:  User concerns of commercial exploitation of their use  of online services may result in a move away of use of such services.
  • Moves towards hyper-local services:  Rather than ceasing to make use of social media services, user may move to ‘hyper-local’ services which are used by known friends, lading to fragmentation and the loss of the benefits of scale provided by global companies.
  • Fashions change: se of social media may turn out to have been a fad, which ceased to be fashionable.

The Need to Observe Trends

I’ve come across people who have closed down their Facebook or Twitter accounts of who have said they no longer find the services as useful as they had been in the past. However the numbers have been small, and I do not feel this indicates any significant indication of a drop in use of social media services. But we do need to continue to monitor changes, which go beyond people migrating to new services; rather changes which suggest a decline in use of social media itself. I’d be interested to hear if anyone has encountered evidence of such trend already,

The Library of the Future (Part 5): Everyone’s A Librarian!

The Need to Critique

In a recent series of posts on this blog I have explored a number of scenarios for the development of the hyperlinked  library of the future. I have suggested that such developments may lead to a privatised library environment, an environment which provides services primarily for the self-motivated middle classes, an environment which fails to consider fundamental assumptions which will affect the sustainability of a hyperlinked library and a library which is part of a dystopian future digital landscape.


These posts (which led to the award of a Devil’s Advocate badge for heretical thinking!) addressed concerns which I have. I was early to embrace the notion that social media could provide professional and organisational benefits, as described in the paper on “Library 2.0: balancing the risks and benefits to maximise the dividends” which I presented at the Bridging Worlds 2008 conference and was subsequently published in the Program journal. The ideas in the paper built on a paper entitled “How to Stop Thinking and Start Doing: Addressing Organisational Barriers” published in 2007 which argued that cultural heritage organisations should be embracing the social web, rather than worrying about that all concerns about its use had not been fully answered. However in 2009 a paper entitled “Time to stop doing and start thinking: a framework for exploiting Web 2.0 services” suggested that there was a need to consider challenges to sustainable use of social media  in a more in-depth way.

Now, five years after I presented the paper on Library 2.0: balancing the risks and benefits to maximise the dividends at the Bridging Worlds conference in Singapore there is an even great need to understand the possible implications of institutional moved to what is being referred to as the hyperlinked library in order that risks can be properly appreciated, addressed or even accepted.

Everyone’s A Librarian

One final scenario is an environment in which the skills and expertise possessed by the hyperlinked librarian are widely embedded by the majority of adults.

We are already seeing skills in managing and curating digital resources being required in order to manage content created through use of digital cameras, camcorders and MP3 players, including use of metadata to manage and find large numbers of resources. The TV provides another example of how search skills are needed to find and access resources of personal interests: whereas once we had a handful of TV channels, with the resource discovery information being published in newspapers daily, now we have 7 day electronic program guides covering over a hundred digital TV channels – again large numbers of resources to search through and, if the programmes are recorded, subsequently managed locally.

But if the need to make use of metadata and knowledge of search techniques in order to manage one’s digital environment illustrates how librarian 1.0 skills are becoming relevant to everyone, it is the importance of social networks for resource discovery and learning for everyone in which we see a future in which the hyperlinked librarian is simply a skill which everyone will be expected to have.

The popularity of such social discovery skills can be gauged from the article in The Metro (a free newspaper published in the UK and made available on buses and trains in a number of towns and cities) last week (Thursday 10 September 2013).  The article, “We’re Starting to Trust Twitter Over Google” described how “looking closely at user behaviour across Britain [we] found we are relying less of traditional search engines such as Google to find content. Instead, we’re becoming more comfortable scanning and processing long streams of information from Facebook pages and Twitter feeds – content delivered to us be people we follow“. A blog post by the author of the article, Suranga Chandratillake, founder of the Internet Media Platform, provides additional information: “We also conducted our own Nation of Sharers study that found that nearly half (43%) of people aged 18 – 24 prefer to discover through their social networks rather than search engines. This means we are starting to trust twitter over Google. Traditional search will always have a place – but the balance is definitely shifting“.

Such social sharing is taking place in a variety of contexts. These days I find myself browsing for goods such as books, DVDs, gadgets and holidays on services such as HotUKDeals. This services allows users to upload information on cheap deals which can be voted on, so that the crowd can identify good deals.

Sunshine Stacey's profile on HotukdealsWe are seeing hyper-connected individuals emerging on such services, who are good at finding and sharing relevant information. One example of Sunshine Stacey who provides details on holiday deals. As can be seen from Sunshine Stacey’s profile, the service provides statistics on users’ engagement with the service, with Sunshine Stacy having posts details of 283 deals which have had 1.0 million views and have had almost 4,000 comments. It should also be noticed that the service also provides badges, with Stacey having 8 badges shown on her profile page.

What are the implications if the skills in being highly connected in order to maximise opportunities for finding information of relevance and engaging in discussions with one’s trusted networks in order to validate the relevance and accuracy of such resources and enhance associated learning through discussions based on the resources?

Might it mean that librarian skills will only be needed in very specialist areas (such as medical and law librarians) or, alternatively, for engaging with patrons who do not have the necessary technical and social skills and who would otherwise be left behind in an environment in which mastery in use of social media will be needed?

The Chauffeurs of the Twenty-First Century?

In this scenario might dedicated training for librarians in building a specialist ‘hyperlinked library’ be akin to specialist training for chauffeurs when few people had the skills to drive a motorcar? Back in November 2011 Aaron Tay asked “Is librarianship in crisis and should we be talking about it?” Aaron asked:

Imagine a young potential librarian-to-be contacts you and asks you for advice on whether he should enter the profession. What picture of librarianship should you paint? I believe it would be irresponsible not to at least mention the challenges and potential stumbling blocks that libraries are facing in the future, so they will know what they will be up against.

I agree that it would be irresponsible to paint a simple picture of the hyperlinked library.  I’ve shared a number of other scenarios. I’d welcome feedback and comments, including those who disagree with the scenarios I’ve described!

The Library of the Future (Part 4): A Dystopian Future?

The Library of the Future Series of Posts

In previous posts in this series I have asked whether the vision for The Library of the Future will be based on A Privatised Future or the provision of Services for the Self-Motivated Middle Classes. In a post entitled Because We’re Right! I also argued that there was a need to consider the assumptions which may be made when planning development of a hyperlinked library.

The aim of this series of posts is to encourage debate on alternative visions of the future of libraries which go beyond a technical deterministic utopian vision. Such considerations were addressed last year in  ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC organised by the University of Edinburgh (which will be repeated later this year).

A Dystopian Future?

David Hopkins took part on the MOOC and provided a useful summary of his experiences on his blog. The post on “Reflection on the ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC, Wk.1 #edcmooc” described the terms ‘utopian’ and dystopian’: “in relation to education and technology: ‘utopian’ (creating highly desirable social, educational, or cultural effects) or ‘dystopian’ (creating extremely negative effects for society, education or culture)” and summarised utopian and dystopian claims as show below.

Utopian vs dystopian characteristics

The MOOC provided a number of video clips which illustrated how popular films show how the dreams of a utopian future can founder.

David described how “One film I felt could be used to highlight the technology/natural divide is Bruce Willis’ ‘Surrogates‘, where “humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots”. A trailer for this film is shown below.


Beyond such mainstream films, a number of short films were used om the MOOC to illustrate dystopian visions of the future. A post on Utopia, Dystopia and Myopia : Are We Blind Followers of Technology? provided a number of examples including Bendito Machine III:

and Inbox:

Will Librarians Help to Build This Dystopian Future?

The  ‘eLearning and Digital Cultures’ MOOC  was aimed at the e-learning community and appeared to be particularly popular in the higher education elearning community in the UK. It was interesting, I felt, that this MOOC, one of the first MOOCs organised in the UK, began with such a challenging view of technological developments, This contrasted strongly with the resources which have been used so far in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC, which have typically provided an optimistic vision based on pioneering work of early adopters of networked technologies in libraries.

Are these contrasting approaches based on differing perspectives of the learning and library communities or does it reflect positive US attitudes versus UK cynicism and doubt? Such cultural differences were highlighted in an article entitled “The stoic, the upbeat and les misérables” republished last weekend in “FT Weekend: The Best of 2013″:

There was an aspect of American culture, the relentless desire to make things whole and happy, that crucially overwhelmed its attempts to say something lasting and serious. If the French have a tendency to problematise, the Americans do the opposite, cheerfully skirting over pain, ambiguity, nuance.


Do Americans skirt over the pain and ambiguities of the implications of pervasive social networks? Or do the Brits, along with the French. problematise? As a Brit I would warn of the dangers of a failure of those involved in developing visions for the library of the future to consider the dystopian implications of cheerfully embracing technological determinism!



The Library of the Future (Part 3): Because We’re Right!

The Need to Challenge Orthodoxies

The approach taken in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC is to stimulate discussion and debate as learning can arise as a result of such discussions. The MOOC provides a series of lectures from guest speakers and recommended readings but it is not envisaged that the learning will arise purely as a result of passive consumption of these resources, but in engaging in discussion on the issues raised in these resources – and also, I would argue – in the gaps in the resources and the assumptions they make.

In my first post in this series, The Library of the Future (Part 1): A Privatised Future?, I raised concerns that the library of the future would be based on privatisation of the library infrastructure and a deterioration in the working conditions for those working in libraries. The second post, The Library of the Future (Part 2): Services for the Self-Motivated Middle Classes?, suggested that the moves from the physical environment and face-to-face interactions t use of networked technologies and engagement in virtual spaces could result in a devalued experiences for those unable or unwilling to make use of such networked technologies, with the benefits being gained by sectors who least need such external support.

This post considers the implicit assumptions which this MOOC makes, that the hyperlinked library unquestionably provides a model for the future and the need is to learn from the early adopters of hyperlinked libraries and share best practices.

Fake Certainties

Being overly confident in a position can lead to you to overcommit to a position

Being overly confident in a position can lead to you to overcommit to a position

At the IWMW 2013 event which I organised, Neil Denny gave an inspiring talk on “The Delicious Discomfort Of Not Knowing: How to Lead Effectively Through Uncertainty“. As described in the Storify summary of the talk “Neil Denny explored the experience of living through uncertainty and the communicative challenges that can arise out of our belief in our own knowing.  Denny argued that we should embrace living on the edge of our comfort zone and get used to existing in that uncertain space to help develop coping mechanisms“.

In a post entitled Fake Certainty published yesterday Neil revisited these ideas.The post described the hot air balloon peril: as “a result of  over-commitment, where we resolve to pursue a particular route and, having made that choice, we then find it is becomes increasingly impossible to deviate from it“.

Is the hyperlinked libary of the future based on ‘faked certainties’, I wonder? I’d therefore like to explore some of the certainties which advoicates of greater use of networked technologies in libraries seem to tend not to question.

What ‘Fake Certainities’ Might the Hyperlinked Library Be Based On?

What are the assumptions of the vision for the hyperlinked library of the future be based on which will need challenging in order to ensure that the significant investments to be made in implementing a vision for the library of the future will be based on strong foundations whose validity is based on evidence, rather than current fashions? Some key dependencies om which hyperlinked libraries would appear to require which will need to be validated include:

  • The relevance of learning through connections: Will the benefits of learning through one’s rich set of connections which are provided by use of social media be relevant in all contexts, for all people, in all areas, at all times? If not, when are alternative approaches needed?
  • To what extend can we trust our networks: How do we address the dangers of errors, lies and misinformation being disseminated on network tools such as Twitter? Might significant misuse lead to a backlash and a return to a preference for traditional trusted sources of information?
  • To what extent will users continue to trust librarians? As I described in February 2007 a blog post which provided a brief summary of and OCLC report on ‘Sharing, Privacy and Trust In Our Networked World‘:
  • “…general users “do not rate most library services as very private” even though “the majority do not read library privacy policies.” Most users do, however, “feel commercial sites keep their personal information secure” but only “about half think library Web sites keep their personal information secure“. The nature of trust of commercial social network services is also increasing with use.
  • Will users continue to be prepared to make use of Google, Twitter Facebook, etc.?: Although concerns over privacy, content ownership, terms and conditions, etc. are well-known and do not seem to be a significant barrier to continued use of these services, what would be the implications for a hyperlinked library organisation which was dependent on use of these services if users decided to stop using the services to a significant extent?
  • Changes to the technological infrastructure: As Tony Hirst has recently described in a post entitled “Remembering a Time When the Web Was More Open…?” on his OUseful blog “Twitter gave up on RSS/Atom, opting for JSON instead;  … Authentication also killed off a whole range of Amazon related mashups“. Might continued changes to the technological infrastructure used by large-scale providers of the services used to provide hyperlinked libraries lead to significant problems in use of the services?
  • Legal issues provide significant barriers to use of networked services in a library context: Pressures on libraries to ensure that their services do not infringe on copyright owners rights and to provide a safe and trusted environment for library patrons results in a move away from open social web services and greater use of managed ‘walled gardens’.

Perhaps these issues are somebody else’s problem? But if there is a belief that the future for libraries is dependent on a transformation to ‘hyperlinked libraries’ surely these and similar issues will need to be addressed?

Acknowledgement: The image used in this post was taken from http://theleagueofnotknowing.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/fake-certainty/ and used with permission.

The Library of the Future (Part 2): Services for the Self-Motivated Middle Classes?

A Brave New World?

The first module on the Hyperlinked Library MOOC provided a series of resources on The Hyperlinked Library Model & Participatory Service. Although I’ve not read all of the resources, skimming through a number of them I’ve noticed they tend to provide a very optimistic view of the future for the library in a heavily networked and connected environment. To give an example the concluding remarks from a number of the resources are given below:

  • These characteristics are just some of the facets of what I believe will make libraries truly innovative, useful and needed in the 21st century” – the final sentence on the article on The hyperlinked library.
  • The direction academic libraries take is up to us. It’s ours to figure out. So let’s not be satisfied by adding small features, but instead, let’s use our imaginations to dream big and create amazing experiences that transform our users.” – final paragraph in the article on “Facing The Future: Think Like A Startup” (PDF format).
  • cell phones, laptops, and the Web are rapidly becoming the best tools we have for staying connected to the people and ideas and activities that are important to us” – from the final paragraph of the article on Social Machines: Computing Means Connecting.
  • can make your imagination stir to life and water the garden where hope for something more might take root” – from the penultimate paragraph of the blog post on Finding the Future.

I also watched a video on “Library of the Future in Plain English”. As described in my first post in this series which seek to critique these seemingly uncritical views of the future for libraries in a highly connected digital environment role this video depicts a future which, from a UK perspective, seems to run counter to the ethos of public service and the trusted and neutral values which librarians have. Perhaps such values are no longer relevant or can be provided by for-profit companies which can stimulate innovation by exploiting new business models.  But if this is the case, there needs to be an open and public debate about the nature of the changes which embracing technologies, and in particular social media technologies which are typically owned by global companies based in the US.

Library Services For The Self-Motivated Individuals and the Middle Classes?

But in addition to the issues related to the ownership of the social media services and the terms and conditions governing use of such services there is also a need to consider whether the emphasis of networked technologies will undermine the services libraries have traditionally provided for a broad set of communities.

Back in November 2010 I wrote a post entitled “Dazed and Confused After #CETIS10“. My dazed and confused feelings began during the opening plenary talk given by Anya Kamanetz which was based on her recent book on “DIY University Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education. As summarised by Christina Smart on the JISC E-Learning Focus blog:

Recent years have seen a drive towards higher participation rates in both the UK and US … but above 40% participation rates problems occur. Issues around massification, cost shifting (where governments push the costs onto students), and student loans are all at play. There is also the influence of Baumol’s disease, where disciplines like the performing arts, are unable to make efficiency savings by reducing teacher to student ratios.

Anya argued that the combination of cost, access and quality made a compelling “case for radical innovation” in higher education. Shifting towards open content, socialisation and accreditation could result in that radical innovation, and Anya expanded on the benefits of Open Educational Resources, Personal Learning Networks and open accreditation approaches. Citing developments like Mozilla drumbeat’s P2PU – School of Webcraft, Anya described how “professional networks can bypass the need for diplomas”. She concluded with the prediction that new business models for HE would emerge, as mp3 players and digital music had transformed the business model of the music industry.

These sentiments echo the sentiments expressed in the readings provided in first module of the HyperlInked Library MOOC. In my previous post I described how the Library of the Future video expects library staff to “have much more fluid and adaptable roles …  working flexible hours who may not be in the library building at all“. This begs the question of whether the flexible terms and conditions will include reductions in pay, volunteer labour and zero-hours contracts. But rather than revisiting the implications for library staff, in this post I’m concerned with the implications for users of library services. In particular I would like to ask “Will the emphasis of the hyperlinked library of the future provide most benefits to self-motivated individuals and the middle classes who will be best positioned to exploit networked services, to the detriment of  the wider community?

In particular what about the information requirements for those who:

  • Don’t have access to networked technologies, smart phones, etc.?
  • Don’t have the skills or confidence to use networked technologies?
  • Are not prepared to use services which require the user to allow commercial exploitation of their content or who do not want their preferences and network details to be mined for commercial exploitation?
  • Feel that use of such services contravenes legislation in their country or who cannot access such services as their host environment does not provide access due to legislative concerns (e.g. EU data protection legislation)?
  • Are concerned that their personal content hosted by US companies will be accessed by US authorities?

Michel Casey’s guest post on “Revisiting Participatory Service in Trying Times” addressed some of the challenges society is currently facing:

It’s far from the end for public libraries. It’s easy, in these tough times, to only listen to the naysayers and prognosticators of doom, to only hear those in our community calling for the elimination of libraries. But limited tax revenues, the Internet, and eBooks are not burying the public library. Limited tax revenues will force us to become more efficient, the Internet is part of our future, and eBooks are simply another delivery vehicle. We control this future, and we can make it a successful one by making full use of the tools at hand.

But does addressing the economic challenges require that we fail to acknowledge other concerns I have listed above?




The Library of the Future (Part 1): A Privatised Future?


I am co-facilitating a day’s workshop on “Future Technologies and Their Applications” at the ILI (Internet Library International) conference in London next month. This MOOC is providing an ideal opportunity for me to think about issues which myself and Tony Hirst, my workshop co-facilitator, should address at the event. In particular the MOOC is enabling me to reflect on the role of the library in the future, going beyond the technologies which will be the main focus of the workshop.

Highlights of The Library of the Future in Plain English Video

One of the recommended readings (viewings?) for the MOOC is the YouTube video entitled “Library of the Future in Plain English” by Mal Booth, Sophie McDonald and Belinda Tiffen of the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Library.

The video begins by announcing “The Library of the Future will be very different to the way we do business now“. But how will they be different? It seems that the current library environment has little to offer to the modern environment:

Libraries can be fun places to work, but they are also part of large organizations and therefore can be bureaucratic, with a very hierarchical organization structure. Often, the task we have to perform will be carried out in different departments. This can lead to silos where there is little communication between staff in different areas. Decision making is top down. That’s old way, boo!”

However in the future:

…  we’ll need to rethink our work conditions. Library staff work regular hours. We’re not quite 9 to 5 because libraries are often open long hours. But we will all come to work and spend most of our day at our desk in a back room probably with some rusted time at a service desk in the public spaces. This old way of doing things isn’t going to fit with the new library.

 As well as changes to working hours, the work environment will change:

The new library will be available 24/7 and online will be just as important as the physical building. We’ll have to have staff working flexible hours who may not be in the library building at all. They might work from home and use mobile technology to provide information services from almost any location, from a cafe, to a classroom. Librarians will be both online and in the physical library and that means a whole new service model.

and librarians will have to move out of their offices:

Librarians love to help people and connect them to information and ideas. But sometimes, it could be hard for people to approach us when we’re behind desks or hidden away in offices. We can see more authoritative and anonymous to our clients or like we are there to enforce rules rather than help. We all know and hate the stereotype of the pearl-wearing librarian who goes around shushing people, boo! A new service model will let us show that librarians are creative experimental and open. We could become part of research teams embedded in faculties, coaching facilitating and offering new services in ways which are proactive providing advice in the information before our clients even know they need it. We can borrow ideas from other sectors like retail.Think of the Apple store where there are always geniuses to help you and the service feels personal. We can go in further by letting our personality show, especially online where we can use services like Facebook to create profiles and connect with the people who would most benefit from our expertise in ways which are collaborative.

The video clip goes on to describe address environmental issues:

Sustainability. The way we work now is very resource intensive, lots of paper consumption,
lots of printing, energy-intensive buildings, wasteful procurement processes, but that’s
the old way, boo! The new library buildings can be built to the highest grain specifications with features like rainwater collection, alternative energy use, waste water recycling and green furnishings.

 and modes of transport:

But sustainability isn’t just about the building. It’s about new attitudes and new ways of working. Libraries can encourage their staff to take public transport or walk or bicycle to work by providing storage areas for bikes, shower rooms and staff reward programs. It also models behavior for our  clients so there’s a ripple effect outwards.

Finally job titles, roles and responsibilities will change:

The people who work in libraries are generally classified by their position, the props of material they work with or by their role in the hierarchy as managers or workers. These kinds of roles are not going to suit the new way of doing things. We need to have much more fluid and adaptable roles. Would you rather be a cataloger, an IT technician or a media curator, a learning and gaming consultant. In the Library of the Future, we’ll need people who are creative, open to challenges and tolerant of mistakes. People who are team based and client focused, rather than hierarchical and rules focused. The new librarian is open to new possibilities and is constantly evolving.

Reflections From A Concerned UK Citizen

The video is one of a series of recommended readings for the first module of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC, which addresses The Hyperlinked Library Model & Participatory Service. The tone of the MOOC, the associated discussions and the resources is very up-beat and optimistic about the future of the “hyperlinked library”. But this optimism jars for someone who has been working in the UK  and has been observing recent changes in the public sector, including higher education and public libraries.

In the UK we have been seeing a ‘perfect storm’. Others on this MOOC will be very aware of the changes which rapid technological developments continue to provide – and this MOOC is about how such changes can be implemented in a library context. The implications of the economic crisis will also be widely appreciated, although this will have affected the MOOC participants differently, in light of the geographical spread of the participants. However the implications of the political changes in the UK are likely to have had direct relevance to the six or so MOOC participants who have geo-located their institution as being in the UK.

In brief we have seen the coalition government introducing significant increases in tuition fees for students going to university and cuts in funding for public libraries which is leading to closures of public libraries. In addition to the changes in the political and economic environment CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is currently looking to change its name, which has led to heated debate about the rebranding and the role of the professional body.

With this backdrop, the positivity of much of the discussions and the associated reading materials on The Hyperlinked Library MOOC seems to ignore the realities of the library environment in the UK. Voices For The Library, a campaigning organisation in the UK has published a manifesto which describes its vision for the role of public library services. I have annotated a number of the key points from the Library of the Future video, outlining how the library of the future could be implemented. This vision of the future is not necessarily one which the Voices For The Library would endorse!

What They Said What They Might Mean
Libraries can be fun places to work, but they are also part of large organizations and therefore can be bureaucratic, with a very hierarchical organization structure. Often, the task we have to perform will be carried out in different departments. This can lead to silos where there is little communication between staff in different areas Libraries reflect the welfare state environment which has been discredited. We are going to change things.
 we’ll need to rethink our work conditions. Library staff work regular hours. We’re not quite 9 to 5 because libraries are often open long hours. But we will all come to work and spend most of our day at our desk in a back room probably with some rusted time at a service desk in the public spaces. This old way of doing things isn’t going to fit with the new library. We’ll extend your working hours (but don’t expect to receive any more pay!)
We’ll have to have staff working flexible hours who may not be in the library building at all. They might work from home and use mobile technology to provide information services from almost any location, from a cafe, to a classroom You’ll still be on duty at home or during your social hours!
But sometimes, it could be hard for people to approach us when we’re behind desks or hidden away in offices. We’ll run a knocking campaign in the tabloid papers to gain public support for the changes.
We can see more authoritative and anonymous to our clients or like we are there to enforce rules rather than help. We all know and hate the stereotype of the pearl-wearing librarian who goes around shushing people, boo! Tabloid editors, feel free to use those stereotypes. Why do you think we mentioned them!
We can borrow ideas from other sectors like retail. Think of the Apple store where there are always geniuses to help you and the service feels personal. We don’t have to imitate the commercial sector – we can invite the commercial sector to run the libraries. Yes, we are talking about privatisation!
The way we work now is very resource intensive, lots of paper consumption, lots of printing, energy-intensive buildings, wasteful procurement processes, but that’s the old way, boo! Forget the irrelevant comments about “rainwater collection”. Libraries are  “very resource intensive” and we’re going to change that.
Libraries can encourage their staff to take public transport or walk or bicycle to work by providing storage areas for bikes, shower rooms and staff reward programs. No car parking (except for senior managers). We’ve sold the car parks to property developers. And with staff reward programs we can reduce wages.
We need to have much more fluid and adaptable roles Which will enable us to reduce wages
The new librarian is open to new possibilities and is constantly evolving.  Our plans are still evolving. We wonder whether we can explore income generation deals with Facebook and Amazon – we deliver the customers’ eyeballs and the shareholders make the money.

The development of the hyperlinked library of the future goes beyond the technologies. But it also needs to address the political and economic context in which the library service operates. I’d therefore invite a discussion of these issues.

“Whenever possible, use tools that already exist”

In  Rebecca’s blog on this MOOC she recently posted a summary of Sarah Ludwig’s guest lecture on Hyperlinked Library Communities. In the post, entitled “Reinventing the Wheel“, Rebecca highlighted three key messages from the guest lecture:

  1. Whenever possible, use tools that already exist.
  2. Go to the users; don’t expect the users to come to you.
  3. Be as present online as you are in the physical community

I very much agree with the second and third points (although the third point reflects a physical library environment – there are other environments in which the focus may, in any case, be based around online interactions).

But the initial point needs unpicking, I feel. I would agree with the dangers of developing new tools – which will require users to learn new interfaces and new ways of working – when existing tools are already available which can do the job.

The danger is that this will stifle innovation. What would be the point of Tim Berners-Lee developing the Web when Gopher already existing which provided a global information system based on the Internet?

Or, moving to today’s environment, are we suggesting that librarians should not consider social web environments beyond Facebook, Twitter and similar services?

Perhaps a more appropriate response would be to adopt the slogan “Developing new solutions is difficult and expensive and prone to failures. Make use of existing tools unless there are clear reasons not to and ensure that you articulate what those reasons are“. Would that be an approach which would be relevant in a library environment?

The Pros and Cons of MOOC Badges

My MOOC Badges

My MOOC badges

My MOOC badges

After I joined the Hyperlinked Library MOOC I familiarised myself with the online environment: I set up a blog, deleted the template post and page and published my first post. I joined a number of ‘tribes’ and befriended some of the people I’ve ‘met’ elsewhere, such as on Twitter.

I received email alerts which informed me that I had been awarded a badge for many of these activities: for Joining a Tribe; Sending a Friendship Request; Accepting a Friendship Request and Update my MOOC avatar. I also received an Update your MOOC avatar badge for collecting five badges!

Initial Reactions

Are these useful ways of publicly acknowledging active participation in a MOOC? Or do they undermine the learning process by rewarding trivial tasks? I have to admit that I felt the system was patronising me when I received a badge for deleting a blog post and updating my avatar, which was compounded with the badge for completing five other simple tasks.

I wrote about my initial reaction on my UK Web Focus blog.It seems that others agreed with my doubts. @CogDog commented that “I echo the cynicism of micro badging for every possible task; I would go beyond and find it revolting and demeaning“. John Paschoud reflected on the badges he received as a child but concluded that as an adult “I can manage the rest of my life entirely without any ‘badges’ that I get from websites – especially the ones focused on online democratic participation or IT ‘skills’. Your cynicism about them is entirely appropriate!” However Margaret (a fellow student on the Hyperlinked Library MOOC described how she is “the classmate who commented on basically being intrinsically motivated and ‘surprised’ (to say the least) at the little thrill of pleasure acquiring a badge gave me. I am not without my skepticism, but am currently enjoying it“. Margaret went on to add that “I know there is great controversy about badges, and I agree with CogDog and others that to really be worthy, badges should indicate that some significant learning has taken place“.

Further Thoughts

I felt it important to document my initial reaction when I received the MOOC badges as I was confident that I would not be alone in having such concerns. However I was also aware that others would appreciate receiving acknowledgements of their initial engagement with the MOOC environment.In addition one’s initial reaction may change in light of subsequent experiences and discussion with others. Since learning through interaction with others has a key role to play in the Hyperlinked Library MOOC I am providing some further thoughts on possible strengths and weakness of badges.

User benefits:Badges can provide motivation for learners, by providing tangible and public evidence of progress through a learning environment,

User concerns: Badges may be regarded as trivial and irrelevant to deeper learning.

Organiser benefits: Organisers of learning environments which make provide badges can have an overview of progress through tools which monitor awarding of badges.

Organiser concerns: Learners may regard badge awards as of intrinsic value in themselves, rather than as proxy display of progress.

Benefits and concerns for other interested parties: Potential employers may be able to use badges as an indication of the skills and expertise of applicants. However if this becomes widely accepted, employers will need to be wary of how badges can be ‘gamed’ or fake badge credentials used.

I welcome comments on these thoughts.

Further Information

Whilst writing this post I looked at a number of online resources. Whilst this isn’t intended to provide an authoritative bibliography of relevant resources, I thought it would be useful to others if I were to share the resources I found. I’d welcome suggestions of additional relevant resources.

Introduction from Brian Kelly

Brian KellyMy name is Brian Kelly. I worked at UKOLN at the University of Bath, UK as a Web technology adviser from 1996 until July 2013.  I was made redundant following the cessation of JISC funding on 31 July.

This has provided me with an opportunity to enhance my professional skills and look for new opportunities, either for a full-time or part-time position or as a consultant / trainer / writer.

I have been blogging on the UK Web Focus blog since 2006 and have published over 1,200 posts since the blog was launched.

I’ll use this blog to support my involvement on the Hyperlinked Library MOOC and also to reflect on the experience of the MOOC environment and technologies.