Over the course of the fall semester, I had the opportunity to visit a handful of classes to speak on news literacy. I began by posing the question, “Does the news media take sides?” Though a small sample, nearly 100 percent of students I polled distrusted the media. I found this wariness of the mainstream media echoed throughout classes I visited — on campuses ranging from rural Humphreys County to just a few miles outside downtown Nashville—as I quizzed students on their news habits.
When LJ Mover & Shaker Willie Miller first got hired at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as the Informatics and Journalism Librarian in 2010, he was that rare commodity: a young person with an ear to the ground on social media and a taste for library science.
HarperCollins took its latest step in enabling authors and readers to interact in real time and to give those fascinated by books and publishing an insider’s view of the business, all via live programming using the new Facebook Live app on smartphones. Launched on June 6, the five-day-a-week programs, ranging from 15-45 minutes, can exponentially expand an author’s reach, from being able to live stream a program from their own home or on a book tour, for instance, to posting that program on their Facebook page for later viewing (and sharing on social media) by fans, as well as on HC’s Facebook or Book Studio 16 pages.
Partners from three universities across the country have joined forces on a new project, Documenting the Now: Supporting the Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content, that will collect, archive, and provide access to Twitter feeds chronicling historically significant current events, particularly around issues of social justice.
There’s never been an easy way for academic librarians to establish a direct communication channel with students. With fewer students checking email, texting is a better option.
Researchers at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) are using the open-source Social Media Tracker, Analyzer, and Collector Toolkit at Syracuse (STACKS) to collect and analyze social media posts and traffic related to the 2016 presidential candidates as part of an interdisciplinary digital politics project, according to a campus publication.
Feats of athleticism and a chance to bond over the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat—looking at you, fellow Cubs fans—are great and all, but let’s face it: the most fun part of any sporting event is the chance to heckle your friends rooting for the opposing team. Need proof? Observe the latest round of Twitter Trash Talk between librarians in Kansas City and New York as the Royals and Mets face off in the World Series.
Digitization may have democratized the field, but not many special collections librarians actively promote to a general audience. University of Iowa librarian Colleen Theisen is the exception.
As libraries continue exploring ways to weave online social media into their core service, a Pew study suggests popular Internet gathering spots such as Facebook and Twitter are not effective places for generating meaningful or honest conversation about significant news events. Not only are people not more willing to discuss controversial issues online than they are in person, in fact, the reverse is true.
Changes to platforms we use regularly are always slightly traumatic, as we invariably discover when we roll out a new library website and the complaints begin, or we find out a database interface has changed radically the day we’re introducing it to students. Platform changes are even more distressing when they are sites to which we contribute content. By creating social circles and sharing information on websites, we often forget they belong to other people who have values and motivations different from ours.