Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 10: Libraries and Transliteracy

If transliteracy is the future of literacy, what happens to publishing and how does the role of libraries change? Some key ideas: •future of libraries •democratization of publishing Ian Clark writes on the need for libraries in the digital age at Libraries are a bridge between the information-rich and the information-poor.  They need reinforcing, not dismantling. We need to continue to provide a  highly skilled service that is able to meet the needs of the general public. The service ought to continue to innovate to take advantage of the way in which  people are interacting with the service in a different way. It needs to continue  to bridge the gap between those who have access to the internet and those  who do not, while also ensuring it delivers on other aspects of its core service  (book loans, local studies materials, etc). If the service is cut, we run the risk of an ill-informed society that is ill-equipped to prosper in the “information age” – a dangerous prospect for any democracy. From the Libraries and Transliteracy blog (by Lane Wilkinson) incorporating social media into the library instruction curriculum can add a familiar, effective, and transferable skill-set for addressing the critical ACRL Information Literacy Standards. As Bobish concludes his article, social media and related technologiespresent a golden opportunity, not generally available previously, for students to see the real world relevance of the skills that they learn through information literacy instruction and to learn how information is created and shared by doing it themselves rather than hearing about it. (p. 63) Discussion Questions: Q1. Elizabeth Daley encourages us to expand the concept of literacy. We’ve talked about transliteracy. What role do you think transliteracy plays (will play) in the development of publishing (and reading and writing)? Q2. If publishing, traditionally, evoked ideas of editors, gatekeepers, experts and credibility and current online publishing is synonymous (usually) with interconnected conversation, legitimacy of interaction and communication - how do we as writers and readers legitimise both credibility and interconnected conversation? Q3. According to Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons): “I think it is a great thing when amateurs create, even if the thing they create is not as great as what the professional creates. I want my kids to write. But that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop reading Hemingway and read only what they write. What Keen misses is the value to a culture that comes from developing the capacity to create—independent of the quality created. That doesn’t mean we should not criticise works created badly (such as, for example, Keen’s book…). But it does mean you’re missing the point if you simply compare the average blog to the NY times.” What does Lessig’s quote imply about (critical) literacies and literary practises concerned with publishing? Q3. This week we’ve talked about the role of libraries in the new landscape of publishing. Some people see libraries as passe, “If you plopped a library down 30 years from now there would be cobwebs growing everywhere because people would look at it and wouldn’t think of it as a legitimate institution because it would be so far behind...” What transliterate practises might libraries employ in order to place libraries at the centre of an informational social web?

1 comment:

  1. Regarding placing libraries at the centre of an informational social web: after viewing Bobbi Newman's "Libraries and Transliteracy", I found myself wandering through other library-related presentations on slideshare. I came across Buffy J. Hamilton's presentation, "librarians and libraries as sponsors of literacy"
    Hamilton calls for libraries to be "powerful and positive sponsor(s) of transliteracy" and to be spaces for participation, conversation, and discovery.

    While looking through the Libraries and Transliteracy blog, I realized that there are many librarians who are in fact being sponsors of transliteracy in very direct ways, as in Gretchen Caserotti's "Transliteracy in your Summer Reading Program", which describes sending kids on quests to discover answers through different media. This reminded me of the librarian at my daughter's school, who is active in helping kids navigate technology and search (and evaluate) information. I've also found the U of A librarians I've made contact with via the library site's chat function to be a wealth of knowledge and information-finding know-how, disproving my (incredibly naive) belief at the beginning of the MACT program that I could probably just use Google to find whatever I needed.

    My hope is that librarians like these, who stay at the forefront of emerging media and technologies and are able to help their patrons develop transliteracy, will be able to prove their relevance and value to those who make library funding decisions. Let's hope that our politicians recognize the value of a transliterate population!