Director's Brief: Scoop.it

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As an assignment for the Hyperlinked Library, I wrote a proposal for implementing content curation services using Scoop.it (TM) in a public library.
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    Scoop.it for Northbrook Public Library Director ’ s Brief Susan Kelly  Director’s Brief: Scoop.it & Curation  2 Sample Some Scoop.its    Judy O’Connell on Social Networking      Robin Good on Curation    Susan Kelly on China    Susan Kelly on Libraries Director’s Brief: Scoop.it for the Northbrook Public Library Curation is the new search.  Joyce Valenza  Introduction With staggering amounts of information added to the Internet daily (Rosenbaum, 2012) separating the wheat from the kitty videos has become daunting for all who seek information for pleasure, learning, civic engagement, work, and creating. Clay Shirky considers this problem “filter failure”  (Herther, 2013). Yet our patrons need not feel lost or overwhelmed. With our skill in curation demonstrated through a savvy use of Scoop.it, a digital curation tool, we can serve our patrons so they can get the most out of the Internet. As Barthole notes:   The fact is that this [curation] phenomenon has the merit of putting people at the heart of the selection information and its classification, a vision was somewhat neglected human intervention in favor of all-powerful tools. . . . We can only rejoice to see the return to the front of the stage a subject dear to information professionals (2010) 1 . In Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service   , Casey and Savastinuk point out that people ’ s expectations have changed. They want more efficient service in a convenient form (2007). Scoop.it  ’ s curating platform offers a way to use our expertise to meet our community ’ s information needs. Literature Review Our mission is to strive to support the community through the “dissemination, exchange, and evaluation of ideas and information” (n.d.). In an era when  people have begun to see that Google has its limits, people are becoming aware their need for good curators (Good, 2011, Rosenbaum, 2011). 1  Translated from French with all due apologies by Susan Kelly.  Director’s Brief: Scoop.it & Curation  3 Steven Rosenbaum offers an excellent definition of curation as “ the act of individuals with a passion for a content area to find, contextualize and organize information. Curators provide a consistent update regarding what’s interesting, happening and cool in their focus” (2012).  Sources like The Huntington Post   or The Drudge Report   offer curated news on numerous topics and platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook allow users to curate whenever they post a link and comment on it (Ovadia, 2013). Moreover, Good offers curation approaches that vary in level of personal point of view (2012). By featuring curator’s photos or having a topic curated by several librarians offering diverse perspectives, libraries can determine and fine tune the level of personality revealed in curation. Understanding Content Curation and Scoop.it Easy to learn with free and fee-based accounts, Scoop.it allows users to start curating websites, within minutes of starting an account (Greenbaum, 2012). A scoop features a link to the srcinal document, an image, a space for comment, and tagging. Scoop.it boards may be embedded on a blog, tweeted or posted on Facebook. Sharing may extend far beyond our own social media and go viral. A straightforward service, Scoop.it can be learned in a few hours (Greenbaum, 2012) probably one or two when guided in a class. School libraries have embraced Scoop.it, but my research yielded no use in public libraries. Yet because Scoop.it offers a means of curating and sharing information, I propose beginning by using it for:    Readers’ Services  offering Scoop.it boards embedded in blogs and social media on genres of interest to our patrons, e.g. mystery books, classics, sci-fi, YA literature or best sellers interviews and articles on important authors. We can also curate for our book clubs to support them throughout the month not just when they meet. If we use circulation data, we can spot current interest.     Audio/Visual department   offering scoops related to our collection, film news, e.g. Oscar news, background information on films we’re about to show. Our librarians should follow Bouffard and Owen’s checklist (2012) to ensure that our scoops are timely, pertinent and useful. After successfully launching the pages above we should add pages on such topics as:    Parenting our patrons with children tend to be very concerned about their children’s development, literacy, and academic success. Scoops on reading, school projects (e.g. science fair ideas), developments in education and the  Director’s Brief: Scoop.it & Curation  4 college application process are likely to be popular. We should communicate with local schools for better relevance, i.e. current academic or social issues.    Digital Developments in the age of information given our expertise in technology, we should be one of the top sources of information on technology use, trends and impact. By leading users to analysis, news, reviews and how-tos, we can guide people through this changing landscape.    Information for recent immigrants and expats   –  Design a page with local information and news from international sources in several languages. We will need to partner with patrons from other countries, local schools and government for language and cultural expertise.    World Languages –  we should add information to our existing boards in a variety of languages with the help of bilingual staff and community members. By offering multi-lingual information we better serve all our patrons. Our patrons can access our scoops via our Facebook page, tweets, website and (future) blogs. We should train several staff members to use Scoop.it and coordinate how they will contribute to internal and external topic boards. The chart below summarizes the benefits and difficulties surrounding implementing Scoop.it use.  AFFORDANCES CONCERNS    Offer community information selected with “humanrithms , ” i.e. head and heart  , not just algorithms. Bring people the best of the web using our insight and expertise.    Use for internal professional development. Curate the best of library and technology news and analysis.    Market our expertise. Can be shared in newsletters, blogs, & other social media.    Teach our patrons to curate (Teach a person a fish, rather than only giving him a fish.)    Supports learning everywhere, learning always. Can curate articles, videos, podcasts, images with annotations containing text, links, images and tags.    Develop community ties by engaging bilingual speakers as volunteer curators.    Do we have the resources? This service is the heart   of our mission. Thus we should find the resources.    What about copyright? Our librarians are skilled in copyright issues and can learn the simple Curator’s Code developed by Andersons & Popova (n.d.). we can   teach patrons about copyright and these new annotations.    Will Scoop.it last? There’s no certainty for any social media. The risk is minimal. Our aim is providing people with valuable Internet content in the present, not preserving a collection of internet documents.    What about fairness? Curation isn’t censorship because we are not denying users information. (Herther, 2013)
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