Public libraries - Unlocking community knowledge

Great piece by David Lankes that parallels well the "cultivating a community garden"  thinking  and community engagement approach I've advocated for years.   Here's the main point he drives home:

"(Librarians) need to know how to unlock the knowledge of the community and set it free while imbuing the entire community with the values of learning, openness, intellectual honesty, and intellectual safety."
The bolding is my emphasis.  Read the full piece:  Last Man Standing: How to Kill Public Libraries


10 years + of blogging

I just noticed that this year is milestone for me… I’ve been blogging here for 10 years.   Technically I started penning my thoughts in a blog format in 2001 when my youngest daughter was born and I decided to move my “mommy journaling” to the internet.   In fact, I was such an early adopter and user of Blogger that my url prefix was only three letters.  My “mommy blog” is no longer accessible, but I have still have all the entries (over 700 in 7 years) printed out in book format.   Yup,  for prosperity purposes, print still prevails!  (say that fast three times)

Anyway,  I merely highlight this milestone because it’s been amazing to me how much blogs have changed and morphed over the last decade.  “Blogging” (ie the sharing and posting on one’s thoughts on the internet) is still an active practice, we just no longer really call it blogging anymore.  For the most part, blogs are now just called websites and the social behaviors associated with sharing one’s thoughts openly on the web has moved onto other platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Medium. Here’s a borrowed image from Gigaom  that does a nice job in demonstrating this.   And that’s all for this post… here’s to the next ten years.  :)
Image: Gigaom  

PS:  A few other pieces on the changes in blogging that I found interesting:


The death of the printed Newspaper: thoughts & Clay Shirky

Confession:  I haven’t subscribed to my local newspaper since I moved from Charlotte in 2007 & even then I only subscribed to the weekend edition of the Observer.  Truth be told, I didn’t seen the value, beyond browsing local section for community/human interest stories and scanning the circulars for deals, since all my immediate news and information needs came in pixel format. Once I moved a new city, I didn't have the immediate sense of a connection to the community (that took time), so even then the weekend edition wasn't appealing.  Once I finally felt that connection, I had developed a new Sunday morning ritual that no longer included leisurely reading the local paper.    

In a presentation I did several years ago, I highlighted some of the parallels between the newspaper industry and libraries.  Both lend their origin to the invention of the printing press; newspapers for the sharing and distribution of information about current events and happenings (primarily in the loose leaflet format) .  Libraries for the sharing and distribution of stories and the world’s formalized knowledge (primarily in the book format).     

The parallels between these two industries/institutions is easy to see when comparing the distribution center, the distribution agent and the distribution format.   Here’s the two slides extracted from my talk titled From Libraries to Lifebraries

Clay Shirky  published a piece on Medium this week that reminded me of this talk.  Titled Last Call: The end of the printed newspaper, it’s definitely worth a read.    


Web Literacy Map

It’s been a long time since I posted anything here.  Quite frankly, I’ve been busy and swamped with life.   But this little gem of find is worth dusting off the blogging keyboard and sharing …

The Web Literacy Map, created as a commons project by Mozilla, is  a set of  “competencies and skills that … are important to pay attention to when getting better at reading, writing and participating on the web.”     Yup. totally up the learning in libraries alley.

Anyway, I don’t need to highlight much here, other than say… take a look at it.    The site brings together all sorts of great tools and resources that libraries can use to explore and help community member develop skills and new knowledge.   What I especially love is the easy to follow framework chunking digital literacy’s into  three easy to understand categories:  Exploring, Building and Connecting.    Take a look for yourself.

There's even a wiki to contribute the conversation yourself.