In what is definitely one of the more creative social media ad campaigns I’ve seen lately, users log on to Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit and send a question or a comment to one of the official Old Spice feeds. If the Old Spice folks like your submission, they’ll upload a video response to YouTube, starring the Old Spice Guy, also known as Isiah Mustafa – a former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. This one was made in response to a tweet (thanks wawoodworth!):
On Twitter, @wawoodworth wrote “ATTN LIBRARIAN TWEEPS: Need help getting @oldspice guy to say a few words regarding libraries. RT plz. Thanks.”
The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries (pdf), is based on the first large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. A few statistics from the report here (based on a 12-month period):
- 40 percent of library computer users (an estimated 30 million people) received help with career needs. Among these users, 75 percent reported they searched for a job online. Half of these users filled out an online application or submitted a resume.
- 37 focused on health issues. The vast majority of these users (82 percent) logged on to learn about a disease, illness, or medical condition. One-third of these users sought out doctors or health care providers. Of these, about half followed up by making appointments for care.
- 42 percent received help with educational needs. Among these users, 37 percent (an estimated 12 million students) used their local library computer to do homework for a class.
- Library computers linked patrons to their government, communities, and civic organizations. Sixty-percent of users – 43.3 million people – used a library’s computer resources to connect with others.
My personal favorite:
- Nearly two-thirds of library computer users (63 percent) logged on to help others.
Annette Lamb is a Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, Indianapolis. She is a prolific author who writes about the role of new technologies in teaching and learning. Lamb writes: “Rather than viewing social-networking tools as negative, school library media specialists should investigate the value of online tools for furthering intellectual freedom by promoting creative thought, communication, and collaboration.” Intellectual Freedom for Youth: Social Technology and Social Networks (PDF) explores eight ways librarians, teachers, and school media specialists can address key issues related to intellectual freedom and social technology for young people.
I may be a bit late getting on the boat here, but I wanted to share the concept (and the nifty mashup/web application). Radical trust is a term used to describe the confidence, hope, and risk that any structured organization must take when working collaboratively with an online community of users. More specifically, radical trust pertains to the use of participant-friendly blogs, wikis and online social networking platforms by organizations (businesses, libraries, museums) to cultivate relationships with an online community that can then provide feedback and direction for the organization’s interest. The organization trusts (radically) and uses that input in its management.
This concept of radical trust is considered to be an underlying assumption of Library 2.0. Librarian Darlene Fichter writes:
We can only build emergent systems if we have radical trust. With an emergent system, we build something without setting in stone what it will be or trying to control all that it will be. We allow and encourage participants to shape and sculpt and be co-creators of the system. We don’t have a million customers/users/patrons … we have a million participants and co-creators.
Radical trust is about trusting the community. We know that abuse can happen, but we trust (radically) that the community and participation will work. In the real world, we know that vandalism happens but we still put art and sculpture up in our parks. As an online community we come up with safeguards or mechanisms that help keep open contribution and participation working.
Blyberg, John. (2006). 11 reasons why Library 2.0 exists and matters, Blyberg.net