Jun 102010

This post isn’t really  personal enough to fulfil my week of personal blogging part of the 30 posts in 30 days challenge. I promise that the next one will be about my cat.

Yesterday, I tweeted something that touches on two great conversations that are going on in the 30 posts in 30 days blogging community:

@katiedavis FWIW My problem with “Libs do Lady Gaga” was – nooo… don’t make them use catalog, get ur good stuff out where they are looking

It was in response to Kate‘s tweet a couple of minutes before,  talking about how she was in a debate over at Sophie’s blog about what was the “hub” of students’ experiences, how the library can position itself there and what the future and role will be for the library. The comment that she had just written was:

as new educational environments develop, the classroom is definitely not the hub – especially because in some contexts, there is no classroom, no physical coming together of the cohort.

imho, i think students’ hub is the web, full stop. there are nodes scattered around the web that represent particular places that they frequent – facebook, their favourite search engine, twitter, wherever comes next – but ultimately, i don’t know that students really care where on the web services and resources are positioned. It’s about whether they can find services and resources when they want them. the web is the hub – that’s their environment.

student’s couldn’t give a shit that libraries buy millions of dollars worth of content in aggregator databases and that it’s all authoritative and whatever else. they care that they can find the information that they want and need, when they need it, in the format they want it. in a student’s mind, if they do a google search, they should find everything. and who’s to say that attitude is wrong? rather than focus on directing students back behind our walls, why don’t we figure out some way to expose all of our content through google? are we focussing on the wrong problem here? yes, we want students to be literate in their use of information, but surely the answer is not to force them to use our clunky interfaces?…

Kate’s comments immediately gave me an earworm of  “you can use my catalog” – from the Librarians Do Gaga clip, hence the tweet. (And another couple of tweets  when someone admitted they hadn’t watched it – to the effect that I thought the librarians were cool, but wondered whether the message was one that we wanted to project)…

And then here comes the other conversation connected to my tweet (and other peoples’ comments)  Putting yourself out there . Mal talked about the Librarians Do Gaga clip in the context of librarians putting themselves out there, having fun, showing their voice and showing guts, initiative energy and imagination. Yep the clip showed all that. And yes, it was very worthwhile in that context. And I liked the production values too – great voice and a very good job with the scenarios and the editing. And full of tongue-in-cheek references to stereotypes that showed they were aware of them and *playing*. And in that context I absolutely applaud what they did.

My comment, though, was made in the context of a discussion about “forcing users to use our clunky interfaces”.  In that context, the vision of (albeit cool, well intentioned and technically clever) librarians endlessly repeating “you can use my catalog”  scares me. In the context of the discussion on Sophie’s post, some of the lyrics (which are here at Sarah Wachter’s site ) do read like “your’e doing it wrong if you’re not using our tools, even though you won’t understand them without librarians’ qualifications”…

I think part of putting yourself out there is to do with letting go of the context in which you will be read… So my tweet could come off as ill-tempered grumpypantsing if read out of context, and the Gagabrarians could come off as my worst nightmare if read in another …

I’m also open to the possibility that I was just grumpypantsing. Anyhow, this Norwegian video about plagiarism below made me feel a whole lot less grumpypantsy, although it’s slickness is almost antiGagabrarain….

Taking a leaf from two other 30 in 30 bloggers,  moonflowerdragon and newgradlibrarian‘, I’ll have a go at citing it…

Selvik, S. (Producer). (2010, May 27) Et Plagieringseventyr . Retrieved June 10, 2010 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwbw9KF-ACY&sns=em

Post 11 of the  30 posts in 30 days challenge.

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  5 Responses to “Putting yourself out there in context…”

  1. I watched the video first without the subtitles, and could only guess what was going on, and it was still awesome…I wish universities in the States could pull off videos like that.

  2. go you! i started to comment on mal’s post last night but ran out of words and energy.

  3. love the vid 🙂

  4. […] – in the attempt to get more personal in the 30 posts in 30 days challenge.. as promised yesterday and requested by Hoi… A blog post about my […]

  5. Thanks for the video, it was just the thing for Friday morning.

    Your reference to “grumpypantsing” made me smile, we call it “cranky pants” in my family.

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