First Definition…

Broadly speaking, I would describe a book to be a ‘container’ of a collection of ideas, thoughts or knowledge. With e-books and audio-books in mind, I would stop short of saying that a book must be able to be held in the hand. However, I would say that a book in any format must have a beginning and an end, which could be represented physically by the front and back covers, or perhaps by the introduction and conclusion, or something else that denotes a start and finish.

INF330: Censorship

 

censorship2

Analyse and evaluate a website designed for children or young adults

The website for Mermaids.org offers support for children and young people up to 19yrs of age who suffer from gender identity issues. The site offers resources such as links to child and adolescent services, legal information, fact-sheets on sexual health and suicide prevention, and a forum where teens can connect and share stories. Besides providing valuable health and sexuality information, this site’s online forum can be seen to meet the unique information needs of gender variant young people through providing a safe environment to express themselves and reach out to others. Holt (2011, p.266) explains that online communities where these youth can freely and anonymously discuss their problems, concerns and issues without fear of reprisal from a frequently homophobic community, play a crucial role in identity formation. The importance of this is emphasised by Holt (2011, p. 269), who explains that positive identity development is strongly related to psychological adjustment, resulting in a stronger sense of self leading to improved outcomes later in life.

However, the use of internet filtering in some public libraries may render this site inaccessible due to some of the keywords in its content. Denying access to this site and others like it can be viewed as censorship, which is defined by Moody (2004, p.139) as those actions which restrict free access to information. In Farrelly’s (2011, p.28) view, censorship goes against the very core of librarianship which serves to protect the intellectual freedom of individuals through ensuring that they have access to information from a variety of sources and agencies to meet their needs. Educating young people in the art of selection, evaluation and authentication of information can be seen to be one alternative to filtering. The importance of teaching individuals to find quality information themselves is highlighted by Farrelly (2011, p.28) who points out that with the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, young people are able to access any subject regardless of whether they are in the library or not.

Exploring the issue of censorship in the library, I came to understand that it is a contentious issue with no one clear solution. The Library’s commitment to protect the intellectual freedom of their clients is commendable, yet can contradict the interests of parents who wish to make the library responsible for controlling and monitoring access to inappropriate material. However, I now understand that controlling access to information from the library can not only deny access to vital online communities and resources, it may ultimately be useless as young people are able, through their smartphones to find the information that they want wherever they are. I see this as an opportunity to advocate information literacy instruction within the library so that individuals can learn to locate, evaluate and authenticate quality information on their own. Familiarising myself with the relevant organisations that offer support to gender variant young people would not only fill gaps in my knowledge, it would allow me to guide them towards resources that could be searched and accessed outside of the library walls if need be.

 

References

 

Farrelly, M. G. (2011). Digital (Generation) Divide. Public Libraries, 50(2), 28-29.  Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lih&AN=59805405&site=ehost-live

 

 

Holt, D. (2011). LGBTIQ teens–plugged in and unfiltered: How internet filtering impairs construction of online communities, identity formation, and access to health information. In Greenblatt, E. (Ed.). Serving LGBTIQ library and archives use: essays on outreach, service, collections and access. (pp. 266- 277). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.

 

Moody, K. (2005). Covert censorship in libraries: a discussion paper. The Australian Library Journal, 54(2), 138-147. doi:10.1080/00049670.2005.10721741

INF330: Digital materials/resources and emerging technologies

 

Activity: Learn how to use a new tool, software or game, and write about your experience.

For this activity I learned how to use Aurasma, an augmented reality application that allows for additional layers of useful information to be overlaid upon a static image, which may then be viewed through a smartphone or tablet. The static image can be of your own choosing as can the layers, which can be a video, URL, text or animation. This can be seen to offer tremendous potential for libraries to deliver informative, directional, actionable and descriptive information in an engaging way.

Mobile AR applications can be seen to offer an engaging and interactive information experience, in Robinson’s (2015, p.113) view this presents a profound opportunity for increased access to library collections. Massis (2015, p.797) explains that after viewing an AR display, one’s interest in the topic may be expanded, prompting a search for further supplementary information on the subject such as books, articles and videos, and that this exploration of multimedia sources can be seen to support the development of information literacy skills. The librarian is able to choose the resources to be displayed in the AR application, the benefit of this explains Beautyman and Shelton (2009, p.69) is that the information can be channelled towards age appropriate and topic specific materials.

Beheshti (2012, p.54) describes digital natives as those born after 1989, and explains that as they live in a digital world and rely extensively on ICT that they may process information differently to their predecessors. AR can be seen as a learning solution for digital natives as the virtual world can be utilised for engagement and delivery of information, and in Massis (2015, p.798) view AR supports the shift from the static transmission of knowledge to user-centred learning as the information seeker becomes an active participant in the learning process. Indeed, “the user is vital to making AR technology functional” (Zac. 2014, P.39) as the content/information lies dormant until activated by a user’s smatphone or tablet.

I now know that there are any number of exciting new tools at my disposal that will enable me to harness technology to develop engagement and to deliver information to young people in a way that can be understood and enjoyed, and that many of these platforms do not require a high level of technical skill. Knowing this has given me confidence which has relevance to my professional practice as a librarian for children and young adults as I look forward to exploring and creating new engaging ways to deliver information. As I gain skills in terms of mastering this new technology, gaps in my knowledge will be continually revealed as it will inevitably be superseded as new platforms and applications are developed. There is opportunity for me to fill those gaps by ensuring that I stay well informed of relevant emerging technologies and stay willing to continually learn how to harness them for the benefit of my clients.

 

References

 

Beautyman, W., & Shenton, A. K. (2009). When does an academic information need stimulate a school-inspired information want? Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 41(2), 67-80. doi:10.1177/0961000609102821

 

Beheshti, J. (2012). Teens, Virtual Environments and Information Literacy. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (Online), 38(3), 54-57.  Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/933226070?accountid=10344

 

Massis, B. (2015). Using virtual and augmented reality in the library. New Library World, 116(11/12), 796-799.

 

Zak, E. (2014, 2014/12//). Do you believe in magic? Exploring the conceptualization of augmented reality and its implications for the user in the field of library and information science. Information Technology and Libraries, 33, 23+.

 

Aurasma

 

aura

My experience using a new tool,software or game.

Aurasma is a virtual reality (VR) application which overlays images or video on top of a trigger image, the finished product is then viewed through a smartphone or tablet. I found it to be fairly straightforward to use, and a high level of technical expertise was not required in order to begin creating my own VR image. I created an account (free!) on a computer so as to upload chosen trigger images and overlays in order to create my VR image (‘aura’) as well as downloading the application on my smartphone in order to view ‘auras’. Once I understood that these are essentially two accounts I was better able to wrap my mind around learning how to use the platform.

Uploading a trigger image was straightforward. However, there was a steep learning curve initially in regards to file sizes that would work when uploading a video for the overlay, but I found help both through the Aurasma site and other online tutorials. Also, as I wanted to use videos from YouTube I had to figure out how to save them for uploading, but if you were using videos that you created and saved yourself I imagine that this would not be a problem. A further learning curve arose when attempting to view ‘auras’ through my device as I didn’t realise that you need to ‘follow’ the account of the person who created the ‘aura’ that you wish to view.

I created the ‘aura’ below with a view to promoting a book for young adults that is a finalist in the YABBA book awards for 2016. However, one would only be limited by their own imagination when utilising this tool, Birmingham City University’s eLibrary blog offers an in-depth exploration of potential uses of Aurasma within a library setting and presents some great ideas.

 

        loyal creatures

 

To watch this ‘aura’ come to life, first download the Aurasma app. onto your device. When you open the app, tap on the ‘A’ at the bottom centre of the screen, then select magnifying glass to open the search window where you can type in the name of an account or aura to follow. In this case type in LainiF’s-Loyal Creatures then tap ‘follow’. Then activate the camera within the app by clicking on [ ] at the bottom of the screen. Use the camera to point at the image above, the ‘aura’ will be triggered by the image.