Alison Hicks reviews the article, "Social Networking Tools for Academic Libraries." The authors of this paper, Samuel Kai-Wah Chu and Helen S. Du, investigate the use of social media in academic libraries across the globe.
Alison Hicks reviews the May 2009 issue of the journal "Library Technology Reports" (volume 45, issue 4). This special edition, “Collaboration 2.0” aims to inform library managers about potential tools in order to encourage collaborative work among staff in the library. To this end, it provides simple, easy to read introductions for several web 2.0 tools, including cloud computing and groupware, as well as the more traditional blogs, wikis, and social networking.
This case study explores the implementation of La Cuna, an online mentoring forum in a small, subject-based professional association, the Seminar for the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM). Designed using the social network software Ning, the forum functioned as an informal learning community for 38 members and was an innovative response to geographical challenges and changing technological skills. Using participation data and a questionnaire to analyze the implementation and development of the hybrid e-mentoring community, this study reveals challenges and benefits that should be considered when managing similar professional development activities. While the forum failed to maintain sustained participation, findings revealed the need to assess professional association member needs regularly and highlighted the importance of continued exploration of online learning tools. Through the description of this project, professional associations and other learning communities will gain insights into the creation and implementation of an online e-mentoring learning community, which will be useful as librarians and groups attempt to meet member professional development needs.