Silent Library: Using MTV as library outreach programing

Presentation is available online through Prezi.

Presented by Heidi Blackburn, K-State University at Salina Libraries

Silent Library TV Show (MTV game show)

Lessons Learned

The library used the Silent Library TV show concept to market the library during the orientation week to just meet the librarians and know where the library was. Purpose wasn’t to go over services or provide instruction classes. This can be used in public libraries, too.

  1. Venue: think about your space. Selling the idea: Look for ways to tie into game nights, summer reading, freshman orientation, standalone teen night. Tie into interdepartmental relationships, collaboration, etc. Use the words donations and volunteers.
  2. Volunteers: volunteers helped get the donations for the event. A letter was available to give to community businesses; the businesses really liked this. Hand-deliver the letter, don’t mail it. They like it when you come in person. The library targeted getting donations from businesses that their target audience would frequent (freshman: Sonic, BBQ, Target, banks). Silent Library was also explained to the volunteers, for those who didn’t know what the Silent Library TV show was and what activities were coming during the event. People will be more comfortable helping out if they know what they’re getting themselves into. Library targeted volunteers from key campus staff for the event: academic advising, career services. For the public library: get teachers from schools, community members who interact with the target audience. Heidi had a checklist to get everything done.
  3. Verbalize: Waiver and assumption of risk form for people participating. Peer pressure got a lot of people to sign and participate. To campus: flyers around campus that showed who sponsored the event, the name of the program, and tiny print that said you’ll need to sign a waiver (the waiver text is what people read the most); moving weekend, handed out the flyers; flyers in the cafeteria and in the library. Advertise all the places for students to notice the event.

It was all about bragging rights. Make sure you have the floors covered in plastic. People were bringing things to do from the back throughout the entire event.

30 people participate and 50 people were in the audience. Teams came in already formed. Librarians didn’t test the events, but everyone had input on what would work and what was over-the-top.

You might want a cellphone or camera clause as part of this event, to not allow it to be filmed or have stipulations for what can and cannot be filmed.

Prizes and drawings held at the end. Judging who kept the most quiet — microphones didn’t work quiet so well. Put the plastic in all directions, including shelving.

Talk to faculty and volunteers and make sure they show up if they said they’d volunteer.

12 total challenges during the event. No one knew what challenge they were doing until it happened. Need lots of people to help to rotate the activities.

Captive audience. As activities were introduced, different campus people introduced themselves and led the challenges, just like a commercial. Several of the students who came to event know Heidi’s name and come in and say hi. It’s all about getting them in the door and knowing the librarians that are in the building.

Cost: out-of-pocket expenses, under $50. All the other materials, people donated (Pickle juice, peanut butter, etc.). Donations for prizes. Time and effort were the biggest costs.

Assessing the benefit: 29 students showed up to participate and 50 students showed up in the audience, on a campus of 600. Success just for people coming through the door. Feedback came anecdotally that night and the day after. People were saying things in the hallway or in the parking lot about the event.

Those viewing didn’t have to sign a waiver. Two orientation events were going on the same night — didn’t seem to conflict. People still showed up!

Presentation is available online through Prezi.

Session Three: Tools for Transliteracy

Couple more things on Session 2:

Important to share what we’re all doing, so we learn from each other and find new ideas. LibGuide for Session 3 Tools for Transliteracy (wishing the entire Libraries & Transliteracy crew could be here, including Bobbi Newman & Brian Hulsey) Transliteracy term. Been around 20 years, but last 6-9 months lots of conversation around it. Librarian circles, language educators, especially.

  • “help our students learn multiple ways of reading and writing today’s world by acting as sponsors of transliteracy”
  • Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tool and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks (not just technology).
  • “a sponsor of literacy includes any agent who enables, supports, teaches, and models, as well as recruits, regulates, suppresses, or withholds it” –Deborah Brandt, Literacy in American Lives, ethnography story about literacy. Libraries were rarely mentioned in this study, surprisingly; study from 10 years ago)
  • “Literacy is the energy supply of the information age” –Deborah Brandt
  • Bobbi Newman sees key literacy in next few months as the literacy of privacy issues (Facebook; Google; other sites)
  • Danah Boyd & Clay Shirky have been also writing a lot about literacy topics the past several months
  • “as new and powerful forms of literacy emerge, they diminish the reach and possibilities of receding ones” –Deborah Brandt
  • Doug Johnson, “Blue-Skunk Blog”, “Are we moving toward a post-literate society?”
  • Are we helping students learn these new literacies? Are we bridging the digital divide gap?
  • Henry Jenkins
  • “The idea that literacy is only print materials is about to disappear”
  • “We’re on the cusp of profound changes in what counts as “text” and literacy”
  • “Helping patrons and stakeholders understand the expanding definition of literacy is a muddy but playful endeavor”
  • “We have to make sure schools and libraries invite critical and active uses of media that strengthen our democratic potential.” –Deborah Brandt
  • Example of night school class researching and writing persuasive essays about the 2008 presidential election. Primary sources? Candidates YouTube channels, Twitter stream. Students suddenly engaged & interested. Also had side conversations about are these sources unbiased, accurate?
  • Knight Foundation recommendation 6: integrate digital and media literacy as critical elements for education at all levels through collaboration among federal, state, and local education officials.” (Link is to the full report)
  • As sponsors of transliteracy, libraries can close the participation gap; we may be in a better place of introducing these tools

What does transliteracy look like in a school library?

  • Privilege and support multiple containers and pathways to information; can’t just have books. Don’t throw away the books, but what are other alternative containers for info. Doug Johnson “It’s the content, not the container”
    • eReaders
    • fight the filter to give access to other sources of info like YouTube
  • Teach students multiple and dynamic ways of connecting with real world experts to help answer their questions
  • Teach students collaborate tools for creating and sharing knowledge
    • Voicethreads used in research projects
    • Skype
    • Blogging
    • Wikis
    • Social Bookmarking
    • Diigo
    • Evernote
    • Student created netvibes portal — definitely exhibits a multitude of these literacies
    • This doesn’t replace text literacy, necessarily. But if it enhances learning, and especially engages students, it’s worth it. Those that struggle with traditional text, might shine with alternative literacies and representing their work and resource.
    • Differentiating instruction and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligencies
    • “Three Little Pigs” eBook iPhone app, written & illustrated by a 1st grader
    • Virginia and Her iPad (almost 100-year old woman reads again and publishes poems thanks to her iPad)
    • Using their phones to talk about books (Texting) — Wendy Stephens
    • Haiku poetry through Twitter (@AllieTweetTweet)
  • Instead of writing a reflection on a blog, record a vlog.
  • Tips for Writing an Email (and other things you assume students know)
  • Google has lots of pre-existing videos
  • Sue Thomas lecture on transliteracy video
  • Everyday Transliteracy video from Brian Hulsey
    • Blueberry smoothie recipe
    • Send info through email, share a link through Twitter, Facebook, write about experiencing the blueberry smoothie on a blog, call people about the recipe, telling someone in person, write it on a sticky note, print the recipe
    • Info was sent to multiple people through multiple tools.
  • Not saying we throw out traditional literacy, but there are multiple ways of interacting with information

Discussion comments

  • These new literacies, from touch devices to Facebook, it’s affecting all ages, from toddlers to the older folks
  • New research out on how the brain interacts with text
  • Chris Harris
  • Accessibility issues do come up. Assessment of using the tools.
  • Those who are reluctant learners might be more apt to read on a technology device (many tend to be gamers)
  • Gaming is becoming a new literacy “Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning Through Modern Board Games” new book from Chris Harris and Brian Mayer

KLA 2010: Day 1 (Presentations)

Day 1 of the annual Kansas Library Conference (KLA or KLC) is here. I’m presenting first thing this morning at 8am (ugh — am NOT a morning person, for those of you who don’t know me) with the wonderful Janelle Mercer from SWKLS. We’re leading a preconference on Social Media for Librarians. Check out the presentation resources; we’ve got slides, videos, and even a visit virtually through Skype by the wonderful Erin Downey Howerton from Johnson County Library.

I’ll present later this afternoon with Liz Rea (co-worker at NEKLS) and Diana Weaver (former NEKLS co-worker; current Atchison Library Director) on Googols of Uses: Collaborate and Communicate using Google Apps in your Library. We’ll be live note-taking the session here, starting at 4pm central time. Much more to come from this conference. I’ll also combo-tweet & blog sessions I attend.