Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Library Instruction Network?

About 10 years ago Johanna Anderson blogged about setting up a "Librarians as Teachers" network. I've a vague memory of it lasting a few years (with Helen Blanchett and Jo driving a lot of it?) and having a lot of TeachMeet-y type things on it, but it sort of slowly faded, probably being nudged out of existence at the same time as a few other networks I was part of also faded, thanks to the platforms charging increasing amounts (particularly as membership, even inactive membership, figures grew). My memory is a tad vague though on it...

 [You can see it on the Wayback Machine... sort of! Snapshot from 2012]

I've just (finally) refused to renew my CILIP membership for next year, so wondered if it was time to start something similar, but updated? Using what I'd have paid CILIP to help fund it. Plus after a thoroughly depressing 2020, I need something positive for 2021! 

I've been playing with possible platforms for other projects, and "Mighty Networks" seems a decent platform for doing this sort of thing on. It has a free level which seems a bit rubbish, a fairly standard charged level of membership that has most of the functionality I'd look for in this sort of platform. Plus a "premium" level that also includes stuff like the ability to run courses through it. The middle level that seems ok is a little bit more than I'd have been paying for CILIP membership - so I could pay for that, offer free membership to anyone who wanted to join, plus a "premium" membership for anyone who felt able to contribute (including some sort of extra to make it worth people's contribution). If enough people joined as premium members we could even bump the subscription up to the top level and run courses through it, but helping to cover the basic costs ($28 per month) would be first! 

So would anyone be interested in a "Library Instruction" type network? It'd be an online network to ask questions, have discussions, perhaps host / organise TeachMeets, build sets of resources, etc. Free to all, but I'd welcome a few people as "premium members" to share the cost and make it sustainable. 

Related to this... what would make it worthwhile joining as a "premium member"? I'm thinking $15 a year (the platform charges in USD), or less than £1 per month. The default would be access to a seperate group part of the site / network, so I could put resources in there (a PDF of one or more of my books maybe?), or it could be used as a decision making part of the network ("premium" members get increased access to shape the network / decide on topics / etc?), or something else... (BTW - It'd need more than 30 people becoming premium members before it covered costs at that token $15 a year.)

This post is largely thinking aloud for now, but if I decide I've enough energy to set something up properly, I'll edit this post to include a link to the Network...

Currently being set-up, aiming for all the basics there the first week of Jan 2021, but the Network will be at:

Friday, 14 August 2020

Adult Play Network


After pondering this idea for a while, I've just set up a Kickstarter to see if anyone else would genuinely be interested!  

The aim is to fund a network (on MightyNetworks, a commercial platform) of people wanting to bring more play into all aspects of their lives. It will be a social network (so lots of chances to share), as well as regular playful tips and ideas from play experts. 

It will also be a training platform, with play experts able to host courses and events through the network. 

The hope is that the training will provide funding for the platform - but instead of taking a large cut of course fees, a membership fee will be bundled into the course for non-members. So once you've taken one course, or subscribed to the platform seperately, all courses will be discounted by the membership fee.

I'll launch the Kickstarter either 21st or 28th August, but to be informed when it goes live, just click on the "Notify me" button on the upcoming project page.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Should I set up an Adult Play platform?

I've posted before about the possibility of setting up some sort of "Institute of Adult Play, and I’m expecting I’ll have enough time to do something about it over the next couple of months… if anyone is interested! (If so, please fill out the form.)

I want to create a platform where lots of playful people who work with adults can offer some online training, as well as having a social element so we can share ideas.

There are a few underlying aims:
  1. To try and create some way of creating more paid work for everyone.
  2. To share ideas across a range of different playful people.
  3. To get more people who wouldn’t think of themselves as playful to do some training that brings out their playful sides.
If there is enough interest, I’ll set up a company (possibly “Community Interest Company” in UK?) for everything to go through and launch a Kickstarter to provide initial funding, and more importantly, gauge interest in it before we spend too much money!

I’ve investigated platforms and think I’ve found one that would allow an element of social networking / sharing, plus an integrated online course platform, for a reasonable monthly cost. Courses can be free or paid for. “Membership” of the platform could be paid for too.

So I have in mind:
  • A small membership fee for belonging to the platform (£5 per month? Maybe different levels available?)
  • Some “free” introductory type courses (people would pay a membership fee to access all the free ones).
  • Paid for courses – where the fee (minus processing charges) would go to the course creators (though if people weren’t members, an extra “member” fee would be added on top).
  • Membership fees would go towards the running of the platform, course fees would essentially go to the play community – the course creators.
  • Courses, plus pages within the platform, could also be used to encourage people to book playful experts to run bespoke training, consultancy, events, etc., outside the platform (so acts as a “shop window” for people too).
Would anyone be interested in being (a) a Member for a small fee, (b) A course creator in such a platform?

If so, please put your details in the form – I’ll only use this in relation to the initial set-up of such a platform and will delete all contact details by the end of this year.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

New Article - Playful Learning for Information Literacy Development

Screenshot of the start of the first page of the article        

I've just had an article published in the IFLA Journal, a loooong time after writing it (and roughly a year after it had been reviewed, revised, and copy-edited). It's behind a Sage paywall at the moment, but IFLA will put the whole issue up as open access on their site shortly, plus it should appear on my institutional repository soon. Happy to email it to anyone who can't access it too, just give a shout :)

Abstract follows... 

Play is often seen as frivolous, childish, suitable only for young children. In contrast, this paper will discuss the idea that using playful learning approaches is often a good fit for the development of information literacy in all ages. To do this, it will outline the meaning of information literacy that the author takes, explain where playful learning is placed within learning theories and pedagogies, and show why and how they fit together. Examples of playful practice in library and information literacy training will be given to illustrate current practice, together with gaps within that practice. It will briefly address some of the barriers to using playful learning approaches in information literacy development, and offer some ways forward for information literacy practitioners.