Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 11: Transliteracy and Publishing

If transliteracy is the future of literacy, what happens to publishing and how
does the role of libraries change?
Some key ideas:
•future of libraries
•democratization of

Ian Clark writes on the need for libraries in the digital age at Libraries are a bridge between the information-rich and the information-poor.  They need reinforcing, not dismantling. We need to continue to provide a  highly skilled service that is able to meet the needs of the general public. The service ought to continue to innovate to take advantage of the way in which  people are interacting with the service in a different way. It needs to continue  to bridge the gap between those who have access to the internet and those  who do not, while also ensuring it delivers on other aspects of its core service  (book loans, local studies materials, etc). If the service is cut, we run the risk of an ill-informed society that is ill-equipped to prosper in the “information age” – a dangerous prospect for any democracy.

Note: Guest Lecture from Bobbi Newman this week!

From the Libraries and Transliteracy blog (by Lane Wilkinson)

incorporating social media into the library instruction curriculum can add a familiar, effective, and transferable skill-set for addressing the critical ACRL Information Literacy Standards. As Bobish concludes his article, social media and related technologiespresent a golden opportunity, not generally available previously, for students to see the real world relevance of the skills that they learn through information literacy instruction and to learn how information is created and shared by doing it themselves rather than hearing about it. (p. 63)

Discussion Questions:

Q1. Elizabeth Daley encourages us to expand the concept of literacy. We’ve talked about transliteracy.

What role do you think transliteracy plays (will play) in the development of publishing (and reading and


Q2. If publishing, traditionally, evoked ideas of editors, gatekeepers, experts and credibility and current online publishing is synonymous (usually) with interconnected conversation, legitimacy of interaction and communication - how do we as writers and readers legitimise both credibility and interconnected conversation?

Q3. According to Lawrence Lessig (founder of Creative Commons): “I think it is a great thing when amateurs create, even if the thing they create is not as great as what the professional creates. I want my kids to write. But that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop reading Hemingway and read only what they write. What Keen misses is the value to a culture that comes from developing the capacity to create—independent of the quality created. That doesn’t mean we should not criticise works created badly (such as, for example, Keen’s book…). But it does mean you’re missing the point if you simply compare the average blog to the NY times.” What does Lessig’s quote imply about (critical) literacies and literary practises concerned with publishing?

Q3. This week we’ve talked about the role of libraries in the new landscape of publishing. Some people see libraries as passe, “If you plopped a library down 30 years from now there would be cobwebs growing everywhere because people would look at it and wouldn’t think of it as a legitimate institution because it would be so far behind...” What transliterate practises might libraries employ in order to place libraries at the centre of an informational social web?


  1. There are several practices that libraries can employ to remain at the centre of an informational social web.

    As mentioned by Bobbi, staff at the library she is working at are becoming familiar with the different tools people are using to read books. Staff will be vital in the support of library visitors and must have experience using different e-book readers and applications (pdf, etc).

    Libraries must also utilize some of the social tools used online. For example, things like tagging and comments will allow library visitors to get engaged with others. This in turn creates a sense of community with the library at the centre. The Edmonton Public Library ( allows library members to tag the books they have read and share their reviews. The library can set up a web page to provide information to visitors, but they must also create a social environment. As demonstrated by Jenkins (2008), people not only consume content, but they also create content and share. A participatory culture is critical in transliteracy and can be nurtured by libraries to engage with members and be a valuable resource.

  2. I think it's interesting that we're even discussing communication, interconnectedness and legitimacy o interaction. It may get a lot more confusing as to what literacies are valued and what modes of media libraries will 'stock', what databases will be available, what technologies they provide access to. With the renewed interest in the narrative, that is going back to the oral culture where knowledge isn't owned - rather it's narrated or performed and changes each time to adapt to the needs of the audience - that's kind of like Remix and mash-up but how would libraries provide that opportunity?