Digital Literacies Inquiry Group

One of my favorite graduate courses was “Digital Literacies in a Networked World.” The course was organized around two central principles: participation and praxis, and invited course members to participate in a variety of digital activities. After the conclusion of the course, five members formed the Diglits Inquiry Group.  Influenced by one another’s commitment to a critical orientation over the semester, we came together after the course ended to examine how these principles played out in our ensuing practices, as we began working with students and educators in new capacities that stretched and challenged our beliefs in unexpected ways. Our work culminated in a panel discussion at the UPenn Ethnography Forum. This allowed us to share our experiences and illustrate the challenges we faced integrating technology into classrooms.

A requirement of the course was to research a community of interest & look at how they are using digital spaces. For this project, I chose to follow a local library and its use of Goodreads to form a youth reading community. I examined how important the role of community is to libraries’ mission and how that role is shifting due to technology tools. Overall, I found that the online platform (Goodreads) had the potential to expand the library’s mission and create communities that extended beyond the physical branch. The end result of the project can be seen here.

Initial Concept Map:

Goodreads & Libraries

Research Questions:

  • What is the library’s motivation to join the Goodreads community?
  • Is the information on Goodreads used by people who also visit the library in person, or by people geographically distant?
  • Who is the target audience of the TPL Kids Goodreads account?
  • What is the perceived impact of the visual/book covers that Goodreads provides?

Project Outline:

  • Libraries as community spaces/innovation hubs (mission statements)
  • Big Data & Libraries
  • Goodreads Platform Features
  • Case Study: Tredyffrin Public Library
  • Connections to theories of participatory culture, networked publics, and  affinity spaces

Click here to see the final project!

Creative Commons License
This project by Christina Brennan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Below are slides from an ignite presentation of the project. [Ignite presentations require the presenter to go through 20 slides in a set time frame of 5 minutes.]

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