I keep going back to the Lankes, Silverstein, and Nicholson article in the December issue of ITAL.* They did a really nice job of creating a theoretical framework to support the use of social networking technologies in libraries. It’s consistent with some of the work I do with students in research methodology courses as we talk about the social construction of knowledge and it reminds me of conversations with those who study narrative theories. I’ve been wondering, though, how one might measure the conversations.
If one assumes that facilitating conversations is part of the work of the library, how do we measure our effectiveness? Number of conversations? Decibel level? Circulation? Web logs? And what of the quality of conversation? Would the quality be seen in written and oral work submitted in classes?
* R. David Lankes, Joanne Silversteign, and Scott Nicholson, “Partiicipatory Networks: The Library As Conversation,” Information Technology and Libraries 26, no. 4 (December 2007): 17-33.