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D4L Community Module

Engaging with Learners - How to Develop Your Community

Virtual Communities and Librarians

2 Virtual Communities and Librarians

A presentation about "Virtual Communities and Librarians" by Mary-Carol Lindbloom.

if the video does not appear embedded above this text, you can visit it directly at

Slides: PDF format or PPT format - Part 1Part 2Part 3

Transcript: PDF format or Microsoft Word format

From Physical to Virtual: Libraries Serve Everyone

3 From Physical to Virtual: Libraries Serve Everyone

follow this link to access Lori Bell's presentation:


Suggested Reading

4 Suggested Reading

From Mary-Carol Lindbloom:

Baran, B., & Cagiltay, K. The Dynamics of Online Communities in the Activity Theory Framework.  Educational Technology & Society13 (4) 2010: pp.155–166. “The aim of this study is to reveal how well online communities of practice (oCoPs) help teachers share explicit knowledge and bring their tacit knowledge to the surface. An Internet based oCoP platform called “The Professional Development Circle” (The PDC) was developed for this study. The study was conducted in two phases: 1) a mandatory participation term and 2) a voluntary participation term. In the first phase, the researchers designed a learning environment in which 28 preservice teachers from three universities watched and discussed digital videos recorded in real classroom environments. In the second phase, the researchers tried to build another oCoP environment based on the successes and failures of the mandatory term but with voluntary members. This article presents the results to designers and educators who want to use oCoP environments in teachers’ professional development.”

Brown, Arnold. Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society. The Futurist, March-April 2011: pp 29-34. “As we spend more of our social lives online, the definitions of relationships and families are shifting. a business futurist offers an overview of these trends and what they imply for organizations in the coming years.”

Damer, Bruce. Avatars: Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet. [Paperback] Peachpit Press: October 31, 1997.

Dynamics of Online Culture and Community. Learning to communicate primarily via written text can be a challenge for volunteer and manager alike. Sometimes, a volunteer manager or group leader will have to interpret people's communication and assist them to be clear and effective online.  Excellent practical advice and links to helpful resources.  

Lu, Xin-An. Social Networking & Virtual Community. Proteus, 27(1), Spring 2011: pp. 51-55. Social Network Sites (SNS) are increasingly transforming the lives of people across the globe. Facebook alone has 500 million active users, nearly two-thirds of whom reside outside the United States. Collectively, consumers spend more than eight billion hours per month on the site, and the average user has 130 friends. Sites such as MySpace and Facebook ‘‘allow individuals to present themselves, articulate their social networks, and establish or maintain connections with others’’ (Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe 2007). Many SNSs have profile sections where users can mount their blog-type posts and upload their photos and even videos. Mutual links among users as displayed by SNSs facilitate interaction among the users.”  Extensive bibliography.

Peck, M. Scott. The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace Touchstone; 2nd Touchstone edition, January 2, 1998.

Preece, Jenny & Diane Maloney-Krichmar.  Online Communities: Design, Theory, and Practice.  Abstract: “This special thematic section of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication brings together nine articles that provide a rich composite of the current research in online communities. The articles cover a range of topics, methodologies, theories and practices. Indirectly they all speak to design since they aim to extend our understanding of the field. The variety shown in these articles illustrates how broad the definition is of this rapidly growing field known as 'online communities.” Includes an extensive bibliography.

Rahmandad,  Hazhir  & Mohammad Mahdian, Modeling Polarization Dynamics in Online Communities.  “The advent of Internet and other communication technologies has drastically increased the volume of communication in human societies. One might hope that increased communication will lead to a higher degree of mutual understanding and resolution of conflicts. An opposing, and somewhat counter-intuitive, point of view is that the reduction in the cost of communication would make it easier for people to interact with other like-minded individuals despite geographic distance, thereby polarizing the society. In this paper, we study some of the basic dynamics underlying this problem. We develop an agent-based model to capture the dynamics of an online community where agents post stories and read and vote on others’ stories. We show that different combinations of parameters can lead to different macro-level behavioral modes in this model, and give anecdotal evidence from a large online community to support the predictions of the model. In particular, we identify four types of communities based on their dynamics: majority dominated, competitively polarized, converged, and diversified. We discuss the implications of each of these forms on the social welfare and the stability of the community.”

Rheingold, Howard.  The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier.  The MIT Press; revised edition, November 1, 2000.  

This project is administered by the South Central Regional Library Council with funding from the Institue for Museum and Library Services.