LibWorld – Puerto Rico

Logo of ‘preguntale a tu bibliotecario’ Next stop in our tour around the Libworld: Puerto Rico. It’s library and library related blogs are introduced by Rossana I. Barrios-Llorens (Master of Information Sciences from the Graduate School of Information Sciences and Technologies of the University of Puerto Rico and Bachelor in Biology from the same university). She works as virtual reference services librarian at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus Library. She is the person behind this logo at their web page, which leads for example to the virtual reference (via QuestionPoint).

Rossanna I. Barrios-Llorens is blogging herself at Alusión…Llamada Virtual.

LibWorld Puerto Rico: A Short History
Puerto Rico has very strong electronic communities. There is a history of our explorations and interest in every type of digital communications. Therefore, blogs are a very popular media in Puerto Rico to share information and create new collective knowledge.

Weblogs have gained increasing interest for their role in the way it contributes to spread news and information. There is a whole culture of people who daily share thoughts and our very typical “joie de vivre” (Puerto Rican’s joy of life) commenting about the news and our daily life.

Until 2005, there were just a handful of sites that could be considered as biblioblogs. There is a curious merge in our Island between educational blogs and library blogs. From 2005 until the present there is a sudden community that has sprung up. More and more librarians, professors and teachers began publishing their own blogs. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentaries, personal thoughts and essays.

There is a great academic movement toward the cooperative use between academia or education and libraries, in the uses of blogs. They are viewed as possibilities to create learning communities, promote collaboration to make projects and to stimulate the independency and empowerment in students. 1)Quintero Heredia Noelia. (2007, March 27 2007). Blogs y educación. DigiZen blog entry. Retrieved on May 14, 2007 from http://www.vidadigital.net/blog/2007/03/27/blogs-y-educacin/

The biblioblogs and edublogs movements in Puerto Rico go hand in hand in creating knowledge between peers and working towards effective learning communities. Blogs are playing a part in education and librarians are taking advantage of this great instrument to create new effective ways to improve their services for the community of users. Its impact in Puerto Rico’s library world stretches beyond communication. Librarians are sharing and creating knowledge.

Exemplary Blogs:
On February of this year (2007) the First Puerto Rican Congress of Educational Blogs was held in Mayaguez, on the western coast of Puerto Rico. They created a website for the event (http://www.uprm.info/edublogs2007) which includes more than ten videos and presentations from teachers, university professors and librarians. With this, it’s worth mentioning the work of an excellent blogger and psychology university professor: Mario Nuñez. As a librarian, his blog: DigiZen has been a wonderful source of information and guidance.

School librarians in Puerto Rico are very active with blogging, creating a library that is an interwoven and dynamic organization in their school. Some blogs are used to announce school activities and promote library programs; others are developed to work directly with students and sometimes, both activities are included. In it, students read and write comments, share ideas, ask questions and feel as part of the library environment. A whole school community is developed through the library blog.

Puerto Rico’s Educational Department has a big reading program called Rincón de la Lectura which is developed and promoted in and through every school library in Puerto Rico. Blogs are being useful tools to work and announce the Rincón de la Lectura Program.

School Librarian Angelica Carrillo, in addition to her library blog, developed a blog addressed to school library professionals: Maestros Bibliotecarios de Puerto Rico which is an outstanding blog, full of valuable information. On it, she shares tools and work related information to improve their library achievements. There are many excellent school library blogs. These are a few examples:

In academic libraries blogging is slowly entering the field, for it has become a convenient way for library staff to communicate with faculty, peers and user community to share information. It is used mainly to communicate with colleague and contribute to the culture of a library community.

The Graduate School of Information Sciences and Technologies of the University of Puerto Rico is working toward this new trend creating courses that include blogs and other social software as part of the educational activities. Puerto Rico’s information professionals are learning to build online communities through the use of blogs and other Web 2.0 resources. An excellent example of these is Bitacoras Egectianas. It includes, among other things like conceptual frames and theory, the web addresses of the blogs created by students.

Examples of Biblioblog in academic and other special libraries fields:

  • Cristino Montañez’s blog Información en red in which the author shares information related to the information sciences, is an expression forum for the readers and law related information to libraries in themes like copyrighting and legal information resources.

    Screenshot ‘Informacion in red’

  • Yesenia Hernández’s blog: Información Puente Hacia el Bien Social, which as she states it: is a virtual space dedicated to promote the use of information for the social development of teaching-learning communities.
  • The library of the University of Sagrado Corazón’s blog: Para la Facultad which is specifically address to their faculty. They work together a special project integrating information skills in the curriculum. This blog is a way to communicate and do team work.
  • My blog: Alusión…Llamada Virtual is dedicated to the virtual reference services. It is a journal of my academic virtual reference librarian experience, my musings, point of views, tools and explorations of the Web 2.0.
  • Screenshot ‘Alusion - Llamada Virtual’

    And…what do I expect from the future of library and library-related blogs in Puerto Rico?
    I expect change and transformations. Librarians in Puerto Rico are very actives professionals. They are involved in many professional associations: local, in the United States as well as international. They are constantly exploring and exposing themselves to new technologies and trends. Social software and library 2.0 concepts have increasingly been used as a source of information, communication and ideas. We are building digital spaces to improve collaboration and the creation of collective knowledge. They are seeing the new technologies for what they are: new tools to do more and to do better services.

    References   [ + ]

    1. Quintero Heredia Noelia. (2007, March 27 2007). Blogs y educación. DigiZen blog entry. Retrieved on May 14, 2007 from http://www.vidadigital.net/blog/2007/03/27/blogs-y-educacin/