SPOILERS AFTER THE CUT: How can we use “Captain America: Winter Soldier” for Information Literacy Instruction?

Disclaimer: I am not trained as a YA librarian and I will readily defer to any who want to help flesh this out. This is just the beginning of an idea so it will need help to become a fully realized instructional opportunity.

My husband and I watched the second film in the Captain America series, The Winter Soldier (aka Cap 2) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) tonight. While I literally gasped at one point and said, “Oh my god, Cap just became the embodiment of the U.S. Constitution!” I don’t think that’s generally the most exciting part of the movie for everyone else.

Do I really hate the rampant sexism and lack of diversity in MCU? Unequivocally, yes. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some parts that could be used in library instruction. Spoilers past the break and how they can be used for Information Literacy instruction particularly with teens.

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Twitter and Professional Networks

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Let me just start by saying that librarians are some of the most awesome people on Twitter.  Once they recognize you as one of theirs, they follow back, they initiate conversations, and they share ideas.  These enthusiastic professionals are one of the reasons I chose to pursue my graduate degree.  This is why I find it so disheartening that so many of my peers choose not to be involved in Twitter.

Yes, Facebook is great (and admittedly, Graph Search may put a wrinkle in my current argument) but Twitter has an interactivity and sense of community that I do not find a rival for on FB.  Follow your favorite professional bloggers, classmates, co-workers, and industry leaders, and all of a sudden you have a timeline full of everything you wanted to know about your profession.  I am able to keep up with issues and trends even when I don’t have time to clear out all the articles in my Google Reader.

GReader 1-31-13

This is why I find it so disheartening that so many of my peers, who will one day be Movers and Shakers themselves, I’m sure, are not using it, or even interested in using it.  Yes, it takes some time and energy to keep up with everything, but isn’t it worth it to build a professional identity within the community.  We have an unprecedented level of sharing and learning to do from each other, but so few take advantage of that.  Someone actually said in class yesterday, “I’m surprised how few people in the class have smartphones,” we had taken a hand poll, “Must be because it’s all Library and Archives folks in here.”  The worst part was, it was the truth.

We have been talking about the role of technology and information in shaping identities/individuals/culture, and I feel like Twitter is a shining example of how technology should impact our lives.  We should seek out new (and different!) perspectives, stay abreast of current news and views, and take part in the community both virtually and in person.  Twitter helps us do all of that.  So, now that I’ve had my Twitter fangirl moment, I will say, it takes a little bit of time to learn the system, but there are resources to help with that.  I’m going to take a page from my employer, Taubman Health Sciences Library, and start featuring some conversations and tweets from time to time that have impacted me that week in Twitter library land.

One of the fun things about Twitter are live chats.  These events use a hashtag (a word or phrase preceded by #) to allow participants to follow the conversation.  Every Wednesday night, #libchat features librarians talking about things that interest them.  The moderator, Natalie Binder, releases a new question every 10 minutes and then the community answers them.  It starts at 8 p.m. Eastern.  Here’s a couple of tweets from last night, that focus on a topic overheard in the Master’s Student Lounge this week:

You can’t stop the signal, Mal

Firefly (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

Fans of Firefly or Serenity will recognize the title of this post. The problem is that the signal can be stopped. Every day we are losing digital content. The Library of Congress has identified content which they believe is the most important to preserve in relation to national identity. They instituted an initiative to work with libraries and individuals to prioritize digital preservation. The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) Program was designed to help identify the digital history that needs to be preserved as well as the means for preserving it.

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