Social Publishers

Mliteracy – Activity

Instructions for participants

There are several anomalies with children’s published books. These become very clear when English is not the language that is spoken at home.

These 10 positions are intended to articulate some of these incongruities. Each position has a statement at different ends of a continuum. You will select statements that are most true for you and your library community. And then convince others that your position is correct.

For the facilitator

This activity is intended to highlight many of the typical anomalies and challenges facing those who are involved in reading, publishing and stories. Commercial publishers alone are not able to address all societies’ reading needs. Social publishers set out to create reading materials for neglected audiences. Rather than operate on a profit basis, these publishers are driven by a mission. They see their books as a social good, to be directed where they are most needed.

More about Social Publishing

In South Africa, to make story books affordable, accessible and available, social publishers like African Story Book, Bookdash, Fundza, Nal’i Bali and Vula Bula have adopted a range of innovative book production practices. Almost all have digital editions of their books available, formatted in PDF, ePub or as a webpage. Some of these storybooks are published under Creative Commons licences. Sometimes they also have apps available for mobile devices  associated with these projects. Caregivers can freely install these apps, download the different books and store and read them from their mobile devices.

Social Publishing

Scanning Gallery

Mlitercy – Activities

For the participants

In this activity, you will need to download a QR code reader, wander around a gallery of “scan-able” codes that have been posted around the venue, and answer questions in the code scanning worksheet. These questions are based on what you have found on the codes.

After watching a presentation about QR codes, you will be introduced to various social publishing projects and become familiar with accessing information resources via scan-able codes.

For the facilitator

Before the activity, a gallery of scan-able codes needs to be put up around the room.

Participants will need to do the following

Step 1 –  install a QR reader or QR Scanner on their own phone – once they have done this, then they will be able to access websites, apps and other services.
Step 2 – start at the beginning, point their phones at the QR codes and let the scanned code led them to information associated with the code.
Step 3  – Find answers to the question posed on the gallery Q & A sheet.
Step 4 –  Move to the next gallery item, scan code and find answers.After the activity has been complete, the facilitator should allow participants to compare answers and respond to queries if necessary.

QR Code Gallery

Reading routes

Mliteracy – Activities

Instructions for participants

Children’s classics can often be found on the shelves in our libraries. Some are beautifully bound, hardcover books, available on shelves. For many, these classic books are associated with the smell of paper or the rustle of a page being turned. Digital offers opportunities to access certain timeless titles for free.  Books, in the public domain, are no longer restricted by copyright laws.

For the facilitator

In groups of three, participants will

  1. Choose a classic book (see the Public Domain list).
  2. Explore one of the three different routes to these classic texts.
    1. Open Route – locate an ePub reader (either on your device or for download; I recommend the Bluefire reader).
    2. Proprietary route – download Kindle, create an Amazon account.
    3. Reading on a browser route  – choose a browser that allows you the option to read later (Opera or Chrome is best. )
  3. Download and open the e-reader needed to access such texts (the proprietary, open and web reader).
  4. Go to .
  5. Download the classic book that you chose in step 1.
  6. Open the book in the E-reader you installed.
  7. Answer the ebooks questions for your reading route.
Reading Routes

Hopes & Fears

Mliteracy – Activities

Instructions for participants

You are going to articulate your expectations (both positive and negative) about the introduction of mobile phones into the library. Please select two pictures from a bank of “Hopes & Fears Cards”  and explain how these images symbolize your hopes and fears with respect to the use of mobile phones in the library.

For the facilitator

If you have printed out the cards, then follow these instructions below. Otherwise use the images on the mLiteracy instagram site

Offer a choice

  • Identify a suitable and large enough surface on which you can place the 50 Hopes and Fears cards.
  • Lay all the cards out on the surface table. Remember to spread them out so that each picture is visible.
  • Set out a range of colourful felt tip pens for writing.
  • Give participants a set period of time to pick a card that summarises their hope/fear that they have for the project/issue/challenge.
  • Ask participants to write 1 or 2 words in the space that summarises their hope and fear.

Share & Listen

  • Decide what you want to address first, hopes or fears.
  • Bring everyone together to share their hope/fear. If group is too large then ask people to get into groups and share amongst themselves.
  • Repeat for the opposite.
Hopes and Fears

Credit: Adapted from the  @PolicyLabUK under the Open Government Licence

Share a Shelfie

Instructions for participants

Sharing photographs is a big part of the mobile experience. But transferring photos (or other files) between smartphones can be tricky as it depends on what models and types of smartphones you are using.

In this activity, you are going to share your shelfie pictures. The catch is that these shelfies may only be shown and shared electronically.

You might need to have access to SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, Email, FB Messenger, Instagram, Airdrop, DropBox, ShareIt (or any other platform) to show and share your shelfie with others.

For the facilitator

Depending on the level of experience and goals for the participants, it might be helpful to select one, several, or all of these file sharing and communication applications to practice connecting and exchanging information.

Digital Biography

Instructions for the participant

What do you think Google would find about your online self? Does your digital footprint represent you accurately? What does the web say you do? Is the information there beneficial or a potential drawback for your professional status? If you are found online, is your online presence accurate and up to date?

Digital Biography

You might have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google + account. On each of these accounts there is an option for you to complete a digital biography or bio   Your bio offers a golden moment to quickly and succinctly tell others about the work you do in libraries. If written correctly, the bio will offer you the opportunity to own your digital footprints. You are going to practice making digital tracks with a bio statement.

Bio Statement Formula

I’m [character Trait]/[Job Title]. “I help [target audience] [*verb phrase] using their mobile devices  that [expected positive outcome for target audience ]

Examples of Bio Statements

I am a kind and patient early reading expert. I help parents of pre-school children access early reading materials via their mobile phones so that they can read to their children and enter school ready to read.

I am a friendly reference librarian. I assist school children to find appropriate apps so that they can download books on their mobile phones in the library so that they can read these books at home.

I am a bit zany. I love introducing teenagers to reading apps that have been written and produced for a digital and connected young adult.

I’m gentle. I assist older patrons with their phones to locate and download public domain books so that they can access and enjoy reading classic literature on their device.

I’m a thorough school librarian. I help teachers by finding electronic resources that they can use in their classes on their mobile devices so that they can impart these new sets of skills to their class and make better use all internet resources.

For the facilitator

The Digital Biography presentation has a worksheet and exemplar that points out all the basic features of a social media profile. It also has a bio formula. This formula is not compulsory or magic. It simply offers a way to convey essential information to the person who wants to connect with a librarian.

Once the participant has watched the presentation, they should be able to

1. Select their own profile privacy settings
2. Choose their own bio pic
3. Complete the bio using the formula for writing a bio.
4. Decide on / identify a possible username
5. Update your status


Course production workflow

The escalator workflow

I’m comfortable using the escalator metaphor to picture the e-learning course production journey. From planning to evaluation, this moving stairway moves a course development team from start to finish between floors using a gentle set of hydraulic steps. I’m the handrail, keeping the team riding safely riding along their vertical journey. Descent is assured and my job is to make sure that all can step on and off the escalator when prompted.

Escalator course production

As the elearning escalator descends, the development team passes through a sequence of different stages, each a discrete part of a project.

Sometimes the stairs get busy, during peak commuter time, and the journey downwards on the escalator is a little more frantic, with crowds before and behind creating extra momentum. Usually, as the last few steps flatten out, the pace of the course riders hasten we finish off .

The escalator approach to course development had elearning is comfortable.  It works well when the authoring team is large, has lots of courses to produce and cannot always  move easily from stage to stage (or floor to floor).BUT

  • The phases that you pass through are fixed and you can only work as fast as your escalator travels
  • The quality of the ride can only be assessed at the end
  • Opportunities to run back up the down escalator are reduced the further you are away from the top.

Escalators are steady, but can’t go much quicker. Once they are moving with people on them, it becomes tricky to stop. If you want to return to the top, then a great deal of energy is necessary to return to the positioned where you started.

If a course development manager is interested in a faster and more efficient workflow, then maybe the escalator metaphor with a set of sequential stages might not be the most suitable way to picture the course development process.

River rafting workflow

Perhaps an alternate way of looking at the course development process is as a river rafting team navigating a set of rapids river. I like boating. Along a quiet stretch of water. The river becomes interesting when there are rocks in the riverbed and when this is combined with the degree of vertical drop.

The ability to navigate a crew through the safest or most challenging channels in a river depends on a guide’s skill. Shooting the rapids is risky, but possible when the rafter can  “read” the water, see what the river is doing and select a suitable route. The guides job is not to “memorize” a rapid, but to analyze its currents and features. Once a river has been navigated the guide becomes more skilled in reading the water quickly, competently, and accurately. A way finding pattern is established and once repeatedly tried and tested, the guide knows the way.

The same applies to course production. A course production manager who knows the organisational goals and target audience can “read” the waters. Navigating the waters depends on how hard it is to avoid obstacles. In river rafting these obstacles might be water volume, turbulence, waves , width of runnable channels, etc. Equivalent factors exist in course production.

In course development, patterns can be used to navigate the different stages of course production. Repeated patterns become a shell or templates and collected.  These collected patterns, shells and templates can be customized and re-used in multiple courses.

River rafting course production approach allows for

  • Continuous or parallel activities
  • Quality improvements (the QA team become involved earlier)
  • More engagement around development and implementation because this exciting phase relegated to the second half of a project
  • Quicker feedback is possible because the course is live sooner
  • Budgets are kept in check because it’s possible to make changes without incurring great costs

The adoption of a river rafting course production workflow can have significant (expected and unexpected) impacts on course delivery. Using such a workflow should allow an experienced course production manager and his/her crew, sufficient time to accomplish their task.

Participants Pledge

Instructions for participants

We, who are running the event, pledge to provide a meaningful experience for all participants. We will

  • Identify and address barriers that might affect meaningful  use of mobile devices
  • Co-create a curriculum that will equip participants with skills and meet their expectations
  • Freely share and distribute the toolkit as creative commons resources

You will be able to create, share, and connect with each other around topics that relate to reading, mobile devices and libraries. We’d like you to commit to involving yourself in this workshop by making a pledge to take a partnership role in this event.

Participants pledge

For the facilitator

You should decide how you want participants to express this pledge. It might take the form of a contract, or it could be more creative.

Contract Pledge

I ____________________(insert name) recognise my responsibility within this mLiteracy workshop to be an active participant, to take responsibility for my learning and to work in collaboration with colleagues and foster an environment where we all can expand our knowledge.

Status Update Pledge

Think about what you want to do after completing the mliteracy workshop. Write a statement of intent. Create your own motto or slogan. The post it to your social media status
Use the status wall and ask participants to update their status, where they describe how they are feeling about the workshop and their role in it.

Step 1 – What should go into the pledge?

You will have to decide whether you will be a participative workshop attendant.
• How participative do you plan to be?
• How valuable an experience do you plan to make this workshop?
• How much risk do you plan to take?
• What do you plan to do with your learning?

Step 2 – Draft your pledge.

How do you want to express your intention to participate in this workshop?
• Write a statement of intent
• Create your own motto or slogan
• Compose a poem, song or rap
• Take a picture

Step 3 – Post your pledge

Where do you intend to post your pledge?
• Via WhatsApp
• On Your Status
• On paper

Take a Shelfie

Instructions for participants

You are going to take out your mobile device and take a photo of yourself. But instead of simply taking a self-portrait, turn your “selfie” into a “shelfie”. In other words, make sure that your own portrait includes books or stories.

Take a shelfie

If you have completed the application form, you will automatically receive an invitation to take a shelfie photograph. If not, take out your phone, locate the camera icon and you are ready to snap a shelfie.

  • Capture it: Take a photograph of yourself with your books in the background.
  • Store it: Keep it in a safe place on your phone.

For the facilitator

Participants will be asked to take a photograph of themselves. But instead of simply taking a self portrait, they will take a “shelfie”. In other words, they will have a phone picture that includes books.

10 Creative Shelfie Ideas

  1.  Find a section of the library that you enjoy (Children’s section, reference, popular fiction etc). Take a shelfie.
  2.  Look for your favourite author and stack his/her books up on top of each other. Take a shelfie.
  3.  Think about your hobbies or interests (e.g. gardening). Find books that link to those hobbies and interests and add an extra non- literacy prop (e.g. a pot plant) to reinforce your hobby or interest. Take a shelfie.
  4.  Find an inspirational quote by an author, take picture of a book they wrote and use your phone to place the quote on the book background.
  5.  Take a shelfie that contains a picture of the same books in both digital and analogue formats (e.g. a page on kindle and a print version).
  6.  Take a remixed shelfie that shows your face superimposed over the covers of digital books that you like.
  7.  Choose books that all have the same coloured spine and wear an outfit that matches these colours.
  8.  Find stories for a particular day of the year, put on an appropriate outfit and take a shelfie. E.g Santa Outfit and Christmas books.
  9.  Find a book with a face on it and align your profile with that face on the cover. Take a shelfie.
  10. Take a normal shelfie and then use an app, like Snapchat or Instagram to add animated elements to your shelfie.

Shelfie Gallery

mLiteracy Online Application

Instructions for the participant

To join the two-day mLiteracy workshop, you will need to fill in an online application form. If possible, applications should be completed on a mobile device.

For the facilitator

The application form is an exercise to use before the workshop

  • The collected information is useful for further communication and activities.
  • If the exercise has been completed on a mobile device, then participants will have demonstrated that they are sufficiently familiar with their technologies to participate in the workshop.
  • Applicants can automatically be sent a reply which asks them to complete the next task.