Sunday Night Ponderance

What would a transliteracy READ poster look like?

Would it be someone holding a laptop? A smartphone or other mobile device? Or seated at a computer? Or a wifi router? Or e-reader?

And, more importantly, why haven’t we seen one yet?

I want to take a picture of me with my laptop with the banner page of my favorite blogs. That’s my READ poster.

15 thoughts on “Sunday Night Ponderance

  1. Although I have not had time to make any READ posters this year (maybe that will change this week?), my library’s Flickr set is peppered with multiple examples of how we support and promote transliteracy in our library. In some cases, you may see a set, such as http://www.flickr.com/photos/theunquietlibrary/sets/72157622654337930/, but the majority are incorporated into our photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/theunquietlibrary/.

    Whether it is through READ posters, photos,videos, library blog posts about activities you are doing in your library, or your subject guides/research pathfinders, I think it is important to show through multiple channels how you as a librarian and library are supporting multiple literacies.

  2. be careful, transliteracy is about more than technology, I’d say it would include all of those things plus a books, a newspaper, pen & a paper, telephone, paint brush, guitar, & 2 people talking. Its the ability to use & move across all forms of media

    • Point well taken. I guess my bias is apparent, for people are surprised when I say I don’t read many books a year (“But you’re a librarian!”) but I get the reproachful look when I say that I read a *ton* of material online everyday. As if it wasn’t words coming into my eyes and going into my brain, just like a book, magazine, or newspaper. (For the record, I try to look over the New York Times during my reference shift, but that doesn’t always work out.) But pen & paper, telephone, paintbrush, etc. do not translate well in the READ format of literacy advertising.

      So, I guess I’m splitting hairs here between that advertising campaign and what transliteracy is trying to accomplish. But if you want to start a TRANSLITERATE poster campaign, I’m all for that. =D

  3. I agree re: definition of transliteracy, but so often our library promotion materials privilege text literacy. Perhaps if there was balance in the reading materials in the READ poster, whether it be new media, art, et. al, more awareness could be raised about the need for being able to “read” multiple forms of “texts” and expanding our definition of what counts as a text. I also like NCTE’s stance on 21st century literacies as well: http://www.ncte.org/governance/literacies

    Buffy

    • I agree. Libraries do need to provide a better balance, but I I think we need a whole new approach not a modification of an existing one.

      My concern about the definition comes from several recent conversations that indicate people are confusing transilteracy with digital or technology literacy. If that confusion becomes too wide spread it may defeat the purpose of what I’m hoping the concept of transliteracy can do for all types of libraries.

      • I may be wrong, but I am not sure if transliteracy is all that incredibly distinct from the idea of new media literacies (see http://newmedialiteracies.org/) , which is somewhat different from digital/technology literacy. I see a lot of overlap of the definition of transliteracy into new media literacy as well as research that has been around for a while in the world of Language Education about what counts as a text—a piece of music, a piece of art, dance, etc. and how you read those “texts.”

        In reviewing the definition of transliteracy and how others are interpreting it (http://www.socialtext.net/medialiteracy/index.cgi?transliteracy), I am wondering if Sue Thomas could jump in and explain for us what sets transliteracy apart from other theories and paradigms of literacy.

  4. Although I have not had time to make any READ posters this year (maybe that will change this week?), my library’s Flickr set is peppered with multiple examples of how we support and promote transliteracy in our library. In some cases, you may see a set, such as http://www.flickr.com/photos/theunquietlibrary/sets/72157622654337930/, but the majority are incorporated into our photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/theunquietlibrary/.

    Whether it is through READ posters, photos,videos, library blog posts about activities you are doing in your library, or your subject guides/research pathfinders, I think it is important to show through multiple channels how you as a librarian and library are supporting multiple literacies.

    Buffy

  5. You have motivated me to update my Librarian’s READ poster…from a snap of my infant son and I read “Are you my Mother” to a picture of a 4 year old with our Iphone learning his sight words and my Nook reader. Bravo!

  6. Pingback: Pondering transliteracy…and updating my READ poster. « Falcon Library blog

  7. Hi everyone

    Bobbi pointed me to the request by theunquietlibrary for me to “jump in and explain for us what sets transliteracy apart from other theories and paradigms of literacy”. I sometimes give a presentation in which I try to unpack the notion of transliteracy in as much detail as I can, and I’ll paste in below an excerpt which may answer your question. Please note that I see transliteracy as an open source concept to be developed as appropriate but at the heart of it is a global inclusivity which, in my view, is what sets it apart from other theories. For me, its value lies in the way it exists to unify rather than to set any kind of boundary. Some may say this is anti-academic, and perhaps it is, but then perhaps it’s academia that has the problem. Indeed, very often it *is* a problem of academia to be too insular and boundary-ridden. As librarians you operate at the membrane between the public world and the knowledge world and so you more than anyone understand the need for a porous concept.

    Google Alerts and Twitter often bring your discussions to my attention and I’ve been fascinated to see how transliteracy is developing in your care. Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm! I’m sure you know already but just in case you don’t, you’ll find numerous posts on the subject at the Transliteracy Research Group http://www.transliteracy.com going back all the way to 2006 and we’re holding a conference on February 9th where there will be speakers from a wide range of subjects each seeking to interpret the concept in their own way. http://nlabnetworks.typepad.com/transliteracy/2010abstracts.html

    Anyway, to the excerpt. I hope it answers your question and I’ll be interested to read your thoughts:

    <>

  8. Ha ha ha! I enclosed the excerpt with some < < and the system read it as html and stripped it out! Another kind of language, of course! Here it is again, plus a link to a video which I think includes this section:

    An ongoing debate within my research group focuses on the ways in which transliteracy differentiates itself from “media literacy”, defined by Ofcom as – “the ability to access, understand and create communications in a variety of contexts” (Ofcom, 2003). Our current thinking (although still not entirely resolved) is that because it offers a wider analysis of reading, writing and interacting across a range of platforms, tools, media and cultures, transliteracy does not replace, but rather contains, “media literacy” and also “digital literacy”, defined by Gilster as “the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers,” (Gilster, 1997, p.1)

    Another term which has become widely used about these kinds of experiences, especially by the media and gaming worlds, is 'convergence'. In 2001 MIT scholar Henry Jenkins wrote “Part of the confusion about media convergence stems from the fact that when people talk about it, they’re actually describing at least five processes” (Jenkins, 2001) He lists these types of convergence as technological, economic, social or organic, cultural, and global, concluding that “these multiple forms of media convergence are leading us toward a digital renaissance – a period of transition and transformation that will affect all aspects of our lives” (Jenkins, 2001).

    Transliteracy is, perhaps, the literacy of this process.

    However, it is important to note that transliteracy is not just about computer-based materials, but about all communication types across time and culture. It does not privilege one above the other but treats all as of equal value and moves between and across them.

    In 1964, Marshall McLuhan saw the process Jenkins describes as occurring increasingly via technology, proposing that “in this electric age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving towards the technological extension of consciousness,” (McLuhan, 1964, p.63). Walter Ong, writing in 1982 about the relationship between literacy and orality, also approached the matter from the point of view of linear progressive change: “The shift from orality to literacy and on to electronic processing engages social, economic, political, religious and other structures,” (Ong, 1982, p.3). The concept of media ecology developed by McLuhan, Ong, Neil Postman and others is certainly closely related to transliteracy but the difference lies in transliteracy's insistence upon a lateral approach to history, context and culture, its interest in lived experience, and its focus on interpretation via practice and production. Transliteracy understands digital media not as part of a linear historical progression, but as manifestations of other similar modes of communication. The ecology of transliteracy is global, historical, and holistic.

    video: http://vimeo.com/2831405

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