ltr: Vol. 50 Issue 7: p. 70
Chapter 10: Resources and Glossary
Joyce Kasman Valenza
Brenda L. Boyer
Della Curtis


Chapter 10 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 50, no. 7), “Social Media Curation,” is a selective list that includes background reading from inside and beyond the library world relating to digital curation making use of social media. It includes the works and thoughts of scholars, practitioners, educators, and experts. The chapter concludes with a glossary of terms commonly used in discussions of social media curation.

Articles, Presentations, and Blog Posts

Antonijevic, Smiljana, and Ellysa Stern Cahoy. “Personal Library Curation: An Ethnographic Study of Scholars’ Information Practices.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 14, no. 2 (2014): 287–306. A look into academics’ professional practices of curation, archiving, and usage of scholarly resources.

Bastian, Jeanetta A., Michele V. Cloonan, and Ross Harvey. “From Teacher to Learner to User: Developing a Digital Stewardship Pedagogy.” Library Trends 59, no. 4 (Spring 2011): 607–22. ProQuest Education Journals (872183316). The authors explore how pedagogy in the area of curation “offers opportunities for experimentation and innovation that should have an impact on the ability of practitioners to interact with users and on the ways that users can become involved with and integrated into the construction of digital stewardship activities” (607).

Bhargava, Rohit. “The 5 Models of Content Curation.” Influential Marketing Blog, March 31, 2011, Bhargava describes content curation as an “emerging space” where “more and more thought leaders will continue to share their voices.” He shares five potential models for content curation and discusses aggregation, distillation, elevation, mash-up, and chronology.

Boyd, Danah. “Streams of Content, Limited Attention: The Flow of Information through Social Media.” EDUCAUSE Review 45, no. 5 (September/October 2010): 26–36. boyd surveys changes in the landscape and recognizes “the emergence of a new type of information broker” (34).

Cahoy, Ellysa Stern. “Faculty Member as Archivist: Personal Archiving Practices in the Academic Environment.” In Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, edited by Donald T. Hawkins, 137–52. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2013.

Cahoy, Ellysa Stern. “Faculty Member as Micro-Librarian: Critical Literacies for Personal Scholarly Archiving.” Presentation included in panel “What’s Being Lost, What’s Being Saved: Practices in Digital Scholarship and Personal Archiving,” Personal Digital Archiving conference, San Francisco, CA, February 24, 2012. Available on Internet Archive, Cahoy shares her ALA presentation focused on the basics of personal scholarly archiving.

Cirinnà, Chiara, Kate Fernie, Maurizio Lunghi, and Vittore Casarosa, eds. “Proceedings of the Framing the Digital Curation Curriculum Conference, Florence, Italy, 6–7 May 2013.” DigCurV website, accessed May 20, 2014, Themes of the papers presented at this international conference included critical future skills, developing curriculum, and sustained education efforts.

“Content Curation.” Special issue, SLANZA (School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa), no. 6 (May 2012), This theme issue is devoted to content curation in school libraries.

Digital Curator Vocational Education Europe Project. “A Curriculum Framework for Digital Curation.” DigCurV website, last modified 2013, Rooted in practical experience, this multinational document describes new skills for curation in the cultural heritage sector and presents “a means to identify, evaluate, and plan training to meet the skill requirements of staff engaged in digital curation, both now and in the future.”

Franks, Patricia C. “Infusing Digital Curation Competencies into the SLIS Curriculum.” In “Proceedings of the Framing the Digital Curation Curriculum Conference,” ed. Cirinnà et al., Franks describes the integration of Digital Curation Competencies into San José State University’s MLIS curriculum. Among the courses described are LIBR 203, Online Social Networking Technologies and Tools, and LIBR 284, Seminar in Archives and Records Management, which explores “approaches to the collection and curation of selected new digital media in libraries and other cultural repositories” (table I).

Griffin, Melanie, and Tomaro I. Taylor. “Of Fans, Friends, and Followers: Methods for Assessing Social Media Outreach in Special Collections Repositories.” Journal of Web Librarianship 7, no. 3 (July 1, 2013): 255–71. This article shares results from an empirical study examining social media usage in special collections departments at 125 Association of Research Libraries member institutions. It found that special collections departments “achieve moderate success when using social media to advertise collections, events, and activities, but have little success when using social media to engage with external constituents” (255).

Hansen, Kirsten, Gillian Nowlan, and Christina Winter. “Pinterest as a Tool: Applications in Academic Libraries and Higher Education.” Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 7, no. 2 (2012), The article looks at the University of Regina Library’s use of Pinterest to engage and interact with its community. It includes a research-based list of best practices and explores potential use of Pinterest for teaching by both librarians and faculty.

Herther, Nancy K. “Content Curation.” Searcher 20, no. 7 (2012): 30–41. University librarian Herther offers background, pulling from blogs in the curation community, and shares: “Curation begs for the abilities and passion that information professionals have for their work, knowledge, sharing and organization. For those finding one door is closing for them, here is another door opening wide” (41).

Hottenstein, Alex. “Empowering Instructors to Become Effective Content Curators.” Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics 10, no. 4 (2012): 94–99. The author explores tools that allow instructors and students to curate content. The curation “can then be treated as its own form of content and can be assignable, consumable, and gradable in the well-established pedagogy of standard learning management systems” (94).

Jarche, Harold. “Becoming a Social Learner.” In Jane Hart, Social Learning Handbook 2014. Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies, January 2014, 144–61. Available for sale at Jarche describes his Personal Learning Mastery (PKM) Seek/Sense/Share framework.

Jarche, Harold. PKM: Personal Knowledge Management. Self-published, January 2013. Jarche shares the PKM framework as a strategy for individuals to “take control of their professional development while working in organizations or across networks” (7).

Kelly, David. “Is Content Curation in Your Skill Set? It Should Be.” Learning Solutions Magazine, October 29, 2012, Kelly believes curation “should be a competency that all learning and performance professionals add to their tool belts” and offers background and practical advice.

Kim, Jeonghyun, Edward Warga, and William Moen. “Competencies Required for Digital Curation: An Analysis of Job Advertisements.” International Journal of Digital Curation 8, no. 1 (2013): 66–83. The authors’ analysis of 173 professional job advertisements showed that “digital curation jobs are characterized by a complex interplay of various skills and knowledge” (66).

Kirkland, Anita Brooks. “Teacher-Librarians as Content Curators: Strong Contexts, New Possibilities.” School Libraries in Canada 31, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 19–22. The article advocates for the introduction of curation into the school library program and the value of curation as learning tool for students.

Kunda, Sue, and Mark Anderson-Wilk. “Community Stories and Institutional Stewardship: Digital Curation’s Dual Roles of Story Creation and Resource Preservation.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 11, no. 4 (2011): 895–914. Stakeholder communities expect interactive customized interfaces to institutional knowledge repositories, as well as traditional access to archived resources. The authors present a digital curation model that embraces both expectations.

Liew, Chern Li. “Participatory Cultural Heritage: A Tale of Two Institutions’ Use of Social Media.” D-Lib Magazine 20, no. 3/4 (March/April 2014), doi:10.1045/march2014-liew. The study examined how and to what extent cultural heritage institutions (CHIs) used social media to “create a culture of participation around their digital collections and services” ( The author conducted an environmental scan of New Zealand CHIs with social media initiatives and investigated four cases with considerable activities, participatory communication, and user-generated contents.

Michel, Jason Paul, and Elias Tzoc. “Automated Bulk Uploading of Images and Metadata to Flickr.” Journal of Web Librarianship 4, no. 4 (2010): 435–48. The Digital Initiatives Department at Miami University decided to use Flickr as a strategy to make its collections discoverable. Scale was an issue for uploading this large collection using the existing interface. The university developed a set of PHP scripts to interact with Flickr’s application programming interface and allow efficient uploading of images as well as metadata.

Neylon, Cameron. “It’s Not Filter Failure, It’s a Discovery Deficit.” Serials 24, no. 1 (2011): 21–25, doi:10.1629/2421. The author contends that within academia, the sharing of content is hampered by what he terms “discovery deficit”: the inability to readily access academic research due to constraints remaining from print-only times, and promotes curation as a tool for increased collective academic research.

Ovadia, Steven. “Digital Content Curation and Why It Matters to Librarians.” Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian 32, no. 1 (January 1, 2013): 58–62. Digital content curation presents new opportunities for librarians who might leverage the strategy to teach users how to evaluate information in new information landscapes.

Popova, Maria. “In a New World of Informational Abundance, Content Curation Is a New Kind of Authorship.” Neiman Journalism Lab, last modified June 10, 2011, Maria Popova, editor of Brain Pickings ( discusses “how new approaches to curation are changing the way we consume and share information.”

Popova, Maria. “Introducing the Curator’s Code: A Standard for Honoring Attribution of Discovery across the Web.” Brain Pickings (blog), March 9, 2012, Popova introduces the Curator’s Code (, a “movement to honor and standardize attribution of discovery across the web,” suggesting symbols and protocols for attribution.

Rheingold, Howard. “Stewards of Digital Literacies.” Knowledge Quest 41, no. 1 (September 2012): 52–55. Rheingold argues that the value of digital content lies in the individual’s abilities to critically evaluate information, manage personal attention within the flow of information, and actively participate and contribute to communities of knowledge. Rheingold points to school libraries and librarians as the “community of experts” capable of promoting learning in the digital landscape. This learning encompasses not only the how-to skills for participating online, but also critical social skills and mindsets necessary for positive interactions within online learning communities.

Rosenbaum, Steve. “Why Content Curation is Here to Stay.” Mashable, last modified May 3, 2010, The author of Curation Nation describes the issues and debates that surround new definitions of curation.

Schrier, Robert A. “Digital Librarianship and Social Media: The Digital Library as Conversation Facilitator.” D-Lib Magazine 17, no. 7/8 (July/August 2011), doi:10.1045/july2011-schrier. Schrier discusses the role of social media marketing in making digital collections discoverable. “While many collections are laudable for the quality of their pictures, metadata, and preservation techniques, they often remain obscure, unknown, and therefore inaccessible to their intended user populations.” The paper suggests a set of five principles with which digital librarians might engage in conversations with potential collection users.

Valenza, Joyce Kasman. “Curation.” School Library Monthly 29, no. 1 (September–October 2012): 20-23. Valenza offers a case for school librarians to curate and shares the value of curation as a life skill, a learning tool, and for search.

Valenza, Joyce Kasman. “Curation Is the New Search Tool.” NeverEnding Search (blog), School Library Journal, September 30, 2011, Valenza presents curation tools as an “exciting new genre of search tool, a tool for scanning the real-time environment, as well as opportunities for evaluating quality and relevance in emerging information landscapes.”

Walters, Tyler, and Katherine Skinner. New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation, ERIC no. ED527702. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2011. Full text available from ERIC: This 76-page report offers a thorough exploration of how research libraries foster “curatorial practices in order to ensure that their parent institutions continue to realize their core mission of creating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge” (5).

Wang, Zheng. “Co-Curation: New Strategies, Roles, Services, and Opportunities for Libraries in the Post-Web Era and the Digital Media Context.” Libri: International Journal of Libraries and Information Services 63, no. 2 (June 2013): 71–86. The traditional chain for access—acquisitions to catalog to discovery and access-based services—may no longer be expedient in a Post-Web Era. Wang argues for a new value chain that will incorporate co-curation services between library staff and users and among users themselves and demonstrates Emory University Libraries’ Readux (Read Edit Annotation Digital User Experience) project.

Waters, Richard. “Online Behaviour: March of the Tastemakers: ‘Social Curation’ Sites That Let Users Filter Their Interests from a Surfeit of Digital Data Are on the Ascent—But Questions Remain about Their Durability and Profitability.” Financial Times, March 27, 2012, 11. Retrieved from ProQuest Research Library database. Waters describes social curation as the driver of taste and trends and why this concept is valuable to marketers as consumers shift in and out of smaller communities and networks, no longer residing only in larger environments like Facebook or Twitter.

Weiner, Allen. “Allen Weiner Defines Curation.” Curation Nation video, 2:55, posted by “Filip,” March 17, 2010, Weiner offers a definition and examines the role of the curator in passing knowledge from one generation to the next by creating “informed playlists.”

White, Nancy. “Student Curators, Powerful Learning.” TL Advisor Blog, Tech and Learning, March 9, 2014, White shares her experience using curation as a powerful tool for learning with an eighth-grade social studies class.

Zarro, Michael, and Catherine Hall. “Exploring Social Curation.” D-Lib Magazine 18, no. 11/12 (November/December 2012), doi:10.1045/november2012-zarro. The academic librarian authors connect Pinterest use to digital libraries. “Effectively combining social media techniques and data curation practices will result in new ways of interacting with Web users, providing insight into the development of useful social media efforts by libraries, archives, and museums, as well as commercial organizations.”


Cohen, Daniel J., and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Presenting, and Preserving the Past on the Web. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005, This free online version of the text “provides a plainspoken and thorough introduction to the web for historians—teachers and students, archivists and museum curators, professors as well as amateur enthusiasts—who wish to produce online historical work, or to build upon and improve the projects they have already started in this important new medium.”

Harvey, Ross. Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It Manual. London: Facet, 2010, supplemental website available at Curation expert Ross Harvey’s text serves as a guide to the mechanics of curation and digital data management and preservation for archivists and librarians. Harvey defines curation as “what comes before preservation and what comes after—that is, how the data are created and how they are used before they get to an archive or library and how they will be used, and by whom, in the future” (xvi). Curation principles are presented in a logical progression and in context. Includes varied cases as examples and is well-referenced. The first chapter provides in-depth description and definition of digital curation, its importance, and key characteristics. Later chapters include deeper discussion of skill sets for digital curation, education in the field, and roles of curators, along with detailed description of steps in Britain’s Digital Curation Centre’s (DCC) curation life-cycle model.

Hawkins, Donald T., ed. Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage. Medford, NJ: Information Today, 2013. Discussions by leaders and early practitioners in the emerging field of personal digital archiving, described by contributing author Mike Ashenfelder of the Library of Congress as archiving “at the individual level as opposed to the institutional level.”1 In chapter 3, Ashenfelder describes the Library of Congress’s outreach programs for educating people about why and how to archive their digital photos, e-mails, etc. Other contributors address various facets of personal archiving in a variety of contexts from social media and personal data, software and legal issues, to archiving of professional output by university faculty.

MacIntosh, Eibhlin Morey. Content Curation Handbook: How to Create Curated Content for Websites. Concord, NH: New Forest, 2012. Self-described as one of the web’s first curators, MacIntosh presents an accessible primer on curation that succinctly covers what curation is, why it matters, and how to perform it. Tips for presentation, distribution, and potential legal issues are also briefly discussed.

Rosenbaum, Steven C. Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers Are Creators. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Curator, entrepreneur, and filmmaker Steven Rosenbaum writes about the business side of curation, including a history of businesses built upon curation, the power of consumers in this environment, tools for curation, and emerging ethical questions. The CEO of the web’s largest video curation platform,, Rosenbaum argues that curation centers around adding value and providing clarity to the overwhelming amount and speed of information in our lives. On his site, Rosenbaum deems curation as “the new magic that makes the web work,” replacing search.2

Silverman, Craig, ed. Verification Handbook. Maastricht, Netherlands: European Journalism Centre, 2014, Developed for journalists, this free e-book covers all types of new media and offers “best practice advice on how to verify and use this information provided by the crowd”3 and can be used as a tool for determining what to include and not include in social media curation efforts.


Lisa Snider. “Digital Curation for Beginners: An Archival View for Librarians.” ALA ACRL Interest Group, March 24, 2014, Snider designed this webinar for beginners and uses analogies and plain language to explain the major components of the digital curation life cycle—receipt, preservation, storage, and access of materials. The webinar is taught from an archival point of view, but easily translates to libraries.

Blogs about Curation

Beth Kanter. “Content Curation Primer.” Beth’s Blog, October 4, 2011, Offers curation overview, rationale, models, and tools. Kanter is a well-known trainer in the area of nonprofits who often addresses best practice as it relates to curation. See also other posts on her blog at

Maria Popova. Brain Pickings (blog). Itself an example of effective curation practice, “The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: It’s our ability to tap into the mental pool of resources—ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration—that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to culture, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these ideas and build new ideas—like LEGOs.”4

Robin Good (Luigi Canali De Rossi). Master New Media (blog). One of the most popular of the new curators and bloggers about curation, Good contends that content curation will be as important as search. He includes a variety of resources on his blog, including curation guides and categorized platform lists.


These terms are commonly referenced in articles and discussions of digital and social media curation.

affordances: A term used in human computer interactions (HCI) to describe the ways in which an object or a platform functions or the properties it has to support particular uses.

aggregation (content aggregation): The automated gathering of weblinks.

authentication: A process for verifying that an item, individual, or artifact is what it claims to be.

automated curation tools: Content discovery platforms that use user-entered content to automatically contextualize and personalize results to push new content to the user (e.g., Smartifico tool,;,

born digital: Content that originated in digital form without a physical surrogate.

content curation: Term attributed to Rohit Bhargava connoting the act of “sense making” of the deluge of digital information through the act of sorting and organizing (i.e., filtering).

crowdsourced curation: Using tags and folksonomies to gather content from such social media platforms and features as Facebook likes or Twitter hashtags.

curation life-cycle model: Developed by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), a model comprised of “stages required for successful curation and preservation of data from initial conceptualisation or receipt through the iterative curation cycle.”5

Curator’s Code ( Maria Popova’s movement to honor and standardize attribution, to encourage curators to honor their discoveries through attribution.

data curator: The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) in the United Kingdom, creators of the Curation Reference Manual (, defines digital curation and refers to the work of research data curators as “maintaining, preserving, and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.”6

digital preservation: The concept of saving objects and information in a secure way in a digital environment.

filtering: The art of applying discretion and judgment in deciding on relevance for a particular audience.

“filter failure”: Term coined in 2008 by Clay Shirky to counter the concept of information overload as the key problem of the digital environment by instead pointing to the inability to manage, judge, or “filter” information as the main issue to be addressed.

folksonomy: A collaborative, user-generated system for classifying and retrieving content based on social tagging.

interoperability: The ability of systems and organizations to work together and the ability of networks to exchange data using the same set of standards or protocols.

life cycle: The stages of a record or digital asset’s life span and the management strategies designed to ensure its continuity.

link rot: Refers to links that no longer work, either because the server has closed down or is blocked, or the web pages themselves have vanished, changed, or moved.

metadata: Literally data about data, or data used to describe items according to a set of standards or protocols. A variety of metadata standards have been created for the description of the range of existing media. For instance, the Dublin Core (Dublin Core Metadata Initiative [DCMI], is a set of vocabulary terms to describe web content.

open access: Freely accessible, voluntary sharing of peer-reviewed research residing outside commercial firewalls.

open education resources (OER): Freely accessible and liberally licensed media and resources for teaching and learning. A variety of OER portals, for instance, the OER Commons (, make this content discoverable.

personal digital archiving: The practice of saving personal family items digitally in formats and locations that will not become obsolete. The Library of Congress has developed an outreach program to teach people how to successfully preserve family memories in digital formats (

personal knowledge management/mastery (PKM): Term coined by Harold Jarche (see; a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world and work more effectively. Jarche introduced the Seek/Sense/Share framework and has suggested that mastery might be a better term than his originally selected management.

personal learning environment (PLE): Individually organized virtual information structures that help learners organize and manage access to networks and learning resources.

personal/professional learning network (PLN): The informal learning network that an individual develops by connecting with like-minded colleagues and similar learners online. The concept is connected to George Siemens and Stephen Downes’s connectivism theory. PLNs are often used to feed curation efforts.

playlist: Formerly used for a list of songs played on the radio, the term now refers also to gathered, annotated, and sequenced content in the form of an interactive lists enabled by curation tools (e.g., LessonPaths, Blendspace,

provenance: From the French provenir (“to come from”), a fundamental principle of archival studies and used in the museum and library worlds, the history of ownership, and locations of an object or artifact.

social bookmarking: The act of gathering links or favorites to share with others online or making resources used for one’s own research or personal knowledge management discoverable by others.

social curation: The process of collecting, organizing, and sharing information reflecting user interests with others in a system of filtering, refiltering, and resharing among “communities of like-minded people.”7

social media: Online platforms that host and encourage media sharing, communication, and networking (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

social tagging (tagging): Process of creating, managing, and sharing terms to describe digital resources. Folksonomies are the result of social tagging.

stewardship: The condition of organizing and safeguarding objects, possessions, or content for others.

taxonomy: Orderly system of classification based on relationships.

user-generated content: The wide range of media published beyond the formal publication process, using such platforms as blogs, wikis, tweets, online comments, question-and-answer forums, digital stories, podcasting, video- and image-sharing portals, etc.

workflow: Sequence of processes undertaken in order to complete a task in a logical, efficient, or smooth way. (Tasks such as archiving objects, curating content, and performing research all involve a workflow.)

Z39.50: A pre-web international standard information retrieval protocol used heavily by libraries for searching and retrieving information from remote databases.

1. Mike Ashenfelder, “Library of Congress Contributes Chapter to New Personal Digital Archiving Book,” The Signal (blog), Library of Congress, November 1, 2013,
2. Steven Rosenbaum, “About This Video,” commentary on TEDxGrandRapids video “Innovate: Curation!” Curation Nation website, June 14, 2011,
3. “About,” Verification Handbook website, accessed July 7, 2014,
4. “Brain Pickings,” Design Beats, no. 19, accessed July 7, 2014,
5. “DCC Curation Lifecycle Model,” DCC Curation Centre, accessed July 7, 2014,; see the website for more information
6. “What Is Digital Curation?” DCC Curation Centre, accessed July 7, 2014,
7. David Karp, as cited in Richard Waters, “Online Behaviour: March of the Tastemakers: ‘Social Curation’ Sites That Let Users Filter Their Interests from a Surfeit of Digital Data Are on the Ascent—But Questions Remain about Their Durability and Profitability,” Financial Times, March 27, 2012, 11, para. 19

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