A ‘ning’ is a social networking site that can be set up where people with similar interests can post comments in forums, create groups, add blogs, upload photos and video and generally share ideas and information within a like-minded community.  Currently, Ning hosts more than 500,000 networks (Wikipedia) and its popularity is growing as people see the potential that it offers.

CEO and co-founder of Ning, Gina Bianchini says,  “We started Ning with a simple premise. We wanted to see what would happen if everyone had the freedom to create their own social network for anything. We thought the results would be amazing, but they have truly surpassed our expectations. From artists to musicians, athletes, bloggers, video channels, journalists, students, educators, parents, craft hobbyists, alumni, and interest groups, the range and diversity of the social networks on Ning are profound.” 

Teacher librarians and educators have, of course, put Ning to good use, and you can join any of these nings by visiting the links below.



In the Teacher Librarian Ning some of the groups you can join are:  High School TLs;  YA Lit in School Libraries;  More Things: Applying 2.0 Tools;  Information Fluency Project;  Middle School TLs;  New / Young TLs;  Harry Potter Discussion;  The Changing and Evolving Library.

As comments are made to the discussions, you can be notified by email, or you can put an RSS feed on the page.

Obviously, the best way to see the potential for using a ning is to become involved in one yourself,  but this link shows how some teacher librarians have gone one step further and are now creating nings themselves for use within their schools:





Flickr: School Library Displays

If you don’t already have a flickr account, consider using it for showcasing to parents photos of events that are happening in your library e.g. author visits, competitions, storytelling sessions,  recommended books (get cover images from Amazon), Book Week displays and events. Having a flickr account also means that you can upload and save your photos from any computer, making it very easy to share them.

 Once you have created an account, you can upload photos into ‘sets’ and make them private or public. If you make them private, then only the people you invite can view those photos. This of course is good for photos involving students.


You can upload photos quite large in size, but I prefer to resize them first (to 800 x 600) for speed of uploading. I use VSO Image Resizer, a free program you can download at http://www.vso-software.fr/products/image_resizer/download-image-resizer.php  however Picasa will also resize photos for you.

If you would like to share some photos of your library displays, I have created a ‘group’ in flickr called School Library Displays:  http://flickr.com/groups/school_library_displays  It doesn’t matter if your displays are big or small, it will be a place where anyone can share ideas or get ideas. If you have downloaded Cooliris onto your computer (see my previous blog entry), have a look at the library display photos using the Cooliris photowall – they look really good!



 Some of our Redlands College library displays – see more in Flickr.