Introducing transgibberish: What does it mean to academic libraries?

Transgibberish is recent terminology gaining currency in the library world. It is a broad term encompassing and transcending many existing concepts. Because transgibberish is not a library-centric concept, many in the profession are unsure what the term means and how it relates to libraries’ instructional mission and to other existing ideas about various literacies. Transgibberish is such a new concept that its working definition is still evolving and many of its tenets can easily be misinterpreted. Although this term is in flux, academic librarians should watch developments in this new field to continually assess and understand what impact it may have on the ways they assist and interact with their patrons and each other.

Article on transgibberish here.

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Library Mad-Libs

_________ is recent terminology gaining currency in the library world. It is a broad term encompassing and transcending many existing concepts. Because _________ is not a library-centric concept, many in the profession are unsure what the term means and how it relates to libraries’ instructional mission and to other existing ideas about various literacies. _________ is such a new concept that its working definition is still evolving and many of its tenets can easily be misinterpreted. Although this term is in flux, academic librarians should watch developments in this new field to continually assess and understand what impact it may have on the ways they assist and interact with their patrons and each other.

splunge

"hey, let's use a word to represent something that we, ourselves, do not yet understand. we'll repeat the word until someone is able to explain it to us and then we will all cheer and move on to a new word, possible 'xenotransnetfancy'."

So you're not impressed?

So you are not impressed when someone takes a simple concept such as "basic overall literacy" and fancies it up by giving it a new term and claiming this new term now incorporates all the new technologies that somehow the old term supposedly didn't include? I mean, we all know words have a different meaning when read on an ebook reader than they do when read from paper, even if those words were originally written with a quill pen. If you don't appreciate how Mr. Ipri has created an entirely new field of study out of thin air, which conveniently allows him to rewrite thousands of theses by simply inserting his new term and references to new digital technologies, then you probably would also not appreciate the following TED talk (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/susan_blackmore_on_memes_and_temes.html) where Susan Blackmore claims that memes are somehow different if they happen to have been transmitted via digital means rather than by voice. Of course she isn't aware that telephone conversations had been transmitted in digital form for decades before the internet ever became popular. Nor are you probably impressed when people continue to claim that "cyberspace" is somehow different from any other form of communication and that, therefore, none of the existing laws should be applied.

Yeah, neither am I.

Literacy, as far as I am concerned, is the basic ability to read or observe, draw information from the material, and derive meaning from that information based on previously learned concepts. Ability to use tools to access what one intends to be literate about is not literacy, it is a different skill altogether. I suspect false and misleading information has been available in roughly the same proportions compared to accurate information since the dawn of human communication. It has always been imperative to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. Memes are memes whether you spread them face to face or via social networking. They may spread faster or only to those with internet access but they are still memes, nonetheless. And finally, one cannot lie, cheat, and steal, on the internet and legitimately claim it is OK because "The Internet" is some new frontier, separate from the real world.

Sincerely,
Grant S. Robertson

xenotransnetfancy

I just mentioned 'xenotransnetfancy' 3 times on twitter... let's see if it becomes something... maybe I should have changed it to biebertransnetfancy.

xenotransnetfancy

Xeno = prefix meaning stranger
Trans = a Latin noun or prefix, meaning "across", "beyond" or "on the opposite side".
Net = the Interwebs
(i)fancy = a beginning or early period of existence

xenotransnetfancy = A stranger to all the new things on the internet

transliteracy in action

so I'm teaching how to use the internet to some people in class and we get to the Google search box and I tell them that the rectangular box should alert them that they should be able to type some words in it. And to further explain, I hold up a printed job application and point out the box where they write or type in their name when applying for a job. and I say, "see, these boxes are the same. when you see boxes like this, you should expect that they want you to write something inside it."

and a few students go, "ah, I get it."
and I say, "great. you are transliterate because you can apply previous knowledge or experience from one medium to use a similar tools in a different medium."

but one student raises his hand and says, "but teacher, that application is paper. and the Google box is on the computer. how do I write on the computer? do I use a marker?"

and I say, "no. and sorry, you are not transliterate. and I don't want to see you with any markers in our library."

I agree with Grant: it's great that someone created a word for something that already existed and is now trying to convince the rest of us that it's something new and different.

and about xenotransnetfancy... no occurences on Google 2 days ago... over 100 today. but now that someone's defined it, it's not cool anymore.

it's interesting how many people link to this site... if you have a library blog that isn't getting noticed, post some stuff here and it should increase traffic to your site...

No links to xenotransnetfancy

I hate when people throw out the Google number of how many results there are for a search because it is a largely bogus number.

Let us look at the example of xenotransnetfancy. Run a search on Google and it says 118 results. But in the list of results there are only 12 things listed. All of the hits are RSS feeds on other sites that are showing the stories from LISNEWS.

As librarians you need to really question people on that results number. I had a person looking up something. Google was saying there was a million hits or 800,000 or some huge number. When I studied the results there was Wikipedia, and maybe two other sites that had actual information on the item we were looking for. All three of the resources were questionable in regards to some aspect of their authority. I remember the patron going on about how they got this huge number of hits and in reality the didn't.

People then say things like "There are 2 million million things about "insert topic here" so why do we need libraries?"

We need them because when you look online there is not 2 million source there is just a couple and a few of those are made available by libraries.

Sum up on xenotransnetfancy

Someone show me one site in the list of results on Google that is actually discussing xenotransnetfancy.

"that what she said..."

"it's interesting how many people link to this site... if you have a library blog that isn't getting noticed, post some stuff here and it should increase traffic to your site..."

the point was that one mention on LISNews spawned 118 (or whatever number it is) links on other sites...

no mention that the links are "real" -- just that they did not exist prior to the post on LISNews... so the point was that librarians should blog here if they want to be "seen."

Computer literacy

The idea of computer literacy is well established. If transliteracy is anything it is just another word for computer literacy.

Computer literacy is defined as the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology efficiently, with a range of skills covering levels from elementary use to programming and advanced problem solving

Transliteracy

I think we have an issue with transliteracy at a Burger King in Sacremento. Story here.

I have a feeling that whoever was running the cash register was not transliterate. I think they meant to type "Have it Your Way"

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