Maggie Kay Hall-Librarian, Mother, Life-Long-Learner and Literacy Advocate
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Unlike other format-specific literacies: such as technology, media, and digital literacies, transliteracy is an over-arching concept which helps us to better understand the connection between them. Trans-literacy means to span across, to transfer, and to change in relation to reading and writing. Trimm (2011), writes “transliteracy is described as “the ability to write and interact across a range of platforms, tools, and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio, and film, to digital source networks.” The concept of transliteracy is not solely about technological devices, but about all types of communication across various cultures and time. It is about moving between and across modalities
The transliteracy concept shines light on what it means to be literate in the 21st century when we have unlimited access of information at our fingertips through technology and devices, television, radio, books, journals, blogs, YouTube, magazines, chatrooms, etc. Additionally, this concept hopes to bridge and connect modalities from the past, present, and future. Blogs online are not the same as telling ghost stories under the blankets as a kid, just like shopping on Amazon.com is a much different experience than shopping at the local flea market.
The library can embrace the challenges of transliteracy by eliminating a divide between the virtual, digital, and printed worlds to meet the unique needs of the learners it supports. I would implement transliteracy in our middle school campus library by setting up an online platform or forum. This can be accomplished through Canvas, Office 365, Edmodo, Google Classroom, or something similar, where students (and educators) can have an online book club forum. A group could be based by either the exact same book being read by a small group of students… or just a book club group for the same type of genre interest. Students and teachers can go into these online forums/programs to post their specific findings about what they read. This could almost be like a digital book talk. The users can rate the book, and must answer certain questions about the book (i.e. favorite/least favorite part, why others should read it, the most exciting event or fact, etc.) while also have room to add to their personal review. Similarly, to YouTube videos that are ‘trending’, this online book club can post ‘trending’ books of the week or the month. Books read and reviews given can be provided on text, audio, or eBooks.
To take it a step further, the users of this group can post where they retrieved the book, or set up ways to track how to check it out from the library or borrow it from another individual on campus once they have finished reading it. A Flip-grid video clip can be added with the reader providing their book talks. A scheduled date and time can be set for meeting up with book club members in person, in the library for extension activities and deeper discussions. In these scenarios, transliteracy is used to tie together reading, writing, analyzing, reviewing, and collaborating with other readers.
Jaeger, P. (2015). Transliteracy- New Library Lingo and What It Means for Instruction. Library Media Connection, 30(2), 44-47. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
Trimm, Nancy (2011). Not Just Literate, but Transliterate: Encouraging Transliteracy Adoption in Library Services. Colorado Libraries 36.1 (2011): 1-3.