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TLA Conference 2012

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Re-imagining the Attic: Creating User-centered Services for your Special Collections, presented by Chapel Cowden and Amanda Carter.

Re-imagining the Attic: Creating User-centered Services for your Special Collections, presented by Chapel Cowden and Amanda Carter.

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  • 1. RE-IMAGINING THE ATTIC CREATING USER-CENTERED SERVICES FOR YOUR SPECIAL COLLECTIONSAMANDA J. CARTER, MODERN POLITICAL ARCHIVE AT BAKER CENTER CHAPEL D. COWDEN, UT CHATTANOOGA SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
  • 2. Use is the main rationale for archival work in the user-oriented archive.
  • 3. DEFINING USER-CENTERED SERVICES• Oxford English Dictionary definitions: • User: • “a person who has or makes use of a thing, esp. regularly; a person who employs or practices something” (def. 1a) • Centered: • “placed at the centre [sic] or in a central position” (def. 1) • Service: • “friendly or professional assistance” (def. 19c)• Therefore, user-centered services can be defined as: • friendly, professional assistance that focuses on the needs and interests of the people who have or may access your collections.
  • 4. HOW DOES YOUR ARCHIVE IDENTIFY? User Oriented Custodial Oriented • Research Services • Reference • Use is the main rationale for • Use is one of several rationales. archival work. • User information-interesting but • User information-essential for of secondary importance. program planning. • Researchers are simply counted. • Systematic gathering and • Marketing is secondary. analysis of user information. • Promoting use, researcher • Marketing is a priority. services are secondary to • Promoting use, researcher appraisal and other functions. services are regarded as • Reliance on provenance as a program priorities. means of retrieval. • Subject indexing fosters • Reference is mainly educating retrieval. users to appreciate records, • Finding aids and services are contexts, how the repository geared to users’ needs. works.Bruce W. Dearstyne, Managing Historical Records Programs: A Guide for Historical Agencies(Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, 2000), 105.
  • 5. HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR ARCHIVE TO IDENTIFY? Archives 2.0 Archives 1.0 • Open • Closed • Transparent • Opaque • User-centered • Archivist- and record- • Technology-savvy centered • Archivist as facilitator • Technology-deficient • Open to iterating products • Archivist as • Innovative and flexible gatekeeper/authority figure • Looking for ways to attract • Focused on “perfect” new users products • Adhering to tradition • Relying on interested users coming to the repository on their ownKate Theimer, A Different Kind of Web: New Connections Between Archives and Our Users(Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011), 335.
  • 6. SERVICES COVERED• Web 2.0 applications • Facebook • Twitter • YouTube • Flickr • Blogs• Digitization• Creating shareable finding aids• Exhibits• …and potential challenges to implementing these services.
  • 7. KEEP IN MIND: HAVE A PLANNo matter which option or how you choose toimplement or increase your user-centered services, itis important to understand how you want to benefityour institution.• Define your goals • Who is your audience? • What do you want to achieve? • What is your purpose?• Tend your garden • Don’t create & ignore. Practice good upkeep on the services that you decide to implement. (e.g. post often, check links, etc.)
  • 8. MEETING YOUR USERS WHERE THEY ARE, WEB 2.0-STYLE: THE MAJOR PLAYERS
  • 9. THE “F” WORD (FACEBOOK)• How To Use It: • Establish a profile (location, hours, contact info, etc.) • Post frequently • Engage your audience through events, contests, news, and shared content (videos, photos, etc.) • Push info from your other digital offerings into FB (blog posts, tweets, YouTube videos, Flickr streams, etc.
  • 10. FACEBOOK EXAMPLE: HOUSTON CO. ARCHIVES Open Group Recently celebrated their one year anniversary (Nov.)as an established archive. FB presence since March 2011. Post Types: Images Exhibits & Events “Found in the Archive” Shared articleshttp://www.facebook.com/groups/190560887647081/
  • 11. FACEBOOK EXAMPLE: EAST TENNESSEE HISTORY CENTER Organization Page Post Types: Images Policies Cross-posts from other organizations Ephemera http://www.facebook.com/pa ges/East-Tennessee-History- Center/117404638280061
  • 12. FACEBOOK EXAMPLE: UTC SPECIAL COLLECTIONS Organization Page http://www.facebook.com/UTCLibrary?ref=ts
  • 13. TWEET WHAT? TWITTER WHO?• How to Use It: • Cousin to text messaging, but with more public and interactive communication • 140 character limit • “Microblogging” • Easy sign-up • Create a profile • Make announcements about events or new acquisitions • Post links to news, blogs, Facebook, or new digitization efforts • Follow a few other people or institutions to keep up with what is new in the industry• Some Lingo: • @[username]: replies to other tweeters • #[keywords]: helps to categorize your tweets • bit.ly: shortened (tiny) URL can be a blog, image, webpage
  • 14. TWITTER EXAMPLE: TENEMENT MUSEUM Blurb can include mission, overview, or something a bit more fun…https://twitter.com/#!/tenementmuseum
  • 15. TWITTER EXAMPLE: CALVIN MCCLUNG HISTORICAL COLLECTION Notice thepersonalizedbackground https://twitter.com/#!/similar_to/McClungHistColl
  • 16. BLOGGING? YOU MEAN I HAVE TO KEEP A JOURNAL TOO??Implementation Options Blog Software• special events• new collections• processing highlights• varia• how-to’s• news• ???
  • 17. BLOGGING? YOU MEAN I HAVE TO KEEP A JOURNAL TOO??• How to Use It: • Post often to keep audience interest • Include images when possible • Prominently display subscription options (RSS feed and/or email) • Encourage commenting & be responsive when comments are made • Tag posts • Title posts thoughtfully for SEO • Promote the blog • Be patient! 
  • 18. Implementation: Processing Bloghttp://www.lib.unc.edu/blogs/morton/
  • 19. Implementation: Humor
  • 20. Implementation: Blog as websitehttp://blog.lib.utc.edu/archivist/
  • 21. FLICKR• Why Flickr? • Crowdsourcing materials (especially photos) • Inexpensive way to display digital exhibits or collections • Sharing event/other photos • Enormous potential audience
  • 22. LOC FLICKR REPORT“The Flickr project increases awarenessof the Library and its collections; sparkscreative interaction with collections;provides LC staff with experience withsocial tagging and Web 2.0 communityinput; and provides leadership tocultural heritage and governmentcommunities.”
  • 23. FLICKR• How To Use It: • Select content • Upload content & create metadata • Tag images • Interact with users • Can begin with free account, then upgrade when necessary.
  • 24. LOC ON FLICKR “Flickr members have found family members through the photographs, they’ve helped commemorate individuals whose stories aren’t well known but deserve to be remembered, they’ve solved mysteries, and they’ve helped us all appreciate the technology and art of photography.”
  • 25. FLICKR COMMONS
  • 26. YOUTUBE & VIDEO SHARINGHow To Use It: What To Film:• Create a profile • Tutorials• Record video • Webinars• Upload content & create • Advocacy metadata • Basic information• Tag video • Tours• Interact in the comments section
  • 27. LOC ON YOUTUBE Personalized banner includes navigationhttp://www.youtube.com/user/LibraryOfCongress
  • 28. UTC SPECIAL COLLECTIONS ON YOUTUBEhttp://www.youtube.com/user/utclib/
  • 29. DIGITIZING FOR YOUR USERS
  • 30. DIGITIZATION• Why? • What? • Your users want it! • Just about anything • Promote access • Per request • Demonstrate • Determined by plan holdings • How? • For remote users • Create a plan. See • Preservation Handbook for Digital Projects www.nedcc.org/resources/digitalhandbook/dman.pdf
  • 31. TSLA’S TENNESSEE VIRTUAL ARCHIVE http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/
  • 32. VOLUNTEER VOICES Statewide digitization program Goals: • Improve access to digital collections • Facilitate use • Offer training opportunities for staff to learn digitization standards/best practices Digital Collections from: • KCPL-McClung • MTSU • NPL • TN Encyclopedia ofhttp://www.volunteervoices.org/ History & Culture • TeVA • Volunteer Voices
  • 33. CREATING SHAREABLE FINDING AIDS
  • 34. CREATE SHAREABLE FINDING AIDS
  • 35. WAYS TO SHARE FINDING AIDS1. Put them online (users are expecting this more than ever)2. Place the URL in the catalog record3. Link to FA’s through website collection overviews4. Create a Google Search for FA’s (or have IT build you a search)5. Place FA’s in a national database (e.g. ArchiveGrid)
  • 36. EXAMPLE: BAKER CENTER MPA Can view in sections or as one documenthttp://bakercenter.utk.edu/modern-political-archive/archival-collections/
  • 37. EXAMPLE:UTC SPECIAL COLLECTIONS http://findingaids.library.utc.edu/Allen.html
  • 38. CREATING PHYSICAL EXHIBITS
  • 39. WHY PHYSICAL EXHIBITS1. Educational and aesthetic purposes2. Showcase types of materials found in the archive3. Highlight new collections or hidden gems4. Draw attention or interest to the special collections or archives department5. In collaboration with other departmental events or to celebrate holidays6. Pique interest to bring in new users
  • 40. HOW TO DISPLAY EXHIBITS1. Decide on a theme.2. Display options: • Covered display cases, hang framed objects • Digital displays or screens • Interactive components • Guestbook for comments3. Try to include a small note or card summarizing what the materials are and how they relate to the theme.Display cases and digital displays may not be within the budget so get creative in deciding how you would like to show off items from you collection. • Creating posters using images of items from the collection or digitizing the images to display on your website could work.
  • 41. WHAT TO INCLUDE IN PHYSICAL EXHIBITS• Pamphlets, flyers, posters• Medallions, pens, awards • Shiny objects usually catch the eye of passer-bys• Art • Cartoons, doodles, art gifts to the creators of the collections• Handwritten letters or postcards • Am I the only one that loves this kind of stuff?• Anything that seems unusual or unique, but still falls in line with the themeRemoving items from the collection can be tricky. Be sure you have a good tracking and replacement plan.
  • 42. EXAMPLE: POLITICAL CARTOONSMODERN POLITICAL ARCHIVE AT THE BAKER CENTER
  • 43. EXAMPLE: COLLABORATION MPA AND BAKER CENTER
  • 44. CHALLENGES• Maintaining context• Online efforts will not reach everyone.• Blurring of lines between personal & professional in Web 2.0 endeavors• Maintaining quality and trust.• Acquiring approval• Avoiding the bandwagon.• Measuring success
  • 45. WRAPPING IT UP• Don’t like these tools? Get creative. • Google+ • Pinterest • Widgets • Class instruction • Blurbs in department newsletters on new finds• Things to Remember: • Have a goal • Make a plan • Tutorials are helpful• Have fun with it!

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