Part of a small team based at the State Library that works with the network of public libraries around NSW. Our role is to provide leadership and advocacy for public libraries and to promote the development of public library services in NSW
Photo credit: State Library of NSW Role of public libraries has expanded: FROM: Books and programs like storytime, book clubs, holiday activities TO INCLUDE: Local free access point for internet Assistance in finding information online Services delivered online
As you can see from these figures the uptake of web 2.0 in our communities is increasing. However there are still a lot of people in our communities who aren’t familiar with these tools. Source: Buzz Numbers aggregrated these numbers from Nielsen Online Consumer Generated Media Report, Nielson Netratings and Universal McCann 2008 reporting http://www.buzznumbershq.com/blog/2008/12/australian-social-media-usage.html
Skills needed in the library profession Increasingly public library staff are taking on a new role, a role f uturist, inventor and author, Mark Pesce, suggests is as life coaches for the digital age. Assisting people to use online information and services Tutorials (especially for seniors) Imagine yourself out of the workforce for the last 10 years, Google was brand new, everyone was using Alta Vista and Yahoo…! Maybe you didn’t even have an email address. Egovernment (eg. RTA, eTax, applying for jobs etc.)
To assess the knowledge gap we were dealing with we asked people commencing the course to identify themselves as UNFAMILIAR, NEW USER, USER or POWER USERS of a range of web 2.0 tools You can see the UNFAMILIAR section is very high – this demonstrates a huge gap in both AWARENESS OF THE TOOLS and consequently SKILLS in using these web 2.0 tools. Some of these tools are critical for people to be aware of as the library industry is embracing them rapidly to develop new ways of delivering services and to allow clients to communicate and collaborate with libraries.
This is the course we offered: It’s designed to introduce tools, show how libraries are using them and encourages participants to use the tools. Everyone set up a blog which was their learning diary to keep track of their journey. The course looks at more than 25 web 2.0 tools and to date more than 1,000 library staff have participated.
Reference Excellence is a library training course that has been built by a committee of NSW library staff across a number of library locations using a wiki as the platform. The resource continues to grow with a number of people sharing the responsibility of editing and quality control and a larger group contributing content.
The NSW Reference and Information Services Group is using Twitter to: Alert reference librarians to new resources Tweet during training days so that colleagues who can’t attend the program can follow some of the information shared
This is a great example of a public library using a tool – in this case, delicious – to bookmark websites for their library clients. These links can be accessed via the library’s website and clients can also add the library’s delicious account to their own network.
The Southern Tablelands Regional Library is based in Goulburn, they’ve developed a huge following for their local history blog which features information and photos from their collection and encourages people with an interest in the area to share their knowledge. Some libraries have used these types of tools to crowd source information to identify people in old photos and find out more about historical local identities and events.
Flickr is a really useful tool for libraries to Capture current events Hold photographic competitions eg. Manly’s H20 youth photo competition
The State Library is contributing photos to the Flickr commons, with staff all astonished to find that a few hundred photos have been viewed more than a million times! Some of our photos have developed quite active social lives being favourited, having comments and tags added and even being invited to join groups with other similar photos. We have been puzzled about some of the comments added to our Antarctica photos, until we realised they were in Icelandic and other languages. http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryofnsw/sets/
NSW Public Sphere 2009 Libraries and collaboration with local government Mylee Joseph Public Library Services