Slam the Boards! A Model for Marketing Through ActionMay 21, 20132 p.m. (ET)Presenter: Bill Pardue
UPCOMING RUSA PRESIDENT’S PROGRAM!!Save the date for RUSA’s President’s Program in ChicagoTitle: The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron: The RUSA President’s ProgramWhen: 4-5:30p.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2013Where: Chicago IL, ALA Annual ConferenceDescription: Lee Rainie, co-author of the new book “Networked: TheNew Social Operating System”, will share the latest data about howAmericans are interacting with information technology and electronicbooks.On Sunday, June 30, from 10:30-11:30a.m., join Rainie and library leaders Emily Ford, DavidLankes andMarie Radford to discuss how the Pew study data will influence yourlibrary’s future. Join the conversation surrounding this topic on Twitter by using thehashtag #rusapres13.
Slam the Boards! A Model forMarketing Through ActionBill PardueArlington Heights Memorial Librarybpardue@ahml.info / @billahmlsponsored byRSS/MARS Virtual Reference Services Committee
What is “Slam The Boards?”• Librarians engaging in social Q&A• Grass-roots participation• No “central figure”• No stats (maybe…someday)• Get beyond the library!• Promote libraries• Share with colleagues
What’s the point?• User venues:– Yahoo Answers– Cha Cha– Facebook Questions– Twitter– WikiAnswers– Etc., etc., etc….– Serious competitors to thereference desk!
Traditional Reference Stats areDeclining…http://ahml.info/renovation
New Roles are Emerging• Makerspaces• Meeting places• Tech training: classes/appointments
But people still have questions:• “37% of Americans ages 16 and older would ‘very likely’ usean ‘ask a librarian’ type of service, and another 36% say theywould be ‘somewhat likely’ to do so.(Library Services in the Digital Age, Pew Internet and American LifeCenter)• “The death of ready reference has been exaggerated.”(Marie Radford & Lynne Connaway, Seeking Synchronicity: Revelationsand Recommendations for Virtual Reference, OCLC Research)• Users aren’t aware we do reference!
How do we respond?• Hope it goes away?• Argue about it? (Withwhom?)• Presume that we’re justnot part of it?• Actively engage!• Get proactive!
Share with your peers• http://answerboards.wetpaint.com• Facebook: “Slam the Boards”• Twitter: #slamtheboards hashtag
Bad reasons not to do it…• We’re all too busy!• They’re not ourpatrons!• Almost no one sees it!
Make “Slamming” local• Hyper-local sites• Newspaper comment threads• Patch.com• Monitor twitter• Google alert for local Y!Aquestions
Slamming’s not always virtual• Local meetings: Chamber, rotary, committees, etc.• Chime in—offer assistance!• Be “on” even when you’re out of the building--a “LibraryAmbassador.”• Out of the box: Library Dude! http://bit.ly/qwssAZ
Slamming isn’t always answers• “Chiming in,” asking questions of yourcommunity (esp. in FB or Twitter)• Offering assistance• Promoting: Making the library known• Helping the user get value from our skills, anyway we can!
Attitude Change• Don’t wait for questions tocome to us.• Don’t assume that users knowwhat we do.• Cast the net wide, take aproactive approach• Trumpet what we do and whowe are.• We might even need to “buttin” a bit (carefully!).
So, you wanna slam?• You’ll all get an email reminder! (Slam spam?)• Look over some social Q&A sites– Yahoo Answers: the big favorite– Quora: More highly curated.– WikiAnswers: Harder to attribute, answers modified– AnswerBag: I’ve played a little…similar to Y!A.– ChaCha: SMS, you get paid (can it promote us?)– Learn how to navigate, post answers, the culture, etc.
How will you find questions?• Recommended questions (Yahoo)• Browse through categories• Saved searches/RSS for selected terms(“articles,” “books,” etc.).• Google alerts for search terms• Be patient… “real” questions are out there!
Answering• Well-considered/sourced.• Relate to library service, if you can.• Geolocate the asker? Promote their library!• ID as a library advocate. (signature file, etc.)• Respect the site.
Points, etc.• Best answers are nice.• Don’t get hung up on it!• Feel free to vote for youryourself!
Making a connection• Asker can rateand respond• Other readers cangive thumbs up/down
Does slamming market libraries?• Maaaayyyyybeeee…..• Raises awareness one-to-one.• Can direct specific users to libraryresources.• Leaves a findable artifact in well-indexed location.• Publicize it as a way to showcommunity engagement/outreach!
Testimonial• As a virtual library service we needed to show our physical customers and alsothose who never thought libraries could offer them anything that we [librarystaff] are experts at information provision. We also needed to highlight thebrand “library” in all the media digital customers are using--and a large part ofthis is social media. You can never assume your customers will find you – youmust find them, wherever they are and prove that libraries should be seen asthe place to provide them with well-resourced answers.–Joanne Johns, Enquire UK
LIS Education• Loriene Roy, “Engaging LIS Students inReference Work Through Online AnswerBoards,” The Reference Librarian 51 (2) (April-June 2010): 97-107.• Also Univ. of Maryland,Univ. of Washington
Your next steps• Slam on June 10!• ALA Session on June 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m.(Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Clark 22A-C)http://ala13.ala.org/node/10999• Share with the group:– Successes– Frustrations– Insights/concerns