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Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
Univ of MD LIS:  Slam the Boards: 10-2-12
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Univ of MD LIS: Slam the Boards: 10-2-12

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  • 1. Bill PardueArlington Heights Memorial Library bpardue@ahml.info / @billahml
  • 2. What’s the point? Users have more places than ever to ask their questions  Yahoo Answers  Cha Cha  Facebook Questions  LinkedIn Q&A  Twitter  WikiAnswers  Etc., etc., etc….
  • 3. Reference is declining… http://ahml.info/renovation
  • 4. How do we respond? Hope it goes away? Argue that we’re better (we clearly are…aren’t we)?  With whom do we argue? Presume that we’re just not part of it? Actively engage?Guess which one I’ll advocate!
  • 5. What’s “Slam the Boards?” Genesis in Denver, Sept. 2007 Now monthly Find questions, answer them, ID yourself as a librarian. Promote our skills, don’t diss the boards.
  • 6. The Wiki & The Group & The Tweet http://answerboards.wetpaint.com  Add your name to the list  Link to your Q&A profiles  Have discussions Facebook: Answer Board Librarians  Group may be archived soon…jump in! Twitter: #slamtheboards hashtag
  • 7. Disclaimers We’re all busy! (Can you do a few per month?) They’re not our patrons! (It’s for the good of the whole) Relatively few people see our answers (Every patron is part of the “long tail.”)
  • 8. Make “Slamming” local Look for a hyperlocal site—seed w/Q&As?  Is there a local “Patch” site? http://www.patch.com  Local daily/weekly papers? Reply to local comments/questions on news, discussion, review sites (papers, yelp, etc.) Monitor twitter searches for your town’s name. Set up a Google alert for local questions in Yahoo Answers. Remember to ID yourself!
  • 9. Slamming’s not always virtual Attend local meetings and offer to look up research topics  Chamber of commerce, Rotary, Social Services, etc. Get yourself appointed to a local committee Listen to what’s going on…offer assistance…don’t just wait. Be “on” even when you’re out of the building--a “Library Ambassador.” “Library Dude” hot dog cart! http://bit.ly/qwssAZ
  • 10. Slamming isn’t always answers “Chiming in,” asking questions of your community (esp. in FB or Twitter) Offering assistance Promoting: Making the library known Helping the user get value from our skills, any way we can!
  • 11. Requires an attitudinal change We can’t wait for questions to come to us. We can’t just assume that users know what we do. We have to cast our net wide and take a proactive (even “predatory?”) approach to reference. We have to be willing to trumpet what we do and who we are. We might even need to “butt in” a bit (carefully!).
  • 12. So, you wanna slam? Look over some social Q&A sites  Yahoo Answers: the big favorite  WikiAnswers: fast-growing, harder to attribute  AnswerBag: I’ve played a little…  LinkedIn Q&A: very tech/business-oriented  ChaCha: SMS, you get paid (can it promote us?)  Learn how to navigate, post answers, the culture, etc.
  • 13. How will you find questions? Poor “signal to noise” ratio on most services Browse through categories Search for selected terms (“articles,” “books,” etc.) Be patient… “real” questions are out there!
  • 14. Answering Provide a well-considered answer. Link to info—attribute sources! OK to build on other answers Try to relate to a library service, if you can. See if you can figure out asker’s locale (e.g., sometimes in Yahoo Pulse). Review the local library’s options and make suggestions. Use a “signature,” if that’s OK. Make sure asker knows this was answered by a library advocate. Don’t be TOO heavy-handed, though!
  • 15. Points, etc. Yahoo and other sites award points for activity. Nice to follow, don’t get hung up on it. Feel free to vote for your own “best answers.”
  • 16. Questions? I’m always happy to talk, promote, etc. bpardue@ahml.info @billahml

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