Libraries and blogs : new communication tools for academic librarians. Authors: Joshua Clark, Diarmuid Stokes
LIR HEANet User Group for LibrariesSeminar ~ Emerging Technologies forLibraries and Education ~ 8th Dec 2006Libraries and Blogs: newcommunication tools foracademic librariansJosh Clark, University College DublinDiarmuid Stokes, UCD UCD Library An Coláiste Ollscoil, Baile Átha Cliath Leabharlann UCD
What is a Blog?• from the term “Web log” invented by Jorn Barger in 1997• A website that contains entries, or “posts”, displayed in reverse chronological order• Posts often contain text, images, video and links to other websites• Readers can comment on posts, making it an interactive experience
Blogs can be many different things….• Personal diary or journal• News and information service• Ongoing project report• Photo gallery• Collection of links• Etc.
Why Blog?• Communication• Collaboration• Free and (relatively) simple!• Don’t need to be a “techie”• Effective Broadcast tool
Why Blog?• Public relations & library marketing tool• Can be more dynamic than your website• Take advantage of “Web 2.0”• Attract and engage younger users (“digital natives”, or “millennials”)
UCD Science Library Blog<http://ucdscience.blogspot.com>• Created in April 2005• Uses Blogger software (free)• Originally 2 librarians, now 3 team members• (Try to) update regularly (150+ posts so far)• Covers all sciences
Reasons for creating our blog• Communicating science library news and events• Advertising training sessions• Announcing new e-resources (especially IReL!)• Recent acquisitions (monographs and journals)• Free resources on the web
Our Target Audience• Students of all science subjects• Science staff (academics)• The wider academic library community(?)
Statistics• We have an RSS feed AND a web counter• 59 subscribers(?)
Marketing your library blog…• It’s the key to success!• Include in your library orientation & information skills sessions• email your users (academic staff)• Why not include your blog URL in your email signature?
Marketing your library blog• Advertise on your library website and/or newsletter• Include a link from your subject portal(s)• Create posters for your library• Place your blog on blog directories, i.e. Technorati
Overall Effectiveness?• Positive feedback from academic staff• Employing free statistical software• Showing hits from all over the world (including UCD!)• Still, could use more marketing…
Overall Effectiveness?• We’re also referenced inSlebodnik, Maribeth. Marketing and Outreach for Science & Technology Libraries: Selected Resources. Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship. No. 45, Winter 2006.Found at:<http://www.istl.org/06-winter/internet2.html>
Overall Effectiveness? Mentioned by Michael Stephens of “Tame the Web”http://www.tametheweb.com
Some Irish academic blogs• University College Dublin (academic staff blog) http://www.podvet.com/blogs/• University of Limerick Library http://ullb.blogspot.com/• Dundalk Institute of Technology Library http://dundalkinstitute.library-blogs.net/