This is a popular mis-quote from the film Field of Dreams. The quote is now generally used to describe a situation whereby you should have faith that what you build will be enthusiastically received and utilised by the intended target audience. Whilst blind faith is admirable, we all know the reality of the situation is that users will only utilise a service if they find it a productive or enjoyable experience (or preferably both). Search and discovery services within libraries are no exception and as such there will always be a percentage of users who will resist using the system for one reason or another.Our jobs as library systems administrators, developers, and managers is to reduce this percentage by making library services as accessible, intuitive, and productive as possible.
There are more opportunities that ever to widen accessibility to library resources. The growth of new technology has meant that users no longer need to visit the library building to take advantage of a wide range of materials. The library is no longer simply on campus, it’s in their pockets, their handbags, their bedroom, on the train...the library is wherever the user is.It is vital for users to be able to discover and access library resources from where they are, rather than forcing them to come to our interface.One of the ways of increasing accessibility and usage of library services that we (CCCU) are currently looking at is to increase library integration with other services.Two interfaces that both users and non-users regularly utilise are social networks and mobile devices.This presentation is an introduction into utilising Metalib and SFX in those interfaces.
Social networking provides fantastic opportunities for libraries to connect with their users. Not only through sharing resources, as Dr Cho points out, but they also provide the potential for dynamically changing resources.
It is important for libraries to take advantage of this new medium. As Farkas observes, if we do not place our content where our users actually are, we run the risk of being overlooked and ignored when prospective users embark on their own research. Farkas also comments that a Facebook Page can act as a portal to the library and a reminder of the resources available at an academic library.Essentially, Facebook Pages can provide a useful marketing tool for the services available at their academic library.
Two of the most popular social networking tools are, of course, Twitter and Facebook.
For good or ill, the online world is increasingly becoming Facebook’s world – even more so considering some of the planned changes announced at Facebook’s recent f8 conference.
From the point of view of the library, the sheer size of Facebook presents a great opportunity to connect with students. And students appear to be receptive to the idea of connecting to the library through a dedicated library Facebook Page. Recent research in the US demonstrated that, despite concerns from staff that they may be seen as invading the student’s space, 43% of students said that they would be open to the idea of receiving information from the library via Facebook. Only 12% were overtly negative about this kind of connection.
One of the ways in which we can take advantage of these new tools is through bookmarking resources and flagging them up to other users. Many e-resources now enable users to bookmark or share content with their connections via various social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
Another way users can connect with their library service is through embedded searching. Embedded searching enables users to search the libraries’ e-resources without having to visit the library webpage and directly from Facebook. Again, this is a good example of bringing the library to the user’s space. They do not even have to visit the library webpage, let alone the library building, to search subscribed content.
Mobile interfaces are also a crucial tool in making the library, and its resources, more accessible for library users.
Demo Sharing a resource on FB via a bookmarkAdding a search box to FBSearching MetaLib via a smartphone
Libraries increasingly need to engage with users in their own space. We can no longer rely on users to come to the library in order to conduct their research or to make use of our resources. Libraries need to reach out into the environments in which their users exist. It is no longer about them coming to us it is about us going to them. Mobile technologies and social networks enable libraries to create new relationships with users, relationships that should ensure they continue to see the library service as integral to their progress at university.Of course, accessing full text journal articles on your mobile phone is not necessarily how many people would wish to conduct their research, but with the growth in tablets this problem may no longer be applicable. With such developments in technology, it is wise for libraries to be prepared to meet the changing needs of their users. Utilising the tools at our disposal in new and innovative ways is key to the future of the university library and its central position in the student experience.
SFX, Metalib, mobile services and social networks
SFX, MetaLib, Mobile Servicesand Social Networks
“Social networking couldenable librarians andpatrons not only to interact,but to share and changeresources dynamically in anelectronic medium.”– Dr Myungdae Cho (SungKyunKwan University)
“If libraries are not the first placeour prospective users go to doresearch, they will likely miss anymarketing we do on our ownwebsites. This is why we muststart looking beyond these sitesand toward putting our contentwhere our users actually are.”Meredith Farkas – author of Social Software in Libraries
When surveyed,43% of studentssaid they wouldbe receptive toreceivinginformation froma libraryFacebook Page.
Businesses use Twitter toquickly share information withpeople interested in theirproducts and services, gatherreal-time market intelligenceand feedback, and buildrelationships with customers,partners and influential people.- Twitter, About.
At the beginning of 2011, sales of smartphoneswere up 88% yr on yr and were outselling PCs(101m units to 80m units).
Over 15 billions apps have been downloaded fromiTunes since the App Store launched in 2008.
Around 45% ofinternet usersconnect via theirmobile, up from31% in 2010.71% of 16-24 yearolds use mobilesto access theinternet.(Figures from the ONS)
Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) mobile website.Features:•Allows searching of CISTIs localcatalogue and information sources, aswell as many science and technologypublications around the world.•Retrieves full text to the device(Android, iPhone and Blackberry).•Provides maps and directions to NRC-CISTI locations.•Contact CISTI via a form, or by placing acall directly to your local branch.•Follow CISTI on Twitter or Facebook.•Access the full CISTI website.•Bilingual
Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information mobile website•Makes extensive use of JQuery Mobile.•Metalib X-server API provides federatedsearching capabilities in format suitablefor mobile devices.•SFX link resolver provides links to full text,ordering, and other citation services.Presents results in a manner suitable formobile devices.•EZProxy http proxy server is used toprovide NRC Staff with improved access tolicensed content.•Login is presented in a format moresuited to mobile devices.•QR codes have been generated to linkdirect to the mobile website. These codesare employed on the website andinformation desks across the country.
Photo credits (all images taken from Flickr’s Creative CommonsSlide 1 – Image by Jorge Quinteros http://flic.kr/p/8ddk4ZSlide 2 – Image by woodleywonderworks http://flic.kr/p/wuidPSlide 3 – Image by MJ/TR http://flic.kr/p/79ZLeJSlide 4 – Image by Stefan http://flic.kr/p/77wGQGSlide 6 – Images by imjustcreative http://flic.kr/p/9EfSjJ & http://flic.kr/p/9Duf6RSlide 7 – Image by LucasSevilla http://flic.kr/p/9tWRBaSlide 8 – Image by ideagirlmedia http://flic.kr/p/98SpxpSlide 9 – Image by thomashawk http://flic.kr/p/555jFQSlide 11 – Image by afagen http://flic.kr/p/8PAk4VSlide 16 – Image by stefan http://flic.kr/p/7z4GnuSlide 22 – Image by Johan Larsson http://flic.kr/p/7YHZRgSlide 23 – Image by Brian Wilkins http://flic.kr/p/8dp2HqSlide 24 – Image by open-arms http://flic.kr/p/9dqGK3Slides 24-29 Background image by Matt Hamm http://flic.kr/p/66D4CgSlide 30 – Image by Ev0luti0nary http://flic.kr/p/9EK3ZdSlide 31 – Image by Dunechaser http://flic.kr/p/SaTg9Slide 32 – Image by dullhunk http://flic.kr/p/iVLZtSlide 33 – Image by Bethan http://flic.kr/p/85uKQh