Blogbrary: Blogs and their place within academic librariesPresentation Transcript
Blogs and their place within academic libraries http://first-we-blog.blogspot.com/ by Joanna Romansic
The Big Picture
There’s no going back
According to OCLC's study released in 2007, as much as 90% of us have been using the internet for over four years (De Rosa et al., p. 1-2).
OCLC’s study also stated that 46% of those surveyed worldwide used blogs in 2007, compared to 16% in 2005 (De Rosa et al., p. 1-2).
Origin of blogs. How it all began and why they are important to us.
Academic Library as the “heart of the university”
An academic library
Library is becoming less of a physical space and more of an “information universe”
"This parallel universe provides us with constant feedback, resources, monitoring, information, connections, education, and interaction. It can be individualized and personalized, and we can interact individually or collectively with it.” (Eisenberg, 2008).
Students will go to the library if they see it as a quiet place to study and a community within a community
A blog can redefine the library as a community
This study looked at how effective blogs were within academic libraries.
How Did She Do It, You Ask? (Methodology)
One on One interviews with five different academic librarians
They were the main contributors to their blogs
Took a nonscientific, subjective look at the blogs
Sent out list of questions that focused on three areas:
The Blog as a Tool
The Practicality of Maintaining a Blog in an Academic Library
The Evaluation of each blogs’ effectiveness
The sample size is made up of
Two law libraries
One medical school library
One undergraduate library
Because of the small sample size, the study was confined to a simple questionnaire
Even though I would have preferred face-to-face interviews, they were done over the phone and by email
The Libraries Studied
North Carolina State University Library http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/news/libraries
Looked at one of their six library blogs.
Promotes speaking events at the library, calls for students to participate and creates a positive community through events like “Fabulous Faculty” Series
Run by a communications employee.
The Libraries Studied
University of Chicago’s D’Angelo Law Library http://lib.typepad.com/dangelo/
GWU Medical Center Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
They have a playful site mixing medical resources and announcements with calls for art show submissions.
Announces events at the library and new databases. Fun and lively tone. For example, there’s a LeBron James post.
The Libraries Studied
Catholic University Mullen Library News and Events http://www.lib.cua.edu/newsevents/
The postings are very short and there are hardly any photos.
Unlike the other blogs, there are little to no current event postings relating what’s going on in the news with library resources
Georgetown University Law Library http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/blog/
Includes announcements on new databases and instructional workshops
Includes postings on President’s budges.
There is a separate feedback blog that is updated infrequently
The Blog as a Tool
Other types of Web 2.0 used by libraries studied
A total of 60% of the libraries use IM or chat for reference.
40% use social networking
University of Chicago uses Twitter as a recruitment tool
NCSU uses Twitter for library announcements
Only one of the five libraries uses social bookmarking through AddThis
Blog as a Tool Measure of Interactivity
Practicality of Maintaining a Blog 40 % of the libraries have all of the librarians update the blog, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is the blog with them most postings. The blog with the most postings, NCSU, has one person updating the blog.
Practicality of Maintaining a Blog
Impression of Blog Software
All of the librarians were ambivalent about their blog software
2 out of 5 of the libraries use BlogCFC, an open source software.
This was not stated as ideal for Georgetown University Law Library’s blogger
Said many would prefer TypePad or WordPress
More stable features
Only University of Chicago uses pay software, Typepad. Said it is not intuitive
NCSU, which register the most posts a week, even dislikes their software, Roller and B2Evolution and are looking to switch
Evaluation of Blog by Organization There is contrast between blogs’ purposes and what they would like to see improve Also, the blogs receive virtually no comments but only 60% want more interaction
Evaluation of Blogs by Organizations
None of the libraries effectively evaluate their blogs .
Are the blogs priorities in the organizations?
Only one of the libraries, NCSU, considers their blog a high priority
“ People wanted something,” said Roger Skalbeck of GW’s Law Library
More support could = A more effective blog
Conclusions: Focused Purpose
The blogs are not being evaluated
May benefit from surveying students
With no comments, they may still be reading the blogs
With no comments
Only 60% would like to see increased interaction
Only one out of 5 of the libraries stated communication as their blog’s purpose
Without focus or mission, library blogs are the New Coke of blog world
Conclusions: Administrative Support
Support must be there to motivate staff
NCSU’s blog is priority
Maintained as PR tool
“building communities for knowledge flow,” “a small cadre of people must be committed to participation” AND there must be evaluation (David Snowden, 2008)
Conclusions: More Interesting Content
“A spoonful of sugar make the medicine go down”—Mary Poppins
Give holiday shopping tips—GU Law Lib.
Build on enthusiasm of presidential election to promote new Obama database resource-GU Law Lib.
Have quizzes with prizes
Conclusions: Look at Most Popular Blogs
Web’s most popular blogs are technology related
This makes sense, but it also provides a challenge.
What about television?
What if the only people who watched it, knew how it worked
Much smaller audience
Make software easier
Conclusions: Focus More on Engagement
Combine playful blogs, quizzes with information
Make it more like interactive television.
Blog must be considered outreach as used as a tool to create a community within the library
Breeding, Marshall (April 2008). Automation System Marketplace 2008: Opportunity Out of Turmoil, LibraryJournal.com . Retrieved on March 1, 2009, from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6542440.html
Carvin, Andy, (May 22, 2006) What Exactly is a Blog, Anyway? Retrieved March 6, 2009, from
Catholic University Mullen Library, (2009). Library News & Events. Retrieved February 22, 2008, from http://www.lib.cua.edu/newsevents/
D'Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago, (2009). D’Angelo Law Library Blog. Retrieved from March 8, 2009, from http://lib.typepad.com/dangelo/
De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J., & Jenkins, L. (2007 ). OCLC's Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World. A 2007 report to OCLC membership. Retrieved from February 20, 2009 from http://www.oclc.org/reports/sharing/default.htm
Eisenberg, Mike (May 2008). "The Parallel Information Universe: What's Out There and What It Means for Libraries," LibraryJournal.com. Retrieved on March 1, 2009, from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6551184.html
FOX News Channel. (2008, November 10) Sarah Palin Interview. On The Record With Greta Van Sustere. Clip retrieved from http://www.takepart.com/blog/2008/11/11/sarah-palin-says-me-and-my-pjs-are-to-blame/
Georgetown University Law Library, (2009). Due Process: The Georgetown Law Library Blog. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/blog/
GWU Medical Center Library, (2009). Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.gwumc.edu/library/blog/client/
NCSU Libraries, (2009). NCSU Libraries News. Retrieved from March 8, 2009, from http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/news/libraries
Rating Burner, (2009). Rating Burner for Blogs. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from http://www.ratingburner.com/
Snowden, David (July/August 2008). Everything Is Fragmented - Build CoPs for Knowledge Flow. KM World magazine. Retrieved July 25, 2008, from http://www.kmworld.com/Articles/News/News-Analysis/Everything-is-fragmented%E2%80%94Building-CoPs-for-knowledge-flow--49849.aspx
Weiner, Sharon Gray, (Spring, 2005). “The History of Academic Libraries in the United States: a Review of the Literature,” Library Philosophy and Practice , 7(2). Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/weiner.htm