Web 2.0 and RPL: A Prairie Success Story


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A presentation given on May 1, 2009 at the Saskatchewan Library Association Annual Conference. The presentation examines how Regina Public Library in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada is utilizing various web 2.0 tools and offers advice to those institutions wishing to implement some/all of the mentioned tools.

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Web 2.0 and RPL: A Prairie Success Story

  1. 1. Web 2.0 and RPL: A Prairie Success Story Jessica Cammer, May P. Chan & Trudi Stafford © Regina Public Library May 1, 2009
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Explore Regina Public Library’s (RPL) experience with Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on how Web 2.0 can help promote a library’s services & resources </li></ul><ul><li>Offer some words of advice </li></ul>
  3. 3. Presentation Notes <ul><li>http://rplweb2-staff.pbwiki.com </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoint presentations </li></ul><ul><li>video clips from the Common Craft show </li></ul><ul><li>our list of advantages & disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>the software we used </li></ul><ul><li>guidelines & forms; and additional resources </li></ul>
  4. 4. Web 2.0: Getting Started <ul><li>One blog leads to another… </li></ul><ul><li>1 st gen bloggers recruited 2 nd and 3 rd gen bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>Similar approach taken for all other Web 2.0 initiatives that followed </li></ul>
  5. 5. Web 2.0: To the present <ul><li>Most of the training continues to be informal (no one person is responsible). </li></ul><ul><li>An organic process of sharing “tips”, “tricks” etc, in a trial by error process </li></ul><ul><li>Small learning curve </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why did we do it? <ul><li>The online environment + Web 2.0 = relevance growing exponentially </li></ul><ul><li>The public library can benefit greatly from Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>The public library has an important role to play </li></ul>
  7. 7. Limitations of Traditional Print Resources <ul><li>PRINT: </li></ul><ul><li>Takes longer to produce </li></ul><ul><li>Costs money </li></ul><ul><li>Can become quickly out of date </li></ul><ul><li>Only reaches patrons who walk through the door </li></ul><ul><li>Can miss virtual library users, new patrons </li></ul>
  8. 8. Web 2.0 Library application & benefits <ul><li>Connecting with online users </li></ul><ul><li>Inviting participation & collaboration (outreach) </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing & promotion of collections & programming </li></ul><ul><li>Readers’ Advisory </li></ul>
  9. 9. It’s a Web 2.0 Revolution! <ul><li>Web 2.0 tools have become a universal pastime crossing gender, age, cultural and class boundaries. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Great Equalizer” : Web 2.0 provides the means to share a vision, opinions and / or expertise (i.e. the rise of “ citizen journalism” ) </li></ul><ul><li>… everywhere there’s a computer anyway… </li></ul>
  10. 10. Library Programming <ul><li>Fall 2008: “ Web 2.0 Wednesdays” </li></ul><ul><li>Week 1: Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Week 2: Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Week 3: Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Subject Guide: “ All Things Related to Web 2.0” </li></ul><ul><li>http://rpl-web2point0.pbworks.com/ </li></ul>
  11. 11. Virtual Reference: Application & Benefits <ul><li>Instant Messaging (IM) / Live Chat </li></ul><ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to install </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal training </li></ul><ul><li>No “expertise” required </li></ul><ul><li>Yet another way to provide Reference </li></ul><ul><li>Reaching out to online users </li></ul>
  12. 13. Meebo @ RPL
  13. 14. <ul><li>A website organized in reverse chronological order that is frequently updated </li></ul><ul><li>Each update creates a post, not a page </li></ul>
  14. 15. Why? <ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for frequent updates </li></ul><ul><li>Lets different staff update content without risking the security of the webpage </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps updates searchable, accessible and does not clutter up staff inboxes </li></ul><ul><li>Notifies people of changes with RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Affordability </li></ul>
  15. 16. Blogs at RPL <ul><li>Three main types: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs for promotion of library services and readers’ advisory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs for staff communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs for “breaking news” </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Specific Blogs at RPL <ul><li>Business </li></ul><ul><li>E-Library Updates </li></ul><ul><li>FictionFiles </li></ul><ul><li>Film Theatre </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic Novels </li></ul><ul><li>Horror </li></ul><ul><li>Jobs at RPL </li></ul><ul><li>Movie </li></ul><ul><li>Murder by the Book </li></ul><ul><li>New Books </li></ul><ul><li>New CDs </li></ul><ul><li>New and Notable Nonfiction </li></ul><ul><li>Prairie History </li></ul><ul><li>Reference Unit </li></ul><ul><li>Romance </li></ul><ul><li>Science Fiction & Fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>TeenZone </li></ul><ul><li>Updates </li></ul>
  17. 18. Promotion/RA www.reginalibrary.ca/romanceblog
  18. 19. Promotion/RA Continued www.reginalibrary.ca/murderbythebook
  19. 20. Staff Communication
  20. 21. Breaking News
  21. 22. Breaking News Continued
  22. 23. What we use <ul><li>RPL uses B2 Evolution software for its blogs for a few reasons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free, open source, totally customizable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No ads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlimited number of accounts with customizable permission levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosted on our server </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Results <ul><li>High user stats </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition in the greater library world </li></ul><ul><li>Staff satisfaction </li></ul>
  24. 25. Wikis <ul><li>An online site that allows users to add content, but also allows anyone to edit this content. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Why? <ul><li>Allows everyone to share their expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps communication open across different locations and units </li></ul><ul><li>Empowers all staff to contribute </li></ul>
  26. 27. Wikis at RPL <ul><li>Two main uses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff communication/resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information sharing with the public </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. Specific Wikis at RPL <ul><li>Staff Communication/ Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Conference attendee reports </li></ul><ul><li>Research tools for units and public service providers </li></ul><ul><li>Public Information </li></ul><ul><li>Subject guides on specific topics </li></ul>
  28. 29. Staff Communication
  29. 30. Information Sharing http://rpl-goinggreen.pbworks.com
  30. 31. What We Use <ul><li>Mediawiki – free, open source software package that is installed and hosted on your own server </li></ul><ul><li>PBwiki – free online wiki host </li></ul><ul><li>Note: pbwiki is now called pbworks </li></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>Online photo-sharing website </li></ul><ul><li>RPL’s Flickr page launched on Jan. 21, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Page features approx. 200 historical images of Regina dating back to the 1910s as well as current photos of staff, facilities and public programs </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: share our “stories” with our community </li></ul>
  32. 33. http://www.flickr.com/photos/reginapubliclibrary/
  33. 34. <ul><li>Online social networking website </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook fan pages launched in 2007-2008: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All 9 branches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prairie History Room </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dunlop Art Gallery </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Purpose: primarily to promote upcoming Library programs by sending “invites” to our fans </li></ul>
  34. 35. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Regina-SK/Regina-Public-Library-Connaught-Library/8299557740
  35. 36. Podcasts <ul><li>Audio broadcast that is available for download to a computer/portable media player </li></ul><ul><li>Started in 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special lectures/public forums </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Podcasts are available through iTunes </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: promote our public programs and our collections </li></ul>
  36. 37. http://www.reginalibrary.ca/podcasts /index.html
  37. 38. <ul><li>Online social bookmarking website </li></ul><ul><li>Prairie History Room started the Library’s first bookmarking account in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: showcase our recommended local history & genealogy websites </li></ul>
  38. 39. http://delicious.com/prairiehistoryroom
  39. 40. <ul><li>Web mapping application </li></ul><ul><li>Prairie History Room created the Library’s first mash-up in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose: a map listing all the libraries, archives, museums, organizations and government agencies that offered local history and genealogical resources </li></ul>
  40. 41. http://www.tinyurl.com/regina-genlocmap
  41. 42. Words of Advice… <ul><li>Tell the Library’s story </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Call on other Libraries for help </li></ul><ul><li>Use your staff </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to getting the word out </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun </li></ul>
  42. 43. Tell the Library’s Story <ul><li>Paraphrasing Michael Stephens’ (http://tametheweb.com/) public relations advice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell your own story or else it would be told without you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell the Library’s story repeatedly and in various ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most importantly, tell your story well </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. Experiment <ul><li>All of the Web 2.0 tools/applications that RPL is featuring today are free to use and require very little technical expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Not all of the Web 2.0 tools/applications may work for your library for whatever reason (e.g. lack of resources) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiment with some of these applications and see what WILL work for your library </li></ul></ul>
  44. 45. Call on Other Libraries for Help <ul><li>Other libraries have been experimenting and utilizing Web 2.0 tools and are more than willing to share their experiences with you IF you ask for it! </li></ul><ul><li>Finding these libraries is easy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional literature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library blogs and wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conferences </li></ul></ul>
  45. 46. Use Your Staff <ul><li>Harness your staff’s expertise, creativity, willingness to learn and enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge their contributions </li></ul><ul><li>Accept that not every staff member is a willing participant </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to training your staff and setting yourself up as the “expert” </li></ul>
  46. 47. Commit to Getting the Word Out <ul><li>There’s no point in utilizing Web 2.0 if your staff and your public is not aware of what you are offering! </li></ul><ul><li>Publicize these features in your internal and external communications products </li></ul><ul><li>Offer public programs on these features </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge compliments and respond to criticisms </li></ul>
  47. 48. Have Fun! <ul><li>Utilizing Web 2.0 should be not a chore! </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to inject humour in your blog posts or on your Flickr page! </li></ul>
  48. 49. Acknowledgments <ul><li>Special thanks to the following RPL Staff: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shiela Ahmed, Tyler Banadyga, Jessica Cammer, May P. Chan, Leo Deveau, Meagen Dillen, Pam Fingas, Cerys Gordon, Jason Hammond, Claire Isaac, Warren James, Patti-Lynne MacLeod, Julie McKenna, Heather Milani, Sharon Maier, Tony Neal, Coral Peterson, Lois Roth, Pat Schuett, Trudi Stafford, Ken Vaughan, Erika Wittlieb and countless other RPL staff members who have supported us by reading our blogs, updating our Facebook pages and recommending our wikis and Flickr images to the public </li></ul></ul>
  49. 50. Presentation Notes <ul><li>http://rplweb2-staff.pbwiki.com </li></ul><ul><li>Powerpoint presentations </li></ul><ul><li>video clips from the Common Craft show </li></ul><ul><li>our list of advantages & disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>the software we used </li></ul><ul><li>guidelines & forms; and additional resources </li></ul>