Social Media in Federal Libraries/Agencies


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  • My name is Aileen Marshall, and I am very happy and honored to deliver this guest lecture to you. Thanks Scott for giving me this opportunity. If you have any questions for me after this presentation, please feel free to connect with me or email me.
  • Born in Recklinghausen, Germany, Aileen received her Master’s degree in English Linguistics from the WestfaelischeWilhelms-University Muenster, Germany, in October 2006, and graduated from the University of South Carolina (SCU) with her MLIS in May 2011 with a GPA of 4.0She moved to Virginia in 2007, where she discovered her love for the library profession while volunteering for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) in Fredericksburg, VA. Soon after, she was working for CRRL as a reference assistant.In December 2008 she was hired by Peumansend Creek Regional Jail in Bowling Green, VA to serve as their correctional librarian. She managed a collection of approximately 4500 books, provided leisure and legal reference services to inmates, fostered inmate’s appreciation of books and library services, and served as a materials specialist and instruction resource consultant for teachers and counselors.In July and August 2010 she was one of two interns within the Business Research Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, where she updated “The Entrepreneur’s Reference Guide to Small Business Information”. First under the direction of Dr. Sam Hastings and Dr. Kendra Albright as SCU and now in collaboration with other librarians, Aileen strives to become a leading figure within the library community. She is mostly interested in competitive and open source intelligence and disaster management for federal libraries, but also has a passion for social media in library environments as well as virtual and mobile reference services.In June 2010 she has been selected as the recipient for the 2010/2011 Chesterfield Manufacturing Corporation Scholarship in recognition of her works as meaningful contribution to the profession. In August she was awarded the 2010 Catherine A. Jones Memorial Scholarship by the DC Chapter of the Special Library Association (SLA), and in April 2011 she was selected to receive the 2011 SLA Business & Finance Division Student Award to attend the SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia.Aileen has spoken at the 2011 Handheld Librarian IV Conference, has published an article in the SLA journal Information Outlook, presented a poster at the 2010 SCLA Conference and has been invited to contribute an article to a special edition of The Reference Librarian later in 2011. She is a member of the ALA, SLA, and VLA as well as the Information Science Student Association. She serves as a member on the ALA RUSA/BRASS Membership Committee, the ALA RUSA/MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group, and the VLA Continuing Education Committee as well as the SLA Virtual Worlds Advisory Council. She is also involved with the Federal Library and Information Center Committee Home (FLICC) and the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK).Last year she was involved in a project in Second Life, facilitated by Dr. FeiliTu from the University of South Carolina: She staffed the reference desk at the “Davis 2.0 Virtual Campus” twice a week and is part of a demo video for a reference interaction in Second Life. In April she accepted a position as Information Specialist/Librarian at the National Transportation Library, U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, and is working towards a career in intelligence. She lives with her cat in Alexandria, VA, enjoying the amenities in Northern VA.
  • My goal is to shed some light on how the federal government (and federal libraries) use social tools to communicate with citizens, and to offer services. In the private sector, there is no question about the importance of CI.A big thing at this year’s SLA among the CI Division members was the fact that competitive intel is not about the competitor’s of our organization, but to keep the organizations competitive. So how do competitive intelligence and the federal government even fit together. the government does have to compete against each other, right?Well, that’s not quite true anymore. Taxpayers are aware of what agencies are doing, and they want to express their opinion.Gone are the times of crowded government web sites that offer little to no real information, and oftentimes even that information was almost impossible to find. People expect more and more that agencies present their work and services in a comprehensive, clear and user-friendly way: when they need a point of contact, or a list of all services that any given agency offers. So, government agencies need to stay competitive, that is to make the tax payers happy when they visit their web site or call for information to basically justify their existence to taxpayers and other stakeholders. There are various ways to measure the performance of a govt web site (Foresee, Leadership summit).
  • Reaching the goals we just discussed depends on a good, sound policy document that will guide you as you move forward and develop your outlets. As federal employees, our library social media policies must follow the relevant federal laws, regulations, and agency policy (even though I included regulations e.g. Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, ethical conduct for fed employees), the bulk of the guidance I discuss will be federal legislation and agency policy). ** When the federal government agencies first started using social media, it made a lot of government attorneys nervous, for good reasons – these are not government websites (we don’t own it, don’t fully control it), potential confusion with official websites, instant publishing, no policies in place, which federal laws apply ** There is a lot more guidance available today than there was even 2 years ago. Each library should have their own social media policy and post it or a link to it prominently on each social media outlet and on their website. Why: Allows continuity if staffers leave the agency, Keeps you focused regarding content, Keeps you compliant with all relevant guidance. Key Federal Guidance at a glance- LegislationFACA (gathering advice from consensus groups)Privacy laws (gathering PII, use of 3rd party websites)Child Protection laws (Protect kids under age 13, we don’t know who we’re really interacting with so it’s important to post in policy)Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (maximize utility of info collected by govt)Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (accessibility for persons with disabilities)- OMB MemorandaOMB Memorandum M-10-23 - Guidance for Agency Use of 3rd party Websites and ApplicationsAgency Policy and GuidanceHow do I find it? This is still relatively new for many agencies and offices, so you might have to do some digging. Search the web, agency intranets, even staff directories for the key professionals in your agency (cio, ethics, privacy).Eg. At DOT, Chief Information Officer Guidance on protection of sensitive information; DOT internal order / directive on use of departmental web based interactive technologies.**Not enough to read and be familiar with agency policy and federal laws, NEED TO CREATE YOUR OWN GUIDANCE, TAILORED TO YOUR SITUATION.A plan of action:Strategy and Procedure (nuts and bolts) – Need to create a document (citing to the relevant guidance) that addresses each one of these, for each outlet (describe):What, what outlet(s) will you be usingWhere, URL etc.When, what is the history of the effortWhy, GOALS, what do you hope to achieve, specificallyHow, how do you get an account, training? Content (be specific)? Frequency of posts? Staffer responsible for monitoring? Final Approval needed? address these questions for each outlet.
  • Likes … pretty good number
  • FedSpace was designed as secure intranet workspace to be used across federal agencies.  Probably the best known Wiki is Wikipedia. As you know though, the content can be changed by anybody, at any time, and although it is reviewed on a regular basis you should keep in mind that it is not an authoritative source.In libraries, wikis are used for internal as well as external purposes. Internal Wikis can list policies and procedures, important phone numbers, and other pertinent information for staff members. They can also be used as collaborative workspace where professionals can work together on a project, exchange ideas, work on a document, etc. An example for an internal, that is secure intranet workspace, is FedSpace, which was designed to be used across federal agenciesExamples for external wikis include Pbworks, a basic level free wiki workspace which can be used by libraries to work with user groups, develop staff procedures, and improve staff coordination.On this slide you see a wiki that the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration built to improve the collaborative capabilities of transportation researchers and stakeholders. Contributors include both DOT and non-DOT organizations. External wikis in libraries are designed for the customers, and can feature a variety of content such as library tours, display of unique collections, tutorials, staff photos or photos from events and more. Content in Wikis can be tagged as well, which allows users to quickly find what they are looking for. Any library, archive, or museum can use Wikis to share their digital collection. This has the advantage that users can discover content that they would have never found otherwise. Wikis can also be used for very specific purposes. Earlier I mentioned that social media can be used to keep your patrons informed in a disaster situation. Creating a Wiki for one or more disasters can inform your patrons about steps they (or the authorities) should and will take during and after an emergency. An example for such a Wiki could be one that is specifically created for the outbreak of influenza. The Wiki can describe this type of flue (inform the patrons), can explain what should be done first, how they can contact authorities (local, state, and federal), what help is available etc. The Wiki can also feature a section on preparedness so that customers can assemble emergency kits for hurricanes and other disasters.
  • . Another example, seen in this slide, is Diplopedia. It provides access to a comprehensive collection of diplomacy, foreign relations, and travel information for foreign service officers.  It is available to U.S. foreign affairs agencies with State Department intranet access.
  • Basic level free wiki workspace can be used by libraries to work with user groups, develop staff procedures, and improve staff coordination.
  • Transportation Research Collaboration WebsiteThe USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration built this wiki website to improve the collaborative capabilities of transportation researchers and stakeholders.  Contributors include both DOT and non-DOT organizations.
  • Designing Digitally, Inc. - Virtual Worlds for Military Training PurposesVirtual worlds – imagined places where users can socialize, connect and create using voice and text chat. Virtual worlds are created online as parallel worlds, where users, represented by avatars, interact with each other (e.g. chat, attend meetings and parties, conduct business). These worlds are distinguished from video games, because there is no winner or loser. The worlds simply create another “place” where users from all over the world can congregate with no geographical barriers.  Second Life is a 3D virtual environment built entirely by its inhabitants. The largest concentration of libraries in Second Life can be found on Info Island.  The military has led the way in the Federal government use of virtual worlds. Virtual worlds are seen as a cost effective way to train staff, hold meetings, and keep military families in touch with one another.  Best ways to use: In a technically supportive environment that supports the software and it’s use. There is a fairly steep learning curve, and requires up to date hardware. Good for meetings, training, anything where the 3D gives a “being there” feeling. Types of Users: Millenial generation and younger are probably most comfortable with it, yet 2nd life is losing subscribers (other virtual worlds with lower learning curves like Open Sims are being used). Most promise for the military in Fed settings. Worth keeping an eye on as the technology will improve in the future.   
  • More commonly used by businesses, dashboards (also known as scoreboards or scorecards) are used to provide a visual display of progress or performance. When used for a library’s social media outlets, it allows a library to assess ROI or effectiveness of social media efforts. Eg. Of dashboards used in business world are Awareness and Sprout Social.The CDC uses their dashboard to monitor all of their social media outlets and measure the usage and value of each one.  Best ways to use: Good for quickly gathering data to justify services etc.
  • Social Media in Federal Libraries/Agencies

    1. 1. Social Tools in Federal Libraries/Agencies Aileen M. J. Marshall, MA, MLISContact:Email: Cyndera(at)gmail.comTwitter: @CynderaHomepage: www.cyndera.comLinkedIn:
    2. 2. About MeAileen joined the National Transportation Library (NTL) at the US DOT right after receiving her MLIS from the University of South Carolina.She also holds a MA in English Linguistics from the Westfaelische Wilhelms-University in Germany.She has experience in various library settings, including being a law librarian and serving as jail librarian for a jail in Virginia.Aileen has a passion for social media in library environments and how these dynamic networks can help librarians to reach out to their customers and provide exceptional service.In the past two years she has contributed to professional publications and conferences, and has been awarded two grants by the Special Library Association (SLA). She loves to advocate for the profession, is an active member of the DC/SLA Chapter and serves on various committees.
    3. 3. Social Tools & Federal Libraries• Reach a larger population and the millennial generation.• Provide public point of contact in case of a disaster situation.• Attract more people to events and programs.• Add more subscribers to RSS feeds.• Get to know your patrons and their perception of the library.• Increase overall awareness of the library and agency.
    4. 4. Competitive Intelligence & Federal Government• Why competitive intelligence within the federal government?• CI is the key-tool to being future-ready.• Taxpayers scrutinize agencies and their spending.• Competitive Intelligence is not about the competitors of an organization, but it’s keeping the organization competitive.• Taxpayers expect more and better service from government agencies.• Use Social Media and Tools to see what other agencies are doing, what you can learn from them (i.e. web site design, contact info display, FAQ).• Agency web sites are rated based on random surveys on the web site (e.g. ForeSee)
    5. 5. However ….!• Federal Legislations, Regulations, and Agency Policies .• Social Media Policy: Strategy, Goals, How, Who …
    6. 6. The World of Social Media• Social Networks• Micro Blogging• RSS Feeds / Content Aggregation• Social Bookmarking• Wikis / Collaborative Workspaces• Photo and Video Sharing• Blogs• Virtual Worlds• Communication Dashboards• Life Streams
    7. 7. Smithsonian Libraries
    8. 8. Library of Congress
    9. 9. Collaboration & Workspaces
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    15. 15. Thank you!Social Media Outlets of the National Transportation Libraru (NTL)Facebook:!/natltranslibDelicious: