Hi I am Billie Moffett the Virtual Services Librarian at the Gail Borden Public Library and this is Robert Moffett Technical Services Librarian and Acquisitions Coordinator at Gail Borden. Today we are going to talk about web 2.0 and how you can apply these online applications in your library. How many of you have been to a program that said you should be online, blogging, on facebook, on youtube, but never gave you practical strategies for putting them in place. Knowing you should be online and having everyday practical ideas for implementing these technologies is another thing.We are going to show you how libraries across the country are using blogs, twitter, Rss, Facebook, Flickr, and Youtube successfully to reach their patrons online. And everything we show you today can be done for free.
First we’ll talk about blogs.For those of you who are not familiar with blogs or blogging the term Blog comes from the phrase web log. They are most widely used as an online diary or journal, but have since broken out of that mold. People are using blogs to post photos of street fashion, talk about politics, or show their knitting works in progress. According to the Pew Internet study in 2006 states that 12 million American adults keep a blog and 57 million American adults read blogs, and this number keeps growing every day. Even libraries are getting into the game, they are using blogs to share news, highlight new services, and talk about books and movies.
Our first example of blogging is from Farmington Community Library and they do what a lot a librarians do well, talk about books. When working out in the front lines how often do you get asked if you have read anything good lately, and blogs are a great way for your library staff to share what their latest reads are.And this is a great example that shows you don’t have to have crazy or involved ideas, keep it simple and blog what you know.
Here is another tried a true librarian practice, the read-alike. Instead of just having them on as single web pages on your website, post them to your blog and ask your patrons for their suggestions. You patrons might have great suggestions and throw out ideas you may not have thought about. Blogging is all about participation, and patrons just love when you ask their opinion.
Blogs are also a great place to talk about the issues that are near and dear to libraries, like banned books week.What events or displays do you have at your library? Having them in your blog is a great way for others to learn about them.
This example is not from a library but a blogging librarian. She has a recurring blog post called Double Take where she show 2 covers for different books that are identical or very similar.
Here we can see identical covers for Doing it by Melvin Burgess and Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair by Steven Herrick. We see silly and unique things about books all the time and blogs are a great place to point them out. We can show the covers, write about it and even link back to the catalog making everything very easy for our patrons.
Assigning themes to a day of a week is also a great way to take a little pressure off your blogging routine. Post staff picks on Mondays, teen books on Tuesdays, and fantasy on Fridays.On our Goodreads blog at Gail Borden we have Teen Tuesdays, an idea that was taken from Amazon’s Omnivoracious Blog that posts YA Wednesdays.A great way to stay on top of any web 2.0 technology is to have a schedule and stick to it. For a blog I post between 3 and 5 times a week. If you stop writing people stop reading, so keep a consistent schedule.
Our last blogging example is from Ann Arbor where they routinely write about an author’s first book. Think about having a series of posts that show up routinely on your blog. Other series can be about picking a book by its cover, or book vs. movie. Blogging is such a versatile online medium, there are unlimited ways you can use a blog, to talk and communicate with your patrons. You can have departmental blogs, library wide blogs, reader’s advisory blogs, reference blogs, parent blogs. It’s up to you to decide what will fit you library best.
Next on our list is Twitter, the blog’s little cousin.Twitter is microblogging, a blog that has 140 character posts.You can post to and read Twitter online or from a cell phone. And people all across the country are posting to Twitter, from the president to celebrities, and many library are tweeting away.
Here the Cleveland Public Library is talking about an interesting book a librarian found in the stacks, what strange hidden little gems are hiding in your stacks just waiting to be pointed out.
At the Largo Public Library they share events going on at the library. They give the date and time and just enough information to know what is going on.
Now that we’ve seen some great examples of how libraries are utilizing blogs and micro blogging the next step for patrons is how will they know when the blog has been updated? That is where RSS comes in handy.RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and is used to publish frequently updated sites – such as blog entries and news headlines.
To simplify RSS, let’s consider the library where Billie and I work. At Gail Borden we have over 300 magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Now, imagine if we were required to go to the publisher each morning to see if a new issue was available. Sounds ridiculous, right? Instead we have subscriptions and are automatically sent each new issue.RSS allows patrons to subscribe to library RSS feeds just like we subscribe to magazines or newspapers.Instead of patrons filling out the traditional subscription post card we’re all familiar with, patrons are instead using a feed reader program and looking for RSS icons.
This is the homepage for Hennepin County Library in Minnesota. They offer an RSS feed of main library news and it is right on their homepage.
And here is Hennepin County Library again. They offer many varieties of RSS subject guides and news from local branches.
Zumbrota Public Library is a tiny, rural library in southern Minnesota. I know the director and know they have a very small budget. I think this is a good example because it shows that even a tiny library with an small budget can still use RSS.
Here is the Facebook page for Adelaide City Council Libraries in Australia. I remember seeing this screenshot at a presentation by Jenny Levine – The Shifted Librarian. This library not only uses RSS but links to them in their Facebook profile.
Facebook is a place for people to gather, meet, and share. It has become one of the most popular destinations on the web, just take a look at your public internet PCs, your sure to find a handful of people on Facebook at all times of the day. As of this year there are over 200 million active users.At social networking sites like Facebook you can list the books, movies, and music you like, find friends, join groups and play games.At Facebook, libraries can create a Page. Facebook Pages allow you to do many of the same things that a Facebook profile can do, but instead of making friends a page can collect fans. And where a profile is visible to only their friends a page can be seen by anyone, allowing your patrons to check you out before become your fan.
Here is Woodstock Public Library’s Facebook Page, where they share events at the library, they even mention a little bunny hanging around the library that might be someone’s lost pet.
Also at Woodstock is a little photo project, where Woodstock patrons and staff take photos of their library card around the world and post it to facebook.What fun photo activities can you get your patron’s involved with. Facebook is there waiting to see them.
Here is a great post from the Denver Public Library advocating knitting at their next kung fu movie. This short little post on their Facebook page brought in conversation to the topic where people asked questions and the library responded. I believe that it’s important to always respond when your patrons comment, letting them know that there is a person behind the computer and institution.Facebook is basically a catch all for all your online activities and events. Post links to your blogs, photos, and talk about your library events. Post to facebook everyday.
Photo sharing websites are a place for people to post and share photographs. A variety of sites are available, and provide different levels of service for free and paying users. Photobucket, Google Picasa Web Albums, Shutterfly, and Kodak have created popular sites but Flickr has really cornered the market.We should post and share photos online because we need to be in the spaces where users are living and sharing their lives. Sharing photos online will help us interact and participate in the lives of our users. Is a community organization posting photos online? Find out and post library programs too. At a recent Internet Librarian keynote, Joe Janes of the of iSchool at The University of Washington said:We need to be somewhere and everywhere, inside the library and out. We need to spread our tendrils out through the web and the community.
Flickr is an image and video hosting website which was launched in 2004 and quickly purchased by Yahoo! in 2005.Flickr requires a Yahoo! Account. As a free user, you’ll be able to upload 100MB of Photos per month and two 90 second videos that are not more than 150MB in size.If you upgrade your account to Pro, you’ll be able to upload unlimited photos each month for $24.95 per year.As of June 2009,Flickr has stated that their service includes 3.6 billion images.
Here is an example of a library’s Flickr page. At the Bloomington Public Library they’re uploading photos of their patrons and library events.
Flickr is not only a place to display photographs, it is a community. Groups allow multiple people to upload and share photos with each other.Many towns and communities have a Flickr group, does yours? Here is an example of a Central Illinois Group that the University Of Illinois Springfield has joined. The library can add photos to the group so other group members can see them and comment. Who knows you might even see some photos of your library that others in the group have snapped.
Flickr is not only a place to show new photographs but show your archival photos as well.Here the Boston Public library has added a selection of photos from their print department that is a part of Boston history.
Here is an example of one of the upload photos from Boston’s Print Collection. This photo of the Marshall House has been viewed over 1,000 times.What photos or collections do you have tucked away that can be displayed on Flickr?
Now that your using Flickr how are you going to let your patrons know that you’re there. This is where the Flickr badge can help. A Flickr Badge is a small widget (no programming required) that you can put on your website.This badge links to your Flickr account while displaying a selection of photos you have uploaded. It’s a great visual way to let your patrons know you’re on Flickr.
Another featureFlickr has to offer is The Commons and Creative Commons. The Commons is a recent initiative where several museums and archives are posting images under a “no known restrictions” license.Participating institutions include The Library of Congress, The National Archives and Records Administration, and The Smithsonian Institution.
And here is a collection from the Library of Congress for all the baseball fans in the room. There is an incredible depth to what you can find in The Commons and unlimited possibilities to enrich your online presence.Just remember that even though there is no copyright restrictions always give credit to the institution providing the photograph and link back to the image.
And here is the Creative Commons. The Creative Commons is a way that you can place a limited copyright on your photos. This can be as simple as the Attribution License, which basically says that you can use my photos how ever you’d like but you have to give me credit for the photo. Or it can be more complex like the Attribution-No DerivsLicence which basically says that you can use my photo, but you must give me credit and you can not alter my photo in any way.There are many different licenses in the Creative Commons to pick from and Flickr makes them easy to use.
For those of you who are not familiar with Youtube, it is a free online video hosting site where people can add videos that are under 10 minutes. Youtube has become an everyday destination for most people on the web. It is no longer a place for silly pet videos and teenage confessionals.National News organizations are uploading clips, The CDC is explaining the swine flu epidemic, and libraries are showing book reviews and hosting contests.
Here is the Denver Public Library with a contest for how to have fun at the library with the winner picking up an MP3 player.Contests are easy to do through Youtube, video cameras are everywhere even cell phones are adding video to their existing cameras. With Youtube’s 10 minute limit to videos it keeps the entries short. You can upload the videos to your library’s account or ask your contestants to create their own you tube accounts and send you a link.
Here is an entertaining video promoting summer reading from Birmingham Alabama, a little film noir detective hunting down the library.This example is a little more involved but look to your community for help. Do you have a teen group that would love the project or does your local high school or community college have a film class that would help you out for class credit.
Here is another funny little video promoting a library services. Filmed in the dark with a little back light, this video shows how you can pay your fines online and avoid the embarrassment of paying at the library.Youtube allows you to bring a little humor to everyday library services.
For those of you who are looking for a more involved video project take a look at Pima County Public Library’s Book Trailers.Why should movies get all the fun with flashy trailers, books can benefit from a little publicity as well.
To finish Youtube with a simple example here is the One Minute Critic. While the location of the videos are defiantly at a library I can not find this blog credited to a library.This is possibly the most basic video you can make with youtube, one minute book reviews, short and to the point. And once again patrons love to hear what you are reading.Once you get these videos up on youtube you can add them to your blog, facebook page, and link to them from twitter. Videos add great content to existing blogs and websites.
The last example we are going to talk about today is Upcoming.If you haven’t checked it out yet, Upcoming is one example of a community events page. Any one can add events from the largest library system to the smallest local pub. Here you can see the events for Elgin, you will find library events, concerts for the symphony orchestra, community events form our neighborhood association, and other public events.
Even though we use an online software program for our library’s calendar of events I still add events to Upcoming because a handful of our local community organizations and bloggers use the RSS feed of Elgin events to put on their website.Here is one of our local bloggers The Elginite. He show the events from upcoming on its own page, others have just today’s events on a sidebar of their blog or website. By just adding events to upcoming the library is getting a little free online marketing by our local online community.
Upcoming is also a simple solution if you do not have the money to spend on an online calendar software package.Here is an event from the Marion Carnegie Library, they have added the date and time of their upcoming film as well as adding a picture. You can see that 1 person said that they are defiantly going and 1 person is interested in going. Now this is not going to take the place of a full fledge registration system but it can give you a little boost when needed.
Going online is not as daunting as some might think it is, to make it easy checkout other libraries for inspiration. There are very creative people in libraries doing remarkable things online, keep track of the one you like to inspire your online presence.
Steal This Blog Post
Steal This Blog Post <br />ILA 2009<br />Billie Moffett & Robert Moffett<br />Gail Borden Public Library<br />www.gailborden.info/presentations<br />