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Introducing Social Catalogues and Social Software into Public Libraries


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This is a presentation that was given at Dalhousie University's School of Information Management. It was presented to the first year students enrolled in the Knowledge Organization class.

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Introducing Social Catalogues and Social Software into Public Libraries

  1. 1. Introducing Social Catalogues and Social Software into Public Libraries Laurel Tarulli Collection Access Librarian Halifax Public Libraries December 7, 2009
  2. 2. Exploring the world around us <ul><li>Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>User Expectations – Amazon and Google vs. The Public Library Catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>New technologies – *Social interactions and sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feeds, LibraryThing, Facebook, Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Younger, energetic staff with new ideas about “the library” </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Library Catalogue – Basic Homepage
  4. 4. Google – It isn’t just about a single search box, it’s about personalizing your information needs
  5. 5.
  6. 6. We’re not Amazon or Google <ul><li>No, we’re not, but what are they doing right ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommended reads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranked results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single search box – pulling all resources together and letting you “drill down” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to use – no training required! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There’s a fear in exploring this: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposing our weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s too expensive to “fix” our current model </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We don’t have the expertise or resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It demands too much effort – status quo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There’s an education component involved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staff buy-in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups/research </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Baby Steps <ul><li>Step-by-step introduction of new technologies and ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-threatening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job security </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of technology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fear of change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining and showing the benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Time to play </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Getting used to the technology and ideas </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Halifax Public Libraries <ul><li>Introducing 2.0 technologies into cataloguing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cataloguing Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Created in late 2007 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resistance/Staff buy-in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff Side </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Collective body of cataloguing knowledge within the department </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catawiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Public” staff side of Catawiki </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. New Technologies throughout HPL <ul><li>Reference blog </li></ul><ul><li>Readers’ blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active Readers’ Advisory Team and RA movement at HPL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can we merge our expertise into one source to help our users and enhance our services? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We need to look at what we currently have and what users and staff want </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Legacy Library Catalogues
  11. 11. Online Catalogues: What Users and Librarians Want <ul><li>Users – “Seamless discovery through delivery” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delivery is more important than discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where is it? Is it available? Format? How soon can I have it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple search box with option for advanced searching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier access to online content and links </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Online Catalogues: What Users and Librarians Want
  13. 13. First attempts to “socialize” the library catalogue <ul><ul><li>Adding enriched content on your own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tables of contents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Additional general notes (500s field) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RSS Feeds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recommended titles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Embedded live reference/RA chat in the catalogue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Edmonton Public Library </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>David Lee King’s post: Fun with Meebo Widget and the Library Catalogue og / </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Partnering with teams within the library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collection Access and Readers’ Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Halifax Public Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personalized summaries created by the RST that address appeals and read-a-likes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Embedded reading lists </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reading suggestions found within bibliographic records </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Local genre headings/access points </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Linking bibs to relevant Readers blog posts and relevant blog posts to the library catalogue </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Invites readers’ comments and interaction, event suggestions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 17. Social Catalogues or Next Generation Catalogues <ul><li>Features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Single sign on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Federated search interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanded scope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discovery and display of all types of content in the collection and beyond </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for easier customization and additional software options and enhancements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranked results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User intuitive interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Did you mean? Feature </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No dead ends </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Search suggestions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 18. HPL Decides on AquaBrowser <ul><ul><li>Early 2009 AquaBrowser was purchased </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May through September </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation Process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bibliographic record “clean-up” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faceted navigation rankings </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Display content </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Icon creation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Format layouts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exporting of records </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 19. HPL Decides on AquaBrowser <ul><ul><li>October – our first glimpse of HPL’s overlay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review, editing, critiquing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formed a Social Cataloguing group from key staff members at HPL </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Updates to Management Team </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>November </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing, critiquing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Updates to Management Team </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing Feedback from Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communications and Marketing gets involved </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 20. HPL Decides on AquaBrowser <ul><li>December - beta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>January – beta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and evaluation of AquaBrowser begins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>February </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full public and staff launch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and evaluation of AquaBrowser continues for 2010 and beyond? </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. So, what does it look like? This is what it looks like “out of the box”
  20. 22. After customization...
  21. 24. My Discoveries Account Allows you to view your reading lists Tags you’ve created Ratings and Reviews
  22. 26. Searching another user
  23. 27. Controversies with user tagging <ul><li>Those opposed say: </li></ul><ul><li>Tags corrupt the MARC data </li></ul><ul><li>Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Drain on resources to monitor or “clean” user-generated materials </li></ul><ul><li>No quality control/uniformity </li></ul><ul><li>Tags aren’t meaningful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Favourites” “To Read” “Research” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sarah Palin’s new book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User tag “I can see Russia” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 28. AquaBrowser <ul><li>Tag base has been pulled in from LibraryThing </li></ul><ul><li>Tags reflect community – they personalize the library catalogue </li></ul><ul><li>User-generated information is another layer on top of MARC, it is not part of our MARC records </li></ul><ul><li>Language control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Black list” of terms </li></ul></ul>
  25. 29. Follow-up thoughts <ul><li>User-generated information, including tags assist in make library catalogues social discovery communities, rather than static item inventories. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect different languages, opinions and regional needs/cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be personalized or social/community focussed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect new language and trends not yet found in controlled vocabularies </li></ul></ul>
  26. 30. Thank you! <ul><li>Laurel Tarulli </li></ul><ul><li>Collection Access Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Halifax Public Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>(902)869-4427 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>The Cataloguing Librarian Blog </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>