Social Media and the Biodiversity Heritage Library...a 10 minute tour


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The Biodiversity Heritage Library has developed a coordinated social media program to not only promote the biodiversity literature which is the cornerstone of this freely accessible collection, but also, it uses crowdsourcing by its library patrons to inform workflows within the Library.

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  • Where is the world at in social media nowadays? We all know of it, some of us do it, some of us have staff who do it for us… … social media at any level can be used to toot your horn, promote your organization… And your organization ’s social media activity can take on another life…using twitter for example, as a way to document events as they happen, As a way for people to speak semi privately and publicly about what ’s going on around them…for tens or hundreds or thousands of other people to read as well I am no expert but I have taken a look at all of your websites, and what I can report back that there ’s a lot of creative social media activity within your organizations, being out there developing your community, speaking to and with your community, opening the digital floor to discussion, and that is great. I am the serials librarian here at the MBLWHOI Library, and I am also a collections librarian in the Biodiversity heritage Library.
  • we weren’t doing much social media back in 2007…In the first years of the BHL, when our scanning through the Internet Archive cost us 10 cents a page, What we were doing and still do was scanning no longer in copyright biodiversity content, mounting it first on the Internet Archive website, and then ingesting it as we have always done on the BHL portal, with some adding some remarkable functionality, like The uBio taxonomic name server…a project of Cathy Norton and Dave Remsen here at MBL
  • ubio examines the OCR text, and pulls out the scientific names on the left
  • And Creates a linked bibliography…where you can link to related BHL content, and to our partner project, the Encyclopedia of Life…
  • … we don ’t just link to the Encyclopedia of Life online …
  • We collaborate with EOL publicly as shown in this joint booth at ALA last January; as BHL and EOL dovetail each other on different technical and administrative levels … and also our social media lives meet each other on flickr… What that’s all about is, as BHL content has lots of scientific illustrations…we cull through and upload images to flickr to create dynamic flickr collections that…anyone can use and
  • admittedly this goes go beyond serving the academic and taxonomist communities which we originally served as our founding constituency. But when you think about who we are
  • And who our close partners are…
  • And how Our global footprint on six continents is growing , then why wouldn ’t we why shouldn ’t we venture beyond the confines of our content … to become more impactful to multiple communities … and bring those new communities to the literature… some communities of which were the biodiversity rich third world communities which legacy biodiversity literature emanated from a couple of hundred years ago.
  • From the contents of BHL content, we to seek to engage multiple communities through Through having our content discoverable or linked to different social media sites Whether that engagement is casual, educational, visual, or otherwise… Contact is communication.
  • One of our Photosets on Flickr
  • With highly impressive viewing of our flickr images…over 2 ½ million views in the last couple of years.
  • A staff team coordinates a weekly schedule of specific types of posts on Facebook
  • The first type of post is daily quizzes, which pose questions about biodiversity for users to answer. The second is biodiversity news updates, which are posts highlighting news stories relevant to the biodiversity realm. Whenever possible, staff link all posts back to BHL content.
  • And the same coordinated daily posting schedules on Twitter…
  • Or Through specific collections crafted for Itunes university…such as THE FUNGUS AMONG US
  • And creating interest on Pinterest
  • We also have coordinated thematic weeks across our social media efforts, With themes such as Shark week Theodore Roosevelt And dinosaur bone wars… Some of these efforts greatly increase traffic coming into the BHL portal… So they are worth something.
  • So, getting back to BHL and EOL and flickr, if we add the proper metadata to BHL images which lack such metadata, we can then upload those BHL flickr images to EOL for use on their species pages. While this metadata adding project has been crowd sourced through the flickr website, a number of flickr metadata tagging parties have been held at the Smithsonian in DC, where Party-goers got collectively involved in tagging photos from BHL to EOL… This unique BHL/EOL relationship spurred more than good will…
  • It spurred a $260,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant to our tech team at the Missouri Botanical Garden to Create software to identify and describe and upload natural history illustrations from the digitized books and journals in the online Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  • Our social media work does not only involve the nuts and bolts planning needed to run the campaigns I have just spoken of, But we use crowd sourcing from our more serious and dedicated library patrons to inform and plan the workflows which result from scanning errors people discover in our content, or scanning requests from our patrons… when a patron discovers an error or has a scanning suggestion…
  • they can fill out a form which is forwarded to our staff at the Smithsonian, From which the the issue is triaged and it becomes a working ticket which is sent to the library which originally scanned the volume, or if it is a scanning suggestion it is forwarded to a library or libraries which hold the volumes– when the issue is assigned to a library, this system which is called Gemini sends an email alert to every library related to the issue, and
  • Staff members can view and work on issue resolution collectively. So our BHL patron user crowd informs and directs us in an essential way here, they help us make the library more accurate and complete so that users anywhere with a networked computer can perform their research.
  • And while all of this is going on in our citizen scientist and general public community there are scientists in our crowd community such Woods Hole independent scientist Ryan Schenk, who has developed a scientific name usage through time visualization tool called Synynyms.
  • The Biodiversity Heritage Library began as a broad project by multiple natural history institutions working collectively and cooperatively, responding to a need of the science community to have digitized the vast corpus of out of copyright legacy biodiversity literature. In the last couple of years we have also reached into social media… to engage vital communities beyond scientists… to create engaging resources which serve our users and make our library more accurate and go beyond just scanned text, The coordination of development of any online library or library platform with the communication which takes place when you have the time and resources to promote a presence within the social media is a good thing. It is an individual process…a trial and error approach … which can go way beyond what I have described here today, as generally younger scientists employ different social media within their work, as a method of dissemination of information, data, and as unique tools which To create an online library as rich and as significant of the sum total of all the great libraries which constitute our collections. Thank you.
  • Social Media and the Biodiversity Heritage Library...a 10 minute tour

    1. 1. Social Media and the Biodiversity Heritage Library …a 10 minute tourPrepared for the BioOne Board of Directors Meeting at MBL, 11/30/12Matt PersonMBLWHOI LibraryBiodiversity Heritage LibraryASU/MBL History and Philosophy of Science Program
    2. 2. pagination box
    3. 3. Staff weekly create two regulartypes of posts on the BHLFacebook page. The firstis daily quizzes, which posequestions about biodiversity forusers to answer.The second is biodiversity newsupdates, which are postshighlightingnews stories relevant to thebiodiversity realm. Wheneverpossible, staff linkall posts back to BHL content.
    4. 4. Twitter Facebook Flickr Blog PinterestShark +101% +34% +47% -35% -67%WeekAmerican -21% -13% +14% +8% +8%TrailsTheodoreRoosevel +27% +11% +46% +18% +75%tHallowee +58% +186% +37% +16% +250%nCatesby/President +34% +73% +44% +31% +325%ial PetsBone +82% +201% +44% +41% +358%Wars
    5. 5. Thanks toCathy Norton and Diane Rielinger, MBLWHOI Library, Susan Skomal, BioOne,Martin Kalfatovic and Grace Costantino, BHL