Libraries are boarding the RSS Train

RSS is an abbreviation of Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. RSS provides a simple way to stay current socially, news wise, events wise as well as keep you informed about places or areas you are interested in physically (receiving live updates from an NRL game whilst at work), digitally (notifications when your favourite bloggers post) and research wise (new acquisitions at your library). All this information and more is provided in a single convenient feed, you decide what you want to see, you custom build your feed to your wants and needs (Zanin-Yost, 2010, p.1: Wilson, 2008, p.9).

The library sphere is taking interest in RSS technology and how it can serve clients. Different libraries use RSS feeds for different purposes (Yue, Greene & Blackwell, 2006, p.307), for example the University of Sydney Library uses is for students loans information, promote library events, subject guides news, and library news. The State Library of NSW has multiple RSS feeds available, however they are almost entirely devoted to promotion of new resources.

Moxie Librarian is a blog that used to be regularly updated with lots of information relation to libraries and web 2.0 or library 2.0 technologies. Unfortunately this has not been updated for around 10 months now, however in 2008 a list was posted of 10 ways the author proposed that libraries could use RSS technology within the library environment, these included; new additions, reminders, events, and interestingly job openings which was an option I had not considered. Click here to view the full list.

I located some videos which demonstrate different libraries and their use of RSS feeds;

The University of Wyoming example uses Google reader. It was interesting to note that whilst there are a lot of videos available from Libraries surrounding how to use web 2.0 technologies not many people view them. Are these videos unwanted or are they just not well promoted?

The National University of Singapore, this video provides a step by step from the library homepage which makes it that much easier for students to follow.

Redeemer Lutheran College has recently released a video which is a good example of the fact that the use of this technology is still expanding.



Cheryl (The Moxie Librarian). (2008). 10 ways libraries can use RSS [Web log post]. Retrieved from on 25 July, 2012.

Nuslibraries. (2011). How to add and view RSS feeds at the Library portal. Accessed via on 25 July, 2012.

RedeemerLibrary. (2012). Adding an RSS feed. Accessed via on 25 July, 2012.

Skrabut. (2012). RSS Feeds – Linking to UW Library search queries. Accessed via on 25 July, 2012.

State Library of NSW. (2012). RSS Feeds. Retrieved from       on 25 July, 2012.

University of Sydney (2012) RSS Feeds. Retrieved from on 25 July, 2012.

Wilson, D. W. (2008) Monitoring technology trends with podcasts, RSS and Twitter, Library Hi Tech News, 25(10), p.8 – 12.

Yue, P., Greene, A. & Blackwell, L. S. (2006). RSS in Your Future? The serials librarian, 50(3-4), p. 305 – 310.

Zanin-Yost, A. (2010). Library 2.0: Blogs, wikis, and RSS to serve the Library. Library philosophy and practice, 09/2010, p.1.


About DitchTheBun

I wear many hats; Librarian, Mum, Wife, Sister, Daughter Friend, Health and Knowledge Seeker. Here is where I explore the many aspects of me and try new things on my journey. View all posts by DitchTheBun

One response to “Libraries are boarding the RSS Train

  • ditchthebun

    As a result of my explorations into RSS feeds offered by other University Libraries I realised that our own RSS page at work was completely inadequate. The page was very outdated and not easily locatable from the homepage even if you were searching for it. I approached my manager and got permission to update the page, following on from this we are investigating ways to offer more via RSS than we previously have. It still isn’t as visible as I would like it to be, but it is still progress.

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