Category Archives: Library 2.0

The results… what do libraries mean to you (Part II)

Yesterday I asked you all to contribute some words that you felt described what libraries meant to you, or even words that came to you when you thought about libraries. I want to thank all of the people who provided me with some amazing words!

With the help of tagul I created the below word cloud. The bigger words mean more than one person chose that word. So with no further delay I give you…

What libraries mean to us 🙂

What libraries mean to you

Yes I made a heart 🙂

Love it! 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who put in submissions 🙂

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What do Libraries mean to you?

I thought I would try something really different today. I would love it if in the comments you guys would put a word or a few words that describe what libraries mean to you or words that remind you of libraries and what you can do there.

Once I have a few words I am going to use them to create a word cloud that will represent what libraries mean to us 🙂

I’ll get us started with a couple of words that represent what libraries mean (or are about) to me:

Community, adventures, fun, literacy, inspiring

Capture

Sound good?

Okay…. go 🙂


Marketing your Library’s Facebook page

First of all let me say that I am absolutely pro-use when it comes to Libraries utilising social networking platforms to connect with their clientele in new and interesting ways. The Pew Research Center (http://www.pewinternet.org) reported that as of September 2013 73% of online adults use social networking sites. That is huge! I don’t even want to think of the numbers for kids with their smartphone access and their Snapchat and their Instagram… that is a scary amount of people who are socially interacting via the internet. It is imperative that libraries get in on this action.

Found on http://kesocialmedia.com/

I am Pro Social Media!
Image from http://kesocialmedia.com/

I myself will admit to Googling before pulling out the yellow pages, I will check an organisations website to look at the information they have available rather than calling them, if they have a Facebook page or Twitter I will most definitely check that out. The use of social networking sites to me also feels like the organisation is more available or approachable because it is in a different setting. The business might close at 5pm and I can’t call them before then because I too am working, but at any time I can leave them a Facebook message and they might get back to me the next day. Sounds like email you say? Well it is basically, but the difference is that it is in a much less formal setting and in the case of Facebook it is in a platform that 71% of online adults use (http://www.pewinternet.org) so they are more comfortable with it than the formality of email. Well that is my opinion anyway.

So you have put your Library on Facebook… fantastic, good for you! You have created your Facebook page, put a lovely picture of your Library up and have been posting Library information on there at least once a day for 3 months, amazing! However, you only have 25 followers… and most of them are staff members, not such great news. In my experience this seems to be a common problem which usually stems from one of two things – lack of marketing or boring content. What I found surprising is that the former is the most common problem, people will not magically find your Facebook page, even if you put the little icon link on your Library website. It is not enough, you need more! You need to think of your Library Facebook page as a new service, because it is. It is a new way of obtaining information and interacting with not only the Library staff, but also other clients and you need to treat it as such.

Start marketing your brand new service

Start marketing your brand new service

So how do you market Facebook? Here are some ideas for an Academic Library:

  • When you have Library stalls during Orientation or Student Services week have up flyers that encourage students to ‘Like’ your Facebook page, include a QR Code at the bottom of the flyer so that students can get there easily.
  • You put up posters in the Library for everyone else, why not yourself? Put some up advertising the Library Facebook page. You could even have some bookmarks made up (an oldie, but a goodie) and give them out to students when they borrow.
  • When you do Library tours or Orientation talks this is a prime opportunity, don’t just talk about the page, go there. Show them how great the information is, encourage them to connect and interact with you. I generally do all the ‘Contact us’ stuff at the end of my presentations, I go through the different ways clients can contact us and say to them that we have tried to provide as many avenues of contact as we can effectively manage so that they can interact with us in whatever way is most comfortable or suitable for them. I then show them the kind of information we have on the Facebook page and finish up by asking if there are any questions. Word of mouth is still a powerful tool, use it!
  • You could target clients using computers, go around with some lollies or chocolate (always good motivators) or if you want to promote health perhaps you could take around a fruit basket and say that you are offering food as a bribe for people to ‘like’ your Facebook page. Be honest, they know what you are about so you don’t need to sugar-coat it!
  • If you have the budget for it you could get coffee vouchers from the Uni café and give them to clients once they have liked the page. From experience I have found that people will do much for a free coffee J

If you are a Public Library you could still do many of the above suggestions, you could also try something like:

  • If you have a Bookclub you could tell members that you will post information updates etc. on Facebook, encourage them to share their reviews of the book on Facebook too. Then you are actually marketing both your Facebook and your Bookclub.
  • Come story time you are generally inundated with Parents, Grandparents and children, use this opportunity. Tell them you post information regarding story times and even photos from story times on Facebook, you could even post information that will be useful to parents such as, how to read effectively to your children etc.
  • When you run competitions you could let entrants know that the winners will be posted on the Library’s Facebook page. If it is something like a poster competition you could even post pictures of the entries (make sure you let them know about this when they enter!).

There are so many options. Unfortunately the old Field of Dreams “if you build it, they will come” does not hold much water in the real world. You must put in the effort to reap the rewards.

Do you have any other ideas? Share them below.

Happy Facebooking!

Do it, you know you want to!

Do it, you know you want to!


Libraries of the future – Part 1

Libraries are constantly evolving, this we know. But into what? What is the end product? Or will we remain in a constant state of evolution for all time? It could take years, decades, millennia etc. to gain the answer to that last question, but it is great fun to ponder and give yourself a migraine with all the possibilities. But don’t we as Librarians or rather Information Professionals have to evolve with the Library? Are we doing that successfully and to the best of our ability?

Here’s my question to you… what do you want the next evolution of Libraries to be?

This is a totally open ended question, there are no marks or prizes and you don’t need referencing to back up your theories. They can be completely new! Feel free to debate also.

Personally I can see the possibilities to a shift towards running Library client services divisions more like a retail outlet. Staff aren’t hiding behind the desks, but actively out on the floor connecting with clients. Kind of a roving reference, but we teach them not to force themselves on students. Nothing worse than those staff in stores that hover and won’t leave you alone to decide.

Connecting with clients

In the way distant future (or possibly sooner who knows) I can see a move to something along the lines of ANZ mobile lenders. Rather than students/clients coming in for Research Consultations, Librarians go out to their homes and show them how to search from their personal computers at home. Librarians could show them everything from how to download and set up endnote (including showing them how to have a mobile endnote library),  to how to construct search strategies, identify important journals and set up RSSFeeds. This would also require Librarians to be much more technically minded which honestly I think is sorely needed anyway.

We must become Super Librarians!

I can also see a path for Librarians embedded within faculties and schools and even stay at home Librarians, which would work somewhat like stay at home IT peoples. You have your other work to do, but are also logged in to receive calls and IMs.


Part 2 – Evaluative report

Part 2A. – Evaluative statement utilising OLJ experiences

I have chosen to focus on the three experiences in my OLJ that I gained the most from professionally. Interestingly, deciding which three entries which had been most beneficial proved rather difficult.

The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world

As an Academic Librarian, a large part of my role is connecting information; staff are trained to locate and critically evaluate information for clients as well as teach them these skills so they can perform their own searches. Lorenzo’s ideas surrounding “information literacy” are very interesting (2007, p.2), it is not too late to learn this at University, but ultimately it would be best if people learnt these skills at a younger age. Compounding this is the fact that relying on the words “peer review” might not be an option for much longer (Wittenburg, 2007) and also that places like Google and Wikipedia appear to now be the “go to” for information (Garfinkel, 2008, p.84). Whilst reading and learning about this was valuable, it took a query from a student attempting to reference a Facebook post to make me realise how vital and current this topic really is. This experience allowed me to suggest and be involved in the evaluation of my workplace’s current reference guides in order to include social media.

Building a market strategy for social media

Utilising various platforms of social media is gaining popularity with Libraries. Whilst this provides a slightly less formal and more social interaction with clients, it is important the organisation is not represented poorly. Building a marketing strategy and policy prior to implementing any social media technology is vital. As discussed in my post, the questions outlined by Brown (2009) provide a sound foundation when building a marketing strategy. Two of the most important I feel are “Does the organisation have a social media policy?” and “Who is the target audience?”

A social media policy provides comprehensive guidelines regarding appropriate behaviour as deemed by the organisation, particularly in outlining socially acceptable practices, and cultural and ethical matters. This document assists staff engaging with clients via social media and clearly defines what is suitable to be publicised in this arena, preventing any embarrassment to the staff or the organisation as a whole (Schrier, 2011). Previously I had no knowledge of social media policies. However, due to knowledge gained through my studies, my assistance was requested in the creation of a social media policy for my workplace. The resulting document covers all social media currently used and is suitable for application to any additional platforms the Library wishes to explore.

My newfound knowledge also resulted in being asked to contribute to the evaluation of the social media platforms the Library uses, regarding effectiveness, improvements and possible expansion to other technologies. I introduced Bernoff’s (2012) Social Technographics profiles to staff involved and all found these extremely intriguing, they were referred to during the evaluation of the platforms. Consequently, when evaluating information gained (for example from Facebook statistics) and looking at the profiles, we were able to provide meaningful, considered suggestions.

 What is a Librarian in a web 2.0 world?

Prior to undertaking this subject I engaged in social networking and felt I had a reasonable understanding of what constituted “Librarian 2.0”. However, this subject made me consider this concept afresh. The works of Harvey (2009) and Abram (2012) instilled realisation that one did not gain the title “Librarian 2.0” by simply knowing how to use a few social media platforms. To remain relevant, I feel it is vital for Libraries to attain “Library 2.0” status and this begins with the Library’s staff.

Originally for this post I provided what I felt were basic vital skills for Librarians to possess. I still agree with this list, however after further completion of this subject I believe it essential to include information fluency – the ability to unconsciously and smoothly move between the critical skills of finding relevant information, devising solutions, collaborating, creating and communicating (Lorenzo, 2007, p.2). Librarians not only need this skill, but also the ability to teach it to others.

Currently a large portion of staff at my workplace does not hold the skills discussed above. As a University Library this isn’t ideal, therefore I have dialogued with management and recommended they consider:

  • engaging staff in professional development sessions surrounding these areas;
  • raising the current accepted IT competency level for all staff;
  • investigating ways staff who do not have one, could develop a Personal Learning Network (Klingensmith, 2009),
  • encouraging staff to get their own RSS reader, subscribe to professional sites and spend 30minutes per day engaging in professional reading.

Part 2B. – Reflective statement on development

This subject was chosen due to personal interest in social media and my growing belief that knowledge of social media and its potential is vital to Librarians of the future. I was unprepared for the large impact this subject had on my skills in this area generally and in my workplace specifically. Multiple opportunities for involvement with projects have eventuated due to knowledge gained from this subject. These include:

  • Creating a social media policy for the organisation:
    I liaised with the Marketing & Promotions Officer in the research and writing of this policy. This was my first attempt at policy writing; knowledge gained from this subject gave me the confidence I needed. This document is in draft form, but is close to completion.
  • Being involved with future social media planning for the Library:
    I was involved in creating questions for focus groups with students regarding the Library’s social media presence. Subsequently, I aided in assessing the data collected and making suggestions to management in a report.
  • Reviewing the Library’s current social media platforms, assessing their success and recommending improvements:
    I volunteered for a staff group formed to discuss the Library’s social media presence. This group reviewed the current situation (taking into account staff opinion and student responses from the focus groups mentioned previously) and discussed possible improvements and additions.
  • reviewing and improving our website:
    As a result of exploring RSS feeds offered by other University Libraries, I realised our own RSS page was inadequate. The page was outdated and not easily locatable from the homepage even if searching for it. I approached my manager and received permission to update the page. Also flagged for 2013 is investigating ways to offer more via RSS than we previously have. This page still isn’t as visible as I would like, but it is still progress.
  • In addition to the above, I am now a regular contributor to the Library’s Facebook content.

RSS feeds page

Through the completion of assignment two I gained many skills, including:

  • Comprehensive project planning,
  • Evaluating social media technologies against an organisation’s business plan or mission statement to ascertain which technologies could meet organisational needs.
  • Research for this assignment also unveiled a technology called Hootsuite which allows pre-programming of Facebook posts (Hootsuite media inc., 2012). For social media to be successful it needs to be “active”; unless it is well maintained it will not be used by clients, therefore content needs to be regularly added (Brown, 2010). Previously my workplace did not post messages over weekends and holidays, but now utilises Hootsuite to make such posts.

Something really unexpected resulting from this subject was a personal issue of knowledge management regarding tacit knowledge. This subject provided me with new knowledge and skills and I was motivated to use them in my workplace. Some knowledge is easily imparted by providing staff with research to inform themselves or providing management with suggestions. Whereas, the tacit knowledge I gained from this subject is more difficult to impart and I am still seeking ways to effectively and successfully do this (Oye, Salleh & Noorminshah, p.72).

Prior to this subject I had a WordPress blog. Whilst I occasionally wrote a Library-related post it was certainly not a professional blog. Since posting professional content I have noticed a marked increase in visits to my blog  as well as comments. Initially I assumed that these were other students in the course, however my post titled “The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world” was scooped by Joyce Valenza for her Scoop.it! toolkit entitled, “Information Fluency transliteracy research tools” (Valenza, n.d.). This was the first time I felt not like a student, but like a professional who has information worth contributing. Writing professionally has encouraged me to read widely and keep abreast of new trends, it pushed me to refine my RSS feeds to ensure I receive valuable, relevant content and made me think of myself in a wider context than just my workplace.

This subject has had a huge impact on my knowledge, skills and has opened up new avenues for me professionally. It has made me aware of the necessity of keeping abreast of developments in social networking technologies to be truly effective in my career. It is easy to become entrenched in the day-to-day workload and accept the status quo. However, for an informational professional, knowledgeable about developments and innovations in information dissemination and communication is essential. This should be easier for me in the future with the establishment of my PLN, Twitter account and RSS feeds instigated by this course. The success I have experienced with my blog has also inspired me to continue professionally posting.

 

References

Bernoff, J. (2012). The global social takeover. Retrieved fromhttp://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2012/01/the-global-social-takeover.html  on 15 September, 2012.

Brown, A. (2010). A to Z of social networking for libraries. Retrieved from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/ on 30 July, 2012.

Brown, A. L. (2009). Developing an effective social media marketing strategy. Salt Lake city social media examiner, Retrieved fromhttp://www.examiner.com/article/developing-an-effective-social-media-marketing-strategy on 15 September, 2012.

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84.

Hootsuite media inc. (2012). Social network management. Retrieved from http://hootsuite.com/features/social-networks on 31 August, 2012.

Klingensmith, K. (2009). PLN: Your personal learning network made easy. Retrieved from http://onceateacher.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/pln-your-personal-learning-network-made-easy/ on 7 August, 2012.

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the new education culture. (March). Retrieved fromhttp://www.edpath.com/images/IFReport2.pdf

Oye, N.D., Salleh, M. & Noorminshah, A. (2011). Knowledge sharing in the workplace: Motivators and demotivators. International journal of managing information technology, 3(4), p.71-84.

Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital Librarianship & Social Media: the Digital Library as Conversation Facilitator. D-lib Magazine, 17(7/8). Retrieved from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july11/schrier/07schrier.html on October 6, 2012.

Valenza, J. (n.d.) Information Fluency Transliteracy research tools: Helping learners perform more meaningful research. Retrieved from http://www.scoop.it/t/research-skills-and-tools on October 8, 2012.

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electornic Publishing, 10(1). Available http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101


The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world

The way in which users are connecting with information is constantly changing, new trends, apps etc. come out every day. Users are literally bombarded with information from an endless variety of places, but how are they to know what information is to be trusted? Lorenzo (2007, p.2) discusses people moving towards building “information fluency”, this refers to being proficient in three skills; “basic information technology skills (including computer literacy), information literacy skills, and critical thinking skills”. Wittenberg (2007) also discusses the credibility of information and what students need to accomplish this, she also posits the idea that the much-loved “peer review” system of the Academic world may be coming to an end. Garfinkel’s (2008, p.84) article supports Wittenberg’s theory through his discussions on Wikipedia being the primary source for information on the Internet. A large number of researchers cite it as background reading and Garfinkel confesses that the majority of the article was created using Wikipedia as the information resource (2008, p.84).

From reading these three articles I believe the following two messages are important:

1) Find new ways: No longer does there seem to be a hard and fast “right” way to find authentic content. We need to develop alternative ways of identifying or critically analysing information, more important than identifying these alternate avenues is finding a way to provide our clients with these skills. We cannot always be there with our clients, but by providing them with “information fluency” skills (Lorenzo, 2007, p.2) we enable them to locate and analyse resources on their own.

2) What is authentic? Or what is being now accepted as being authentic? The majority of information seekers now use Google as their first source of information (Kaur & Singh, 2011, p.738). When users are googling for answers more often than not Wikipedia articles are the first or second listed results. That these articles are so high in the results means they are frequently used (Garfinkel, 2008, p.84).

As a staff member of an Academic Library it is important for me to know whether if a lecturer will accept a student using Wikipedia, particularly if they can verify the information in a second source. Recently a student came into the Library for assistance with his referencing, it turned out he was having difficulty referencing a Facebook post using Harvard Author Date as he could find no reference to Social Media referencing on the guide. It seems that in some subjects Facebook is now acceptable as a resource.

 

References

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the meaning of truth. Technology Review, 111(6), 84.

Kiran Kaur, Diljit Singh, (2011),”Customer service for academic library users on the web”, The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 Iss: 6 pp. 737 – 750

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the new education culture. (March). Retrieved from http://www.edpath.com/images/IFReport2.pdf

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electornic Publishing, 10(1). Available http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101

 


Building a marketing strategy for Social Media

Social Media is a form of online media that promote participation, openness, conversation, community and connectedness (Mayfield, 2008). A good example is Facebook which is the most popular social networking technology in Australia (Cowling, 2012). Facebook currently corners the social networking market and has also gained popularity as a marketing and client interaction tool by libraries (Jacobsen, 2011, p.79). Through Facebook organisations can promote themselves via posts, photos and sharing videos, they can interact with clients in a social space and, due to the popularity of Facebook, potentially enhance their online presence significantly (Myers, 2012). But how does an organisation ensure they make the impact they want with their target market. Marketing strategies are produced for all other areas of business and it is important that they be developed for social media also.

Brown (2009) posits some important questions to bear in mind when considering a strategy for marketing social networking technologies for an organisation, these include, but should not be limited to;

  • Does the organisation have a social media policy?
  • How much time daily is to be spent on social media?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the marketing budget?
  • What will you use the social media for?
  • What sites will be used regularly.

This last question provokes deeper thought on whether there are sites that will not require constant upkeep, for example something like Pinterest could be set up initially and only reviewed once every few months. It is important to note that one marketing strategy will not suit all forms of social media as it is likely the organisation will be using them for different purposes. Brown’s questions should be considered for each individual social media platform used by the organisation.

When creating a marketing strategy another vital component is knowing your target market. There is no point to answering the questions above if the market isn’t going to use what you are marketing. Bernoff & Li introduced ‘Social Technographics’ (Bernoff, 2012) they provided profiles based on the social technology behaviour of the market. The profile takes us from “inactives” who never use social media at all through to “creators” who record their own podcasts, maintain their own blog, and tweet their day away.

Social Technographics profiles

The profiles are fascinating, but then I questioned it. How could we be ensured that this related to the majority of University Students in Australia? The answer is relatively simple if you want it to be. Academics have referred to people born after 1993 as the ‘Google Generation’ (Rowlands, et al., 2008, p.290), this generation are now entering as Undergraduates. Therefore if there is not enough time or budget to do further research it would be reasonable to assume that the Google generation would fit into the profiles the ladder puts forth.

                                                                               
                                             
                                                                                          

 

 

References

Bernoff, J. (2012). The global social takeover. Retrieved from http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2012/01/the-global-social-takeover.html  on 15 September, 2012.

Bernoff, J. (2012). Social technographics: Conversationalists get onto the ladder. Retrieved from http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2010/01/conversationalists-get-onto-the-ladder.html  on 15 September, 2012.

Brown, A. L. (2009). Developing an effective social media marketing strategy. Salt Lake city social media examiner, Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/article/developing-an-effective-social-media-marketing-strategy on 15 September, 2012.

Cowling, D. (2012). Social media statistics – July 2012. Retrieved from http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-july-2012/ on 2 August, 2012.

Jacobsen, T. B. (2011). Facebook as a Library Tool: Perceived vs. Actual Use. College and Research Libraries, 72(1), 79-90

Mayfield, A. (2008, August 1). What is social media? Retrieved from iCrossing: http://www.icrossing.co.uk/fileadmin/uploads/eBooks/What_is_Social_Media_iCrossing_ebook.pdf on 15 September, 2012.

Myers, J. (2012). What is Facebook? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-facebook.htm on 15 August, 2012.

Rowlands, I., Nicholas, D., Williams, P., Huntington, P., Fieldhouse, M., Gunter, B., Withey, R., Jamali, H. R., Dobrowlski, T. & Tenopir, C. (2008). The google generation: The information behaviour of the researcher of the future. Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives, 60(4), 290-310. doi: 10.1108/00012530810887953