The Shifted Librarian -

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* Tuesday, October 24, 2006

20061024 04 IL - RSS and Javascript Cookbook

Paul Pival

all of the tools they will show today is freely available and usable by everyone

can use Javascript to route around not having access to your servers; just have to be able to sneak a snippet of code into your HTML pages

collected URLs on

started out with a dynamically generated teaser page of “library info”
– new books section is from an external source

what is wrong with traditional subject pages?
– not often updated
– not easy to add content to if you don’t know HTML
– no academic field is static, so perhaps a static web page isn’t the best tool for a subject guide

defined RSS and Javascript as terms

what sort of content might you want on a subject page?
– subject headings and other subject guidance
– useful databases
– useful journals
– useful books
– new books in that subject area
– new articles in that subject area
– useful web sites
– instructional materials
– subject-related news

gave some database examples you could use
sites that list journal feeds
social bookmarking sites like (San Mateo Library – DDC), blinklist, and furl
podcasts, screencasts, vidcasts

Meredith Farkas

syndicating RSS feeds onto a web page
showed how to use Feed2JS to display a feed on any web page
mentioned Grazr

can output your list of feeds into an OPML file

showed a page that is built dynamically using feeds from various places, noted where each one comes from

Paul showed RSS feeds in Blackboard

back to Meredith

mixing multiple feeds into one using KickRSS, RSS mix, feed blendr

noted you can also get RSS via email using sites like rmail (can put their widget on your site so they can subscribe)

creating feeds for sites that don’t have them – feed43, RSSxl, feedyes

calendars with RSS feeds – RSSCalendar, Calendar Hub

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20061024 03 IL - MySpace and Facebook

Aaron Schmidt

feels like Munch’s scream about MySpace and doesn’t have an account himself, but doesn’t think that means libraries shouldn’t be there
confusing interface, lots of ads

showed Thomas Ford ML MySpace account
Denver PL’s eVolver site – has a song, looks like a teen’s site
UIUC Undergraduate Library
Liberty Librarian – used to be a school MySpace account, but now all of the references to the school are gone

showed user-generated videos about MySpace
teaching each other the bad side of MySpace

– teach a “MySpace tips and tricks” class
– classes for parents, educate them about it and how to guide their kids
– historic figure/book character project as a MySpace page where the students add the content

make friends

bulletins are very effective marketing

– be authentic; let your teens be your voice
– give up control
– have fun
– consider who want to be
– include a song and video
– include a MeeboMe widget

MySpace in your library – is it banned in your institution?

statistics show you are in more danger at home than on MySpace
most horror stories are false reports

is it a fad? yes, but it’s part of a larger trend

showed MyOwnCafe from the Southeastern Massachussetts Library System

Cliff Vandis – Valdosta State University

YouTubed the audience

what are the questions we should be asking?
– what is the nature of this technology?
– how are my patrons using this technology?
– how can I use this technology to benefit my patrons? (traditional services, innovative services)
– how will this technology improve my service?
– how should we identify ourselves?

“Identity Performance” – profiles (dynamic and static)

Social networking – connections between individuals create a network (Vizster)
“she’s my friendster, but not my friend”

Groups and identity
– 4th Floor Odum Library Bathroom Users (active)
– Odum Library Is Only Good for One Thing and that Thing Is Facebook (group identity; he joined to see what they were saying about the library)
– I Like to Hang Out in the Library After Hours (failed group identity; only one person in the group, so it’s a failure)

some people join a group just to be identified with that group, not to be an active contributor

– image representation
– one-on-one communication (preferred over email for this group of people)
– communication in groups
– writing on walls (communicate with the whole community)
– sharing pictures
– linking to other social networks and websites

can buy “flyers” – ads along the side for marketing

– consultations
– groups

innovative uses
– acquisitions (students letting the library know what books they’d like the library to buy – within facebook, where they already are)
– “ubiquitous librarianship” (using a student’s public information (blog) to meet their information needs (Brian Mathews)

how will facebook improve my service?
– the user-centric approach
 – Karen Schneider’s “The User Is Not Broken” (JL: yay!)

noted libraries that put themselves in facebook and had them taken down because they were institutional

started a global “ask-a-librarian” group
– folks will message him by the discussion board
– or they’ll write a question on the wall
system acts like a knowledge base, so can see answers to previous questions

how do we represent ourselves? especially as “the library”
– the living library (Kresge Library and Tisch Library have great descriptions of themselves)
– the librarian collective (UIUC Undergraduate Library)

recommends if you’re going to start now, do it as an individual, not your institution, since they are shutting down institutional accounts
it’s not a bad thing to be a human being; can bridge the librarian anxiety gap

what if your identity is chosen for you?
– “I be on my cell phone in the library” and “hide and seek in Odum Library” groups
– student who started a profile of Brown Library but isn’t affiliated with it

who “owns” the library?
– we think of it as “mine” since we work there
– university sees it as “mine” because is part of the institution
– students think of it as “mine” because designed for their use

take the compliment and work with the students to get the word out about the library

(JL: during the presentation I requested to be friends with Cliff in Facebook. When I logged in, I saw that David Free’s birthday is tomorrow, so I sent him a message within Facebook, and he responded during Cliff’s presentation.  :-)  )

audience question: how choose between the two?
Aaron: was based on age, although Facebook just opened up to everyone
Cliff: don’t have to choose just one, but we chose Facebook because we know it’s an audience we have

MySpace IM is broken a lot; they know a lot of people who use Meebo or other chat aggregation programs
can’t add things to Facebook like you can to MySpace
MySpace is highly editable, usually for the bad, whereas you can’t change anything about Facebook

audience question: confidentiality of patron questions in Facebook ask-a-librarian group?
Cliff: users are aware in that setting that their questions are open to the whole group

Facebooking with David Free

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20061024 02 IL - Flickr and Libraries

Michael Porter and Lluisa Nunez

(I missed blogging most of Michael’s presentation because I had to reboot my laptop, but he’s a great speaker!)

“conditional subject tags” in the description of the “Libraries and Librarians” pool (JL – what other group on earth would have a heading of “conditional subject tags?!”)

Lluisa talked via a recorded presentation about tagging for the group (it definitely doesn’t feel like “cataloging” or work) and starting the geobloggers map
showed Yahoo Flickr map

we are the authors, users, and librarians all at the same time in the group

Tony Boston from the National Library of Australia – PictureAustralia group (via recorded audio)

map Dublin Core elements to Flickr XML elements for metadata quality
encourage users to make good tags and titles

two aims:
– to increase the number of contemporary images inPicture Australia
– to engage with new audiences

Fiona Hooten from the NLA – PictureAustralia

marketed the project in broadcast and print media
43% increase in the number of pageviews
there are pictures of events that might otherwise not be there because of Flickr

– presents PA in the user environment through the use of emerging web and social tools
– creates structure for active user participation (which they seem to very much want)
– provides ability to view past and present history together
– engage with new audiences

Michael Porter again – groups, community, sharing, connections, resources, examples, inspiration

Fun with Flickr by Michael Sauers

fd’s flickr toys
librarianswithgiantcalculators tag
Springfield Public Library
Nancy Pearl Action Figure group
jail finds
librarian trading cards
color pickr
retrievr (drawing)
flickr leech (searching)
flickr graph (visualizing contacts)
spell with flickr

audience question: what if you flickr a picture your boss doesn’t like (especially signage)
Michael S: doesn’t flickr pictures from libraries he works at
Michael P: personality comes through in our flickr accounts, just as in our blogs, and you are in total control of your account

audience question: is it safe to assume anything you post on flickr is okay for public use?
Michael S: flickr does allow you to set creative commons licenses on your photos (default is all rights reserved), but that doesn’t really stop others from using it; can set your own license
Michael P: if you want to find pictures for your library to use, you can use tags to find them (which is why he is such a big advocate for it)

audience question: what about the simpsons images?
Michael S: nobody has sued us yet; somebody else created the tool; parody? I’m not a lawyer

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20061024 01 Podcasting and Videocasting

Greg Schwartz

gave an ultra-quick overview of podcasting:
– uses RSS; not just putting audio up on the web
– allows end-users to subscribe to your content and get automatic downloads of the new stuff
– is about regularly updated audio content

have to figure out if this is right for *your* patrons
don’t just do it because he says to or because others are doing it (do learn why others are doing it, though)

time to plan, record, edit, publish, and promote it

could podcast:
– programming (get permission first)
– upcoming events and library news
– bibliographic instruction
– services for the visually impaired
– staff training/communication
– whatever your imagination holds

Nine easy steps to podcasting
1. determine content and format
2. assemble equipment and people
3. record
4. edit and export to mp3
5. listen!
6. upload file to server
7. generate your RSS feed (which is what makes it a podcast)
8. publish feed URL
9. promote. respond. repeat. (need to provide a way for people to give you feedback about it and then you need to respond) for a webinar guide Greg did

Video Podcasting @ INCOLSA by Jeff Humphrey

why they are doing it:
– because they can (already have video content)
– natural progression of existing services
– looking for a different delivery solution

they’re writing their RSS feed from scratch
partnered with IUPUI SLIS class

what they had in place:
– experience
 – video end
 – IT end
 – workshop end (they have a release form for using a workshop you do to help them promote their services)
– equipment
– space
 – physical
 – virtual
– content

what they need to do:
– find a better space for videos
– convert to a blog format
– continue production on a regular basis
– foster more partnerships (showcase what libraries are doing)

production tips:
– have a reason to include video
– invest in a good microphone
– frame shots properly
– enhance production with graphics
– have fun

Listen Up! : Podcasting @ GPC Decatur Library by David Free

started podcasting in February 2005
was one of, if not the, first libraries to podcast

Eight things he learned about podcasting:
1. make sure it feeds (via RSS)!
2. promote. then promote some more
3. keep it short
4. use music sparingly
5. multiple voices rock (talked to different people around the campus)
6. podcast your events
7. consider your web presence
8. listen to your listeners

under the hood:
– USB microphone
– Audacity software for recording
– 96 kBit/s MP3
– liberated syndication (for hosting; Odeo and OurMedia for free hosting)
– Feedburner (smarter feeds)

Off the Rack: Podcasts uses and content for broad educational process support by Shawn Cordes

– engagement (time issue; provide alternate forms of content)
– interaction (make it part of your own process; in shower, while jogging, etc.; lets users play with tools)
– reflection (lets users analyze sources and content in new ways – rewind, fast forward, skip around, etc. so they can make meaning of the content in their own way)

1. build a point of information
– chris kretz’s HigherEdBlogCon presentation – “Learning to speak: Creating a library podcast with a unique voice”
– iTunes U – build a podcast repository that integrates with your school

2. point to something someone else built
– Museum Podcast Directory –
– Stanford (the model child) –

non-classroom opportunities for podcasts
– build community on student experiences
– promote the library through podcasts
– podcasts as professional development tool

Introduction to Videoblogging by David King – his videoblog
RocketBoom –

showed a Steve Garfield video

video aggregators – fireant, itunes, mefeedia
unlike audio, need multiple video players for the various formats

to create, need:
– computer
– video camera (miniDV is the current big standard)
– video editing software
– a blog
– formats

1. can store video yourself if you can handle the bandwidth
– going to need a server packed with memory
– possibly a media server – quicktime/WMV type thing

2. let someone else store your videos
– OurMedia

libraries can:

1. traditional ideas
– book talks
– bibliographic instruction & tutorials
– film your events

2. more interesting ideas
– cultural memory project (video history rather than oral history)
– collaborative (PLCMC’sImaginOn, kids making videos)
– environmental (discuss environmental issues and nature (invite the zookeeper)
– behind the scenes (what goes on at the library)

3. slightly whacked-out ideas
– travel (videoblog local attractions, people going out of the country)
– political (invite local candidates in to discuss something)
– hobbies/lifestyles (patrons, staff, prominent citizens in a TV/magazine format)

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20061023 06 IL - Synergy for Better Services: IT and Library Cultures

Kathryn Deiss and Matt Gullett

new technologies are changing possibilities and roles for both IT and library cultures and for library customers
a fluid discussion

culture is a set of assumptions that a given group runs on because the assumptions have worked in the past and are considered valid by that group

“…the pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered, or developed in learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration…” – Edgar Schein

easier to describe who “we” are by saying who “we” isn’t (IT says it’s not “us” and librarians say it’s not “us”)

what assumptions drive your organization’s culture?
– individual work vs. team work (libraries espouse teamwork, but the reward systems are built for individual work)
– deadline driven vs. all the time in the world

what three words would you use to define your culture?
can change the climate of a library easily, but not the culture (which is the set of assumptions everything is built on, according to Schein)

historic common ground between IT and library cultures:
– desire to do the right thing
– intention to create security and integrity of systems, catalogs, servers, and networks
– concern for the stability of systems and services created
– hard work to develop services for others

Myers-Briggs book “I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You”

tension in the story:
– disruption is the norm
– customers create their own solutions (2.0); very new idea in the IT world, along with the idea of constant beta and constant change
– diverging cultures

tribal differences – Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks (paid DD folks to spend a week at Starbucks and vice versa)
– tell it to me straight (small, medium, large) vs. make me feel special (tall, grande)
– we are family vs. we are all unique
– we want to keep moving (why would I go to a coffee shop to sit on the couch, we don’t want to hang around) vs. we want a third place
– keep it simple (no music) vs. give us new stuff
– we’re earthlings (we’re part of this community) vs. we’re members of the universe (global feeling)

even though IT and libraries have some shared values, there are divergent behaviors and how some groups define themselves by what they’re not

our special peculiarities (differences)
– library cultures tend to be focused on process and discussion
– IT cultures tend to be closed in their approach to sharing information for specific reasons – not because of mal-intent or evil motive (who has to know what is vetted for security reasons)

a word about the customer:
– user = a descriptor signaling dependency
– customer = clear need/desire for a service
– patron = customer with admiration for what you are doing
– public = customers who understand they are paying for the services they receive

we perceive uniformity in service delivery as a good and definite need
does the long tail teach us anything about such a perception? is uniformity the way to go when you can sell your services in niche markets or smaller areas?

jitterbug phone vs. treo – is uniformity really so important?

the customer tribe
– boundary leaping
– authority appropriating
– learning-oriented
– inventors of their environments

any assumptions these cultures are running on that are based on uniformity as an essential good could be erroneous

learning is anxiety-producing but can lead to deeper understanding

Matt likes working with youth on opening these barriers up because that is where a lot of these issues are coming up

reflection and inquiry help you overcome your mental models
“why” is the most important you can ask if you do it respectfully

showed the Ladder of Inference
test your assumptions

if you really want synergy, Peter Senge says:
– jointly develop guiding ideas
– share theories, methods, and tools across cultures as much as possible
– develop an infrastructure that supports innovation

focus on commonalities and on differences
have compassion for the other culture, as well as for your own
your culture has been around since long before you came into it because it worked

audience question: if your IT people are stonewalling you, what you should do?
Kathryn: ask them a question, e.g. what would work for them; try to figure out what is behind their answer; try to get to their inferential ladder, e.g. ask what they are assuming will happen if we do this

audience question: do you see a role for leadership/administration in this area?
Kathryn: need to develop leaders throughout the organization, not just department heads; they have to be able to allow and facilitate discussion/dialogue; need training to have a dialogue; leaders need to facilitate conversation-building
Matt: sometimes administration leaves decisions to those they feel know more about it, but they need to take a role; usually it’s a lack of resources
Kathryn: sometimes it’s just putting the elephant in the room on the table; it’s a process that needs investment

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20061023 05 IL - OPAC Hacks and Tricks

Creating Synergy between your Website and Catalog – Glenn Peterson

OPAC developments: 2006
– “ILS Customer Bill of Rights” and “patREST,” both from John Blyberg (
– NCSU/Endeca catalog
– catalog searches everywhere
 – Amazon, Google, MySpace

–  Hennepin County Greasemonkey script in Amazon that shows the library owns the title and how many copies; can also click on that link to go right to the catalog (can get code at
– a personalized Google page with HCL headlines and a search box for the catalog
– library catalog search box on the Library’s MySpace page; can also give that code to MySpace users who can add it to their page, too

how can we make our websites and catalogs work together to add value to the user’s experience and save the time of the user (Ranganathan’s Fourth Law)

two approaches:
1 – vendors are offering portal products
2 – integrate the catalog as one of many web-based resources

showed Fort Collins PL page and catalog, Ann Arbor site and catalog, and Phoenix PL’s site, all of which use the same navigation on the website and catalog (same template)

– links to titles for booklists (Indianapolis Marion County PL; increase in use of booklists at HCL when they added live links), newsletters, new book alerts, events listings
– links to catalog searches for pre-selected searches from subject guides, pathfinders, reader’s advisory
– make your links “smarter”
 – keeping your patrons logged in as they move around your site, included as they navigate your catalog (HCL sets profile based on user’s IP address and logs in the user)
– single login for viewing your items, commenting in the catalog, etc.

– learn how to link from your website into your catalog and look for opportunities
– explore ways to keep your patrons logged in as they move across your sites
– “mobilize” your catalog via RSS/email, Google gadgets, and MySpace

Nanette Donohue

LSTA grant for new website

first step – user survey
– asked features of website
– types of enhancements they would like to see

survey results
– most patrons said they came to site to use the online catalog and that they ONLY used the online catalog
– many said the catalog was unattractive and difficult to use

second step – setting goals
– integrate website into catalog, a la Hennepin County Library
– wanted spotlighted items, recommendations systems, etc.

third step – planning
– studied what other libraries have done in this area
– talked to the people that administered their catalog to see what could be done on their end without affecting other libraries’ use of the catalog (they’re part of a consortial catalog)
– investigated third-party solutions like Aquabrowser, Endeca, etc. (main drawback was cost)

as part of the planning process, they:
– considered what they liked and didn’t like about other libraries’ “improved” catalogs (resulted in a 30–page document!)
– considered the opinions of public service staff throughout the library, since they are closest to the user’s perspective of the catalog
– kept in touch with the consortium’s automation staff
– prioritized features into “must have” and “can wait for phase two” since they were under significant time constraints due to LSTA budget requirements

finally, they dreamed big because it was the best possible opportunity to make the catalog as usable as possible; didn’t want to dismiss any enhancements without making absolutely certain that they were NOT feasible; essential brainstorming with no negativity – threw it all out on the table

implementation: roadblocks (this is where things went downhill pretty fast)
– upcoming (major) ILS upgrades
– vendor unwilling to provide API
– consortial concerns
– time concerns (ultimately determined they couldn’t pull it off in the LSTA time frame)

Online Catalog 2.0 : where do we go from here?

what libraries can do?
– need to hire programmers if we’re going to embrace Library 2.0 (or grow your own)
– support vendors who are willing to release the API for their software and support third-party development of enhancements – or go open source! (even Microsoft is releasing its API these days!)
– insist on features that our “power users” want – because these are the features that the average user will want two years from now

what ILS vendors can do:
– anticipate user’s needs, and develop innovative products
– look at what libraries are doing with your products. implement some of their innovations as standard in the next version
– understand that no company can do it all and do it well. releasing your API and opening your software is a good thing

what catalogers should do:
– recognize we are competing with Google, Amazin, etc. – a little competition is a good thing. it can save us from complacency and inspire us to modernize our practices
– try to understand that user tagging is not the end of controlled vocabularies. can exist in tandem; helps provide user access at a different level, addresses deficiencies in subject access
– provide adequate subject access for all types of materials in all formats – regardless of whether you feel that the materials have “lasting value”

too often we catalog for cataloging’s sake

until we change the way materials are cataloged, any enhancements to an online catalog are tantamount to spraying pefrume on a skunk

we’re still working with rules that were applied for the card catalog

audience question: which scripting language to use?
Glenn: they went with coldfusion because it was available at the time and is very easy to adapt; can also go open source with PHP or Perl

audience question: any vendors that do share their APIs
Nanette: not sure, but their vendor said sure we’ll share it, but then wouldn’t
Glenn: uses same vendor, who says API is available, but it’s not what we would think of as an API

audience question: do you track users who download the Greasemonkey script for Amazon? seems to negate the “make it easy for me” concept
Glenn: haven’t tracked this; hopefully will be easier in future versions of Firefox because is clunky right now

audience question: looks like you’re saving user information to browser, are you encrypting it?
Glenn: using https if they want to connect using that; problems with vendor means they can’t do https on the vendor sign; don’t pass the user pin as part of the URL; use session number to go back and forth, which dies after the user session

audience question: keeping user profile on user IP address – what does that mean?
Glenn: it’s not the user’s IP, but if it’s internal or external

audience question: do you have anything on your site that goes back to the bookstores
Glenn: if there are no local comments for a title in the catalog, they’ll show Amazon reviews, with a link back to Amazon

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20061023 04 IL - The Basics of Web-based Experience Planning

David Lee King

showed examples of bad experiences on the web – ContentDM, flash/html choice library home page, zero results page in a catalog, being blocked for accessing too quickly,

then showed how flickr turned downtime message into a contest and how users had fun with it – they turned something negative into a fun, positive experience

wants to introduce us to the concept of experience planning – user-experience design and the experience economy model (staging experiences for the user)
mesh them together for the library website

Jesse James Garrett’s “The Elements of User Experience” (free version at

five elements, corporate version:
1. strategy – user needs and site objectives; gather information about users (e.g., a usability study of your current site)
2. scope – focus on content requirements (what is needed on the site) and the functionality of what the site must include
3. structure – interaction design (application flows for user tasks with visio or mind manager) and then the information architecture of the site
4. skeleton – wireframing; where you start creating the site, but less worried about visuals and more about where pieces appear on the page; can start doing usability testing when it’s ready
5. surface – visual design of the site; hopefully by then everything is usable and is working correctly

library version:
1. strategy – planning
2. scope – figuring out what’s needed and who will do the work
3. structure – fill in the details
4. skeleton – an outline of the site
5. surface – visual design

don’t take 1–2 years to implement this model – still need to resdesign quickly

“The Experience Economy” by Joseph Pine and James Gilmore
“Priceless” by Diana LaSalle and Terry A. Britton
“The Ten Faces of Innovation” by Tom Kelley

Cold Stone Creamery – “celebrates the ice cream event” not selling ice cream

Build-A-Bear – you don’t pay, you “continue the experience”

types of experience:
– memorable
– choreographed
– positive
– invisible (how our websites are supposed to work – should just work well)
– negative
– ordinary

showed realms of experience (which can be mixed)


– ask (what are the negative experiences your users are encountering?)
– save extra steps (cut down on the steps/barriers)
– trigger points (beds and alarm clocks for hotels)
– improve the dinosaurs (find something that hasn’t changed in a long time and improve it)
– map a journey (understand a customer’s mindset and where they’re coming from)
– merit badging (an actual emerging lifestyle – people are collecting experiences; e.g. instead of giving things to people, take them somewhere; visiting all the locations of a particular business)
– focused design (being seamless and focused in your design considerations)

applying this to library websites:

– ask your customers what they want (showed Superpatron Ed Vielmetti!); can also do usability studies with focus groups
 – when user fills out a form, take the neutral “thank you” page and do something with it; e.g., give them a library card number on the screen (Monterey Public Library does this!); link to the catalog, show some new books or videos, etc.; keep website visitors browsing on your site (stickiness)
– ask your staff what they’d like to see changed, what they’d like to do, etc.
– what extra steps exist on your website? (“Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug); do you *really* need all of that information you’re asking for in your forms?
 – library card applications
 – ILL forms
 – catalog searching
– trigger points
 – ask
 – figure out how to improve
 – are your databases easy to find online? can users login to their catalog accounts directly from your home page?
– find stuff that hasn’t changed (“We’ve always done it that way…”); e.g., DDS signage
– does the customer’s journey start at the door of your library? at the main page of your website? probably not; used taxes as an example; create a story for personas and then figure out how to fill their needs
– look for merit badge opportunities – how can your website be part of that process
– focused design; no hiccups, remove distractions, consistent look and feel; they just want your website to work

where to start:
– read the books mentioned and start thinking
– incorporate one thing at a time
– some is better than none

pretend you’re a patron! try to forget everything about your website, try to find something, and count clicks to find it

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20061023 03 IL - Reaching Patrons: Online Outreach for Public Libraries

Sarah Houghton-Jan
will post her slides on her blog at

where your users are online might not be where the library down the streets’ users are online

can’t pay lip service to online outreach – must devote staff time to it

your users are out there – where the heck are you?
arrogance of the worst kind to expect them to come to us
online, everyone’s patrons are your patrons
we need to put ourselves out where they already are
otherwise we lose and libraries become quaint mockeries of our former glory

everything in today’s presentation is free, although do have to devote staff time on an ongoing basis

1. make sure you are findable in the major search engines
search for variations and misspellings of your library name in Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, AOLsearch
are you the first hit? why not? figure out why and fix it; ask the engines to crawl your site (have they not crawled it lately because you haven’t updated your content lately?)
then expand to more minor or metasearch engines
has found that 20somethings use Dogpile a lot as a backup for Google

2. make sure you’re listed in library directories like LibDex, MapMuse, Libraries411,, and Libraries on the Web
make sure your information is accurate!
do this on a 2–3 year rotation

3. list your library in Wikipedia on the appropriate town or county entries
put how great your library is – it’s Wikipedia – if someone doesn’t like that, they can change it  :-p
do it on non-English Wikipedias, too
mention if you have free wifi

4. make sure you’re in Wikimapia –

5. list your library events and services in local community websites and calendars,, eventful, craigslist
these sites will get much more traffic than your library site will so you can reach new users
look for other local calendars where you can add your events
don’t advertise events that are already at capacity – that’s bad customer service; might need to add more times for that event if you still want to advertise it

6. ensure that your library has a presence on local government, school, and community websites
if they don’t want to link to you, find out why
don’t tell them to just link to your home page – have them link to useful pages or services you offer for their audience
find out what existing listings say about your library, and if they’re not the image you want to put forth, talk to the site’s webmaster
ask for link love – it’s ok (it’s not prostitution!)

7. monitor local blogs, technology boards, continuing education boards, and other forums
not just about the library, but about what’s going on in your community as well
get a sense of what your community cares about
offer your expert research advice and assistance wherever appropriate (job hunting, etc.)
don’t intrude, but be available

8. create a profile for your library in social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook
MySpace gets more hits each day than Google does
create a swanky profile on MySpace (public libraries) or Facebook (academic libraries)
be sincere and schmaltz-free; have a voice that’s authentic and avoid the techno-jargon of libraries
use informal voice and say “we” instead of “the library” (JL: yay!)
act as a positive influence in this space, as a model in your community

9. offer assistance (reference and circulation help) via instant messaging
email is for talking to old people – apparently the phone is for talking to dead people :-p
for many users, not being available via IM is like not having a phone
huge ROI

10. list your library in free wifi directories if you offer this service
wififreespot, wifihotspotlist, wifi411, etc.
advertising your wifi on little tent cards within your library just isn’t going to cut it

11. check reviews of your library on social review sites
decide up front if you want to participate and reply, and how
citysearch, insiderpages, judysbook, yelp (most popular)
when people take time to comment, it’s probably because of something negative, so be prepared
it’s important to address those complaints and to not be defensive
get on the forum with your individual voice and be there in a positive way

12. list your library’s blog on geographic blog search engines
people look for blogs based on their region
frappr, feedmap, blogwise, gfeedmap

13. are your items listed in WorldCat?
because of what OCLC is doing with WorldCat, it’s important to have your current holdings in there
have to update your holdings if they’re in there; otherwise it’s a bad customer experience

14. make sure you’re listed in Google Local
search for “yourlibrary, yourcity, yourstate”
school and public libraries are poorly represented in GL

15. push newsletters out via email and RSS feeds
harvest users’ email addresses from your ILS if you can (per the terms of your library card agreement) and start sending email newsletters
make the same newsletter available in HTML with an RSS feed
*push the information out to them*

16. consider being present in Second Life and other online game environments
mentioned Second Life Library 2.0 on Info Island (yay!)
get some experience with this because in 15–20 years, we’re all going to be working to serve these virtual users
we have to be ready to serve each others’ users and have to change our attitudes about this

17. list your staff as experts in various free expert-finding tools, ziki, illumio, qunu, faqqly (ask questions of your network of friends), otavo (where users create a “quest” and other users suggest resources that will help)

18. make your audio and video content findable
it’s getting easier and easier to do this now
upload videos to youtube, Google Video, blinkx, singingfish (get indexed there – submit your pages there whenever you post something new)
upload to sites like yahoo podcasts,, podcast alley, digital podcast, podscope, itunes, odeo, singingfish
transcribe your audio content in podzinger

19. make sure your library blog is listed in blog search engines
feed submitter, robin good’s list of where to submit your blog and feed, and RSS specifications list of where to submit your feed

20. subscribe to feeds to find discussions/content about your library
google news, yahoo news, ice rocket, technorati, feedster, bloglines
search for variations of your library’s name, too
to find videos taken in/of your library – youtube (
subscribe to feed of your library’s name in flickr

instead of asking them to come to us, let’s put ourselves out there where they are

audience question: how sell administration on serving other libraries’ users
Sarah: we’re already doing this some areas, like in virtual reference; this is where things are going; there are no political or jurisdictional boundaries online, so we can decide to serve everyone or no one; not being online is not an attractive alternative

audience: recommendation for IM software
Sarah: Trillian for AIM, Yahoo, and MSN; could also use GAIM

audience: if our holdings are in WorldCat, does that imply that we’re willing to ILL with any library
Sarah: not necessarily, but putting your information out there you’re letting people know you own it; what message does it send, though, when you won’t lend that book out?

audience: rural libraries can’t do IM and MySpace because of filters
Sarah: why are you filtering? the amount of money get out of erate is not as much as they put into it for mainintaing the software, staff time, etc.; it’s no longer a responsible thing to do because it’s bad service; if you’re stuck with it, need to talk to people about IM being another communication mechanism; blocking it is blocking out an entire audience, which is inappropriate

audience: how much additional staff time is needed for IM reference for a population of 100,000
Sarah: depends if you staff it from the reference desk or the back room; can do either; if you do it from the desk, probably only get one or two questions per hour and it shouldn’t be overwhelming

audience: concerns about comments made to librarians via IM?
Sarah: came up with scripts for someone who is suicidal; can block a user if they are repetitively abusive; only blocked about 10 people over 3 years, but don’t let staff take abuse

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20061023 02 IL - Delighting PL Users: Personas in Action

Stephen Abram

has research that shows users are not coming in for books, even though that’s what they say
it’s about adding on, like to your house; L1 is still there, L2 is about adding on to that
talk about the family room and what you do there, not the tools that build it

I want to feel differently in this space; how should people feel in your space
sending out a brochure that you have books and databases won’t tell them how they’ll feel in your space

*context* is king, not content
it’s about unfettered experience, not about free
what’s the immersive experience we’re creating in public libraries?

five contexts about the library:
– learning
– research
– community and neighborhoods (virtual or not, all ages – knitters)
– workplace
– entertainment and culture (example of a library in an African-American community that took every item by an African-American author and put it at the front of the library – satisfaction went up and circulation went up 300%)

you don’t just pick one – you work on all of them

can make anyone click a button by making it bigger and flashier – that’s not making it usable

sides of a triangle of the library world – personas, usability tests, normative data

his project put their normative data through the same software used by the department of homeland security
can find peoples’ behaviors through their stories
led to seven specific personas

discussed millennials and their characteristics – format-agnostic, respect intelligence, high expectations, experiential, more liberal, entrepreneurial, achievement-oriented

discussed eye-tracking studies – A pattern for boomers, F pattern for millennials

grade 4 and younger don’t look below the fold; need to design web pages for these kids differently; start to go below the fold at grade 6

80% of learners are not text-based learners, yet librarians design text-heavy websites

five personality dimensions for searching (I missed the URL for reading further about this)
– extraversion was related to informal information retrieval as well as preference for thought provoking documents over documents which confirmed previous ideas
– openness to experience was related to broad information seeking, incidental information acqusition, ciritcal information judgement…
– competitiveness was related to lack of time being a barrier to information retrieval, problems with relevance judgment and competence in critical analysis of information. low levels of agreeableness forms a base for skeptical and critical thinking
– conscientiousness was related to preference for thought provoking documents instead of documents that confirmed previous ideas and use of effort in information seeking

project objective – understand and meet the expectations of public library users for services, content, and virtual interaction (interviewed 15,000 people, plus interviewed 5,000 libraries at ALA, PLA, and CLA)

a boomer would pick a topic to research, do the research, and forge ahead in a linear fashion
a millennial would pick several topics, do research on all of them, and then prune off the topics one by one until they are left with a final one

“Computers in Libraries” issue about University of Toronto personas

themes from the narratives from the project – interaction was at the top, followed by technology, efficiency, and money
wanted community, learning, quality, efficiency, money/risk from their library; not books or reading

talked about good citizenship (collaboration, encourage creativity, good use of our money, kids feel safe, nurturing, opportunities), other patrons creeped them out a little bit
imagine how powerful a brochure with the above words would be, as opposed to one about books and databases

inquisitive power user, disengaged seeker, ultimate tour guide, out-of-date IT, something-for-everyone resources

values – community, learning, quality, efficiency, money/risk

archetype of satisfied user is one that wants self-learning (cuts down searching, too many features)
two distinct groups – one that wants help, one that doesn’t; genealogists get too much help from librarians

content – library material types (frustrated patron is archetype)

service – quality librarian services (equal access, ease of use and efficiency, meeting customer needs)

7 SirsiDynix personas – discovery dan, haley high school, jennifer, mommy marcie, rick researcher, senior sally, tasha learner

example of using data – offer your internet research classes at the same time as your storyhours

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20061023 01 IL - Public Library 2.0

Michael Stephens

users think of us as books
technology is just a tool

let’s expand the brand (from the “OCLC Perceptions” report):
– need to market ourselves, our profession, ourselves (be a sponge!)
– need to tell the stories of what happens in our libraries
– need to be transparent (experiences users have, not just numbers)
– break down barriers; think about the stories that your library is telling, especially in terms of signage
– go where the users are (Karen Schneider’s “The User Is Not Broken”) via things like instant messaging, adding user comments to the catalog,
– adopt a 2.0 philosophy; plan for physical and online experience
– learn from the gamers
– create a culture of trust, with patrons and with staff
– 5 phrases he never wants to hear in libraries again
 – we’ve always done it this way
 – he or she is a roadblock to anything new
 – the IT department won’t let us
 – I don’t have time for _________________
 – our director doesn’t like technology

plan, dream, & innovate
– emerging technologies committee
– have good meetings
– don’t be afraid to try

Helene Blowers

thought of herself as a “scout” at Computers in Libraries last year
found Michael Stephens and Michael Casey at the conference and for the cost of two staff coming to a conference, she brought them to her library for the whole staff to hear

loves “e’s” – empowering, expanding, evolving

Why L2?
life comes out you fast; showed Fabio with gray hair :-p

does training automatically mean learning? no!
getting out of your box

wanted to:
– encourage staff to take responsibility for their own learning
– reward staff for taking the initiative to complete 23 self-discovery exercises

how many in the room are at libraries with summer reading program? (all the hands went up)
this staff training program was the “summer reading program” for staff
– spread out over weeks
– self-paced
– reward the readers

have to do all of these things with your staff, too

“it’s not a training program – it’s a learning program”
they did no workshops, no tutorial sessions, no handouts or cheat sheets
just dangled the carrot, made suggestions via the exercises, and encouraged them to jump in the pool and play

gave MP3 players to everyone who completed the “23 things”
are having an additional drawing for a laptop
program was based on Stephen Abrams’ article about “43 things” you could to for self-learning about new tools

have 352 of 500+ staff signed up
24–branch library system, program was open to all levels of staff
has already given out 141 MP3 players

resulting in changing

blogging, photos & images, RSS & newsreaders, play week, tagging & folksonomies, wikis, online applications & tools, podcasts videos & downloadable audio; plus a month of extra exploration time
believes less than 2% were comfortable with downloadable audio, and yet they’re investing thousands of dollars in it each year; needed to put tools in their staffs’ hands that
each participant blogs their experiences to share with each other

staff are having a lot of fun creating their own images, etc.; created their own avatars, which wasn’t part of the program
built the program on completely free sites – didn’t have to pay for any of it
her library’s web services team didn’t have to set up a single thing

Three most important exercises in her mind:
1. review/self-reflection – using blogging to review habits of lifelong learning; it’s in their mission statement, it should apply to the staff, too
2. looked at OCLC NextSpace report – 5 perspectives on Library 2.0 – had participants pick one and reflect on it; our communities are changing, not just physical spaces – we need to be out there

staff relied on each other & gained self-confidence in their own skills

Yarra Plenty Library across the country has started its own “ Web 2.0Bullent Train” Learning 2.0 program

lessons learned:
– build a program for late bloomers
– allow participants to blog anonymously
– communicate weekly using 1.0 methods
– focus on discovery & encourage challenges
– encourage staff to use each other & work together
– remember that it’s not about acceptance or *doing it right* – it’s about exposure & getting outside of our boxes
– & continually encourage staff to play!!!

audience question: did most of the staff use personal or staff time to do this?
Helene: it varied from branch to branch, although administration encouraged them to do it on staff time; some staff had so much fun and enjoyed it so much that it spilled over into their own time

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