News and resources on Library 2.0 and the information revolution.
Written by Ellyssa Kroski. the Emerging Technologies and Web Services Librarian at Barnard College.
This blog was set up and is administered by a group of Australian librarian bloggers.
I’ve been subscribing to a variety of RSS feeds for the last three years. The two RSS feeds listed above are off my list but I could have chosen many others.
From an academic library perspective blogs provide ideal means to communicate a range of information to all patrons: students, academics, professional staff, general public and other librarians alike.
This can include the following:
General news about the library: opening hours, orientation sessions, competitions, introduce staff
Library exhibitions and events
Resources: new titles, new resources in general such as trials to databases
Subject specific: subject librarians use blogs to communicate with students and academics about new resources, information literacy sessions, reports, how to? information (for example setting up alerts to specific journals)
Feeds from subject guides for example the addition of new resources or links to external sites
Links to other sites of relevance
Libraries need to consider carefully before implementing blogs. Decisions should be made concerning the following :
Do we need a blog are we effective communicators already?
Who is the blog for? Identify your customers and present the blog and its information accordingly.
Who is going to post to the blog? Blogs can be labour intensive and only work effectively and have credibility if they are updated regularly and if the updates are relevant and interesting. Decision needs to be made to perhaps construct a rotating roster of staff to post on specific days of the week. This can have the added benefit of providing all staff with experience of using Web 2.0 technology. Libraries could also consider the services of a guest blogger.
Should comments be enabled? If comments are enabled then this provides an effective means of interaction and communication with your customer base and any comments should be acted upon. Libraries can be intimidating places so online interaction can be a quicker and more effective means of overcoming customer adversity to face-to-face interaction and is effective for distance education students as well. Responses to comments need to be prompt and effective.
If comments are disabled then is there an alternative means for patrons to communicate with the library? Does the nature of the blog require comments to be enabled? If it is offering purely factual information and links to new resources perhaps comments are unnecessary?