Comments made by Meredith Farkas
In relation to the University of Melbourne Library
Know your users
Rather than create random Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs actually conduct a survey to ascertain what library users are using in terms of social media tools, what are they using it for, how often do they use it, do they use mobile devices, how do they research, do they use social media for research purposes? Once such feedback is gathered then implement a social networking policy that addresses the specific needs of library users.
Communicate more transparently
Create individual blogs for subject librarians that can point students and staff to specific resources for assignments. Position RSS feeds to such blogs on the student LMS system. Assist the move to embed information literacy into the curriculum by utilising dynamic communication tools.
- Introduce blogs for new titles by subject including e-books
- Enable users to review books in the catalogue (star rating?)
- Make the existing catalogue social media tag more prominent.
- Create a Facebook page to allow users to request new titles. This opportunity currently exists but is buried on the user-unfriendly library website.
Develop a learning culture
At the moment there is little or no contact between libraries or library staff and certainly no sharing. Any work undertaken on social networking appears to be done independently of each library by those who may be keen. To overcome negative staff introduce the 23 things and share information through in-house education programs. Whilst I was at RMIT University this was something that was actively undertaken. Staff who had done the 23 things module took classes on specific aspects such as RSS feeds, blogs and Facebook.
Currently long committee processes are the norm. The library website is very user-unfriendly and all changes go through the webmaster so individual libraries have little or no control over content or the ability to make changes promptly. Meredith also discusses utilizing social media to bring the library website to people through links from MySpace and subject guides. A great idea. But overall I really don’t know how something like this can be changed except from the top?