October 30, 2007

20071030-01: Internet Librarian – Have You got a Game Plan?

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 12:16 pm

Adapting Library Services to the Needs of Gamers – Chad Boeninger
started out showing Lego Star Wars
one of the great things about it is that it encourages exploration within the game
get used to the interface by probing the environment
games also encourage immersion, not just exploration
showed some video of Resident Evil 4
not just shooting things, but also lots of times when you have to make decisions to do things (buy wepaons, make adjustments, etc.)
the immersion here is that the player has control of their own experience
can also essentially play “Barbie” by customizing avatars
showed video of customizing his player in Madden, to the point where his name is on the back of his shirt
showed some video from the game Bully
showed some God of War
here’s how gaming encourages learning while doing
– you basically get thrown right into the game where you start mashing buttons to figure out what to do
the PS2 controller has 16 buttons that you learn how to use within the first 20 minutes of the game (open hatches, etc.)
you figure out the sequences pretty quickly
learn through trial and error
as the game play progresses, we learn new things and have to adapt new skills to get to the next level because the game gets harder
so how can we integrate these kinds of things into libraries?
we try to create immersive environments, encourage learning by doing, and encourage exploration
people grew up in video games, and as a result, they maneuver differently
part of our role is to help them adapt to our stuff, while the other part is for us to adapt to them
what you never hear in the mainstream media is how frustratingly difficult these games are
research is hard, too
(some of this from “The Kids Are Alright” – Mitchell Wade)
we need new nomenclature
information literacy
bibliographic instruction
job security for us, but meaningless to everyone else
we need consistent interfaces
why can’t our interfaces be as intuitive and easy to learn in the first 5 minutes as they are in video games?
what does our feedback give users?
positive or negative?
how do we create environments that attract and engage these folks?
the library as immersive space
make learning/information commons more
– inviting
– wireless
customizable interfaces
learning while doing
incorporate hands-on instructional experiences
must be relevant and timely
give context – don’t just do BI to do teach people something
need smarter catalogs with point-of-need help
give them instant help
– best options right now are IM and Meebo
help them help themselves via a site map or online FAQ
doesn’t really have a conclusion but the discussion about how to do this is important
Randy Christensen
threw a bean bag into the audience and asked the person who caught it to come up on stage
that person then threw the beanbag to someone else, who came up on stage
did this until he had 12 people up front
played “Internet Librarian Chase,” based on IL2006 information
“what are the advantages of a federated search”
“name one way you can make a library website more user-friendly?”
walked around the audience asking questions about how they could incorporate gaming into library services

October 29, 2007

20071029-06 Internet Librarian PL Track: Stump the Panel of Experts

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 5:59 pm

Aaron Schmidt, Adina Lerner, John Blyberg, Carol Bean, Allan M. Kleiman, Glenn Peterson, Marilyn Turner
question: bookspace page is great, looks great; I wonder about these lists, because blogs are self-correcting, but the lists seem to be more static; how do you know the lists are doing their job and accomplishing what you want them to accomplish?
answer: glenn – recently noticed that on one of the lists, someone said “here are the titles that I like about such and such and if you have favorites, comment below,” but we don’t have offer comments on the lists; so there are ways we can make the lists more organic and dynamic
Marilyn – there’s a list called “all pink book covers,” so you can’t really correct everything
question from allan: we haven’t been very successful to get our staff to adapt to 2.0, although we’re playing with sites; how did you actually motivate your staff – with or without a stick – to blog? reference staff don’t see this as part of their job
answer: Marilyn – can’t pretend we haven’t had people kicking and screaming, but feels that if you can snag new librarians who aren’t afraid of doing these things and see this as part of their job, try to harness them; had trouble getting people to contribute content for the web back in 1996; saw that staff started to rely on resources their colleagues were maintaining, which helped; something collaborative finally happened, but not sure it can be described easily; they use statistics to show usage of the web resources; staff will update their blog if you tell them you are going to feature it on the home page; something is making it real for them, but it didn’t happen overnight
Glenn – have had their intranet for a long time, which helps, because they were able to start their in a controlled and safe environment
question: why did you use coldfusion instead of php?
answer: we selected CF in the mid-1990s, one of the few developmental languages at the time; rapid development environment, can use dreamweaver with it, easy to learn, similar to HTML in the way it uses tags; might have made a different decision of making it later
question: when I go home, my coworkers will ask the “what if” about user-generated content – how you deal with the bad stuff, who deals with it, etc.
answer: john – it’s a good question; need to understand it could happen, but can have a plan for how to deal with it; you won’t get a flood of participation to begin with; aaron – noted that you can moderate comments so that they have to be approved by the person who is worried about this happening
glenn – comments go live on their site unless they get trapped by their “naughty word” filter (eg, “title” gets blocked because of the first three letters – about one of these a day gets trapped and has to be approved); trapped comments are sent to a group of employees via email every couple of days – can click on a link to follow-up
question: NJ library where user-generated comments are approved before going live; has never seen a problem; if anything, people think they’re reserving a book; have a home-generated chat room for book discussions, staff meetings, etc.; can see the number of lurkers, which is pretty high – they don’t have anything to say; in the web 2.0 world, really likes the SOPAC, how do you get the lurkers to participate? he recently put up a “suggest a new title” box on their website, and it’s been a flood; thinks all of these people never thought to participate or contribute until they saw that box
answer: john – by lurkers, you’re really talking about people who are not predisposed to using those types of services; no better way to get someone to participate than to make them mad, but in the end, you really need to create incentive for them to participate; eg, if you put in 10 reviews, we’ll waive your fines; the end game is to build a community around the core elements of the social software, get that network effect rolling
allan – one of the issues that came up a few years ago is that the ILS vendors looked at 2.0 and were going to incorporate all of these features, but that’s come and gone so we have to implement it; it’s the vendors who really need to be the ones working on this, rather than us recreating the wheel
question: how do you measure and report value? we can all agree that there is inherently good value in these things, but how do you measure that value and report it out so that it is useful for decision-makers who are not librarians?
answer: aaron – at a very basic level, you can take your website statistics and look at hits from other sites where you have a presence
john – it’s also important to remember that you can look at metrics but your ultimate goal is enhancing the user experience in a way that changes the face of librarianship
allan – has been doing workshops around the state about the value of libraries using a web-based calculator that highlights the value based on your usage; gives annual reports to customers
Marilyn – it’s important to put modesty aside and send comments up the chain; she is constantly surprised how many users leave positive comments on the site; leave modesty aside and promote those comments
question from Michael: can each of you tell us a challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it?
answer: aaron – he’s the director of a small public library with a small budget and limited staff, and the social software they use has been of immense help to them; was able to get a decent website going using free blogging software, staff collaborates with google docs, etc.
adina – is trying to find ways to bring more people into the library and offer more challenging classes, so at the end of next month, she will be offering a new class on web-based image editing software
john – oftentimes, we reach for the stars and we climb the highest peak we can find, and that leads to failure because we’re not focusing on the bedrock of our services (the backend, the foundation), so recognizing that fact we can’t innovate for a year because we need to lay the foundation and put the groundwork in is a way of acknowledging our limitations; so when you present a project that really works (like SOPAC), that’s a culmination of not just that project, but also laying the foundation
Carol – when she was first hired, she was the only one who understood the problems of having to get a mouse to teach how to use one; she just went out and did things (buying a mouse); when other staff didn’t like what she did, other staff pitched in and did something different, which helped move things forward; if others aren’t doing it, just do it yourself
allan – the biggest resource we have is our staff, and the biggest hindrance to going to the next level is our staff, so our biggest challenge is to get our staff to realize that their jobs have changed and they are all now technology specialists; he himself has this challenge because he tries to stay out in front of his staff, which seems impossible; the challenge is what we are as librarians to keep up with technology
glenn – our biggest challenge is with staff, not the public; patrons don’t have high expectations for library technology; it’s a great challenge to have when people figure out what technology can do for them, but then we have to manage expectations for what we can do; they see the magic in front of them but they don’t always have an understanding of what it takes to make that happen; so emphasizing communication (what projects they are working on, what information they need to make something happen, etc.)
Marilyn – her biggest challenge has been to be at the table of system-wide planning; because they’re not in each building, people plan without considering the web services components; her staff goes to a lot of meetings in order to contribute to these discussions and be part of things

20071029-05 Internet Librarian PL Track: Integrating Libraries & Online Communities Online

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 5:06 pm

Bookspace.org – Glenn Peterson, Marilyn Turner (Hennepin County Library)
book site went live on valentine’s day
contributions from staff and readers have been key
hennepin county is a county of readers
– on average, every suburban HC resident checked out 17 books, DVDs, and CDs in 2006
– twice the national average
wanted to maximize this when redesigning their site
– wanted to bring together relevant resources for a particular genre or subject
– to allow librarians to easily contribute content without need any programming knowledge
when they came up with the name “bookspace,” it was conceived as a true space where people could read, share, and learn
domain name was owned by a young adult librarian in missouri who was never able to use it so she gave it to them to use
latest blog post title appears on the home page
email newsletter that goes out every other month
featured readers list
find a good book
who is working on the site?
– coordinator
– workgroup of 5 librarians
– contributors (30 librarians)
– 2 librarians on each genre page team
easy to use tools for the librarians, all form-based on the web
they help each other to show new blog authors how easy it is
these are not volunteer activities, which is important
– this is part of your job and part of your performance expectation
– it’s become an expectation over the last few years that their librarians will add content to the web
social features
– user comments on books and other titles
– right now there are 234 comments on the final Harry Potter book; comments started on this title while it was still on order
– blogs, where users can also comment
– booklists
– list top contributors of comments
– “It’s Alive”
– user profiles
– more than just screen names
– bring together user’s comments and booklists on their profile page
– also show what they have checked out as a wall of books (“what they’re reading”)
looking ahead
– new ways to connect users
– users who are reading x are also reading y
– facebook “wall”
– show user’s “friends”
– control issues
geek stuff
– database-driven
– RSS everywhere
– ColdFusion (or ASP, PHP, etc.)
– draw on library staff
– empower your users (they want to add content, especially your younger users)
– create opportunities for serendipity
– let users interact
slides at http://hclib.org/extranet/
John: The Social Catalog
the transformative library
based on “The Experience Economy” book –
services, goods = 1.0
transformation puts services, goods, and experience (participation) together into a whole = 2.0
the media ecology is changing rapidly
the way we conduct business means we need to change the way we do things
create an experience in the library itself to offer a transformative experience for the user
the social catalog is one way to do this
a vital interim step to wherever we end up going

3 social catalog environments

1. pseudo-social
– authority presented as collaborative (ie Encore); subject headings as tag cloud
– there’s no feedback loop, though, no real collaborative experience, and not really social
2. syndicated social
– 3rd party data (ie LibraryThing for Libraries)
– the results you get are generally well-formed and almost always outstrip the usefulness of subject headings
– but get a homogeneous blend of information from a particular record
3. individually social
– user-direct and self-contained (ie Hennepin, SOPAC)
– run into other limitations, such as critical mass of content
showed Michigan State University’s implementation of Encore
– tag cloud, AJAX
– not really a social system, though, even though interface elements are indicative of social sites
showed Danbury Library’s implementation of LibraryThing for Libraries
– tags, but still no real social elements
showed Ann Arbor’s SOPAC
– users taking advantage of the social elements are probably teens, probably a handful of them (so have to be careful your data analysis isn’t skewed)
you need to ask yourself…
– do we want non-authoritative (user-generated) metadata associated with a record display?
– only your institution can decide
– authoritative and non-authoritative information can co-exist
– if you include folksonomy, do you:
– want it to originate from syndicated data?
– reflect your community?
– if you don’t have the content, how do you provide the incentive to use the system? and if you don’t have incentive to use the system, how do you have the content?
– what kind of development is involved?
the network effect
question: how do you prime the pump for comments?
answer: glenn – thinks we’ll see a phased approach in popularity; needs to build, not there from day one; their statistics show that people are more interested in reading than contributing, but thinks that will change over time; Marilyn: Glenn has put the opportunity to comment in places she hadn’t thought of (where normally it would be an email); have done a lot of PR with prizes when they introduce these types of things; can put your name in to win after you comment

20071029-04 Internet Librarian PL Track: Cranky? Boomers and Older Adults are Graying the Internet

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 4:01 pm

– Allan M. Kleiman (Old Bridge Public Library)
internet is not gray yet
“while you were whale watching, some of us were watching the salmon spawn”
whale watching = myspace, facebook
salmon spawn = cranky & other senior sites
sites that are spawning and going upstream to die
what has spawned is something “new” and “exciting” in social networking
comparing the whale and the salmon is interesting
when people think of senior sites on the web, they only think of AARP, but that’s not really a social networking site
most of all, you need to share today’s information with your colleagues and the boomers and older adults who use your library
the numbers are confusing
22% of seniors 65 and older use the internet (Pew)
fastest growing segment of internet users are those 85+
– well, if you have no one 85+ using the internet and then you do, it’s the fastest-growing segment
currently 35 million older adults and by 2020 the older adults population will double
big business in developing & “hooking” the baby boomers now
they’re trying to hook them into social networking sites, but how? no idea because don’t see any ads, flyers, etc.
older adults are not attracted to these lifestyle websites
sites that are connected to another organization are doing well, while independent sites are not doing so well
they all have the same colors and design and look the same after awhile
SeniorNet was the first organization to develop senior sites around the US, but you had to pay to join and that usually doesn’t work with how libraries operate
Allan’s library is working with SeniorNet to expand their services into libraries
their website is good for viewing structured online learning; they have book clubs, blogs, etc.
everyone else’s site looks the same, but they did it first
Third Age was the “first” social networking (learning) site in 1997
all of these sites are intended for upper to middle class, white, women
no comparable site for men yet
Eons site
they know nothing about their users’ lifestyles and don’t market to them
focus on people, fun, love, money, body, lifepath, obits (ha!), games, travel
was founded by Monster.com CEO Jeff Taylor, but he’s not a boomer so he doesn’t get it
most of the boomer websites are looking at people with money, hoping you’ll click on companies who can help you travel, invest money, etc.
Eons has $32 million investment
half of their staff was let go, though
beginning to see the collapse of the new hope of social networking sites
let the competition begin
if a site is not allied with an organization, it is running on venture capital investments hoping to reap rewards
what is useful?
– more friendly versions of myspace and facebook
– “Eons, Rezoom, Multiply (a fancier Flickr; don’t even mention money, life, etc.; only site that shows people of different ages and colors), Maya’s Mom, Boomj, and Boomertown. They look like Facebook – with wrinkles.” NYT 9/12/2007
– also said “old people are sticky,” meaning brand-loyal
but boomers are not brand loyal
new search engine – http://cranky.com/
it’s an outgrowth of eons
found the 5000 most popular websites among a group of 500,000 web users aged 45 and older and rated each site
possibly based on ask.com’s search engine
about once or twice a day, they change the rankings on the home page
#1 search was about sex
which isn’t surprising, any good social networking sites for seniors will include companionship
(at his library, they’re requesting a speed dating night for seniors!)
also high in rankings
– longevity calculator
– sudoku
– eat healthy
– jobs after retirement
– wallpapers
– online dating
– retirement community
– work from home
the search here is nonthreatening and easier to use, easier to read because of lower starting set
results are comparable to yahoo
almost 80% of what he picks up on cranky duplicates what he gets on google
they only display 4 results per page
heading = cRANKy
because it’s connected with eons, their content is listed and linked to at the bottom of each page
what’s new out there?
eldr.com – mission is to help baby boomers and their aging parents deal with the challenges and opportunities of aging by providing the most useful thought-provoking and trusted information available anywhere
one issue is out
website looks the same as the other senior sites
believes this will stay around because there is a complementary magazine and because it was started by a builder of homes for older adults; he wants to give back to the community for the people he works with
– redhatsociety.com; 40,000 chapters in US/worldwide; wear red hats, purple dress
– “all my life I’ve done for you, now it’s my turn to do for me”
– another site that’s based on an organization
– Boomers! TV: Redefining life after 50
– producing shows on PBS about growing older, retirement, etc.; site has a little social networking
graying of the internet is really about blogging
AP found that seniors love blogging because it helps them keep their minds going, keep yourself up-to-date because you’re ready other blogs, can share life experiences, can meet other people from across the world
in some cases, senior blogs give the authors a bit of fame
3% of seniors in the US have created a blog
17% have read someone else’s blog
22% of americans aged 65 and older use the internet (1 in 5)
The Ageless Project
a website that lists blogs or websites of people in order of their birth year; there are 2 sites for people over age 90!
(sites with no commercial content)
Allan’s library is starting a blogging class next month
will try to market the blogs of the class participants
so what do we do with all of this information?
there’s life beyond myspace
– we should show people Cranky in computer class training
– link some of these resources from your library’s website (libraries usually link to negative sites, whereas social networking sites are usually positive
– join the sites and test them; otherwise you won’t really understand what they do
– become a participant
– add web 2.0 technology to your web classes
– provide feedback, both positive and negative to the sites
social networking sites for seniors are here to stay, even if these specific sites don’t survive
things that Old Bridge PL can do that you can, too
– have created a “senior space,” possibly the first in the US (users can listen to records)
– phase one set up the area
– phase two is to develop a web 2.0 classroom where seniors can also use computers on their own
– adding a “let’s try it” laboratory
– adding to their class list based on their Advisory Board
– first library to launch Wii for older adults on November 9
– teens will teach the older adults to Wii
– planning for a Wii NJ tournament in spring 2008
– are re-training their librarians to train 2.0
keep looking for information about what’s going on with older adults and social networking
his presentation will be at libraryolderadults.blogspot.com or infolink.org/seniorspaces
question: you didn’t mention AARP, why not?
answer: AARP is still an informational site, not a social networking site; it’s not the site I think of when I want to go somewhere and have fun; I use it a lot and link to it, but doesn’t see it as a true interactive site where people can meet
question: ABA is looking at implementing MyABA; do you have pointers for how to get people to use these sites?
answer: you’ll have to do a lot of hand-holding and tutorials; train the assistants (paralegals, secretaries, etc.) to help them
question: do you know if webmasters at these sites are talking to boomers and seniors?
answer: doesn’t think so because the sites don’t reflect these groups; that’s why we need to join these things and comment on them – help them change the content to make it more useful for us and for the community

20071029-03 Internet Librarian PL Track: Information Literacy in Public Libraries

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 3:05 pm

– Adina Lerner (Santa Monica PL), Alan D’Souza (San Francisco PL), Carol Bean (BeanWorks)
“review the pew” – A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users report
we’re not going to help the elite tech users, want to try for middle of the road users, but really want to help the 49% with “few tech assets”
have to know your community’s demographics
census.gov only gives you 2000 numbers, which may not reflect what’s going on now
need to know your local resources, too

locating students

– listen to your patron requests
– create a survey (they did a “computer classes questionnaire”
– ask patrons to submit ideas to a Suggestion Box
community outreach
– appeal to niche groups, such as parents wanting to help children with homework online (offer a class on homework help for parents)
– offer health-related searching class using your databases for older patrons
bringing new skills to old hands
can the 20% middle of the road users be tempted?
– managing files/folders
– digital camera skills – using free sources such as Flickr, Pixenate, Picnik, Snipshot, Slide
– they found that 49% of their users had digital cameras, even though they might not have computers at home
– eBay skills
– they’re not legally allowed to offer classes on ebay because of liability issues, but they found certified ebay university trainers to do the sessions in their labs
– internet security issues
– help them understand about not using IE, virus control
you have to acknowledge your limitations, both of your library and your patrons
– hard to do Second Life in 90 minutes and you may not have bandwidth
– lack of reliable access to computers both in library and at home due to limitation of space and funds
– lack of transportation or mobility of the patron – go to a senior center, etc.
at what point will information literacy become a basic skill, similar to reading a newspaper or a book, navigating a library catalog, or using an ATM?
presentation will be on slideshare (search on her name)
Alan – Non-English Classes at SFPL
The Foundation
– mission statement
– have to present staff who look and sound like our communities
– literature & signage should reflect welcoming atmosphere, not just the “No’s”
– strong collections for populations
– website is in two additional languages, chinese and spanish
– have an “ethnic services committee,” although they rely on the individual branches to do the programming
– book club in russian and spanish
– offer computer classes in chinese (cantonese and mandarin), japanese (don’t really offer these anymore), russian, and spanish
– keyboards not in the native languages (such as chinese) is an issue
– they have a class in chinese wikipedia
– partnered with the seniornet people for a 4-week course that takes seniors from turning on your computer, to managing folders, to managing email; now they are asking for how to upload photos
interestingly, attendance numbers across all languages are down, though
have a “book a librarian” program where patrons can schedule a consultation with them about anything at all
need staff interested in teaching these things
recruiting trainers
– staff & volunteers
– language fluency
– technology fluency
– enthusiasm
training the trainer
– InfoPeople
– SeniorNet (still use their lesson plans, even though they don’t partner with them anymore)
– Mentoring – main way they train trainers now
– File sharing – share handouts, lesson plans, etc. this way
– Feedback
The Numbers for 2006/2007
– 3752 classes taught
– 450 attendees for non-english classes were taught in 50 classes
– >45 is the average age of attendees
– had a 100-year old Chinese woman attend a class!
– facilities – renovations, adding meeting rooms
– technology – trying to upgrade, adding wireless, trying to use laptops, but that means issues such as smaller screens, touchpads, etc.; IT locks down all of the computers, which is another problem
– patrons – skillset is very, very low; requires a lot of patience; hand-eye coordination issues
– time & money – go for a lot of grants
overall, though, people are very, very grateful for these services
Carol – Make the Connection: Technology Training for the Older Generation
what she’s learned in 6 years of creating training for this group
– physical effects of aging (cataracts and declined vision, arthritis, neural noise, increased sensitivity to cold, decreasing hearing, etc.)
– cognitive effects (increased distractability, neural noise, etc.)
solutions include adaptive technology (move the screen closer, get glasses for computers, use track mice)
– they set resolution of screens to 400×800 resolution
– adaptive training techniques
North County Regional Library’s approach – mousing tutorial
beginning computer classes (Getting Started Series)
mousing tutorial assumes nothing and is progressive
– includes instruction on common experience with a computer
– includes instruction on physical problems using a mouse
– and it’s *fun*
Getting Started Classes
– went from 4 to 5
– designed to get older adults comfortable on the computer
– owning a computer is not required
– web-based
Class 1 – mousing
Class 2 – the browser
Class 3 – web forms
Class 4 – sign them up for web-based email, send an email
Class 5 – how to read email, more about email
classes are small trainer intensive, don’t last more than an hour max because their eyes glaze over after that
offered in the morning, no longer than 3 days apart (after 48 hours, they’ll lose the information if they don’t use/build on it)
classes teach only what they need to know with step-by-step instructions
make sure steps and pages are numbered
handouts should use a large, easy-to-read font
trainers speak slowly, with clear enunciation, and use unambiguous terms
students are encouraged and validated frequently to boost their self-confidence
prospective students are interviewed by the trainers to be sure they belong in the classes; makes sure everyone is at the same level, too
if they are motivated, they can learn it


– <5% drop out - <3% retake the course - <99% have positive responses/comments many go on to take regular classes at the library there will always be some that fall through the cracks no matter what you do can see the mousing around tutorial in english at http://pbclibrary.org/mousing/
all class materials are at http://esnips.com/users/ncrlab in word format
how does it feel to be these people – http://grouper.com/
question: as part of your decision-making process or publicity efforts, is there an outreach component at all, not just on your sites and locations? do you network with other groups to publicize these services?
answer: Alan – language librarians put up flyers in the ethnic supermarkets, etc. but we struggle with this; have not yet done a session at a facility that isn’t ours

20071029-02 Internet Librarian PL Track: DIY Intranet

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 12:56 pm

– Eleni Gogas and Donna Feddern, Escondido Public Library
About Escondido PL
– medium-sized library with no previous intranet
– city maintains sites and servers
– just used a network drive in the past
they have an awesome trading card for the library
Phase 1 – pre-wiki
– network drive issues
– information on the drive was very old
– took 15 minutes to search for something on the drive
– city intranet was too formal
– wanted to improve internal km; many employees are approaching retirement
why a wiki?
– collaboration, informality, and transparency
– want staff to participate and get out of the vertical structure
– easier to use and find information
– web manager is unable to maintain two websites (bottleneck)
picking a wiki
– free to affordable
– better searching
– web-based (wiki farm); needed a 3rd party to host it because they don’t have access to the servers
– password protected
– wanted individual staff profiles, wanted staff to be part of the discourse and have a face on the site
– easy to setup, use, and learn
– blogging

decided to go with JotSpot

– free + matched all criteria
– keyword search within documents
– group directories app
– RSS & email reminders
issues with JotSpot
– Google acquisition (no new users, future?)
– maintain backups on network drive
– existing JotSpot help group
other wiki-farm options
– list on wikipedia
– PB Wiki
– they used this for their online reference rolodex
– wetpaint
– example of Nancy Pearl Book Lust wiki
– potential issue that they show google ads, though
– wikispot
– they use it for their e-gove reference portal
– a little more complex, no WYSIWYG editor
other intranet options:
“web content management systems” – twiki, joomla
– but require direct access to your server and require programmers
Phase II – wiki setup
– organized wiki: staff needs
– build framework
showed screenshots
– “important stuff”
– departments
– staff development
– committees & boards
– “post it” page where staff can post fun stuff
was difficult at first for non-techie staff, but once they were given instructions and training, they caught on and were able to do it

Phase III – training (in process)

– showed off wiki at an all-staff meeting
– trained supervisors first to help
– technophobia: fear of editing websites; people think they can’t edit the pages because it’s permanent; teach them they can rollback changes
– let them play – no policies/rules
– use wikis for other library-related work
put out a call on the wiki, with a sign-up sheet on the wiki, volunteer to sign up to write an article about an author (“author spotlight”)
Phase IV – implementation (never-ending, really)
– designate go-to people for troubleshooting
– develop guidelines (not so much policies); want it to remain informal; don’t want people to think they’ll get in trouble for posting the wrong thing
– deptartment heads responsible for their information
– keep training staff, keep reminding them about it in email
– on-going process, think of it in terms of the long term
issues and troubleshooting
– bugs: you get what you paid for (free)
– make sure you have backups just in case
– fear of change from some staff; just keep encouraging them
– staff interest/participation
– now setting up a committee and delegating tasks
– time: more than a year (approximately)
– have to invest time in setting it up, even though it’s easy to use
cool tools
– Goodwidgets: flash photo widgets
– FD’s Flickr Toys slideshow & other photo editing tools
– Widgetbox: weather, games, news, calcultaros, and way more
– Jing: screenshots/casts from anything on yoru desktop
– stats counter: sitemeter, etc.
some issues they are facing right now
– building renovation
– moving to a “marketplace” model for the library
– changing job description
– needed a place to communicate with staff about all of these things – another reason for the wiki
– using the wiki for training, including RA training
– created a tutorial for their online calendar
– room reserve tutorials, etc.
really like the blogging aspects for brainstorming and sharing articles, ideas, etc.
asynchronous communication helps between meetings
hasn’t done training yet for paraprofessional staff, but using a new blog to communicate with media staff
have a security alerts blog where they post pictures from the surveillance cameras
why the wiki works for them
– eleni does reference, cataloging, and web development, so she can’t be the only person responsible to update the site, so it’s great that everyone can update it now
– staff are excited to post meeting minutes, etc.
– simplicity works, although they do want to make it a little flashier
– staff loves search capabilities
for the future, they want to be even more creative about how they use it
don’t like the city’s intranet because they have to wait for the city’s editor to update it
they live in San Diego County and lost 75 homes in the area; many staff were evacuated, were staying with friends, pets were scattered; were closed for 3 days
– anyone with internet access could have posted staff updates during the fires
– communicate with work family, but hadn’t integrated enough quite yet
want to make the site more browsable, too
question: another library in a similar situation at a city that doesn’t want information on 3rd-party servers
answer: we’re calling this our “wiki” and not our “intranet” so they don’t even know
question: i know free is good, but are there products you know of that you would have paid for that are really good
answer: if you have server space, joomla is really good; same with twiki; socialtext; may still need programmers, though
question: can you tell us more about the staff profiles and if they have succeeded?
answer: customer service department is about to start taking pictures of all of their staff and updating everybody’s information; they have 87 staff members so they don’t know some folks very well or don’t know what all the pages look like
question: how much time per week does it take in administrative work:
answer: eleni works on the wiki an hour a day, mostly seeing what people are posting; does this maybe 3-4 times a week; training takes the longest, especially because they have two branches
question: do you have plans to include your friends, foundation, etc.?
answer: already included the committees and boards (minutes right now, planning to add profiles), but do plan to expand to those things, yes
question: how do you manage security on site?
answer: not everyone is logging on right now, but certain staff members have the ability to restrict pages; encouraging them to keep their content open, though, for transparency; when management team meets, they have some staff issues they don’t want everyone to see so use the “share” button where you can choose who can see the page (by individual or group)
question: you showed a picture of a problem patron – is that a potential liability?
answer: discussing this internally via email right now; only do this for people who have committed a crime in a library, the kind of person they need to call the police for if they come in; don’t keep many photos, based on incident reports
question: same question about the pictures of children
answer: they do get permission to post these, although they’re more lax about the teens; Flickr pictures of children are set to private on Flickr; eleni and donna are the gatekeepers and require permission slips
presentation will be available at http://www.library.escondido.org/wiki.ppt

20071029-01 Internet Librarian PL Track: Online Outreach

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 12:03 pm

Sarah Houghton-Jan and Aaron Schmidt
Name 3 places your library should be on the web besides your library’s website
From audience:
1. Second Life
2. MySpace
3. Flickr
“online in-reach”
summary: make your website two-way where people can have a voice on it
if they can’t contribute to it, there’s nothing there for them
online, everyone’s patrons are your patrons
– talk this over with your governing agency
– loosen up!
– mimic online what we do in the real world, where you help other libraries’ patrons
free is good
much of this is free, which helps
search engine findability
– search for variations of your library’s name
– ensure your site is accurately at the top
– minor or metasearch engines
– buy AdWords from Google ($)
– search engine optimization (SEO) ($)
look at your site statistics to see what other search engines folks are using to reach your site
library directory listings
– LibDex
– MapMuse
– Libraries411
make sure you’re found in these
blog search engines
– Feed Submitter submits your blog’s feed to 15 sites at once
– Robin Good’s list of where to submit your blog and feed
– RSS Specifications list of where to submit your feed
sweet wikipedia goodness
– list your library on the appropriate town or county entries
note if your library has won any awards, etc.
– add locations for your libraries and other community features of interest
community website presence
– americantowns.com
– eventful
blogs and forums
– local blogs
– technology boards
– continuing education boards
– forums and groups with local flair (google, yahoo)
find local blogs
– search the tags for your zip code on Flickr
– blogdigger.com
interact with local blogs
– no marketing speak
– don’t intrude, but be available
– find appropriate blogs
– don’t be heavy-handed
– entering into an online community can be hard work
– have authentic voice, information
showed an example of Sarah commenting on a local professor’s blog as a model
presence where it’s warranted
– ensure your library has a presence on local websites (schools, universities, etc.)
– are you linked anywhere?
in google, link:YourLibraryURLhere to find who’s linking to you
social review websites
what are your customers saying when you’re not around?
– yelp
– judy’s book
– citysearch
– insiderpages
– local2me
viral marketing because you can market your services
social networking sites
– create a profile for your library
– major options: myspace, facebook, flickr, ning
– find great examples on the libsuccess list
a lot of people are moving off myspace onto facebook
if you are still in the middle of a 2-year project to start a site on myspace, you need to move faster
there’s so much you can do to facebook to reach out to people
give them something new often to keep them back
you must have follow-through
don’t use your library’s building as your avatar
Contra Costa Library had 2 paraprofessional staff work on the myspace page
it’s important to realize as librarians that we don’t have to *do* all of this, that we can hand some of these things off to people who are experts at this or have an interest in it
tap the local talent and don’t limit to MLS holders
helps distribute the workload in a practical sense
Hennepin County Library’s BookSpace
interactive, aesthetically beautiful
showed a Facebook Flyer example from Tutt Library
showed Ask MetaFilter site and Slam the Boards (which is now repeating the 10th of every month)
duh, we’re experts, too
– allexperts.com
– ziki
– illumio
– qunu
– yedda
– Otavo
– yahoo answers
list your staff as experts in various free expert tools
wifi is king
if you offer wireless in your building, make sure you are listed in wifi directories
– wififreespot
– wifihotspotlist
– wifi411,
– wifinder
– jiwire
– wi-fi zone
name your network something fun that advertises your library, not just “default”
push the info out
via email and rss
– invest in newsletter software (maybe $)
– get email addresses from ILS
– send periodically (don’t spam)
– variety of features
push out info as a person, not an institution
blog geo-search engines
list your library’s blog on geographic blog search engines
– frappr
– feedmap
– blogwise
– gFeedMap
where are people looking for phone numbers?
are you in those places yet? list your contact info in online directories
– askcity
– yahoo! local
– google maps
clinton-macomb public library as example with a great review in google local
second life
– Info Island
problem is bandwidth and hardware issues
if you have a super active community in second life, put energy into that; if you have a super active community of bloggers, put energy into that
will probably get more bang for your buck putting your energy into blogging right now
OPAC URLs suck
use wccls.org instead of wccls.lib.or.us, but even better is booksandmovies.org
instant messaging
– a primary forum of communication
– free, easy
text messaging
– cellphones and SMS continue to grow
– Orange County Library System example; only public library doing this?
make A/V content findable
– youtube
– blip.tv
– blinkx
– singingfish
– yahoo podcasts
– podcast.net
– podcast alley
– digital podcast
– podscope
record and put up a few storytimes as a way to get your feet wet
transcribe audio content with podzinger
find mentions of your library
all over the web, not just the social review sites
– google/yahoo news
– ice rocket
– technorati
– feedster
– bloglines
– youtube
– flickr
sarah found lots of pictures of people skateboarding down the rails at the library :-p
chitter on twitter
– is it worth it?
– be clear about what you’re sending
– works best when sending out quick info
– guide to twitter in libraries by Ellyssa Kroski
are your patrons using these tools?
we think so
but even if they’re not, we can model this behavior and lead the way
question: how did they create the facebook flyer?
answer: tool on facebook site where you upload an image and text

October 27, 2007

When LIS Classes Game

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 6:12 pm

I love that my friend, the newly minted Dr. Stephens, devoted one of his LIS class nights to gaming. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to help out, but it sounds like the students did quite well on their own. I would love to see more LIS courses playing and exploring like this, helping the students form their own opinions.

“How do you make your college-age son jealous? Tell him you played Guitar Hero… in school…for a class…while the teacher was there. Hey, I thought it was great fun at our Wednesday game night. I’m not totally convinced of all the educational values of these games, but in terms of building community, gaming really show teens that libraries are willing to invest in their interests. I love the idea that gaming allows teens to get to know their librarians on a more casual basis. We might not seem so ‘scary’ when they need us for informational purposes. I’m undecided about the concept of making kids check out books before they can play games. That might be a little like having to eat your lima beans before you can have your chocolate cake. In the end, does anyone learn to like lima beans?” [Sharonlis768’s Weblog]

Gaming Night: LIS768


“I definitely think there’s a place for games in libraries, including board games. From my own experience with strategy games, I know that some games require a great deal of thought and attention, as well as critical thinking and a lot of decision-making. At my old job, the president and I would often discuss corporate strategy in terms of strategy games, since we were both avid gamers at the time. He was the ‘conquer and pillage’ type while I was the ‘research and develop’ type, so we complemented each other well. The problem with some strategy games, though, is that you can sometimes learn what it takes to beat an AI without necessarily learning fundamental strategy. I don’t mention this as a criticism of the notion of gaming in libraries or to say that good skills can’t be learned, but I’ve always been disappointed by games that turn out to be puzzles. I guess that’s a bit tangential…” [Nat’s Weblog]

Email 9-1-1 and the 80%

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 5:44 pm

The Annoying Productive Guy At Work: Shaming Users One Color At A Time

“My new assistant is an 18-year-old ‘millennial,’ as I guess we’re calling them now. He’s a young computer Borg who could hack before he could walk. In a probably vain attempt to keep him from quitting before I get in at least one decent vacation, I’m constantly looking for ways to keep him engaged.
‘What IS all this crap??’ He guffaws at the cascade of emails that greets us every morning. ‘Do you really READ all of this??’
You don’t read it, I tell him, you PROCESS it. It’ll take months before he learns to fish the actions out from the dozens and dozens of messages clogging his in-box all day long. But once he learns to manage the broadcast, he’ll also get a front-row seat for the epic drama of fear and heartbreak that passes through our mail server every day. Our company’s high reliance on email creates such a dense barrage that it creates a perfect means through which things fall through the cracks….
In effect, I’ve started an ongoing email clinic. Some people respond to the competition: they want a lower number than Lumpy in the next desk over. Others will just add me to their pile of unread messages. But folks are also coming forward who are genuinely interested in freeing themselves. I’m sure my approach won’t work on everyone. After all, no one gets up at the crack of dawn and tries to cram 60-plus hours of work into 40-hour work week, just so they can satisfy the arbitrary impositions of some guy from another department that they hardly know. But I keep the offer out there, and eventually I’ll rescue the ones worth saving. To be honest though, I’m really just trying to save myself. It’s these modest checks in the win column that help me make it through the work day.” [43 Folders]

I totally get the whole “What is all this crap?” sentiment. :-p
I would have implemented this as a carrot, rather than a stick, but I love that attitude of helping others who are ready to be helped. It’s where many of us have to put our energies in order to be effective. Who can you help?
See also: Five Tips for Implementing Social Software in Your Library from Rob Coers, via Michael Stephens. I love Rob’s slide (and attitude), and I love Michael’s addition of “focus on the positive.” Life is too short to spend it being negative, folks. Again, I ask, who can you help?

Rob's Tip #2

October 26, 2007

Open Gaming at Internet Librarian!

Filed under: precat — jenny @ 6:33 am

Soon I will be heading to beautiful Monterey for this year’s Internet Librarian conference. This year I’m doing a preconference on gaming with Aaron Schmidt, moderating the public library track with Michael Stephens, and presenting a session on gaming Wednesday morning. As a good friend of mine always says, possibly the best thing about conferences is getting face time with friends, so I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. If you see me there, please don’t hesitate to say hi.
Alternatively, you can come to the open gaming that Aaron Schmidt, Michael Porter, and I will be hosting after the Sunday preconference. It’s an informal ALA/WebJunction thing, courtesy of Information Today.
Starting around 4:30 p.m. in the Colton I room, we’ll have Guitar Hero (PS2), Dance Dance Revolution (PS2), and Wii Sports going for open play. This is your chance to beat your favorite blogger at any one of these games. Aaron won’t be able to stay long, so if he’s the one you want to take on (and you have my sympathies if you do, especially in Guitar Hero), be sure to come early. I’m pretty sure LibraryMan has been practicing GH, too. In fact, it’s too bad Rock Band isn’t out yet. Next year.
We’ve got the room until 7:00 p.m., so I can pretty much guarantee a lot of laughter, finger wagging, trash talking, and general merriment. Oh, and Flickring, too, since we’re also counting this as a Flickr and Twitter meetup. Might as well throw in video, too, since I believe Mr. Video is coming.
So come one, come all, but come with your game face on, even if just for the pictures. Bragging rights apply until the next open play!

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