December 4, 2007

Mashing on the Library, Part I

Copy and paste” is becom­ing a more fre­quently used tool to build web­sites as online ser­vices con­tinue to offer their ser­vices and con­tent for use any­where, not just on their own pages. As I show in pre­sen­ta­tions, these days you can build a very decent com­mu­nity site using either RSS or “copy and paste” (see a proof of con­cept I built around the La Grange Park Pub­lic Library almost two years ago).

It’s a dif­fer­ent way of think­ing for libraries, that we can actu­ally inte­grate exter­nal con­tent and ser­vices into our sites, not just link to them, but the world around us is chang­ing and every­one else is mash­ing up. It’s not just the grow­ing unstick­i­ness and promis­cu­ity of bits and bytes but also the dis­in­ter­me­di­a­tion of con­tent and the fact that peo­ple want to — and now can — get a par­tic­u­lar piece of some­thing, not just the whole. Again, a dif­fer­ent con­cept for online library services.

So, in this type of envi­ron­ment, what ser­vices make good mash part­ners for libraries? Who do we want to play spin the bot­tle with?

The first time I saw Mee­boMe, it seemed like an obvi­ous can­di­date. Inte­gra­tion in library web­sites as a cheap (read: free), light­weight ref­er­ence chat client was a no-brainer. I’ve high­lighted libraries that pro­vide links to live help in their cat­a­logs, espe­cially ones that are based on what our patrons use, instant mes­sag­ing. Using Mee­boMe for this type of ser­vices offers two advantages:

  1. The user doesn’t need to have IM soft­ware installed.
  2. Mee­boMe offers the equiv­a­lent of web voice­mail, allow­ing the patron to “leave a mes­sage” if the library is closed.

So I’ve been won­der­ing if a library would add this ser­vice to its cat­a­log, but because there is some­times a lag in either page load­ing or chat win­dow load­ing with the Meebo wid­gets, I wasn’t sure how fea­si­ble this is. Plus, I still have some pri­vacy con­cerns because the chat goes through Meebo’s servers, a com­pany that may or may not pro­tect pri­vacy to the level libraries do. Still, I found the idea intrigu­ing, as appar­ently did oth­ers, since at least four libraries have started doing this recently.

Tech­ni­cally, I think the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­gary was the first to do this, prob­a­bly because Paul Pival works there. And they didn’t inte­grate Mee­boMe halfway or on a test page. No, they inte­grated it every­where — on search results, item records, and my favorite, the “no results found” page. That last one is par­tic­u­larly bril­liant, as it pro­vides a life­line at the point of need at a dead end for patrons. So I imme­di­ately added this mashup to my core set of slides.

MeeboCat2

Around the same time, McMas­ter Uni­ver­sity did the same thing, prov­ing that great minds do indeed think alike. Then a month later, David King announced that the Topeka Shawnee County Pub­lic Library had also inte­grated a Mee­boMe wid­get into its cat­a­log on the “no results found” page. Thanks, David — I love that I now have a pub­lic library exam­ple to show. How is a small city library match­ing ser­vices with a big uni­ver­sity one? Sim­ply by using copy & paste.

meebo in the catalog

Since pretty much any­one can copy and paste, now Bay­lor is doing it, too. Can you do it, as well? You bet. Just go to Mee­boMe, cre­ate a wid­get, copy the code they give you, and paste it where you want the chat box to appear on the page. So far the results seem to be pos­i­tive, but I’m hop­ing these folks will gos­sip about their mash­ing in a few months to let us know how it’s going.

In the mean­time, I’m wait­ing for a library to be the first to imple­ment Twit­ter for cat­a­log or web­site sta­tus updates, to dis­play the lat­est arti­cles from a data­base (such as EBSCO­Host) on their web­site using RSS, or to do a Google Maps mashup of local his­tory sites that is dis­played on the library’s site. Please let me know if you’ve spot­ted any of these in the wild.

Be Socia­ble, Share!

23 Comments

  1. to do a Google Maps mashup of local his­tory sites that is dis­played on the library’s site.”

    There’s been an attempt at the National Library of New Zealand to do some­thing sim­i­lar, using images from their his­tor­i­cal archives. See http://librarytechnz.natlib.govt.nz/2007/10/longitude-and-short-on-maps.html for the blog post, and http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=103527190641945015852.000001128d78293985831&z=15&om=1 for the Google Maps page. (I’m not the Simon who wrote the blog post).

    Comment by Simon Chamberlain — December 4, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  2. Thanks for the nod, Jenny. Wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out the help of our Man­ager of Inte­grated Sys­tems, David Brown, and the sup­port of our IM team :-)

    Comment by Paul R. Pival — December 4, 2007 @ 8:02 pm

  3. Thanks for the men­tion, Jenny. We just imple­mented it yes­ter­day morn­ing at Bay­lor, and by the after­noon we’d had 3 IMs from the cat­a­log already. It’s def­i­nitely meet­ing stu­dents at their point of need!

    Comment by Ellen Hampton — December 4, 2007 @ 9:47 pm

  4. It’s not on our web­site as such (it’s a local coun­cil site, so things move slowly and need to pass through a lot of stan­dards and peo­ple first), but the Frankston Library Service’s Blo­ga­logue is into mashups and other copy and paste gear. It’s our L2.0 web­site and it includes Google Maps for loca­tions and direc­tions, a Google Cus­tom Search and a Google Reader RSS feed for our “Read Alert” what’s new SDI emails via mailbucket.org, etc. The Dis­cover a new book RSS feed for book reviews is sourced from our Ebsco­host and Gale databases.

    We’re exper­i­ment­ing with Meebo and want to put it into a redesigned library web­site, but before then it will go onto the blog early in 2008. Love the IM on the cat­a­logue idea.

    harps

    Comment by Glenn — December 5, 2007 @ 3:25 am

  5. […] Orig­i­nal post by cogdog […]

    Pingback by Fear Factor » Blog Archive » The Shifted Librarian " Mashing on the Library, Part I — December 5, 2007 @ 6:23 am

  6. West­ern Springs His­tory has a nice google maps/local his­tory thing happening:

    http://www.westernspringshistory.org/map/

    Comment by Mike — December 5, 2007 @ 9:25 am

  7. Hi Jenny,

    I’m play­ing around with Hab.la (www.hab.la) wid­gets here at U Water­loo. Hab.la works with Meebo or Pid­gin. The nice thing about them is that (unlike Mee­boMe wid­gets) they retain a user’s chat tran­script from page to page. The same user doesn’t appear mul­ti­ple times in Meebo as they nav­i­gate from page to page. With Mee­boMe, a
    ’mov­ing’ user will ini­ti­ate mul­ti­ple user IDs in the Meebo interface.

    Hab.la wid­gets can be cus­tomized so that they _don’t_ appear when the librar­ian is offline. This is nice, because Mee­boMe patrons some­times leave mes­sages (when the librar­ian is offline) with­out leav­ing their name, email address or phone num­ber. This is also a nice fea­ture to have because Mee­boMe wid­gets can take up a lot of space unnec­es­sar­ily when the chat ref­er­ence ser­vice in offline.

    Hab.la wid­gets take up less space (they start in ‘col­lapsed’ mode) and stay in the bottom-right cor­ner of the browser — good for screens that require scrolling.

    Now, I’m com­ing across as a Hab.la com­mer­cial. I should state that I’m not fully con­verted from Mee­boMe. More test­ing needs to be done, and Meebo may yet make some changes to their wid­gets that make Hab.la unnec­es­sary. The Mee­boMe web­site is also a _lot_ more intu­itive to use.

    Cheers,
    Dan

    Comment by Dan Sich — December 5, 2007 @ 10:25 am

  8. MRRL has done most of what you are ask­ing to see, Jenny! We have our twit­ter feed (which includes Book­mo­bile sta­tus updates, blog updates and flickr photo upload updates) on our home page (www.mrrl.org), as well as dis­play­ing Ebsco­Host results via RSS on our Geneal­ogy page (www.mrrl.org/local/genealogy) — and hope­fully we’ll get more libraries doing that soon — I’m going on a bit of a road­show next spring to offer work­shops on just this topic. We don’t have a Google Map of local his­tory sites, but we are in the process of cre­at­ing a Google Map of our book­mo­bile route (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111939670474782835957.00043bc4521247f17afd0&z=10&om=1 — sorry about the nasty URL…). It’s mostly done, just needs to have a cou­ple more routes added and be embed­ded in our site. Feel free to use us as exam­ples anytime!

    Comment by Robin Hastings — December 5, 2007 @ 11:02 am

  9. […] 相關文章: The Shifted Librar­ian - Mash­ing on the Library, Part I […]

    Pingback by Library Views 圖書館觀點 » 當 OPAC 遇上 IM — December 6, 2007 @ 7:13 am

  10. […] are try­ing it out — check the com­ments on my orig­i­nal post and on Jenny Levine’s post titled Mash­ing on the Library, Part I to find them. Oth­ers have been email­ing me, ask­ing for […]

    Pingback by More MeeboMe Ideas : David Lee King — December 7, 2007 @ 9:59 am

  11. […] in the cat­a­log. In Mash­ing on the Library, Part 1 Jenny over at the Shifted Librar­ian  pro­files exam­ples of libraries who have inte­grated Meebo […]

    Pingback by meebo in the catalog. « infomational — December 8, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  12. Thanks for the great links and com­ments, every­one! I’ve already started show­ing off some of these sites, and I plan to fol­low the oth­ers. It’s heart­en­ing to see such great work!

    Comment by jenny — December 10, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  13. […] A col­league of mine at work for­warded infor­ma­tion about this to our ref­er­ence librar­i­ans, but I just read about it on Jenny Levine’s blog: the idea of using Meebo’s IM wid­get in the library cat­a­log to cre­ate a user-librarian […]

    Pingback by Creating constantly changing websites « Social Networking Libraries — December 11, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  14. […] A col­league of mine at work for­warded infor­ma­tion about this to our ref­er­ence librar­i­ans, but I just read about it on Jenny Levine’s blog: the idea of using Meebo’s IM wid­get in the library cat­a­log to cre­ate a user-librarian […]

    Pingback by Creating a useful library catalog « Social Networking Libraries — December 11, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  15. For around a year we have been using Liveper­son (http://www.liveperson.com/sb/sb_chat.asp) as our “Ask a Librar­ian” ser­vice at Lud­wig von Mises Library (http://www.biblioteca.ufm.edu/) in Guatemala City. It has been quite impres­sive after one year of use and we are now very happy with this ser­vice. Also, I liked a lot Meebo´s design and that it is free.

    I won­der if you have any point of view regard­ing this two soft­ware ser­vices? Which one do you pre­fer? Meebo or Liveper­son? and why?

    Comment by Guillermo Pineda — December 16, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

  16. […] course, due to Jenny’s post men­tion­ing Bay­lor, we also had lots of queries from peo­ple look­ing to imple­ment this in their own libraries. Shout […]

    Pingback by Two weeks with Meebo in our catalog « Instructional Design Resources — December 17, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  17. […] about nego­ti­at­ing speak­ing engage­ments. Librar­i­ans looked at the salary gap, pub­lished man­i­festos, mashed up the library, and much much more. In all, it was an excit­ing year, here’s to mak­ing 2008 just as eventful […]

    Pingback by iLibrarian » Happy New Year! — January 1, 2008 @ 6:49 pm

  18. Is any­one using the new AIM wid­get, WIMZI, for aska service?

    Comment by Jana Ronan — January 9, 2008 @ 7:49 pm

  19. […] on the Library, Part I theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2007/12/04/mashing-on-the-library-part-i.html (Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librar­ian, Decem­ber 4, 2007.) This blog post describes the MeeboMe […]

    Pingback by 2008 Horizon Report » Two to Three Years: Data Mashups — February 3, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

  20. […] year, I noted how the Topeka and Shawnee County Pub­lic Library and oth­ers ana­lyzed the user expe­ri­ence in .… Now we have another great exam­ple from the Allen County Pub­lic Library of re-examining dead ends […]

    Pingback by The Shifted Librarian » The Dead Ends Don’t Justify the Means — July 22, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  21. […] year, I noted how the Topeka and Shawnee County Pub­lic Library and oth­ers ana­lyzed the user expe­ri­ence in .… Now we have another great exam­ple from the Allen County Pub­lic Library of re-examining dead ends […]

    Pingback by News » The Dead Ends Don’t Justify the Means — July 23, 2008 @ 4:13 am

  22. […] year, I noted how the Topeka and Shawnee County Pub­lic Library and oth­ers ana­lyzed the user expe­ri­ence in .… Now we have another great exam­ple from the Allen County Pub­lic Library of re-examining dead ends […]

    Pingback by The Dead Ends Don’t Justify the Means | Semantic Web — August 27, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  23. […] ways to inte­grate chat ser­vices.  Jenny Levine at the  Shifted Librar­ian wrote about the many ben­e­fits of using meebo with libraries, back when it was first gain­ing trac­tion in Decem­ber 2007.  Since then the growth […]

    Pingback by Chit Chat at the Library « a side of mash, please — December 2, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. |

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.