October 29, 2007

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

1 Comment

  1. […] The Shifted Librarian » 20071029-02 Internet Librarian PL Track: DIY Intranet (tags: chapter5) […]

    Pingback by Social Software in Libraries » links for 2007-11-05 — November 12, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

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