Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tech Services Annual Meeting

Wednesday: 9am
Technical Services Annual Meeting
Speaker: David Lee King

The general business portion of the MLA - Technical Services Section began with the approval of last year's minutes and voting on the slate. The Chair, Jennifer Forgit, Pembroke Public Library demonstrated the section's exciting new wiki for sharing information (by-laws, etc...). You can request access to the PB Works wiki by contacting Jennifer, and you can begin practicing using the wiki by navigating to the "sandbox" page.

David Lee King's Presentation -
Climbing out of the box: Mashing up our Community

What is a mashup - it is combining two things to create something new. Some non-techy examples of mashups are: Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Platypus, Smores, Spork, etc..

People are using tools such as API, RSS, XML, SOAP, by hand to create mashups. Examples of some APIs include GoogleMaps, Twitter, Flickr, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc...

Some tools that you can use to creat mashups... include Yahoo Pipes, Dapper, embedding videos in your website from YouTube, Widgetbox to create a badge. David's blog incorporates mashups like widgets (videos badge from, Library Thing, Flickr), Google Ads, Amazon. Other mashups that he uses are Google Reader (RSS Aggregator), Netvibes (customizable personal webpage), Dropbox (virtual storage), etc...

Mashups on the web...WikiCrimes, Trulia, Flickrvision, Twitter Trends Aggregator - Twopular, Helveti-tweet, Portwiture, Amazon (book recommendations, etc...), YouTube, Wikipedia (example: several authors contributing to the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library entry),

Mashups are fun and useful... RSS feeds are bringing content from other sources to the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library's website. A Meebo widget is used for the Ask A Librarian service on the website, and they are using Google Maps to display a map of their bookmobile stops! Another cool thing that the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library is doing is combining physical displays (like Travel Books) with digital displays (online Travel Guide of recommended books, websites, etc...), to create a mashup of the real and virtual.

Today's events, library photos, and social media websites (Facebook, MySpace, YouTube Channel, etc..) are being mashed into their website. His Library made a Facebook App for their catalog, to bring a catalog search to their Facebook Page.

What are other libraries doing with mashups...Hennepin County Library is using RSS feeds in their catalog, allowing patrons to comment and contribute content to the catalog, etc... Ann Arbor District Library is allowing for tagging by patrons, RSS feeds, customers that checked out this item also checked out..., their catalog is an early version of SOPAC. Darien Library is doing many similar types of things.

Poke holes in the box with patron using patron comments on the website, David's library is allowing Teens to create content (moderated) for their website. This is being done outside of the website as well, such as at the library's social media web pages like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube (weekly marketing video, book reviews, etc...) - a junior high student's book review/talk was viewed 1,500 times (great results to include in library statistics and reports)!

Go outside the building to market services... Traditional examples include using their book mobile to advertise, a community forum about the library's services (70 attendees at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library's forum!), librarians going to locations outside the library (coffee shops, etc...). You can also use technology creatively to monitor and respond to what people are saying about your library "vanity feeds" using RSS Feeds/Aggregator like Google Reader, Technorati, etc...

David believes the librarian is the product and we should be marketing ourselves. An example of this is letting patrons "friend" the librarian and not a brand/library on social networking sites. It is about marketing librarians and not just "the stuff" at the library!

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