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To Blog or Not to Blog December 18, 2006

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.

To Blog or not to Blog

To Blog or not to Blog?   To post or not to post?  There really is no question!  Businesses already know this.  “Blogging has become not just fashionable but mandatory in today’s business world” (Robert Harbison, Western Kentucky University Library) 

Libraries and librarians need to connect with customers and potential customers in their worlds.  Blogging is a quick and easy way to do this and participate in the Web 2.0 world.

Why should libraries blog?  Library literature is strewn with lots of great reasons.  Here are some of them:

  • Meet users where they are in their space, which after all is our space too 
  • Grow communities–encourage community building/interaction/connections
  • Generate conversation/discussion/dialogue with customers and increase awareness of library
  • Listen to what users want, and modify and create services and enviroments they want
  • Develop a savy online presence not often possible with library web sites 
  • Market, promote, and introduce new products, services, programs, and events
  • Highlight parts of the library’s collection and staff’s expertise
  • Add interactivity to library websites
  • Get the word out–tell the library’s story
  • Spread library news–“all the news that’s fit to blog”
  • Quickly and easily post and update information online, without high technical skills or knowlege of HTML
  • Greater staff participation in getting the library’s word out
  • Create trust–staff blog freely and informally
  • Target specific user groups–create blogs focused on specific user population
  • Partner with city/county/museums/chambers of commerce and tourism
  • Participation of library in living Web where our users are
  • Weblogs are low cost or free.  See the many tools available below

Blogger  http://www.blogger.com
Technorati  http://www.technorati.com
Six Apart Movable Type http://www.movabletype.org/
WordPress  http://wordpress.org/
Vox  http://www.vox.com/

Blog on, rock on, and have fun!



Reference Transformation December 7, 2006

Posted by sharynheili in Uncategorized.
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Reference Guru

 I was happy to see Stephen Abram’s new article in the SirsiDynix OneSource newsletter, “Reconstructing the Reference Team: 6 Ways to Sunday”.

He states that Reference Teams in the Web 2.0 world need to focus on:

  • Meeting the needs of our virtual users
  • Aligning our technology with our users environments
  • Making sure that our front-line staff are prepared and able to act
  • Capturing and passing on the wealth of knowledge that senior librarians have acquired

How do we do this?  He recommends beginning with these 6:

  1. Put the personal into Reference–pictures of reference staff on web page with their profiles, easy ways to contact reference in mode of choice from every page,  publicize a librarian’s special expertise, clear identity on web site, signage, badges, etc
  2. Blog–tell our library’s story and promote our service; team collaborative blog or aggregate blogs on web site.
  3. Tag–build links that can be updated easily and organized
  4. Wikis–as valuable as blogs; share and everyone learns.
  5. Instant Messaging–adopt as a team;  start with reference staff and expand to other staff
  6. Virtual Reference–focusing on end user’s needs

He gives us lots of resources to accomplish the  reconstruction of Reference.  It is high past time to transform the library’s Reference Service to succeed in the virtual world.  And it’s not that hard.  Right on once again Stephen.  See his article here.


Yet More Fortune Cookie Wisdom December 4, 2006

Posted by sharynheili in Fortune Cookie Wisdom.
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fortune-cookie.jpgAh, nothing like fortune cookies to give one pause to think and reflect! Here’s two from tonight’s dining.

Do not fear failure

Greet the world every morning with curiosity and hope

Both are important to remember to apply in all aspects of our lives, but especially our library lives. If we live in the shadow of failure, we will continue to plod along and try nothing new. Life is too exciting and too short to live it in fear.

How wonderful to greet each day with curiosity and hope! Optimism, curiosity, and hope, together with an enthusiasm for putting new ideas into action, without worrying about failure, can indeed help a library staff wow the world and their customers!