Internet Librarian Wrap-up

Internet Librarian 2010 wrapped up on Wednesday and it was a great conference. It was wonderful meeting people in person that I have been following on Twitter or reading about their ideas via their blogs. There were many fantastic presentations (some of which I’ve already written about) so today I just wanted to write a little bit about some of the recurring themes at the conference.

One of the overarching themes of Internet Librarian 2010 was the importance of community. Whether John Blyberg of Darien Public Library was discussing how the library stayed open very late to provide people a place to go when there was a snowstorm knocked out power to most of the town, or Jody Turner telling us how getting attention for our organizations requires us to be empathetic and social, community was the strong concept that tied together much of what was talked about at the conference. I was reminded again and again of Seth Godin’s book, Tribes (excellent book, by the way) while listening to the sessions; we need to not only understand the tribes, as Mike Ridley said, but we need to become part of the tribes and make librarians integral via fostering community.

Community was also evident in the interactions among the librarians, both those physically present in Monterey and those linked in via Twitter, blogs, the virtual conference, and other social media information streams. It was great to be around so many passionate, creative, and knowledgeable librarians. I had a blast, and yes, being recognized as The Waki Librarian was one of the highlights of the conference for me (it’s nice to know I’m not sending out these posts into the abyss without anyone reading them.)

Obviously, we come to Internet Librarian to hear about innovation and all the creative, wacky, successful (or not) projects and programs that our fellow librarians have created and implemented. It was amazing and very useful to hear about not only the successes but the failures of innovation at this year’s conference so that we can help each other move forward instead of using up our limited resources by re-creating the wheel at our separate institutions.

I hope we can all take back this spirit of innovation to our organizations and create more wonderful projects to share next year.

There were many wonderful talks on the importance of design in creating an awesome user experience (UX). As a bit of a geek when it comes to design, I was excited to hear all about branding, typography, and designing both for the built environment and the online environment. Beauty is not just for beauty’s sake, but because it makes the experience in our libraries better for our patrons/users/collaborators/participants/selves. If you are passionate about design, I highly suggest checking out the Before & After magazine website for tips, tricks, and advice on design.

Mobile Web
With the Mobile Monday track, sessions and information about mobile content, resources, and design dominated much of the conference (with good reason). Mobile is definitely one technology that no one can ignore without seriously bad consequences for their organizations. I learned a lot from the sessions on mobile technologies and one of the themes within this track was that we should focus on designing and creating content for the mobile web rather than standalone apps that are specific to a device. Not only does this focus in our design and efforts save us time, but, as was mentioned in one session, more librarians can probably code for the web versus for apps. So go Team Mobile Web! (And hopefully I can get my colleagues to buy into this idea as we work towards optimizing our site and services for the mobile world.)

Internet Librarian was filled with wonderful people, great sessions, and more information than anyone can process in a few days. Hopefully more insights and conversations will continue to be shared even though the conference is over.

Have a fantastic Friday and a lovely weekend filled with reading and relaxing. The Waki Librarian will be back next week with more library and technology fun.

Getting to Yes with Senior Administrators

A conversation with Rebecca Jones (managing partner, Dysart and Jones) and Frank Cervone (Vice Chancellor for Information Services and CIO, Purdue University Calumet) about what will influence administrators to okay your ideas and projects.

Assumptions are your boss:

  1. Isn’t crazy
  2. Isn’t completely clueless about technology
  3. Isn’t a trained monkey

In most cases, people are in decision-making roles because they are competent. Frank says the majority of his time is spent on issues that are university-wide issues and not specific to the library or IT.

You need to give a clear vision of what you want to do and how you are going to get there. Therefore, you need to understand your boss and his/her issues. Make your initiative align with larger goals and priorities of the organizations.

Decision-makers are individuals: each with their own priorities, communication preferences and assumptions. Figure out who are the decision-makers, what type of relationship you have with them, their priorities, and their preferred communication styles.

You also need to understand how you express yourself. You need to understand how other people perceive you. Body language is as important (if not more) as verbal communication.

“Listening is not waiting to talk.” Listening is a critical skill to use and is an active task (not to mention an art).

“You cannot antagonize and influence at the same time” J.S. Knox

Some things to avoid:

  • Surprises are always a bad thing: never blindside anyone
  • Hiding and hoarding information will not make you anyone’s friend: this doesn’t get you power, it breeds hostility, stress, and distrust
  • Cowardly lions aren’t very useful: if you don’t speak up in the meeting, don’t whine after
  • Don’t be a yes person: bring up the issues in a constructive way
  • No one wants to be around an erupting volcano: need to know how much detail to give; know your audience (also, don’t be angry all the time)

What to do:

  • Stick to objective facts: opinion undermines the whole argument, but if asked for your opinion, give it in a constructive, fact-based manner
  • Be clear: know what your objective is and what you want out of the interaction
  • Be proactive: this helps with communication issues
  • Present solutions, not problems: never go into a meeting with a problem you don’t have at least one solution to fix
  • Give options: give multiple options to fix a problem and the preferred option
  • Don’t destroy your credibility: trust is super-important
  • Follow through: make sure you do what you say you will do
  • Respect people’s time: end meetings on time; make sure everyone understands why they are there and what needs to be accomplished; don’t waste people’s time; make sure people are prepared for the meeting
  • Make others look good: this will help you get to yes on what you want to get done
  • Admit to your mistakes: get it out in the open and deal with it

If you get told no, ask what is in the way of getting to yes. Ask how you can get them to yes.

This talk was basically Communication 101 with some good tips about what to avoid and what to do when you want to get approval for projects and initiatives.

Planning & Designing for Attention: Now & Next Generation

by Jody Turner (design and culture trend spotter)

How do we leverage people’s need to connect in order to stay vital in the changing information landscape? We must recognize the very human desire to belong to a community.

“Beauty is a great thing, but we want to be at the beginning of the line.”

Librarians are at the beginning of the line–how do we leverage this position?

We have an information glut. Librarians give value to the information because people need context and “smart” information. “Need information that will feed the soul.”

We are feeders of information to many groups/generations. Focus on humanity and balance.

New model, “Be who you are and figure out what happiness/having is for you.” People redefining who they are and what they want/what is important. “Data is the new social capital.”

New framework: Social Capital
Empathy=Innovation= 360 Degree Design
It is about culture in order to reconstruct community. People want to belong.
“I like to think outside the quadrilateral parallelogram.” (love this)

As content curators, it is about bringing people together in meaningful interactions. Everything is about connecting and community.


  • Collective Craft Intelligence: we want to come back to touch and creation (it’s a maker’s world)
  • DNA of Community: people need human community connection in order to excel
  • Knowledge Evolution: self-responsibility for learning, lifelong learning

Success for planning to get attention: from

  • Engage the SenseMakers: they make everything make sense; use words to capture what is happening and make sense of trends for others, Trend Watching (Right/Intuitive brain)
  • Need the Factuals: down to earth, statistic-driven researchers (Left/Creative brain)
  • Innoventors: outlaw creative, innovative, stand outside and willing to take action to create a shift (Left-Right)
  • Connected Community: willing to support and amplify your vision/passion

Need a mission statement. Important because it is your center/rudder to stand tall even with all changes in the world. “Design for betterment.” There should be a transparency in your own personal message in order to have people believe and follow you. (Check out the books: Unstuck, The Art of Innovation, A Whole New Mind, Baked In, The Power of Pull)

Online Attention: 4 Basics: Story of You, Story of Us, Story of Me, and Story of We.
Trend of reductionism: Cult of Less. Minimize the amount of tech gear you have by combining functions in one gadget (i.e. smartphones).

Trend toward online education. (This is more about changing the philosophy of teaching and pedagogy, from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side.” You don’t have to be online in order to foster lifelong learning and collaborative learning.)

Curation happens with experience and information–it’s about how you put things together in new and unique ways.

Trend: Infographics
Visualizing and displaying information in graphics–very cool.

We need to focus on humanity and balance in order to give information that is meaningful for individuals who are part of many social groups. People want to belong. Don’t market to create a need, market to create community.

How to Use Design Thinking to Enable Innovation in Your Workplace

Explanation of design thinking and applying it to libraries.

Talk by:
Kim Silk Data Librarian, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Jeffrey Veffer, Partner, Brandsential

What is Design Thinking?
Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO basically came up with this concept. Think like a designer–think about problems in a different way. Resist the urget to jump to the solution right away. Look at the problem in front of you and the solution will present itself.

Design Thinking and Innovation
Creativity: The process of having orignial ideas that have value
Innovation: Applied creativity!
by Sir Ken Robinson (great speaker–can see his talks on TED)

Need an innovative approach to looking at problems.

Designer Personality Profile: empathy, integrative thinking (hold opposing ideas in mind at same time), optimism (even when things are looking dire), experimentalism (willing to try something new and try multiple avenues), collaboration.

Kim thinks that the personality profile of a designer is very similar to personality profile of information professionals/librarians.

Design is not a linear process–it is more cyclical and rambling (kind of like Doctor Who’s explanation of time).

Design Thinking in Business and Libraries
“Roger Martin has been leading the charge to apply Design Thinking in the business world.” Design is about the entire experience. Good example is Apple: people buy experiences, not just products.

In libraries, design thinking= focusing on the user experience. Need to have great spaces, great services, and great products. Need to rethink the design of spaces; spaces affect how we feel in the space.
Also need to think about design online. Example: creating online browsing of materials, using book covers and titles so users can have the experience “looking through the stacks.”

Think: Design + Creativity
Use exercises to “trick the brain” into thinking creativity. Ex. random word associations
Exercise: How can we improve services to Millenials?

  1. Words: Umbrella, rain, shade, overarching, lost, collapse, cover, colorful
  2. Associations: now have to find associations with the words. Ex. Overarching is about caring/everything together
  3. Bring it back to the problem: How can we provide caring, one-to-one relationships with Millenials? Get feedback and then it could develop on an organic basis.

Worry less about content; provide an awesome user experience. Create an environment where we are welcoming, enjoy our work, and are innovative.

It’s not about the library, it’s about the librarians and the participants.


Other exercises?
Concept extraction: What makes Lexus a great car company? Figure out a concept and then figure out how you can apply that concept to your problem. Could also read the book, Innovation Games.

How do I introduce these approaches without seeming gimicky?
“Stealth design thinking”: Do it yourself! You don’t need to take it to a meeting to present; try to open your own mind to new ways of thinking and then you can spread it once your ideas take hold. You must be gentle when introducting design thinking because it goes against the grain (i.e. lots of people don’t like change so you have to be stealthy about introducing new concepts).

We are all designers. It’s a good time to think more about creating fabulous user experiences and less about content.

Mobile Reference in a Changing Library

The use of texting is increasing. How do libraries leverage this technology successfully? Librarians need to seriously think about starting to offer text reference service for their users.

My Info Quest
by Ann Ownes, Sacramento Public Library

My Info Quest was started by a grant and is run by librarians–it is collaborative. Texting is increasing in use, while talking on cell phones is decreasing. Goal is to be 24/7 but right now open for text reference about 65 hours a week.

How does it work?
Users send a text, Altarama translates into an email and send it to Gmail, and then send an email that is translated into a text for the user. Do not answer legal or medical questions. Gmail account for the texting service looks exactly like a regular Gmail account.

Sacramento Public Library used a QR Code on the website that users could scan and it would add the phone number for the texting service to their phone’s contacts list. (This is a fantastic use of QR Codes.)

Have created a Google Group that is active to share information among the librarians and an iGoogle Reference Workspace. Great feature of the workspace is the character counter that librarians can use to make sure that their messages are not longer than 160 characters. Also they make use of link shorteners. Use Google Calendar to see who is assigned to which shifts.

Is it being used?
Yes. Answered over 8,400 questions since launch in July 2009. Largest user group is from Oklahoma City (Sacramento is second).

What we learned

  • Text reference has the same problems as a physical library
  • we can’t assume users’ phones are web-enabled
  • it takes talent to craft a good answer in 160 characters
  • text reference fills a need and many participants will remain on a paying basis in 2011: going with a different vendor (Text a Librarian) in 2011

SMS Landscape
by Ann Schoenenberger, Kenton County Public Library

Text messaging is second most popular thing to do on a cell phone (taking a photo is the most popular), from Pew Internet study.

Businesses are creating services around texting: ChaCha, kgb (charges $1/question), Google SMS, etc.

Library options: Text a Librarian, QuestionPoint, twilio, AltaRama, Agent511, Microsoft Outlook SMS.

People want answers, not instructions or keyword searching, in mobile reference (especially with text reference).

Lots of research is coming out now on text reference. Dr. Lili Luo from SJSU is doing research into text reference so be on the look out for her articles.

People ask questions via IM and text reference that they wouldn’t ask in person. Sometimes you get goofy questions (just like at the reference desk) or rude questions. Favorite goofy question: “If a taco and a hot dog got in a fight, who would win?”

Action steps:

  • Try it for yourself (309-222-7740 for My Info Quest)
  • Help put libraries in people’s pockets
  • Encourage people to use text reference services
  • Tell your story

You can go to @smsbib to get articles referenced in the talk.


Why changing from AltaRama to Text a Librarian?
Had a vendor fair in July and listened to presentations, libraries discussed it and had a vote. They liked the interface a lot and there was the cost issue–got a great discount.

Who staffs the texting service?
Has to be someone who is not on the physical reference desk. Having a collaborative allows even smaller libraries to have a text referencing service.

Having texting reference service allows librarians to tap into an existing workflow for many young people. The use of texting is increasing so much that it would be foolish for librarians to not at least consider implementing text reference.

Applying User experience (UX) Design

Presentation of two libraries, Darien and Eastern Kentucky University, that have successfully applied user experience (UX) design to improve services and design new, innovative services.

Darien Library UX
by John Blyberg, Assistant Director, Innovation & UX, Darien Library

User experience design is kind of a nebulous term–still discussion about what it means. UX encompasses customer service, but they are not equivalents–it is one of the experiences we need to think careful about designing.

It’s not about the content; it is about the people. (Yay!) Need to think about Digital Natives, changing relationships with technology, and changing perceptions of libraries. People are using libraries differently.

Library as place is a very important concept: library as a third place. Need to think about the design that will enable the library to be a third place by building community. It’s about designing spaces that are flexible and have the possibility to become what the users want.

Think about the space in new ways. The purpose is to build a space that allows people to be more connected to their community. It’s also about designing a space for reading, studying, researching.

Need to look at where we should be putting our resources. Play to strengths–don’t try to compete with Netflix–play to what you do well in the communities.

Build efficiencies around moving materials, making sure all patron interactions/transactions work well, and the technology works. Natural use of technology is part of user design as well. A lot of time was spent designing OPAC (created the open source SOPAC); users create profiles and can tag and review the materials in the catalog.

Signage is very important! “Signage is a pet peeve.” Darien doesn’t allow paper signage. Why do we put up signage? Because we don’t want to deal with the problem directly or don’t know how to deal with the problem. If people want signs, it goes to a study group that figure out another way to solve the problem that doesn’t involve quiet signage. Need to look at expectations and come at the problems from another angle. “Signage is almost always indicative of another problem.”

“It’s amazing what will come back to you if you trust your users.” Create an atmosphere of trust–but the latest hot gadgets don’t hurt either.

We need to see ourselves as an essential service.

We need to get rid of silos and all work together.

Darien Library’s staff is doing awesome work, but also has a huge advantage of being well-funded. However, a lot of these concepts can be applied to less well-funded libraries.

For great UX, hire self-motivated, creative, energetic people and trust them to do the work and don’t micro-manage them.

While signage is annoying, branding is essential. Need to have a consistent brand.

by Cindi Trainor, Library Technology, Eastern Kentucky University

UX is “about the pure joy of the simple things”; you know where you need to go, can find what you want, and can do what you want to do.

EKU has an Online UX team, created by combining two other technology committees. Have as much Public Services representation as possible because Public Services actually interacts with the public.

Redesigned SFX (OpenURL link resolver) to make easier to use and to include more services. EKU also has an Usability Team–uasbility testing on catalogs and website redesign. Also has a LibGuides group: created template for guides so there is consistency. Also a web design group that analyzes and upgrades the website. They have good IT support from university too (lucky!).

EKU has gone to a single desk staffing model (circulation and reference are at the same desk). This makes it easier for the users: only one desk to go to no matter what your question is at the library. Also rethinking library instruction to make it as good as the teaching in the other disciplines.

EKU, like Darien, has put a lot of thought into the design of the physical and online library space. It shows in their innovative use of space and design of online services.

It’s all about designing with the user in mind= user-centric design. Try to think sideways to solve problems creatively. Think about design and how it will help your users. Signage is often bad (very bad), so figure out a way to deal with problems or issues without putting up more signage. Again, figure out what your users need and want to determine how to best design, deploy, and optimize services.

Personal Content Management

By Gary Price from ResourceShelf

Lots of information is out there: how can we share it with others, how can we save it, and what do we do with it? We need to think about the persistence of data and information.

Personal Information Management
Everyone defines personal information management differently and everyone wants information wherever they want it, when they want it. Hard to talk about generalities when talking about mobile information because there are so many different devices/platforms.

Need to get a mobile website first! Don’t go for a specialized app just for iPhone! (Yay!)

Backup, backup, backup your data!

Shout-out for the WayBack Machine and Internet Archive. If all else fails (and you don’t have a backup), check out the Internet Archives.

Either pay now or pay now when it comes to backing up your data. It is better to pay for the external storage and online backup now before your hard drive crashes. Example: Mozy, Carbonite. Think about how easy it is to restore your data when considering which service to use.

Bibliographic Managers
If you do a lot of research, bibliographic managers are vital to save you research time. Two free options:
Zotero: Zotero everywhere initiative is going on and soon will be able to use Zotero on Chrome, IE, and mobile in addition to Firefox. (This is fabulous as it will greatly increase the usefulness of Zotero.)
Mendeley: another bibliographic manager option.

Social Media preservation
Preserving Tweets: check out Twapper Keeper. It permanently archives tweets–you can even search for archives via keywords and hashtags (you can see tweets from previous Internet Librarian conferences via this service). You can also download the information to a database or spreadsheet and it is free. Very cool, especially for creating thematic archives.

Dropbox: great way to backup small amounts of data (for free) or you can pay for more storage space. Also a great option for sharing large files.

Instapaper: will optimize a page for mobile web so you can read articles/pages later. For iPhone
Read it Later: Similar service for Android

Take the time to think about how you are preserving your data before your hard drive crashes! If you want to know about digital preservation and digital standards, I highly suggest taking a look at recent research and white papers in archival science. This is another area where the two allied professions overlap a lot and is a great opportunity for collaboration so we aren’t reinventing the wheel but instead can move forward together in the preservation and curation of digital data. One of the most interesting facts about digital preservation is that while pages, links, content on the web are ephemeral (everyone has experienced linkrot), it is almost impossible to delete all evidence of content when it is published online. The eternal conundrum of the digital archivist!

Internet Librarian: Tuesday Keynote Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion with:
Mike Ridley, CIO & Chief Librarian, University of Guelph
Donna Scheeder, Deputy CIO, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Jim Peterson, Technical Coordinator, CIO, Goodnight Memorial Library in Franklin Kentucky

Mike Ridley and his Role
Talking about the integration of the role of CIO and Chief Librarian. Looking at transformation in an academic setting, also business practices that change the university. “Herding cats” Teaching, research, and learning are changing and see where we are going.

Donna Scheeder and her Role
Works in the COngressional Research Service which only serves Congress. Has separate technology operation from LoC. Has decided it is time to recognize that information management goes hand in hand with technology= Office of Information Management & Technology created. Does a lot of content management, digital life cycle= records management. (Again, we see the concept of records management coming up in these talks on content creation and preservation. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with the allied field of records management (ARMA))

Jim Peterson and his Role
Stepped in for a speaker who couldn’t make it and it’s his first conference! He is from a very small library and has a great attitude about work and people in general. (Great to hear at this conference.) At ALA Conference walking around with his Director and talking to vendors said, “I’m the Geek. She’s the Wallet.” Love it. Lots of freedom in what he can do and research he can do, so Jim loves his job.

Significant changes and challenges

Mike Ridley
Need to bridge the tension between library and enterprise IT: “The iCampus: One community. Many neighborhoods.” Challenge: Tech Populism because everyone is their own IT Department (individuals carrying around lots of computing power, mobile devices, trying new things, etc.). Tribal Identities: faculty, students, staff, professional perspectives–difficult to integrate all the tribes (again check out Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, for more information about creating and leveraging tribes).

He thinks the Information Age is over because everybody is in the information business. Need to a new metaphor: Age of Imagination. Need to figure out what we can do differently and do better. Lots of opportunities, but need to be creative and think differently. Think about Open Organizations: need faster, mobile, adaptable organizations (and have the ability to fail).

Our advantage is that we are ignorant of what the answers will be and use this abiguity as a strength in order to think outside the box.

Donna Scheeder
Challenge is how to get an enterprise approach to how to allocate resources. Challenge of how we add value: we need to understand the environment of the organization and then we can add value for our organizations. External challenges: telework is becoming popular; proliferation of types of devices (difficult for optimizing content for different types of devices). First goal is to keep the services running, then look at what customers want and be able to adapt quickly, and align the resources. Security is a major issue (need to be cognizant of the value of information and how to keep these assets secure).

Jim Peterson
“Under the hood, we are all the same.” Jim discussed an easy place to save money: kilowatt meters because IT takes a lot of power and this is an issue for IT. IT’s ability to cut costs can really help the rest of the library and organization. Think about working together, instead of working at cross-purposes.

One of the largest challenges is the budget crunch. But there are great technologies being developed and improved: open source software. etc. Change your thinking and change the way you do business (and save money in the process).

“IT is more than just the geek you call when something happens. We are the facilitor of information. It doesn’t matter if we are a one-man show or the Library of Congress, we are here to help you.”

What do you think the amazing proliferation of devices connecting to the internet will mean for libraries?.

Donna Scheeder
We need to decide where we want the library to be, if the library is the screens. Why can’t we take the library to more places where people are? We need to be in places such as airports, mobile devices, places with “dwell time.”

Mike Ridley
The internet will get so big that we won’t notice it anymore. Libraries will be everywhere, all the time, no matter what you are doing. Libraries may have a branding problem and disappear and we need to think about how we deliver value in that space.

Jim Peterson
Libraries might disappear as we know them today, agrees with Mike. But librarians are important because they know how to search and find what you need. We will be stronger and better positioned because we already know about information.

Need to also be visible via talking with their legislators.

Communication is super-importants:tips?

Jim Peterson
Show a solid business case for what you want to do. If you can show it will save money or improve services, it is an easier sell. Don’t forget about the bottom line. Example: Jim got a test server in order to test open software and new technologies, and do research. It has allowed the library to implement many technologies.

Donna Scheeder
Align goals with greater goals of the larger organization. Think like a user. Think like the decision-makers, echoing Jim’s point.

Mike Ridley
Becoming allergic to the word “user” need to think about “participants” instead. Need to think about how to move to a space of shared goals. Need to make yourself visible in your organizations. Develop a level of tolerance of other tribes’ perspectives.

A very interesting and funny discussion about challenges, changes, and opportunities facing libraries in regards to technology and innovation. Massive props to Jim Peterson for stepping in and presenting at his first Internet Librarian 2010 conference. He gave a good talk and has a great attitude and ideas for saving money in IT and libraries. Yay, for people who want to work together!

Online Content

by Megan Fox

Looking at what content is available and what users are using on their mobile devices, as well as how you can search for mobile content. Data access now surpasses voice use on mobile phones. Lots of time spent on emails, news, sports, social networking, movie information, games etc. on mobile devices.

Need to think about what we are recreating on mobile sites and apps. (Check out earlier blog posts on Mobile Technology Workshops and location based apps for examples of using and creating mobile sites and applications). Many catalog vendors are creating mobile apps and sites now too. Many libraries are creating their own when they do not like the vendors’ offerings. LibraryThing has Library Anywhere available for overlaying over the OPAC (does cost money). Federated web search tools: WebSearch app and Speedy Search are two examples.

Many vendors and services now have mobile interfaces. For example, EBSCO, LibGuides, etc. Also, small mobile collections of ebooks, streaming music and films are being made available. Some libraries are checking out mobile devices with collections downloaded on the device, others make the collections available to their users to use on their own devices.

Harvard Libraries mobile site goes deeper to give help with research: lots of searching on databases and research help.

Need to be aware of content resources outside of the library in the app stores. Can find relevant apps under categories such as finance, health, etc. GetJar App World: second most number of apps after iPhone app store.

Need to not forget texting–great to have texting reference service. Not everyone has a smartphone! Texting is still a powerful and simple way of providing reference service and finding content.

Important to remember about the ability to search via voice and lots of speech-to-text applications. This is becoming very popular. Dragon Search App is a very important player.

Motion and gesture are now important in how we can search and execute functions on the smartphones. Lots of applications using gesture to create functionality.

Location aware
Location aware applications are very important for searching. (For more information, check out earlier post on Foursquare and other location based social networks.) Used a lot in public transit, finding restaurants, etc.

Visual searching
Can now do visual searching via our phones because they have cameras. For example, use Google Goggles by taking a photo of a book and then get more information about the book. Another player is oMoby. Also included in this category are barcode readers (like QR Codes). RedLaser app searches WorldCat–very cool. Neustar is trying to come up with standards for barcodes so you won’t have to download a lot of barcode reader apps. Augmented reality is also another way to use visual searching.

How people find stuff on their phones:
1. Bookmarks, 2. URLs, 3. Searching (searching is still only third in the way people find information).
Now people are doing casual browsing and serendipitous searching as part of “killing time:” aka “incidental search.” Now, social augmented reality is important (Socialight is an important player) aka augmented humanity, reality mining, personalized precision search.

Identity theft and privacy concerns are growing as we use more mobile apps. No one has any easy answers to these issues, but we need to keep them in mind when creating and launching mobile services.

Mobile devices now allow us to get content on our devices without using the desktop. We need to be aware of what is available via mobile sites and native apps, but not forget about simpler technologies such as texting (because not everyone has a smartphone). We also need to be aware of the multiple avenues that users find information on their mobile devices and understand new ways of searching in order to be relevant in the mobile world.

Managing Online Identity

Talking about how to present a consistent voice and identity across multiple platforms online.

Keep it Consistent!: Creating & Maintaining an Online Identity
by Jennifer Koerber, Boston Public Library
We have parts of ourselves all over the web: Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, blogs, YouTube, etc. How can we remind our patrons that they are still dealing with our library?
Need to have consistent visual presentation:

Same language

  • Use the same name everywhere
  • Claim your name so you have it when you want it
  • Create a short list of related names
  • Pick something identifiable and easy to remember
  • Don’t be cute
  • Create generic email adn chat usernames: functional usernames that forward to staff
  • Stay true to your writing voice; create style guides if you have a team of writers
  • Users will create their own tags: get used to it 🙂
  • Give them your tags and they’ll use them

Visual display

  • Use same color scheme
  • Think about your fonts
  • Create lovely banners that can brand your site
  • Get a logo and use it

Managing Today’s e-Library
SuHui Ho from University of California, San Diego

Talking a lot about social media and today we are talking about specifically about managing and staffing today’s e-library.

There has been an evolution from physical to virtual services both in the library world and in other areas (ex. buying books, renting movies, etc.). Collections are also now virtual–journal databases, LibGuides, screencasting, outreach online via social media.

“The web has fundamentally changed the way the library conducts its business.”
e-library mirrors the brick and mortar library in services and content: need to think about more than the library’s website. We need to think about the online presence in social networks, mobile websites, geolocation apps, etc.

We need to think about content life cycle management. Time to talk with your archivist and records manager–we’ve been discussing these issues for years.

Staffing model for e-library: not a one size fits all solution. Need to assign staff to maintain the e-library; we cannot rely on one webmaster. Unless we write in these tasks into the job descriptions, we will not be effective at maintaining our e-libraries. Don’t just rely on staff enthusiasm.

Virtual Customer Support
by Colleen Brazil, Sno-Isle Libraries

Example using the OverDrive product to create a customer support system (database backend). Had a lot of support requests when the libraries started to use Overdrive–patrons needed help in figuring out OverDrive.

“Don’t throw your customers to the DRM wolves.” Need to give your customers support–don’t give into the chaos.

Solution: created a form for customers to use when they have an issue/problem and streamline the help service. First wanted the complaints to go directly to OverDrive–bad idea. Instead, the library deals with the issues.
Created more than a form: funneled requests to one channel, rules of engagement for staff, set up communication process, and got the Director’s support. This maintains personal contact with customers and use expertise from OverDrive. Resolve problems in about 24 hours.

Be consistent! A little bit of planning will save a lot of time and trouble later on. So think about how you want to present your library/organization/self and create an online identity (via language and design) that presents that image. (If you like design, the Before & After Design blog, magazine and books are fabulous for learning more about designing well)

Be aware and proactive about managing the e-library! We can’t just create something and ignore it.

Be fabulous at virtual customer support! Our users expect online services to work properly. When they don’t, it should be easy for them to find out how to get h>   Extremely Important N/A ( )Performance:     Ext