Thoughts for a Foggy Monday

Hi! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I don’t know if it is because it is a Monday, or because it is foggy, but I seem to be in a bit of a brain fog this morning. Or it might just be because we are in the 5th week of the quarter (ack! where did the time go?) or because my head is exploding from all the information I took in at Internet Librarian 2008!

Anyway, that is a long way of saying that today’s post is going to be a little bit random (but what’s new?) and will be some tips and thoughts I had mulling over in my brain this weekend.

First, how do the Michaels do it? They always have such relevant Transparent Library columns. I was just thinking about implementing some of the tips that I got out of the digital marketing session from IL2008 and then read Library Journal and there was this column talking about PR 2.0. I think this is fantastic, as usual, writing about how to open up the lines of communication and get us connecting with library patrons. We need to get out there and be visible and how easy is that now that we can use free resources such as RSS, blogs, wikis and YouTube for promoting the library and friends of the library? Love it, want to implement, and hopefully my fellow librarians will be down with it.

Okay, so speaking of all things 2.0–are you twittering yet? Are your patrons? I sometimes feel we are out in front of the tech curve, but lots of people are using twitter as yet another social network. You can sign up for a free account at and get a network of followers and those you are following. It is a fun way of keeping up with people and you can use it to network too as a lot of librarians are on twitter. If you want some more applications to make twitter more fun look at this article. Oh, and remember you can get Firefox widgets for twitter and many social network sites, like Facebook, have twitter widgets.

So if microblogging is too much, and I admit that sometimes it is, what can you do keep in touch with people in a meaningful way? To borrow from the great Lifehacker, ungeek to live! I have a friend who we almost exclusively keep in touch through handwritten cards. Yup, through the post. It is great to have a correspondence in the 0.0 world and be able to look back over these cards. So just remember, just because it doesn’t come with bits and bytes doesn’t mean it might not be the best tool for the job.

Have a happy Monday.

Instant Audio & Video: IL2008

Instant Audio & Video: Tools Igniting the Digital World

Connie Crosby

Barrier has dropped for creating audio and video on the web

“there is no better time to create a community of friends who can come together and execute on your brilliant idea” co-founder of (oct 2008)

Lots of these technologies are available on the web, open source

Not a lot of libraries are using these technologies yet

Need to build communities with these tools, be part of a group

Audio creates intimacy, creates connection–voice in your head through the headphones

Video connects to humanity, seeing a face is powerful

Important part of the technology is how you will talk to your community and engage to your community

Who are you going to engage with these tools?

Talkshoe create, manage and host your own audio, like radio talkshow, several people call in at once, can record for downloading and pod casting, free recording, storage and bandwidth hosting, creating a show is easy, all you need is a computer and headphones with mic, give you widgets and badges to add to your blog (very cool) and other platforms

Ideally, you want to host stuff yourself, you will own the content

However, these tools allow you to do this stuff for free, low cost to entry and a way around dealing with IT

Uncontrolled Vocabulary–show on Talkshoe on library industry (http://uncontrolled

Utterli ( a little Twitter-like, can use text, photos, video and audio, can call in from your cellphone, formerly known as Utterz, cross-post to many other platforms
Ex. Andycaster

Seesmic ( almost exclusive video, video conversation as of September 30,000 users, talking back and forth through video, has ability to see all video discussion in the stream
12seconds: Twitter for video, be succinct, watch on web or via mobile, only get 12 seconds to tell your story

ooVoo ( made for business video conferencing, up to 6 people on the screen at once, high resolution, records video chats, proprietary software, now has paid levels with more features

Tokbox ( opensource, web-based, large numbers of video chatting, confusion because so many people are talking at once, 6 is a nice number, 18 is too many

Ustream ( live interactive broadcasting, stream from events, chat, recorded for viewing later, camera and Internet access needed

Qik ( mobile live video, broadcast events, spontaneous, check for supported phones, chaotic

Phreadz ( in alpha right now, social multimedia conversation network, video audio and photo blogging, create via desktop or mobile, keep your eye out for this

These are tools for building community, information communication, unscripted, let your clients/patrons participate (getting students involved)

Creating content=engagement

We can support each other through these communities

Take home message: Build communities, get comfortable with using audio and video, and figure out how people are using these tools. (she will be posting the slides–great slides and presentation)

Digital Marketing: IL 2008

Digital Marketing: Session 2

Sarah Houghtan-Jan & Aaron Schmidt

Links will be on the blogs:

Digital outreach–connecting users with library services, connecting users with librarians
OCLC study: number 1 thing people care about is transforming lives, need to connect users with librarians

Ex. Librarian Trading cards

What is online outreach:
Tons of ways to outreach

Online: no barriers (I would disagree with this on a basic access level) but we are serving global audience now

What are we marketing?

Have to have an interact library website! Web 2.0 interaction

Must have good content online, must have quality, be relevant

Everything in this presentation is free!

Library directory listing: check if the library listing is correct: LibDex, MapMuse, Libraries411,, Libraries on the Web

Blog search engines: submit rss feeds to search engines, Feed Submitter site–goes to 15 different sites, great way to get out the word, easy marketing

Blog geo-search engines: frapper, feedmap, blogwise, gFeedMap–lots of people use these

Wikimapia–like wikipedia but a map–cool! Draw a box around where your library is on the map–put in information and a link

Search Enging Findability: search for variations of your library’s name, expand beyond Google, can buy AdWorks from Google–could use for special programming or hire a search engine optimizer (SEO)

Wifi–people expect it, and they expect it to work, list your library in wifi directories: wififreespot, wifi411, wifinder, jwire, wi-fi zone, wifihotspotlist gets people in the door

Community websites: American, canadaeventscalendar,, artsopolia, eventful, librarythinglocal–take ownership of your library’s listings

Google: link: URL and you will know who is linking to the library website, blog, etc. see who is talking about your library

Social Review Websites: yelp, city search, etc. use the flattering comments in your marketing material (how cool is that!), can also see problems and work to change it

Directory Information: look online for phone numbers, addresses, make sure listed correctly, Google Maps, yahoo!local, ask city, can claim your library, upload photos, etc.

A/V content Findable: you tube, google video,, blinkx, singing fish, yahoo pod casts, pod, podcast alley, get some subscribers

Social networking Sites: can create a profile for your library, ex. MySpace, Facebook, flickr, ning (note: some studies show students do not like libraries in their social networking space, other studies show the opposite, just an FYI)

Find Local Blogs: by city, lodger local, metro logging, feedmap, interact with local blogs, be available, find appropriate blogs, have authentic interactions, don’t be heavy handed, be friendly, takes time to be integrated into a community and have street cred

Blogs and Forums: tech boards, continuing education boards

Get out what you put in!

BookSpace (Huntington Library Minnesota): place to talk about books online, online community space, news, lists, etc. great design and space, get all information about books from disparate ploaces into one social networking site, no barriers to contributing to BookSpace

Expert Sites: list our staff on these sites: all, ziki, illumio, qunu, yedda, FAQQLY, Otavo, yahoo! Answers, SLAM the Boards (on the 10th of every month), identify themselves at the end that they are librarians

Ask Meta site: jump in and answer questions

Push the information out: have subscription services, rss/email updates (you can use feed burner), newsletter software, etc., don’t spam the inbox!

Make sure you are in Wikipedia! List on your city, create an entry

IM: free, easy, primary form of communication for many

Text messaging: send out notifications via SMS

Text a Librarian: combines IM and text messaging into one web-based platform, soon will have queue feature so many people can monitor one screen-name

Twitter: quick updates, be clear about what you will be sending so people know what they are subscribing to

SecondLife: time-sink, lots of time to set up for the investment, needs to mature

People are using this stuff. So no excuse to not do this! Be user centered!

Take home message:
Get out there and market online! It is well-worth it!

Thoughts for the Weekend

Two more thoughts for this gloomy Friday: one about admissions to college and one about Internet overload.

We will have the serious discussion first. Check out this article about changing admissions standards at UNLV. UNLV seems to be facing some of the same issues that CSUEB is facing and contemplating the same changes in direction, especially trying to place a greater emphasis on research. Just something to think about over the weekend.

And now for some weekend fun. Do you every feel overwhelmed by all the information on the Internet? Does Facebook frighten you or do you feel the Internet sucking away every spare minute of your day? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Check out this video if you want a break before you turn off your computer.

Have a great weekend!

Another Post Inspired by Back to School Time

I’m still completely in the back-to-school mode of thought and this post reflects it. Think of it as a continuation of Friday’s post: two parts fun and one part seriousness.

I was reflecting on one of my favorite quotes yesterday, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” (Don Swartz). I thought that it was very appropriate in our roles both as librarians and as teachers. We know a lot about a whole lot of things, but no one really does care unless we can help them. Like the best teachers always say about the classes they teach: the class isn’t about the teacher, s/he already knows the content, it is about the students and what we can learn from each other. This concept works with marketing the library as well, but that is another day’s post.

Want proof of the power of caring? Check out Rate My Professor. Do you see your name there? If you check out professors, the ones that actually help their students and care about their students’ learning are the ones who most often get the highest ratings. Caring, not being an easy grader, is the key to becoming a great professor. It is fun to look at the professors responses to their students ratings too.

Here is one of the great interactive sites on the web Free Rice. Here you can improve your vocabulary while getting sponsors who advertise on the site to donate rice to the UN World Hunger Program. For every answer you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Hunger Program. It’s easy, it stretches your brain and you get to help people without ever leaving your computer. And to think that some say interactive web has no good uses!

Do you love music? Do you want a soundtrack to play at work so you aren’t distracted by everyone coming in and out of your office all day? Check out Pandora from the Music Genome Project. You get to design your own radio stations that only play the music you like. You can choose one of their already made stations or create your own station around your favorite artists, songs, genres, etc. Just follow the really simple instructions for creating a free account and start making stations. You can make a station to listen to when writing articles, another for when you need some energy, etc. Go have some fun on Pandora.

I promise the next post will be less about back-to-school and more about diving into the fray of Web2.0 and libraries. Happy Monday!

Fun on a Friday

Today’s post is mostly about having fun with a little bit of food-for-thought thrown in along the way. I think we need some fun because it is a hot Friday and school has started!

Do you know what your sound is? Really-there is a site called Sound Badge that lets you create your own sound badge that you can use on your mobile phone, with Skype or on your blog if it allows JavaScript. I found this cool resource through Librarian in Black blog. While I’m not thrilled that there is no rock option for starting as the base of a sound badge (it will make more sense once you have been to the site, trust me), it is still fun and you could have all your students make a sound badge and compare them online. Mine’s here.

Did you know that many books have teaser trailers that are available on YouTube? Well, it was news to me. Some of the trailers were hilarious while others were very serious. Many were quite professionally done. I think this is a great way to publicize books. I think we need a trailer for our library on YouTube.

Here is the food-for-thought article on Jakob Nielsen’s findings of online literacy. If his name sounds familiar, it is not surprising as he is the big name in usability testing, among other research areas. He makes the case that online reading is not a replacement for reading in print based on his extensive research. This has profound implications for online teaching and online campuses. If students, and people in general, do not process or even read blocks of text online, how do we deliver online classes that require reading long passages of complicated text such as philosophy, history or English? What does this tell us about the whole push of buying ebooks (I’m not thinking of Kindle, etc. here but of ebooks that are read through online platforms such as ebrary, etc.)? Do students use them? Do they retain the information? Like I said, profound implications for online learning and for those of us who are trying to do what is best for our students in this increasingly online environment.

Now, I couldn’t end on such a heavy note for this Friday, so I have for you an article (with photographs) of a completely envy-inspiring library. I want Jay Walker’s library–enough said.

Have a great Friday and a terrific weekend. Comments always welcomed.

A Whole Lot of Fun

Okay, so I’m sorry there haven’t been more posts this week. But, in my defense, I’ve been “oriented” at New Faculty Orientation and now am going to be at an on-campus conference (Back to the Bay) for 2 days. So I’ve not been truly slacking, only out of the office. So for those in my library, I’ve not forgotten about the tech brown bags, just waiting for some schedules to come out before we set the dates and start playing with cool new tools! 

As I was getting up this morning, I thought about what would be a couple of good resources for this Thursday. And I thought, why not have some fun? So I give you two sources, Unshelved and a talk from the SirsiDynixInstitute. 

If you are not familiar with the web comic strip, Unshelved, get ready for a laugh. This is a comic strip that is set in a public library and if you’ve ever worked in a public library you can completely relate. This is just fun and their store is great. I want the shirt that says “Library Schooled.” They are also the people behind Pimp my Bookcart! How can you not like that? So if you are new to the Unshelved universe, read their primer first. Enjoy! Oh, and did I mention you can get the comic strip and news via RSS? Just a thought…

For the second resource today, I give you Stephen Abram’s talk, Twenty five technologies to Watch and How. This is one of the great events that is archived from the SirsiDynix Institute. They are free to watch and listen to. This talk is from January of this year, but is great and I finally got around to listening to it the other day. I listened to the mp3 file, so if someone watches the video, I’d love to hear how it turned out. There is another webinar coming up on September 24th, “Welcome to the profession: Where will you be in 25 years? Is that where you want to be?” which I am totally looking forward to. So pop on by the website, you might just find something useful. Like a webinar a lot, find it fun and useful? Comment to this post to share with everyone else.

Happy Thursday!