Flickr isn’t just a bird, del.icio.us isn’t just your NELA luncheon, and WordPress isn’t a new kitchen gadget. Find out what these things are and how these popular Web 2.0 applications (and more!) are being used in real-world libraries. L-2-4-U offers a panel of three experienced Massachusetts librarians: Paige Eaton Davis from the Minuteman Library Network, Brian Herzog from Chelmsford Public Library, and Elizabeth Thomsen of NOBLE. They share their expertise with applying Web 2.0 technologies to help promote your library’s resources, programs, and materials. The program sponsor is ITS whose business meeting is included in the program.
Elizabeth Thomsen, North Of Boston Library Exchange (NOBLE):
Elizabeth started off this panel discussion by comparing the old way of finding information to the new.
In the old days, people found information in books. Someone else decided what information was important. For example, if you were interested in Lewis Hine child labor pictures, you never saw the photos from Salem, MA in published works because they are not as interesting as some of his other photos. But if you work in Salem, you are interested in them. You can now find them as part of the Lewis Hine Project. “What’s interesting for you may not be something that’s interesting to everyone else.”
Shorpy – Collects old photos, cleans them up, and posts a few everyday. People can comment on them. May share memories, point to collections that have other photos of the same building, engage around the photos. Also have a members gallery where people put their own pictures. “This is a real community sport. People are doing folk reference around these objects.”
Library of Congress on Flickr – People are commenting on the pictures themselves. “It’s like it’s story hour all over again.” And people post comments. People are figuring out what’s in the photo. Elizabeth said she is showing us this for two reasons.
1 – It’s interesting the way that people add tags, notes, and so on to photos.
2 – “This is not a picture of an historic event. This is an everyday picture.” But over time, these picture become part of nostaligia. When taking pictures, you need to think of ordinary stuff that becomes so important.
Museum of the Moving Image the Living Room Candidate – Television ads from presidential campaigns.
The Future of History – There’s going to be so much more of a written record. What happens to your Flickr account and your Twitter account and your Facebook when you die?
People are interested in history, but not as passive consumers. People want to add comments, conversations, stories. They want to remix them and put them on their Web sites. “It’s the end of look, but don’t touch.” The Library Of Congress has done a lot of this – dumping information out there and asking people what they see and what they think of it?
- Make it easy for people to find and share – use tags, geocoding, bookmarkable links. Give them code so they can embed it in their blogs and Facebook pages.
- Copyright – if you’re doing pictures and putting them on Flickr, give them a Creative Commons License. People still need to give the library credit when using the images, but you’ll find that people will use their images. “If they have to come and ask you, they won’t bother.”
- Encourage participation, even if it means giving up some control.
Paige Eaton Davis, Minuteman Library Network – Library 2.0 in Your Catalog
Among Paige’s various duties with the Minuteman Library Network, she serves as Webmaster for the consortia’s catalog. Recently, Minuteman put up a user survey. Within 2 hours, they received 200 responses. Over two weeks, they received 3,500 responses. It made Paige think 200 people are watching me everyday within two hours.
“We need to make the library a destination, not an after thought.”
Catalogs need to be attractive and keep up with the latest fashions. You don’t need to redo it every year, but it should have something new on it every week.
“They should be fun. Why shouldn’t they be fun?” Should be easy to get in and out of. They should be easy to link in with an address that everyone can understand. Libraries need to make it engaging, make the patron want to come back over and over again.
One way to do that is to let the users participate. Let them tag, rate things, do reviews. Let them add to your content and make it more useful to them.
Tagging – put a keyword on something to make it more useful to you. Why do people tag? They tag so they can find it for themselves later. It’s going to help somebody else too, but it’s for their own purposes.
Ann Arbor District Library – If you look up the video Children of men – one of the tags is “freaking amazing movie”. It made Paige think, what made this movie freaking amazing and what else had that tag?
LibraryThing for Libraries – Taking the tags from LibraryThing and putting it in your own catalog. They embed it right in the record. Currently, your users can’t add tags to the catalog. The advantage is there is only one freaking amazing movie in AADL. That’s because it’s a smaller population. You’re going to get more in LibraryThing. It also adds the Similar Books feature of LibraryThing to the library record.
Minuteman Library Network – incorporated ratings into the catalog. Try a Harry Potter search in the catalog. If you are signed in to your account, you will just see your rating.
Hennepin County Library – calls the reviews comments.
Question – Do you moderate all these ratings? Yes, you do moderate. The GMILCS catalog uses ChiliFresh, which is collaborative. You moderate the ones from your own users, but not the ones from users of other libraries.
IM a Librarian
Paige mentioned a recent experience on the Sprint Web site when a customer service rep popped in a chat box asking if she needed help. “Library 2.0 isn’t just about putting the technology up. There’s people behind the technology.”
Meebo widget – many libraries are putting it on their sites. If they get no hits in the catalog, there can be a Meebo widget where you invite patrons to ask a question of the reference librarian.
McMaster University – Meebo widget says “Just Ask.”
University of Calgary has put it in their results page.
Other Additions to Catalog
Lamson Library, Plymouth State University – from the bib record, you can text message the call number from your cell phone so that the patron can find the book. An alternative to writing it down with golf pencil.
With Add This, you also can get daily statistics. Minuteman generally has eight or nine bookmarks per day. In July, 339 people bookmarked items for the catalog. It also lets you know which service people are using. 27% are using Google Bookmarks.
Brian Herzog, Chelmsford Public Library
Brian focused on embedding information from Web 2.0 sites into the library’s Web site. Brian said librarians are often told about ways to get our information out there and to go where the patron is going. But another thing we can do is bring information into our library Web sites.
Embed Delicious Bookmarks – Chelmsford does this to provide subject guides for patrons.
Chelmsford Library has bookmarked Web pages in its Delicious account. But Brian shows us how to take Delicious bookmarks with a particular tag and embed on your Web site.
After logging into your Delicious account:
- Click on Settings at the top of the page.
- Click on Link Rolls.
- Give the Link Rokk a title and identify the tag that you want to embed on sites.
- Identify some options for displaying the bookmarks.
- As you make changes to the options, the code at the top of the page changes. You then just copy and paste the code into your Web site.
Because you are using Delicious, it makes it easy to then add more Web sites to your feed. When you sign up for a Delicious account, you are given the option to add a Delicious button to your toolbar. When you are at a site you want to bookmark, just click on the toolbar button, and a box pops up where you can add the tags for the site and post to your Delicious bookmarks.
Flickr – With Flickr, your library can embed an indvidual photo or a stream of photos with a Flickr badge.
Go to page with photo, click on button for “All Sizes.” Flickr will resize the photo for you at multiple sizes. Click on the size that you want to use on the Web page. Right below the picture, Flickr gives you the code that you can copy and paste into your own Web page.
“It shows up in the most basic way possible.” It shows on the page. If a user clicks on the photo, they can click on it to go back to Flickr and get more information about the photo.
Question: There were two choices (on the Flickr page where you find the code to embed the photo). One was the code and one was the link. Why choose the code?
The link would just give you a link to the photo on Flickr. The other actually embeds the photo on the Web site.
Individual embedding is good to use a specific photo on your library’s Web site. Flickr badges are much more useful because it’s a way to display a collection of photos.
Go to the Flickr Badge Builder. You have a choice to create an HTML or Flash badge. HTML more consistently displays properly. You can then choose what you want to do. You could display all photos, all photos with a particular tag, or photos in a set. You can then choose a layout and how many pictures you want to display. You can choose to show the most recent or a random selection. Select background colors and then preview. Once again, it will give you code that you can copy and paste into your Web page.
When Chelmsford uploaded historical photos, a resident found out that it included a photo of his house 100 years before. He then went into his own Flickr account, uploaded a current photo of the house, and then linked it to the historical one. It wasn’t something the library expected to happen when they first uploaded the photos.
YouTube is another great service that is easy to embed on your Web site.
Wakefield Library Web site is another library that uses a Flickr badge. You can see it at the bottom of the library’s home page.