Best Blog Practices and More for Libraries
Chicago, IL, July, 26 2006 –
What can social software do for your library? Find out in the latest issue of
Library Technology Reports, "Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software," by librarian, author, and technology trainer Michael Stephens.
A comprehensive, pass-around resource you and your fellow library staff members can consult to plan your library's social-software initiatives, Stephens's report details numerous successful library implementations of some of today's most used social-software tools, including:
- Weblogs (blogs)
- RSS feeds
- Instant Messaging (IM)
In the issue, Stephens illustrates how libraries across North America are embracing social software to reach out to their patrons—the report is
brimming with examples of libraries' cutting-edge social-software use
and strategies, implementation case histories, and best-practice
"Some see…Web 2.0 as a set of ever-evolving tools that can benefit online users," notes Stephens in the report's introduction. "With these tools, users can converse across blogs, wikis, and at photo-sharing sites…via comments or through online discussions…. Some libraries and librarians are involved in creating conversations, connections, and community via many of these social tools, but it may be time for more librarians to explore how these tools can enhance communication with users…."
Among the libraries discussed in the report:
- the Ann Arbor District Library, which recently garnered accolades from the Library Adminstration and Management Association (Best in Show 2006 Web Site/Home Page, $6 million+ cateory) for its blog-based online portal;
- the Kankakee Public Library and how it's using Podcasts and Streaming Media to provide access to and information about community-interest topics such as local history and regional newsmakers; and
- the Kansas City Public Library and how its innovative use of RSS feeds is notifying patrons when new information has been added to its Subject Guides.
Filled with library-literature resource lists (print and Web-based
journal articles, blog and wiki references, etc.) and with stories and
interviews about numerous organizations, Stephens's report highlights
the inroads that libraries have made (and are making)—by using social software—with
their virtual and physical users in our increasingly Web 2.0 world.
"Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software" (Library Technology Reports, 42:4) is available from ALA TechSource. To buy a single issue of the report, or to subscribe to Library Technology Reports, visit the ALA TechSource bookstore at https://publications.techsource.ala.org/bookstore.
About the Author
Michael Stephens (MLS, Indiana University) has spent the last fifteen
years working in public libraries as a reference librarian, technology trainer, and manager of networked resources. This fall, Michael will join the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, as an Instructor. In 2004, he was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services–funded fellowship for the University of North Texas IMLS Distance Independent Information Science Ph.D. Cohort Program to study libraries, librarians, and social software. He is currently writing his dissertation.
Active in the American Library Association, he has presented at library conferences locally, nationally, and internationally as well as at leading workshops for libraries and library associations across the country. Michael is well-known for his popular Tame the Web Blog, and he also writes for the ALA TechSource Blog. The Social Technologies Roadshow, a workshop he teaches with Jenny "The Shifted Librarian" Levine (ALA's new Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide), is making stops in Illinois, the Netherlands, and London before the end of the year. In 2005, he was named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker," and he served as a scholar at the Chicago Public Library's Scholar in Residence program. He also has written for Library Journal and co-authors a department in Computers in Libraries with Rachel Singer Gordon. He resides in Mishawaka, Indiana, and spends as much of the summer as possible in Traverse City, Michigan.