May 15, 2010

Notes from #LibOrg20 webinar

I attended an ALA Techsource webinar on Thursday (5/13) with John Blyberg and Meredith Farkas as presenters, Organization 2.0: Building the Participatory Library (to be archived and made available soon).

Since I took notes and also followed the hashtag discussion going on at Twitter, I thought I'd share what I gathered:

#LibOrg20 on Twitter

John Blyberg (Small public library in CT)
  • Embed organization into external culture
  • Crucial to have library staff members who can think in ways Twitter/soc.media culture thinks
  • Individuals create highly personal info.networks (using soc.media) around our specific interests. Need to expand that into libs.
  • Technology introduced needs to feel natural to users, as part of/in conjunction with library
  • Common mistake: apply 20th century values to 21st century systems, privacy/censorship diff today
  • User Experience: planned, positive, and desirable experience; should span all library departments
  • Ensure whatever we bring in from the outside fits into the library ecology and maintains efficiency
  • Plan what want to ultimately achieve by putting content online
  • (from @ghardin on Twitter) Branding + (containers + content) + great staff = a good library formula
  • As info professional, should be aware of all info going around town -- Twitter helps keep up with this, participating in local community (this might apply more to public libraries) - part of being an information professional is being aware of what technologies our users are using and being hyperlocal
  • Extra points of (virtual) contact can add enrichment to user experience
  • Twitter
    • Twitter re-visualization tool: http://moritz.stefaner.eu/projects/revisit/ (find tweets about your library: social monitoring, branding)
    • Darien lib used twitter during a power outage to alert customers the library was open so they could come in and be warm
  • Four Square
    • Library is most checked-into venue in town (although Darien is small town)
    • can create a to-do list for in the library
    • can post photos
  • Podcasts
    • Via iTunes: users can subscribe to feed
    • Public library CD collection available through iTunes (streaming)
    • User-contributed podcasts on library iTunes
  • Other info
    • Darien uses Innovative Interfaces
    • 4 person team working on user experience
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Meredith Farkas (Small academic library in VT)
  • Continuous improvement cycle based on a culture of assessment -- in "perpetual beta"
  • Rapid change and innovation are the rule, not the exception (ex: tried having Amazon ship new books directly to user to save time and make it a better experience for the patron)
  • As environment/user needs change, we need to change as well
  • Creativity in thinking about how technology can solve problems (good when not a lot of money or time): instead of "cool, new tool let's try it," thinking will this be useful and how will users benefit (ex: wikis as subject guide tools)
  • Develop risk-tolerant culture, experimentation is good
  • When trying new things, calling "pilot project" can make it easier to give it a chance and possibly implement
  • Libraries need to think about how are we going to sustain (these projects)
  • May need to drop low return services in order to do new ones
  • (from @ilovemyanythink on Twitter) "We implement 'tiny mtgs' - no longer than five minutes and must be done standing up - and a decision must be made"
  • Students were using instant messaging the most for reference, so focused efforts more towards that
  • Ethnographic study (done at U of Rochester and MIT) looks at how users do research and how library can insert itself in process at key points to support users by making research easier for them
    • How many of users on Twitter, Facebook, Mobile devices?
    • How would they feel about library being in those spaces?
    • Study would look at what is important to users and not just how users feel about what is important to library

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