Libraries Using Different 2.0 Technologies
Saturday I spoke about the promises and perils of web 2.0 technologies in special libraries. I focused on all of the ways special libraries are using technology and the common barriers that librarians encounter trying.
I think showing examples of what others are doing can be extremely helpful. It helps others see new applications of the technologies and perhaps can get them thinking about how some things might work in their institution. One size does not fit all, not every technology works with every library, but just seeing what others are doing can get the mind going. In preparation for the talk, I looked around the web to find examples of what other libraries are doing. I took screen shots of what was I thought was interesting and I added them into the presentation slides.
Librarians are busy! Most use these technologies in three ways general communication, current awareness, and reference.
Here are just a few of the examples I found of how librarians are using blogs, wikis, Twitter, IM, tagging, videos, etc.
Many libraries use a reference desk wiki or blog for internal or external communication such as listing the desk schedule, active issues, tick sheets, product reviews, policy changes, user education, and news and general information.
- Jenkins Law Library - Their home page includes an information/news blog front and center. People can easily subscribe to these feeds by clicking on the orange RSS box.
- medlibs and mla2009 - I haven't found anybody specifically using Twitter to communicate to library users I have found quite a few examples of peer to peer communication or chat collab. Medlibs and mla 2009 are two examples of librarians twittering back and forth sharing information and collaborating on ideas. The principle is similar to the listserv medlib-l but conversations are short.
- Courthouse Libraries BC - They have produced YouTube videos demonstrating research techniques and strategies.
- Cleveland Clinic Health System Libraries Wiki - The nine hospital system is using an external wiki as their web page for employees to use when they are off campus. It is still in beta as some of the kinks are being ironed before it is officially live and marketed to patrons.
Current Awareness and RSS:
Librarians are using RSS to keep themselves and their users up to date on information. This is seen most often in table of contents feeds, saved searches on databases, new additions to the catalog, and news (from the library blog as in Jenkin's Law Library's home page).
- Ebling Library - They provide access to over 2400 RSS feeds to biomedical and health sciences journals.
- PubMed, Ovid, EBSCO, and Scopus - These databases and many others allow users to save their searches as RSS feeds which will help notify them of any newly published research on their topic.
- Lillian Goldman Law Library - New additions to the catalog are profiled on the library's blog page
Wikis and social booking marking tools make great reference aids. Libraries have created subject guides in wikis, subject guides within delicious, added tags within the catalog, and are helping users manage bookmarking the journal literature by using tagging sites like Connotea and CiteULike.
- University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries - Their LibGuides page contains subject guides, course guides and other resources browsable by Subjects and by Popular Tags.
- Health Sciences Library, Stony Brook - They use delicious as another tool to guide users to subject resources.
- Courthouse Libraries BC New Catalogue - (in beta) Doing a search in their catalogue brings up the usual results but also brings up a word cloud on the left hand side that shows you related terms, spelling variations, translations, etc. Clicking on the words in the cloud allows patrons to explore the catalogue contents from that perspective.
- Duke University Libraries - They have a nice getting started guide for Connotea and FAQs. They also have instructions for users to configure Connotea take advantage of Duke's full text article system, "Get it @ Duke.
As I mentioned these are just a sampling of what other libraries are doing out there with these new technologies. I am sure there are more great examples. If you know of another library doing something neat please be sure to comment to this post so that we may be able to learn from each other.