Sunday, October 26, 2008

Internet Librarian - Marketing Libraries in Web 2.0 World (Part 3)

Part 3.
Here is a third post about cool tools and strategies for marketing libraries that I picked up from a day at "Beyond 2.0: User-Focused Tools & Practices", the theme of the 2008 Internet Librarian conference October 20-22, in Monterey, CA. The following program is also from Track #2: Outreach & Marketing Public Libraries in a 2.0 World.

Making a Difference With Digital Media was the title of a session by Greg Schwartz, Library Systems Manager, Louisville Free Public Library, Samuel Davis, Applications Solutions Architect, Digital Services, Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Joy Marlow, Digital Experience Specialist, Digital Services, Columbus Metropolitan Library. Here is the program description, followed by my bulleted notes.

"Every day, new opportunities arise for information professionals to establish their presence online. Done well, one’s online identity can be a powerful tool for establishing professional credibility and marketing your skills to others. Schwartz highlights the various tools for managing your online presence and provides tips and strategies for building a consistent, meaningful online identity. CML staff discuss their experiences integrating various Web 2.0 tools—some difficult and some very simple—into their websites. They talk about challenges and solutions and give lots of tips and tricks."

Greg's topic was "BRANDING: Not Just for Cows Anymore"
  • Identity. 1-What I say about me. 2-What others say about me (IMPORTANT). Your (library's) reputation is more dependent on #2.

  • Personal Branding - 6 tips. 1- Have a HOMEBASE. (Greg's is "OpenStacks") 2- Own you username. Buy a domain with your name. 3- Aggregate you lifestream (Friendfeed is an example) 4- Join the conversation (best way to build your brand.) 5- Follow what others are saying about you. (Google about or technorati). 6- Be authentic.
Samuel and Joy spoke on "Experiences Implementing" new technologies and technology-based programs:
  • Challenges: 1- sell ideas to administrators and staff. 2- Our own learning curve. 3- Keeping up with new technology. 4- Bring your customers (library users) along. 5- At the mercy of 3rd party vendors and technologies. 6- Terms of Use (rules) 7- Unclear strategy

  • Solutions: 1- Engage your staff (i.e., Learning 2.0. Columbus Metropolitan Library has a 50% staff participation) 2- Engage your customers (library users) His library website has a "Power Tools" page. 3- Believe in what you do! 4- BETA - experiment!

  • Tips and Tricks: 1- Prototyping - create working models of tools. Example is the "city wall" in Helsinki and large touch screen at the library. 2- Let your application be torn apart.

Note to self: Implementation challenges, solutions, tips & tricks is a topic worth paying lots of attention to because no matter how wonderful/important/strategic an idea or program is, each library will have a different mix of challenges. Flexibility and preparedness for all twists and turns is a plus. Helene Blowers' original Learning 2.0 tutorial of web 2.0 tutorials (and the numerous implementations of this and similar online discovery learning courses such as School Library Learning 2.0, Classroom Learning 2.0, and CSM Learning 2.0, and hundreds of other versions) each have different levels of participation, speed of acceptance, and resulting culture change. See also post on re-branding and cover blogs.

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