How are the librarians and staff at YOUR library using Web 2.0 tools?
We asked Mary Taylor, Midwest Chapter Communications Committee member and Medical and Distance Learning Librarian at the Morris Library, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and here is her reply!
Meet Morris Library 2.0
- IM available. Our real time virtual reference is powered by instant messaging. We have embedded a Meebo me widget on our “Ask Anything” reference page, our Blackboard/WebCt login page, and our MySpace page (see the next item). Some of our liaisons have the widget on their personal/library websites so that patrons can instant message them directly.
- Face to Space. The library has a MySpace page with an imbedded Meebo me widget and a search form for our catalog. The search form code can be downloaded by users for their own web pages from the library’s website. We also have a blog on the page. Some librarians have MySpace and Facebook accounts. I am a faculty advisor for a student organization that has a Facebook account. I joined Facebook at that organization’s executive board’s request, so they didn’t have to look up my e-mail buy cialis pills online address every time they sent out a message.
- It bloggles the mind. One of our divisions, Instructional Support Services, has an internal blog. One liaison shares news with her departments via her blog. As previously mentioned, our MySpace page also has a blogs.
- Syndicated columnist. We use an RSS feed to spread the word about services and products, and plan to use it sharing our new books list.
- Let the wiki win. Two in-house committees use wikis to share documents in progress.
- Don’t blink. We are using Flickr to display photos of our ongoing building renovation.
- What does MARC say about it? We are setting up a service that allows users to send records from our catalog as text messages.
- Don’t touch that dial. The library has a channel on the SIUC’s student Web portal, with links to our online reference services, our catalog, our course reserves page, and our distance learning pages.
- It could be cloudy. We are investigating adding user-generated subject terms (cloud tags) to our catalog.
SO…How are the librarians and staff at YOUR library using Web 2.0 tools?
Click on the Comment link below and share your experiences!
Hope that all of you had an uneventful trip to Minneapolis! Did you know that Minneapolis is halfway between Los Angeles and New York City?
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This afternoon I trekked up to our local medical college to view the MLA webcast Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. It was nice to get the chance to do a little “in person” social networking with my fellow medical librarians as well.
The Midwest was well represented! Chapter member and MIDLINE contributor Melissa Rethlefsen was one of the presenters and our Ohio Health Sciences Libraries Association president Michelle Kraft was on the panel.
I’ve heard some of this before since I attended when Dale Prince presented the “Geeks Bearing Gifts” CE course in Ohio last year. But there were plenty of fresh new ideas to keep my interest. I really enjoyed the give-and-take among the panel during the question and answer segments. And I noticed that everyone got the memo explaining that if you wanted to match the coffee mugs, you should wear some blue. The kitten analogy might have gotten a little out of hand though. 😉
There were lots of concrete examples of how medical libraries are using these new approaches to improve library services. I managed to follow most, but I have to admit that my brain blew a circuit breaker or two trying to follow the part where Melissa showed a Meebo room embedded in a wiki page. Communications Chair Karen, did you see that?? Can we try that for committee meetings? For my library, I want to investigate more of the suggested ways to use RSS feeds for pushing tables of contents and for SDI services. Look out FeedBurner, here I come!
Gotta go…have to sign up for the MLA-WEB2.0 discussion list!
I’ve been quite busy over the past few weeks preparing the latest issue of MIDLINE for publication. Your intrepid chapter editor has been at this for a while now. This is my fifth year as editor. And how the production of MIDLINE has changed!
Under the guidance of my predecessor Cathy Perley, MIDLINE made the transition from a print publication to an electronic one with the Spring 2003 issue. The first issue under my editorial guidance was the Winter 2004 issue. Production was labor intensive. I sent a huge text file with the edited text of the issue along with the issue photographs and typesetting suggestions to the webmaster who then drafted the issue as a webpage. After a couple of cycles of review and editing, it was ready to be announced on the chapter website. Talk about an awkward process. Eventually, I tried my hand at drafting the issue myself using FrontPage. Somehow this managed to make it even more “interesting” for the webmaster. I know just enough html to be dangerous!
Moving the chapter’s web presence to a commercial vendor gave us the opportunity to produce the newsletter more efficiently. Using Movable Type as the publication platform for MIDLINE puts all of the article entry and design in the hands of the newsletter editor with a smaller workload burden on the webmaster. The text editor in MT is easy to use even for the html clueless. It is simple to insert the photographs and links. Document files can even be included as part of a story. See this story as an example. The clickable table of contents and the archives are generated automatically. All of the content is keyword searchable. The RSS feed provides an additional means of delivering the newsletter to our readers. The comments and trackback features mean that the newsletter can become more participatory and conversational. But there is some awkwardness that comes with using blogging software for publishing a “static” publication. One must be very aware of the order of story entry, for example. The first issue produced with MT, November 2006, displays in upside down order in the archival view. Oops!
The chapter also has used Movable Type to produce conference blogs for the 2006 and 2007 chapter meetings. And ConnectMidwest is the latest of the chapter’s efforts to foster information sharing and communication in the Midwest Chapter.
I have been asked many times if I think there is still a need for a quarterly publication of chapter news. And my answer is an emphatic “Yes!” Having the opportunity to blog about chapter events and subjects of interest is a great service to offer our members. But there is always going to be a place for a more formal and permanent report of chapter business and activities.
P.S. Remember: You can earn 1 point toward your AHIP membership by writing a feature article for MIDLINE!