Last summer we reported the results of our survey of WebJunction members about their use of 10 types of online tools and resources. This spring we surveyed our membership again with a similar question, but this time separating professional use from personal use. We also updated the tool list, adding mobile apps, chat and IM, video- and photo-sharing sites, online games, and discussion forums. This year, we had 1,039 responses, in contrast to the ~575 last year. But the makeup of the respondents are similar: 70% are from public libraries, and all have registered as WebJunction members.
For the tools we surveyed last year, we see little change. The most significant shift was in social networking: in 2010, 35% reported using Facebook, Twitter or similar on a daily basis, and 30% never used it–in either a professional or personal setting. This year, 46% use social networks daily in their personal life and only 19% report never using them. Professional use of social networks lags behind personal use, but the gains are still noteworthy, as only 28% of respondents report never using social networks for work. By the way, we are hosting presentations about use of social media in the library in two free webinars this month: get the details from the WebJunction webinar calendar.
Meanwhile, email discussion lists continue to be as popular as they have been for years, with 50% of respondents using them daily (and one-quarter report daily use even in their personal lives). These are long-established, tight-knit, semi-private communities that fill our in-boxes with tips and advice, success and horror stories, rants, jokes, and calls to action. Despite their definite 1.0 clunkiness, they are still useful and used . The discussion forum, however, which could be considered the Listserv’s web-dwelling cousin, seems to be fading fast, with only 6% of respondents reporting daily use in professional life (9% in personal life), and one-third stating they never use discussions (nearly one half never use them in their personal life).
The low level of use of RSS among library staff is (to me) surprising, with roughly half of respondents stating that they never use RSS. Because this tool seems like a practical and easy and efficient way to stay tapped into updated information and news on topics of interest published on the web, and because use of RSS among the general public is reportedly much higher, we are spotlighting a simple overview of this tool on WebJunction with the hopes that more library staff will give it a try.
Here are the full results from the 2011 survey question:
For the past couple of years, WebJunction has set up and maintained a presence in the major social networking sites; i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. (We have also set up a Tumblr page, but haven’t done anything with it yet). We have our Flickr page too, which we use to share photos. But other than putting little icons for those sites on our homepage and below our email signatures, we haven’t made a big deal about it.
Therefore, it has been interesting to see that even without putting a ton of effort into creating awareness of these satellite WebJunction communities, they have been steadily growing in numbers and activity. Last week we gained our 1,300th Twitter follower (with just a wee bit of prodding). Our Facebook page has 885 “Fans” (anyone else find that term embarrassing?) and our LinkedIn group has 531 members. And stuff is happening in these places: we’re swapping news stories and getting comments on those stories that deepen the perspective; questions of the “how does your library…?” type are getting asked and answered; and links to helpful resources are being exchanged. It has become obvious that social networking has taken root in the library profession. Actually, it appears to be flourishing.
It’s been fun to see all the activity happening in our little carved out niches within the social web, but we realize that many of our members are missing out on the information that is swirling through these satellite networks. In our member survey last year, 30% of you responded that you never use social networking sites. When possible, we bring the resources that are shared in those contexts to WebJunction, but we wouldn’t ever try to capture every rich remark, link, or connection that occurs.
So, it seems to me that our job is to better demonstrate what is happening on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online spaces that you may find worth your while to check out.
To start, I’ll review each of the Big Three networks over the next few months, to give you some ideas of how you can target your social networking so that it helps you stay up-to-date with the news, people, and information that may be relevant to your profession. Stay tuned to BlogJunction and our Crossroads newsletter for this series.
David says, “Google Wave is a collaborative, instant messaging service which began in a preview (alpha) edition in 2009. Google Wave may change the very face of virtual reference. This group is for libraries/librarians and others who wish to connect with one another outside of Wave and share ideas, projects and tools about and for Wave”.
Our fellow staffer Michael Porter (aka Libraryman) has been spending his off hours working slavishly with David Lee King on a project they call Library 101. We know Michael as an unrepentent cheerleader of libraries and librarians who can convince anyone to get up and dance and sing for the cause (and have fun while doing it!). Well, their project debuted just a few days ago, with quite a splash. The project website includes a collection of more than 20 essays from thought leaders in the field, an extensive list of resources (101, actually) on “need to know” technology, and last but not least, a 7-minute song and video featuring Michael, David, and a huge cast of characters from libraries around the globe. Around the office, we all have the chorus “101 our parts make a sum that will be the key to what is to come. 101’s how we get the job done! Evolve and make your Library 101!” totally stuck in our heads.
Michael and David are hoping that you will help build the project by adding your comments to the essays, to answer the question, What do you think librarians need to know to succeed?
David Allen Kelly, aka kellydallen, of Palm Beach County Library System put together a set of five tips for how libraries can make better use of twitter and posted to his blog as “How Your Library May Not Be Using Twitter But Should.”
If you like what you read, post a comment to his blog to encourage him to write that Part II he mentioned!
Need a primer on twitter? Read this article: “Twitter: A Beginner’s Guide.”.
Mark your calendar on June 10 for this free WebJunction webinar with Nancy White, co-author of the forthcoming book Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities (with Etienne Wenger and John E. Smith). Nancy is recognized internationally for her research exploring online communities today, and in her work as a technology steward, designer and builder of online interaction spaces.
In this webinar, Nancy will focus on librarians as community technology stewards. She will offer practical steps for you to begin to understand your community, assess the technology needs of your community, and how to select, configure, and support the online technologies your community uses. Here’s a sample of her well-stocked slideshare account to give you a taste of her passion and commitment to building relevant online communities. The definition of ”technology steward” (slide 9 & 10 ) sounds so much like our work in libraries, that I’m sure there are many of us in libraryland who are eager to change our job titles!
I blogged about my CiL presentation back in March, after Sheila Kearns led me to the Digital Habitats project (thanks again, Sheila) and Nancy White commented on my post! So you can only imagine how excited I am to bring Nancy and her work to the WebJunction community and for the way it relates to technology stewardship @ your library.
Over the weekend I attended the South by Southwest Interactive Conference (SXSWi) in Austin. For those that don’t know, SxSWi is the tech/social media conference the week before it’s more famous music-festival sibling.
The depth and variety of topics, panels, presentations, activities, and conversations eclipse what you’d even imagine to find anywhere. Blogging for fun and profit? Check. A pile of Legos the size of your local coffee shop? Why not? A debrief on the future past of CSS 3.0. Check. How about a solar-powered, photo-snapping, flickr-bike? You bet. Or maybe you want a deep dive on best practices for privacy tools on social networking sites? Of course. And … so on, and so on… Yep, SXSW has gotcha ya covered.
Such richness nearly tempted me into four full days of blogging. Luckily for you, I instead found a way to spend the bulk of my time watching, talking, and thinking. Well, actually, that path chose me… but let me back up a step.
Don’t miss Wednesday’s session (1:00 CT) with Robin Hastings! She’s presenting this month’s MaintainIT Cookbook 30-minute webinar.
As Brenda says (thanks Brenda!): “Robin is all over the 2.0 world… blogging, tweeting, etc. as WebGoddess. Tomorrow she will be talking about 2.0 tools from a public access computing perspective. How do library users use those tools? Hear about the innovative things the Missouri River Regional Library has done (including the popular Library Learning 2.0 and now Library Learning 2.1 programs)”.
The My WebJunction Page may just be my favorite feature on the freshly relaunched WJ site. It is powerful, it is unique to Libraryland and it was designed and created specifically for us as library professionals. Plus, as you can see in video below, it’s just pretty cool! Who knew library staff would ever be able to do this in our own unique profession specific network, built just for US? Follow the link to the page hosting the video on WebJunction or just click the play button below to see why the My WebJunction Page has me all jazzed. Then log-in, make some connections and friends and watch what happens. If you haven’t discovered YOUR My WebJunction Page, we’re hoping you’ll be eager to start using it after you see this:
I also wanted to take a second to personally thank every single one of you that have tried the site out during its first week. We have seen huge amounts of activity this week and are so happy to see folks diving in. We are also very pleased to get your feedback as well. Most things are working well on the site, but please know that we are working very hard to respond to and address any question, concerns and bugs that have come up. And we thank you very much for your patience in those instances. This is truly a library community resource and you telling us what you think, how to make it better and what you would like to see in the future will be what helps make that future happen. So please keep contacting us, keep kicking the tires and continue to dive in. See you on Your, Mine and OUR “My WebJunction”!
Stay tuned for a full review of the session (complete with summaries of the flipchart notes, AND video), but in the meantime, there’s an archive to the virtual portion of the session: 2.0 Cafe Archive and some good stuff collecting in the 2.0 Cafe wiki. Thanks to all for your participation and don’t forget, keep the conversation alive!
Excited about the great social interaction and learning that occurs when 30,000 librarians get together, but disappointed you’ll miss out because because you can’t attend ALA this year? WebJunction hopes to ease some of your pain by presenting our Library 2.0 Café program live via Wimba Classroom.
You can bet that the WJ team will blog, Twitter, and flickr as much ALA as humanly possible. And though the turnaround time on these sharing technologies has become faster, they are still essentially asynchronous in nature. Their speed, volume, and content richness can almost help you feel there, but watching (and interacting) as events unfold live is even better.
That’s why we are looking forward to physical/virtual blending of our 2.0 Café program, an unconference-style, facilitated, shared conversation based on the World Café model. Produced in conjunction with MaintainIT, this particular event is an opportunity to take a practical look at all the “cool,” high-potential tools we’ve all been seeing this year and together develop ways to utilize those tools to help us engage our communities.
At the Anaheim portion (Sheraton Park Hotel, Palm Ballroom, Saturday 6/28 1:30-3:30, Pacific), attendees will be grouped around café tables covered in poster paper, with markers at the ready. Participants In the Wimba Classroom will have the Wimba whiteboard and chat. Table hosts in both locations will help keep the conversation moving and engaging. A glossary and café menu are provided, along with best practices that encourage participants to: (more…)
One of the key things we learned with Learning 2.0 is that the best learning, the learning that sticks, spreads, and becomes viral is the learning that happens outside of the classroom. Think about your own job. How much of what you know was learned in a classroom? If you’re like most people you learned on the job–from a co-worker, from observation, from experience. We know that most learning takes place outside the four walls of a classroom, yet we seem to spend most of our time preparing for the training that goes on inside a classroom.
I hope you will join me next week for a free webinar hosted by WebJunction called Cultivating a Culture of Learning in the Library. During this hour we’ll explore the differences between training and learning, discover why learning is important, and I’ll share with you some tips for transforming your library from a training organization to a learning organization.
- Lori Reed, Training Specialist for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County
Read more about Lori on her website, www.librarytrainer.com.
To find out more about this webinar and how to register, visit the WebJunction Learning Webinar page.
Make sure you check out the current Library of the Month spotlight, courtesy of WJ Illinois. Harper College library has really demonstrated some great ways to engage students using Web 2.0 technologies.
The spotlight article showcases efforts to connect with a student population that has grown up with the web. Del.ico.us tagging, online courses, Flickr accounts, digital “Read” posters, a blog, and a vodcasts are all part of the mix.
The Web 2.0 recipe du jour seems to demand online video. Depending on the site, that can be a blessing or a curse. Over the past year, I’ve worked through a number of hit and miss library-specific YouTube offerings. But this fun effort by Harper College definitely hits—it’s amusing, informative, and well produced, without seeming over-the-top or slick. If your library is thinking about trying out video, Harper is a good example to emulate.There’s much more in the spotlight article, so be sure to give it a read.
This week’s question relates to a topic that may have increasing bearing on our library community: the tech “buy-in.” As technology solutions become easier for library staff to directly implement, I think we could face resistance toward our home-grown solutions from our IT departments.
At least that’s the roadblock member amberdevo seems to be facing with an intern-developed RSS implementation. They have a technology solution and need advice to help them get it to the live stage:
“Our IT dept keeps putting off (since August 07) in setting it up so it can be used. “Security risk — we’re looking at it — we need to have the code verified, blah blah blah” We don’t know what the security risks are, have never been told. Could someone perhaps enlighten me on what the possible security risks may be and how to set things up so there is no security risk.“ (more…)
This Question of the Week embodies one of the best things about WebJunction: Sharing!
Rhastings added Web 2.0 features to his library’s website and thought it would be helpful to see more examples from the community. This particular discussion has been percolating for about a month, but we are sure many more of you are using Web 2.0 in a Library 2.0 context. Rhastings asked the WebJunction community:
“What library websites have you all seen that incorporate the features and applications of Web 2.0 in a really innovative way?”
Resolution #10. Build Staff Camaraderie
“Camaraderie” defined by Merriam-Websters Online Dictionary is “a spirit of friendly good-fellowship”. When power fails, computers crash, and the lights go dim, the human element still works, and camaraderie is the circuit along which knowledge will continue to travel.
To develop that among the variety of age groups and intellects that work in a library is no easy task. Sharing two things, food and humor, are excellent methods to develop this. Food I’ll leave to individual tastes (pardon the pun) but relevant humor can be trickier to find.
Castles’ del.icio.us resources include Unshelved, from Overduemedia.com (saved by 108 members), has hundreds of funny cartoon strips about librarianship. Librarians have unique opportunities to observe the human condition, and have a good laugh over it. Unshelved does that without being mean. Today’s page has a photo sent in by a fan with a great librarian quote on her T-shirt, “Will work for books”. Love it!
I would imagine there have to be more strips like this. Feel free to comment if you know of any others!
This brings me to a final point about the del.icio.us collection software. Unlike the Librarything various display options, del.icio.us only offers chronological sequencing at this point in time. The last link you put in is the first link the visitor will see. I edited mine in chapter sequence, and found that the first chapters are at the back of the list! I’d forgotten the Unshelved link, and put it in after I added an introduction link. Unshelved appears as my first link!
You could use an introduction link like I have just below the Unshelved link. It doesn’t offer much writing space, but it compensates for the fact that the site doesn’t offer as many descriptive capabilities as the Librarything profiles do. An introductory link can help visitors use your collection better.
Plan if you want your links in specific order. I could delete my current intro link, and reenter it so it would be the top one. However it’s more useful to demonstrate this concept for this blog the way it is now.
A new book also takes a interesting look working in a library. The title says it “all”: Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert. If you and your staff ever feel inundated by the public, especially middle-schoolers, this book is for you. It was published after Castles Against Ignorance so I couldn’t use it in my book. One book I do mention is the Whole Library Handbook 4 by George M. Eberhart, which is a great compilation of library facts and trivia. This resource has grown the most since I put my books resources online; it now has 160 members sharing it, up from 45 last summer!
Another outlet and way to build up your understanding of staff issues is to join listservs or monitor blogs like this one. Librarything has a very active web site with chat areas as well as message boards for specialized groups. And who has the largest group on Librarything? Librarians! Librarians who librarything has over 3700 members. They have a very well put together page. I’m enjoying reading the “Books that just never seem to be returned” thread.
To summarize, here are my 10 ways to make your library great in 2008, using the Web 2.0 tips and tricks in this blog and in my presentation:
1. Use Technology
2. Continuously Train
3. Polish your Comportment
4. Reduce Clutter
5. Handle Noise
6. Handle Conflict
7. Have a Plan
8. Develop Partnerships
9. Create Great Programming
10. Build Staff Camaraderie
Remember, you are not working in a warehouse, or an assembly line, or a bar.
You are librarians, who preserve and help propel our civilization forward!
I hope this has been helpful. Please leave comments or get back to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck on your resolutions. Here’s to a great 2008!
-Ed Rossman, Interim Branch Manager for the Bertram Woods branch of the Shaker Heights Public Library and author of Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments
Click here to access an archive of Ed’s webinar and a PDF of the slides he used.