Tuesday, April 08, 2008

CIL2008: Monday - a Few Notes from the Web Design Track

There are plenty of other bloggers out there covering Computers In Libraries 2008, often better than I can – so I’ll try to synthesize my day and some of the cool sites / tools I learned about in fewer words than usual.

  1. Keynote – Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet & American Life Project -- http://www.pewinternet.org.... In which Lee explains that our biggest fans are the up and coming Gen Y folks. News of the library’s untimely demise is greatly exaggerated, per these recent findings. My spin? The Library2.0 movement is yielding good results and turning things around. The next generation is getting more positive experiences with their libraries these days - they realize that we're changing.
  2. Web2.0: Services for Smaller, Underfunded Libraries, Sarah Houghton-Jan (www.librarianinblack.net), the Sr. Librarian for Digital Futures, San Jose Public Library – Presentation available in PDF format at http://librarianinblack.typepad.com/librarianinblack/files/CIL2008-SmallLibraries.pdf. OK, San Jose doesn’t seem small or underfunded to a tiny town library that has only 1 professional on staff, but Sarah offered a good presentation covering the basics of using Web2.0 to enhance a library's web presence. You know: use blogs, flickr, rss feeds, wikis, etc. Highlights for me: a reminder to lobby administrators to realize that they get the greatest ROI from ebranches – i.e., their web presence - so they should do everything to support building and improvement of web presence; ways not to pay for images (http://www.classroomclipart.com, openclipart.org, openphoto.net, etc., see the presentation for full listing); providing audio & video content and turning said content to text automatically for multiple delivery methods; use RSS Calendar for a calendar of events that puts out an RSS feed; a push to be present on social networks. There was much more here, though all of it fairly basic to the Library2.0 crowd. If you’re just embarking on Library2.0 endeavors, I highly recommend you download the PDF of this presentation.
  3. Fast & Easy Site Tune-Ups, by Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, Univ. of Pittsburgh. This one was the most useful of the day’s sessions for me, so I’ll do a separate entry for this one. Suffice it to say, a lot of ideas for me to actually implement to improve our site and its functionality. Jeff promised his presentation would be up on the CIL2008 website (probably in about a week) – see http://www.infotoday.com/CIL2008/ or the CIL2008 wiki - http://cil2008.pbwiki.com/
  4. During lunchtime, I went into the Exhibitor Hall and heard about the Library of Congress project that put over 3,000 photos on Flickr. Exciting stuff. Take a look at http://www.flickr.com/photos/Library_of_Congress & http://www.flickr.com/commons
  5. Library Web Presence: Engaging the Audience, by Ellysa Stern Cahoy & Emily Rimland, Information Literacy Librarians and Binky Lush, Web Developer, Penn State University; Kristina DeVoe, English & Communications Librarian & Derik Badman, Digital Serivces Librarian, Temple University Libraries. I’m afraid I have to admit to coming in a little late on this one due to lunch. Also, I don’t have time to synthesize my thoughts on this one, so I’ll just give you my raw notes:


Sarah Houghton-Jan said...

Just a note: you're absolutely right that San Jose Public Library is not a small library, but it is underfunded. The main point, though, is that I've only been there for 4 months and the other libraries I've worked for have been both small and underfunded, thus the experience that has driven the presentations I give on "cost-cutting" and "quick & dirty" methods for technology services.

Sharon c. said...

Hi Sarah, agreed. I work in a similar situation, actually, and hadn't been sure if the presentation would be helpful to me - indeed it was. I also think it's worth noting that even our libraries with larger budgets, more staff, etc., have budgetary constraints - such as $ for given line items and not others. Our overall budget looks large to some, but we cannot spend it on hiring programmers, for example. As an additional note, though, I have to admit that I'm grateful because there are libraries far worse off than my own despite those. Thank you for a great session and for your feedback!