Today I am at the CIGS Web 2.0 and Metadata Seminar being held at the National Library of Scotland on George IVth Bridge, Edinburgh. I’m here as a speaker but also to listen in to some excellent looking presentations. I’ll be liveblogging all day and you can also follow the tweets with the #MAWS2012.
As this is a liveblog the usual caveats apply to this liveblog re: typos, errors, etc. And please do leave me comments and corrections!
Currently we’re just getting settled in with our coffees and programmes for the day. Things are due to start at 10.30am so we’ll be back then.
OK, and we’re off! Graham Forbes is introducing the day – it’s the 5th CIGS Web 2.0 and Metadata seminar today. A couple of days ago I was down at OCLC and they were talking about webscale. And an American said “oh your still talking about web 2.0” and I said “yes, but five years ago we were talking about potential, now we’re talking about what we’re doing, about amplification, about strategies etc. and we’ll continue to talk about it in that way”.
Our first speaker is Nora McGregor who will be talking about Growing Knowledge of the British Library.
Use of Web 2.0 in Digital Research / Nora McGregor, British Library
I am a digital curator at the British Library and I’ll say a bit more about that in a minute. And I work with Growing Knowledge, a project to address the evolution of research and changing needs of researchers.
At the library we had an experiment at the library which we called Growing Knowledge. We had a new space and we thought that a digital research centre might be the best way to use this space. We also have a 2020 Vision and designing and delivering future research services would help us to deliver that. We had 3 deliverables, to install a digital research space, to trial that space, and to review it’s usefulness and appropriateness.
So this space was about loads of screens, lots of space, touch screens etc. In the current reading rooms there are computers that are locked down and just give you lists of resources. So we redesigned that, gave you a workspace, and made resources available. What you got depended on your subject area. So for instance we had digitised resources such as Jane Austin’s digitised manuscripts – they are text searchable, you can see crossed out words etc (also in transcript). At the time we were trialling our video server – we now have this in our regular reading room – and this take video from BBC One, Two, Four, News and Parliament that transcribes that video in real time so it can be searched and explored. And we had ejournals – for instance JOVE – a journal that includes videos of experimental video. Incidentally the Jane Austin work and JOVE are freely available online.
And we wanted to think about the tools researchers would want to do… they would be blogging, they’d be using Google Docs, they’d be tweeting, they’d be using Mendeley, they’d want access to drop box and they’d want other stuff, more advanced tools. So we had polynomial texture mapping – a new way to image objects where you put the object under a dome and images are taken from many angles and you can then interact with the shape and form of the object, it’s like holding a torch at different angles around the object. It is also used with documents – the dead sea scrolls for instance where the divits. And we also included the NYPL Map Rectifier – for georeferencing old maps.
And we also had large scale collaborative touch screen tables – Microsoft Surface ideas.
So we set up this space and the CIBER Research Group evaluated the project.
The feedback thought that the space was great BUT they siad they would prefer not to have to come into the library, it’s aboiut the interaction. And around 40% of survey respondents said they are inclined to use tools they learned about in Growing Knowledge – but few of them were using social media as research tools particularly, they didn’t see it as a place to communicate their research. And that highlighted for us that we are not just content providers. We are advisors, partners, practitioners, facilitators. We have to know what’s going on.
As digital curators we have to train up our regular curators to keep them up to date with changes in scholarship – and that does include social media. When I did my library science degree my first module included building a website and even if I don’t use that directly it’s invaluable. Just knowing how Twitter works is really important. So my group is 4 curators – one of our key tasks is building a training programme which we call “Tooling up @British Library” – this is an homage to Stanford’s “Tooling up for the Digital Humanities” which is an excellent facility.
That programme of training includes:
- Building a readers network on Facebook/Twitter
- Professional networking on Yammer – this is massive at the library, we are such a huge institution I have no idea how we managed before we had it!
- Collaborative working via internal wiki
- Using social media for collection development
- Leveraging external platforms – trying to get away from the idea that everyone has to come to the British Library, using better platforms if they’re there (HistoryPin, Flickr, etc.)
- Text mining, data nining – how do advanced researchers do this, how can we facilitate this, what are our rules for engaging with that.
- Setting up a crowdsourcing project
Twitter: Professional Benefits for Cataloguers / Lynn Corrigan, Edinburgh Napier University
It was quite interesting to hear the uses of Twitter and social media at the British Library, particularly the geo referencing of the maps. I saw that on Twitter and geo referenced a few – its how things get out into the world. Lynn is on Twitter as @lynncorrigan.
Firstly what is Twitter? It’s a tool to allow users to send instant messages, also known as micro-blogs. You post in 140 characters and that’s good and bad – you have to focus and concentrate but it is brief. I’ve been on Twitter since 2008. And although there is twitter.com but most users access Twitter via 3rd party applications as there are many and they have different functionality – things like Tweetdeck, echofon (FireFox extension), Silver Bird (Chrome extension), and through mobile apps. I mainly use a browser extension – they sit in the background and pop up when someone talks to you directly. Or you can dip in to see your timeline. Mobiles are important as Twitter is very much about engaging out and about. It’s very open and that’s really important, a personal approach to Twitter is really important. If you are dipping in and out in the day then twitter.com might work, if you use Twitter a lot the apps and browser extension really come into play.
This is a quick overview of Twitter conventions: @someone to include an individual in a Tweet. But more important for professional networking are #hashtags which are used for collating tweets on a certain subject over time – e.g. #marcmustdie – one for the hardcore cataloguers there. But hashtags give you a handle to gather thoughts on the same event or topic.
So, why should cataloguers Tweet? OK Stephen Fry tweets. Angelina Jolie’s right leg tweets. Why should we? Well it’s all about information. Information is our job. And Twitter is now the fastest way of transmitting information – you can get an amazing response like that map georeferencing example. It’s how people share information on a new service – it spreads like ripples on a pond so quickly on Twitter. And many other web services automatically sebnd tweets when, for instance, blogposts are updated – content management systems let you do this. I had to say all the discussion of RDA, the Library of Congress’s new statement on RDA – Twitter is where I heard of this stuff. I follow cataloguers and those interested in this stuff so everything comes in via my stream, I get most of my information this way.
That was perhaps cataloguers as users of information. But cataloguers can also be publishers of information. It was interesting that Nora was talking about the popularity of Yammer at the British Library. At Edinburgh Napier we’ve not had big take up of that. Twitter works better. So what should cataloguers tweet? Well communicate – it’s a free service, minimal sign-up requirements; many options means users can communicate as easily on the bus as at their desk – it’s a 24 hour a day medium and that’s so important now.; and it’s great for keeping in touch – I can see someone 3 times a year at an event but know about them and their work and be up to date for starting a conversation in person. I think cataloguers in particular need that sort of connection. I know a lot of us are in bigger organisations but loads of librarians are in small libraries where they are the only cataloguer or where cataloguing is only part of their job.
And it’s worth noting that Twitter is simple, it’s drop-in and drop-out, it’s informal, and there is real diversity. There are systems librarians, cataloguers, archivists. They are across the world. It really expands your horizons in such an easy functional way. People ask why not use Facebook or email? Well Facebook is more involved, more intimate than Twitter. Following someone does not have the same connotations as friending them. You can have discussions on your terms.
So how do you get started? Well I was on Twitter in 2008 but I was there for 6 months before I “got it”. I didn’t know who to follow and I was using a pseudonym. So the first thing is to find some people to follow. Use hashtags to follow an event – so for this event (#MAWS2012), UKSG etc. Interact! And you will start to develop your group, your group of the people you communicate with. And do be yourself (unless you are tweeting a corporate account) but be sensible.
Some useful starting points here – High Visibility Cataloguing (#hvcats) is a great blog. UKLiBChat (between 6.30 and 7.30pm every Thursday) is a weekly Twitter chat in the UK for library chat on #uklibchat. Also useful here is #CatIndexBlog. These chats are really relevant and really busy and enjoyable.
At Conferences these things come into their own. You can chat and share information about location or transport. You can arrange meet ups with other attendees, used as a backchannel to make contacts, for note taking, and for emergencies – when you lose your information, your train is late etc! And it also enables virtual events. You can follow events online through the hashtags. It’s a way to participate in a very real way.
And I’ve talked mainly about Tweeting personally. But you can use Twitter with corporate accounts to share information for users or staff. We use a third party tool to connect up our new acquisitions RSS feed to Twitter and we share those (via @EdNapLib) and gets responses and replies and requests etc.
To summarise this is all about visibility. This is important for cataloguers, we’re often seen as being in the backroom hidden away. And this is a way in to other technologies. It lets you publicise what you do to non cataloguing colleagues. And it lets you maintain a professional profile and that’s really important – you have access and a voice to people at all levels and that voice is completely your own. And I think visibility is an issue cataloguing has to face into the future.
Q1 – from Nora) I think that Yammer works for us. It grew organically from enthusiasts – they invited people in and they feel they have ownership
A1) We grew it in the same way but didn’t take off – perhaps we didn’t have the numbers.
Comment) I feel it removed our North/South divide as I’m based in Yorkshire and Nora is in London.
We’ve just had a show of hands – about a half of the room tweets, maybe a few more.
Lynn) It sounds scary but it’s great, I was out last night with people I’ve met through Twitter
Graham) I think like many types of social media it really breaks down the demarcation between personal and working life – you find out that you may follow someone for a professional purpose – say a cataloguer in the US – but then you might find other things out. You do get some noise from the people you follow – both from individuals and people. It can be a lot of stuff to get through. When the NLS started a Yammer account our systems librarian got people chatting about lunch – but it’s evolved to be focused. But there’s still a lot to keep up with. So if in the morning you open all of these tools and looking for updates that’s half the morning.
Lynn) Usually I’ll just check a short recent window of updates – I’ll skim it and that’s one of the things that’s easiest on Twitter. But on a day like today it’ll be more always on. There is noise. But part of the personality coming through is important too. And you should be sensible. There are tools to mute people – or you can unfollow.
Nora) I don’t follow any of my friends. On Twitter I manage the flow. And you don’t have to read everything.
Graham) I think you find it tempting after a few days to scroll back and see what they missed. Also interesting to see people’s peer review process almost in choosing people to follow. You get lots of useful stuff that people have referred to, connected to. Key reports etc. That’s where professionally it’s really useful.
Lynn) And you can find things that are outside the area – geographically or disciplinarily – than you usually would. Like great reports from the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden etc. Most people tweet in english but you can put them through Google Translate.
Graham) I follow a lot of journals and that’s great – like Table of Contents alerts. Now you gave browser extensions for FireFox and Chrome, are there any for Internet Explorer.
Lynn) they change all the time – I had included Brizzly but it’s gone out of business. But I can’t think of one that is recommended for IE off the top of my head – best to search or ask on Twitter.
Q2) Is anyone archiving this stuff?
Lynn) Yes the Library of Congress are
Me) Yes, its a dark archive of all of Twitter
Nora) Another tool called Klout – thinking about using it to encourage it for staff who want to tweet and have it be in their review. The hope is that they will get better to compare effectiveness and to show value has been added for their job.
Graham) At the last CIGS Web 2.0 seminar we had a great presentation from staff across the road on how they were using Twitter to get feedback on the library services. It’s not just about getting information out there but about getting feedback from people who might now fill in an evaluation form.
Lynn) I monitor our account and pass on or feed back information to colleagues as needed – weather warnings are really useful on Twitter.
Graham) Is anyone going to say it’s evil?
Comment) Just an issue that it’s so part of people’s infrastructure as if a standard thing, but it’s a commercial thing. So it’s vulnerable. It’s a concern long term
Lynn) If someone builds a better Twitter people will move to it…
Graham) When you have critical mass it’s hard to compete. And control becomes and issue. And we’ve seen how Google has gone with changes to their privacy. And you see the US patriot act. And there are issues with the Patriot Act allowing the government to access personal data that they wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. So data held in the US can be accessed in ways that would breach the data protection act. Can we mirror US servers or will we lose out. Is competition the way there? Or is regulation the way out there. But most regulation comes from the government in the US. One country makes the rules.
Me) And ownership matters a great deal here – Twitter has a controversial investor from the Middle East and his investment has been linked by some to their changed terms of service to restrict views of Tweets.
Next up is Bryan Christie from the NLS.
Social Media and National Libraries / Bryan Christie, National Library of Scotland
I worked as a journalist at the Scotsman, Radio Times, etc. before working at the NLS. I joined the library last year to work on social media. I wouldn’t have raised my hand as a social media user last year. I have some interesting things to share on that change. I came to it as a journalist and in that role content is really important, you need material that is engaging and interesting to our audience, the public. The medium is different but the message of delivering engaging and interesting content is the same.
So firstly we probably all know that social media is HUGE. Lat week the press reported that Twitter has now reached 500 million users. Facebook has 800+ million – astonishingly huge. More content is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days then were produced by the three US networks in 60 years. These things are huge and it’s taking over our lives. But is it useful. Is it useful to the National Library of Scotland. Going back to that newspaper article they reckoned that only 50% of tweets are useful. So there is a lot of noise, how do you use it in a purposeful way for your organisation? How are we using it?
When I came here we were posting things 2 to 3 times a week, mostly plugging events etc. and mainly waiting for things to happen. Firstly we had to increase our visibility, do things more regularly, and we needed to be interesting and relevant. And I saw this as a shop window for the richness of the collections here, to find the content we have.
So for example we do things like share a 1782 pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday. I try to make sure we link back to the website and it’s good to be amusing as well. And we try to find events to connect to and link back to the document. And that works well. I drew up a calendar of things coming up – anniversaries etc. I schedule tweets to meet those things. Sunday is the anniversary of the opening of the Forth Rail Bridge for instance. And we try to tie into global events. And we now also do a “Friday Fun Film” to highlight film collections – last week we shared a Scottish Oscar winner. On facebook we do similar things, often we repost the same things as the audience probably isn’t the same. We do share videos and images as well. If you were in Parliament Square earlier you’ll see sculptures of Shakespeare quotes to tie into our current exhibition and we feature that stuff too.
There was some description of analytics and tools to check effectiveness. We use free tools. So our Twiter followers were at the 2000 followers last year, now at 3500. We use TwitterCounter for instance. Our neighbours at Edinburgh City Libraries were nominated for an award so I benchmarked us against them – we’re winning, thats not bad. Then I tried the same with the National Library of Wales and the National Library of Ireland – the patterns are all remarkably similar. Perhaps we’re all growing followers because Twitter is growing. But then I started looking at the tweeting rates of our accounts. Ireland and Wales’ National Libraries tweet quite differently – Ireland tweet about 21 times a day – but lots of conversation and noise and babble there. Wales posts fewer. We try to post quality content as the driver. No matter what the growth is down to it’s moving in the right direction.
So Facebook. These are page views from Facebook Insights. So here we again see movement in the right direction. And we have a graph of our monthly users – we had a spike in September 2011 as we ran a popular quiz that month. So this is Facebook insights – you can see individual posts and see reach, discussion levels and “virality”. The important ones are reach – how many people you reach out to – as well as virality which is about sharing. So for us Mary Queen of Scots, the Dalai Lama, and website changes were our top hits for chatter. The most viral post – on Scotlands most banned books – had much smaller reach. So we got to fewer people but actually those that were interested were very interested. Ideally you want to reach lots of people who then do lots of things with that content. And it again changes when you look just at engaged users. Lots of questions here but you can see something of effectiveness here.
So we try things out, we measure it, and we reflect to think about how we reach out more effectively.
So my summary:
- You need to be active
- You need to interesting
- You need to be funny (where possible) – I wanted to show you film of Cliff Richard in Scotland in tartan doing a ceilidh (of sorts) and that was a very popular Fun Friday Film
- You have to monitor what’s happening
- You have to listen and respond to what people are saying – whether nice or not!
Q1) I think it’s interesting what you say about quality vs quantity. I wouldn’t want to have 20 tweets every day on my timeline from one library…
A1) I agree, that’s why we don’t do that.
Q2) The banned books thing is interesting – if you brought into that project then you could follow up as an individual. Also to what extent to people actually engage in person as a result of engagement in social media
A2) I don’t know. But I have one example. We circulate events via our newsletters normally but one got missed out. So I was asked to tweet and post it to Facebook and in a day we boosted registered users from 7 to 60 people. We filled it in a day. So that’s one example of how it can be effective.
Q3) This kind of marketing effort isn’t something I’ve been involved in but from the viewpoint of an ignorant laymen, there seems to be a change in emphasis in that in the olden days the effort for marketing and publicity you would identify your audience and then communicate with them. Now it seems to be like opening the window and shouting down the street – expecting the audience to find you.
A3) That’s why I’m looking at those stats – with that much noise you can’t target your audience. Hashtags help. But if you’re dealing with professional communities that’s easier. It’s hard to be sophisticated with a general audience
Comment) The social aspect is what’s important – getting to other poeple and their networks, that’s how they get targetted. That’s very different.
Graham) You don’t just send messages out to no-one, people want to hear about what you are doing, that is a self-selecting audience. You have poeple who are interested in you, your product so they may like other things. You can get more sophisticated. We can get more feedback and data. But that’s when people start getting a little worried. People don’t want to feel creeped out by that. When you buy a book and use a loyalty card and that data is shared with bookshop group and amazon you get relevant content showing up next time you go to Amazon. But it’s happening more and more and it will happen with companies and institutions. Also fear of who controls what.
Comment) Yes and people can get people getting irate about sharing info with the government that they will happily share 10 times as much with Tesco. When you did fliers it cost money, you had to be targeted.
Nicola) Disagree with that. Social media is way more efficient and targeted than direct marketing. And you can be proactive in who you follow, which pages you like. A good social media strategy also links into your in person events your email address etc.
Graham) It’s one of the tools you use. And you absolutely link up to existing connections. You connect it to visitors, to printed publications.
Brian) It’s important to a broad range of things in terms of content – you need to mix the history with the Cliff Richard. You need a nice broad range of content.
Q4) It’s all very interesting but it’s all about the National Library of Scotland engaging with other libraries?
A4) I’m not a librarian. I do look at what others do. I showed you three national libraries but I didn’t include the British Library as they are off the scale huge by comparison. I’ve looked at their content – they have terrific content. I think they have 260k followers as they have great content but no so different in approach, they just started from a stronger position.
Q5) So do you follow other libraries?
A5) Yes, we follow other national libraries, city libraries etc.
Q6) Does the National Library have a policy or coordinated approach?
A6) The brief answer is no. For Brian that’s institutional work. For individuals we will follow what other comparitive organisations do. I’ll link to individuals, organisations etc. around ingest as that’s my area. We are expected to keep up to date. We want to look at what others are doing, as benchmarking, as points of reference. And I use the British Library and the Library of Congress etc. for comparison but we also consider smaller organisations. But we don’t have any systematic process to cover all areas.
Brian) The Orkney libraries won the Golden Twit twice last year so I’ve been learning from them and their very fun content.
Nora) Recently at the British Library we had a social media artist in. I don’t tweet for the british library but my colleague spends huge amounts of time answering queries. We are trying to create content for him and assist him to cover all topics.
Brian) I think that it’s really important to respond via social media, to have a two way exchange with people. We had a query from a user about a website problem and I was able to respond to that quickly.
Graham) Dare I say it’s sometimes useful to know what’s going on in your own organisation
COmment) a friend of mine had a problem with her Sky Movies access for the Oscars and she had no luck on phone, no luck on email but an instant response on Twitter
Brian) Suspect that’s because Sky are really concerned about their reputation in social media.
And with that we went to lunch but we’re now back again and Fred Guy, my colleague from EDINA, has taken over the role of compare. Our first talk today is from Karen and Key from Glasgow University…
Mobile Strategies for Libraries pt1 / Karen Stevenson and Kay Munro, Glasgow University
We called this presentation “Preparing for the computer in your pocket… or handbag… or backpack” thinking about smart phones. And we wanted to start with a quote from Joan K Lippincott from A Mobile Future for Academic Libraries – a great paper that we’d recommend.
So a bit of background here. Glasgow has 23,000 students, 6000 staff, 2.5 million books and journals, 40,000 ejournals, 600,00 books, 800 student PCs, and wifi – which we thought was throughout the building but actually we discovered some major gaps.
When this work began in 2010 there were two teams within the library looking at this area, we decided to join forces and preempt our Senior Management team, formed a Mobile Technology Group, and made a recommendation to that Senior Management team. To our surprise they said yes. The major decision we had then was that we would not make an app – we didn’t have the technical skills and we weren’t looking at doing something for the whole university. We thought it was most important to have a mobile interface to our catalogue. And that we had some of the patron record function – renewing books etc. And we discovered quickly that we needed some devices to test these things on – our management was supportive here. And we also realised that we had to survey our readers regularly to ensure we met needs and demand.
We worried whether if we built it, if they would come. But they were already there. In three months in 2010 we had huge numbers of accesses from mobile devices – overwhelmingly the iPhone at that point. We had 10,000 mobile visits in just that three monhs.
Looking at the academic literature put the fear of god into us. The Horizon Report in 2011 predicted that 80% of people accesing the internet will be doing so from mobile devices and that internet capable mobile devices would outself computers – that already happened in late 2011. So we went back to the drawing board. we did a comprehensive survey of the academic literature. We looks at the costs of devices and services. We tried to engage with university colleagues – this has been the least successful of our initiatives. We had an early university app but that hasn’t been following up.
Anyway, in December 2010 we came up with a full blown strategy. We wanted something that would allow us to continue to innovate all the time. Our strategy has 10 strands. There is a project plan with an implementation phase for a first cycle, and looked to future cycles, and we identified potential barriers – such as wifi issues. Senior management were very happy with this so we moved ahead.
So those 10 strands are:
- Library search
- QR codes
- Instant enquiry messaging
- Mobile e-books
- SMS library notices – circulation notices etc.
- Infrastructure within the building for wifi and 3G
- Live Lab – a place with a range of devices – about 20 types – where staff can use, borrow, engage and test services
- User Education – both staff and students
- Promotion and Evaluation
Mobile Strategies for Libraries pt2 / Martin Morrey, Edinburgh University
Thanks to the previous presenters, really interesting to see how other groups have approached the same issue. I am not a librarian but I sit in Information Services at the University where we combine libraries, elearning, IT, web development etc. all in one unit.
So I think you’ve already covered why do mobile very well – we also did a survey. We found 95% of students had smartphones in our last survey, there’s some bias there perhaps but actually we’ve seen massive growth in our web stats. There were various possible solutions we could have used. We could have built apps ourselves, we could use the mobile web – our website uses uPortal Mobile but that’s not quite mature enough yet. Or we could look at a Vendor solution for a pilot. We looked at Blackboard Mobile Campus and Ombiel CampusM. Both of those let you customise a mobile app and they distribute that out to the various app stores.
We went for Ombiel CampusM and called it U@Ed. It’s aimed at students (could aim at business in the future perhaps). Includes loads of geo functionality – campus maps etc. timetabling, student finances etc. We initially delivered to Apple (iOS), Android, and BlackBerry (still coming) though there is also a web interface.
So the app is controlled via a web based management interface that lets us edit the content, control maps, locations, alerts, news, etc. I wasn’t sure if this audience would be technical or not but I thought I’d just talk about how the app connects up. The CampusM Manager is hosted by Ombiel in the cloud. It takes in RSS news feed from the University, we have PC availability feeding in, and we have data from Voyager, our OPAC. That latter is part way through. Currently you can search but you can’t reserve or renew books yet but it’s coming. It would be good to draw maps from a static or dynamic data source – currently done manually. We will add a bus tracker at some point. And we want to add alerts into the system rather than do this manually.
Currently U@Ed is best on phones rather than tablets – next version should be better on tablets. My courses connects to WebCT. We have maps there. We have news from several feeds from across the university. Generally these link through to the website eventually – that’s not as mobile friendly right now. But we are redesigning our website to work better with mobile and hopefully that will make a big difference here. I’m guessing you will mainly be interested in the library… so if we look here we can see the available PCs in the library – we can see it’s busy today. We hope to use mobile partly to get some of the PC functionality onto handheld devices to cut down on capacity/queuing issues.
We can also search the catalogue, see where it’s based, and we can see the available copies. But I’d like to be able to renew or reserve it or bookmark that item. But we’ll get there. It’s our OPAC that needs upgrading to enable that – it’s the webservice interface with Voyager 8 that’s limiting us here not the app.
So, we have BlackBerry Support coming in March 2012. We been quite successful with ratings and downloads – better on iOS, less so on Android. We’ve had well over 8000 downloads to date. That seems like a success. But we don’t have usage tracking yet – that day to day use isn’t clear (coming March 2012). We have identified most of the top issues from our research – course information was most crucial, exam and course timetables was next, then PC availability, then library record… we’ve tried to address these but we’ve had challenges with timetables – that’s because of a lack of a central timetable for the whole university but that is coming. The tracking of use will really help us see how this works in practice. And we will add bus timetables in as well.
In the longer term we want to create integrated announcements/alerts – for U@Ed and MyEd. Course timetables are Medical and Vet Medicine only – awaiting central timetables still. And we are moving the Student Diary to Office 365 so that could come in at some point.
Other ideas we’ve had…
- QR codes on library shelf – search within shelfmark range
- Job shop – vacanied for students from SAGE database
- Dropbox-style integration to shared file system
- Freshers module – may even have that for next academic year
Use of Libguides in Academic Libraries / Vicki Cormie, St Andrews University
I am the Senior Academic Liaison Librarian for Medical and Science areas. St Andrews had become quite under resourced until five years ago when my role and my colleague for Humanities and Social Sciences were appointed. It was quite a challenge as these were new roles without backup. And our student body includes a large number of North American students who come from a very different culture – where librarians are more numerous, more specialist and able to hand hold.
We had to do something in person and online to support students, needed to be something fast and easy to update. I came to St Andrews from St Margarets where I was used to editing webpages. When I came to St Andrews they were using Terminal 4 – a good content management system but bad for quickly tailoring courses. And there really isn’t a VLE in place. So I looked for other options. I started by looking at Google Sites – you can use widgets etc, there are easy templates, it’s quick to set up. But you can get a bit stuck unless you are happy to customise your HTML and/or CSS. And it’s not very aimed at academic libraries. We do use Google Sites for our Library staff portal – it works well – but I heard about Library LibGuides and we trialled it. LibGuides is produced by SpringShare in the US. There are 2000 librares of all types and sizes using the tool. There are 22 libraries in the UK using it and there are 125,000 guides in the system contributed by 25,000 librarians. We didn’t look at other systems really – let me know if me know if you know of something better.
So here we see a typical LibGuide site – it’s made up of boxes that build up into a single page. The author of the page is shown along with useful information. Then various useful boxes and links. The guides can have tabs, can include images, searches of the catalogue etc. You can also include an IM option for live support. The LibGuides do look quite different to each other – perhaps they should. So if I show you some other university libraries who use this… some use rolling image displays, the template is customised, the number of tabs varies etc.
I’m just going to show you how I create these. I go to my dashboard, I choose to create a new guide, I name it. And I can reuse content from elsewhere very easily. I can add new boxes (about 20 different kind). The boxes are edited from a pop up screen. It’s really easy to set those up. And if I wanted to I could reuse content from elsewhere – very helpful if you leave it linked up so all your guides update for standard information. I think if I did this again I’d set up a whole set of generic boxes to cover all eventualities on a blank template. Then I’d create new pages and pick and mix between those elements in the specific guides.
Many types of boxes are supported – rich text, surveys, links, all click throughs are tracked, you can add proxy URL as a prefix, you can bring in RSS, you can pull in documents, you can embed media widgets such as search boxes, vendor search boxes, serials solutions (latest resource lists etc. – can be quite handy but a bit tricky to set up), books from the library, catalogues (Aleph for instance), etc. And for any of these there are guide son Springshare to help you set up any of these. They really encourage sharing and reuse of guides and data. Books from the library, I’m ashamed to say, I only looked at ahead of today – you can pull a book from the catalogue with the ISBN, then the Guide will link to the catalogue and image.
The system is mobile friendly. The system auto detects the device and formats accordingly, looks very good. And if you use the catalogue type feature you can use this as a full mobile friendly platform. The system does produce some useful statistical information as well. We can see the page hits, you can see the resources accessed, including the journal/platform clicked through to.
This system can be used for all sorts of information not just library guides. There is a whole Springshare community out there that you can engage with. For instance somewhere like MacEwan 40 and RefWorks both use the system with their own LibGuide presences – quite a lot vendors provide guidance for their software and products in this way.
It isn’t too expensive $1500 per year – though FTE based. That’s good value for us and how it has been working for us. We didn’t originally aim this as postgrads it has been popular with them. It solves problems with FAQs – speed and ease of editing being the major advantage, it gives u greater control of how we present our resources to our students. But we could be doing much much more – time is the constraint here.
All our libguides are open and can be found here: http://libguides.st-andrew.ac.uk
I didn’t want this to be a sales pitch but it’s hard to think of many negatives!
Q1) Given that you’ve used a VLE as well before how do they compare?
A1) LibGuides is so much easier than Blackboard or WebCT. The big advantage of VLEs is that they do offer login options though, LibGuides are not behind a login.
Q2) How does this fit into induction work?
A2) It saves us a lot of face to face time guiding students to key resources. We didn’t do library tours but this set of resources lets us point people in the right direction. We do also do classroom and workshop based teaching – but it still helps as the students know those resources and notes are already there for them.
Q3) You mentioned you have CHALICE? as well here do they integrate?
A3) Not yet but will speak to those guys. I think its because that is a British product an
Comment) There are a number of universities looking at LibGuides right now and connecting them to catalogues
Developments in Web 2.0 / Nicola Osborne, Edina
So that was me, here’s the Prezi:
Aww… and the lovely Paula Cuccurullo has taken some notes on my talk for your pleasure here – most meta! Here’s what I said apparently:
Social Media officer for EDINA – advises about 80 colleagues in the organisation on social media and how it can be integrated with the services we offer
20 public-facing blogs, 12 Twitter, 7 Facebook pages, and ? Youtube channels (one added today)
Why the title? Inspired by Mike Lombardo who won the Song Foo contest with a song about writing a song called “This Song is Meta (and so is this title)”
What has happened in the last year? Noting key happenings in multimedia in the past 12 months that may be most important
- Google+ and Facebook Timeline launched,
- Twitter bought tweet deck and launched new new Twitter
- Privacy terms issues for both Google and Facebook
- TwapperKeeper closed / Datasift charging thousands for archived tweets!
- Twitter and FB didn’t start riots but Blackberry Messenger maybe did… (London)
FB Timeline example: it’s the info we had already provided but ‘remixed’ [my word!]; many were surprised by how much that was public and available
“If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer, you’re the product being sold” – MetaFilter user bluebeetle (sp?)
Seamless sharing between FB and other websites (for example, the Guardian) – “cool” way of showing what you are doing to your friends. Potential for libraries: what are your library users reading right now? Which library did it come from? What other metadata (authors, keywords etc) might it be useful to share?
But how do we do this without users sharing information they don’t want to share, as often happens with users on FB?
Kindles have a seamless sharing facility as well so you can share what you read there (Fun fact: upturn in download of romantic fiction – not quite so obvious when read on a tablet!)
Kindle self-publishing: requires authors to provide accurate metadata when they self-publish and they encourage readers to share reading seamlessly, which means this comment and discussion on the e-book can link up seamlessly to the publisher data
About 50% of the UK are now carrying around a smartphone – so anything you do has context such as location, timestamp and date; also, tagging for groups, individuals and additional context [added metadata – photos], which can be instantly uploaded and shared in context
Providing metadata is rewarded – hashtags bring new followers/attention and can act as a vibrant community (example of #love libraries etc); some commercial companies can even offer incentive to use their hashtags via contests or offers
Showing JISC MediaHub and the share/like buttons on images; could be done by libraries too
Figshare: set up by researcher fed up with not being able to publish useful research (that didn’t meet what he was trying to prove)
Privacy settings mean we are creating personal classification systems: think about Google+ and the circles, and what you share with which circles – can you target these classifications?
Your network is becoming your metadata for Google – you can sneak in the ‘back door’ of the US Google and search information about the people/things you know via ‘personal results’ – so is Google more clever behind the scenes than it is in Google+?
“Automagic” data: example of the tweeting plant telling you it needs warmth, water etc! Much more of this starting to occur; hacking the real and virtual worlds together. Kickstarter project about “Ninja Blocks” – sensors connecting the real world and internet world
Tales of Things project has more of a library basis; QR codes on physical items, then asking people to put in stories connected to that item, which usually leads to more stories and more context – the story is almost the data and the thing is almost the metadata, confusing but fun!
Crowdsourcing as community sourcing – including the BL Placing Historic Maps project mentioned earlier today!
A lot of data is created by many people who do just a few things but share their expertise
Showed other examples of tagging with metadata, including tagging RCAHMS photos from their collection and V&A Crowdsourcing (asking for help improving their collection search – picking best thumbnails, building a better catalogue)
Shameless but useful plug for Addressing History
Finishing up with the right source of meme: “This is what a librarian looks like” – please feel free to add to this but it’s addictive J http://lookslikelibraryscience.com
Questions: is there quality control checking? (Suzanne Hollywood) – often there are editors (Wikipedia) or cataloguers, some keep back copies so they can roll back but trust users to get it right – also large crowds often look at items so you would imagine there is quality control from that as well. People want to contribute good information as it helps the project (and bad information would make the contributor look bad!)
Huge thanks to Paula for that!
And with that we’re all done here at CIGS Web 2.0 and Metadata. Thank you from me to the organisers, the speakers and lovely attendees!