IL2006 Day 2: RSS & JavaScript Cookbook: Rip, Mix, and Burn

Paul Pival and Meredith Farkas
– their presentation

What’s wrong with traditional subject pages?

  • not often updated
  • not easy to add content if you don’t know html
  • no academic field is static, so perhaps a static web page isn’t the best tool for a subject guide

Dynamic content:

  • lives elsewhere, but is pulled onto the page
  • updated as content is updated elsewhere


  • used to write functions for HTML pages that one could not do with HTML alone
  • many sites offer bits of JavaScript code to allow you to do cool stuff

What can you do with RSS on a subject page?

  • lots of cool stuff…

Check out feed2js – a few other similar services, too – turns RSS feeds into javascript… wow.

Seattle Public – rss in their catalog…

IL2006 Day 2: MySpace and Facebook

Aaron Schmidt – MySpace Invaders

Teens like what I’d consider to be ugly, gaudy pages.

Teens know the bad stuff on MySpace….


  • Hold a MySpace Tips and Tricks class
  • Class for Parents
  • Historic figure/book character project – nwhat song would they like, who would they friend, etc
  • MySpace bulletins – effective event invitation

Your library myspace:

  • be authentic
  • give up control (let teens do it)
  • have fun
  • consider who you want to be
  • include a song and video
  • meebome widget – for IM

MySpace in your library:

  • Resistant admin?
  • Always some issue to be scared of… get over it

Is MySpace a fad? Absolutely yes!

  • Still experiment though
  • It’s also part of a larger trend

My Own Cafe – a library mad ethier own myspace – ish space


Cliff Landis – Facebook

Social networking – connections between individuals create a network

Communication in Facebook:

  • image representation (the profile)
  • 1 on 1 communication
  • communication in groups
  • writing on walls
  • sharing pics
  • linking to other social networks and websites

How can this benefit students?

  • traditional services like reference, marketing, and instruction
  • innovative services, like acquisitions – asking studetns on their own turf, using a student’s public info (blog) to meet their info needs…

How will this Facebook improve my service?

  • user-centric approach – the user is not broken
  • meet people where they are – not where you want them to be
  • point-of-need service
  • effective marketing
  • using the market that is already in place

How should we represent ourselves?

  • facebook has cancelled some institutional accounts
  • you might need to be an individual rather than an institution

IL2006 Day 1: Perfuming a Skunk, or there’s More than One Way to Skin an Online Catalog

Nanette… Champaign Public Library

First step: user survey on the website

  • what do you currently use
  • What types of enhancements would they like to see?
  • etc

Results? most came to use the online catalog, many ONLY came to use catalog – and many thought it was clunky.

Goal setting:

  • integrate online catalog into website
  • focus on ease of use


  • study what other libraries have done to make online catalogts more attractrive and usable
  • talk to the administrators of catalog to see what can be done without affecting others in consortium
  • investigate third-party solutions like aquabrowsers, endeca
  • work with automation staff
  • consider public service straff opinions
  • prioritize features into must-haves and can-wait-for-phase-two features

finally in planning:

  • we dreamed big
  • they didn’t want to dismiss anything…
  • they had a grant, so they had money…

implementation –

  • roadblocks – ILS vendor was upgrading
  • Vendor was unwilling to provide API
  • consortial concerns
  • time concerns

Online Catalog 2.0: where do we go from here

  • what can libraries do? Hire programmers.
  • support vendors who are willing to release the API for their software and support third-party development of enhancements – or go open source
  • Insist on features that our power users want – these are the fetures your power user will want two years from now

What ILS vendors can do?

  • anticipate user’s needs
  • look at what libraries are doing with your products – implement some of their innovations
  • understand that no company can do it all and well. Release your API – even Microsoft is doing it

what catalogers can do?

  • competition with google, amazon, etc  is good
  • understand that user tagging is not the end of controlled vocabularies
  • provide adequate subject access for all types of materials in all formats

IL2006 Day 1: Synergy for Better Services: IT and Library Cultures

Kathryn Deiss – Content Strategist, ACRL
Matt Gullett, Technology Education Librarian, PLCMC

New technologies are changing possibilities and roles for both IT and library cultures and for library customers.

The players/actors: IT, Librarians, Customers…

Gave some definitions of organizational culture

Discussed definition of “we” – sometimes it’s IT, sometimes it’s MLS holders. It needs to be both!

Historic common ground – IT and library cultures share:

  • desire to do the right thing
  • intention to create security and integrity of systems, networks, etc
  • concern for stability of systems and services created
  • hard work to develop services for others

Tension (especially the emerging environment):

  • disruption is the norm (external environment)
  • customer create their own solutions (web 2.0)
  • diverging cultures

Discussed a study comparing Dunkin Donuts vs Starbucks customers… they are very different!

Peculiarities of each group:

  • mls – focused on process and discussion
  • IT – closed in their approach to sharing info for specific reasons – not because of mal-intent or evil motive

quick discussion of the terms user/customer/patron/public…

Perceptions of the customer:

  • library – the customer as primarily using physical product and services
  • IT view

IT sees librarians:

  1. underestimating the complexity of technoligies
  2. undervaluing the expertise of the highly knowledgeable technologist

Librarians see IT as: – over-complicating the easily accomplished; controlling the reins of technology to maintain power and sovereignty

Meanwhile, customers are inventing thier own environments – authority leaping, boundary leaping, learning-oriented

Ripe times for synergy – IT and Librarians need to work together…

Creating the “”new” is fun AND critical!

IL2006 Day 1: Creating Synergy between your Website and Catalog

Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County Library

OPAC Developments 2006:

  • ILS Customer Bill of Rights –
  • patREST – Blyberg developed this
  • NCSU/Endeca catalog
  • NGC4LIB – new listserv discussing next-gen catalogs
  • Catalog search everywhere! Amazon, Google, MySpace

Glenn mentioned these trends:

  • Go to – amazon and B&N scripts… add it to firefox
  • Personalized Google pages… include live search to catalog, Library news..
  • Myspace library search right in MySpace

How can your website and catalog work together… add value and save the time of the user…

Two Approaches

  1. portal – something vendors are offering. bringing library content into the catalog interface.
  2. integrating catalog as one of many web-based resources


  • Fort Collins library – includes menu on all pages, even library catalog
  • and Phoenix Public Library – both hacked their ILS to integrate it into the whole library website experience

1. links to titles

  • not too hard to do
  • booklists – link to the catalog record!
  • newsletters – online newsletter – link to those catalog records when a book is mentioned
  • new book alerts – link to those records… even using email
  • event listings…
  • etc…

2. links to catalog searches

  • on subject guides – link to the subject heading in catalog
  • pathfinders – same thing
  • reader’s advisory

3. make your links smarter

  • create a script that points to catalog records

4. single login

  • log in to catalog, databases, website, etc with one login.
  • HCL is displaying My Account info within the website. Cool.