Managers Pay Attention! Why Social Networking and Web 2.0 is Important for your Library

Just gave this presentation at the Hawaii Library Association yesterday.

Go Go Gadget!?! Technology, Trends, and Children’s Services

One of the two big presentations I gave at the Hawaii Library Association, all about Web 2.0 tools and services, how kids and teens are already using these things, and how librarians need to be learning them, too.

IL2008: Implementing a Next Gen OPAC

Speaker – Jeff Wisniewski

problem: old opacs weren’t designed for usability
– they were designed for the back-end of libraries
– designed to store data

Look at Jeff’s library’s OPAC – pittcat – much nicer looking than most other opacs (it’s still in beta)

they plan on keeping the more traditional-looking opac search for the forseeable future – eventually they’ll look at useage stats and go from there.

goals for new interface:
– does it have an intuitive interface?
– zero instruction needed, like amazon’s search interface
– no dumb error messages
– expose more of their collection (faceted search thing)
– integrate various silos (other databases they had, locally-created stuff, etc)
– get it up and running yesterday!

If you can, don’t do an RFP. It’s sorta backwards, hard to write, frequently states the obvious

instead, they made a features list
– must have
– highly desirable
– and a third category
– had to have the must have features

made a spreadsheet for the selection process with each vendor and their features listed.

Do this for your users – not your staff!!!
– boolean, advanced search, etc – your users DON’T CARE. So don’t offer it.
– resist the power search…

they renamed the old catalog the “classic” catalog – funny!

Do publicity on the new thing!

Usability
– call it what it is – map, not cartographic resource; music, not sound recording (that’s what the majority of them are)
– hyperlinks – you can put them practically everywhere

make sure it’s visual – use book jacket pics, etc

give your catalog legs:
– create facebook search widgets
– embed search widgets elsewhere, too

social stuff – do it even if you’re not quite ready yet

integration with other databases (federated search)
– some have them

IL2008: Defining & Measuring Social Media Success

Speaker: Jeff Wisniewski

Why be social
bad reasons – it’s cool, my boss told me to, etc
better reasons – provides innovative ways for libraries to connect with ysers we may never see face to face, to encourage, promote, innovate, learn, adapt, to improve customer service, to discover and deliver what users want, to market without marketing

Listen first
is it a conversation? What’s being said?
Listen first to see what the tone is

Developing a social media plan
define a strategy
define goals – ie., increase awareness of library services, increase the number of new cards issues, etc
pick a platform or two
the right platform depends on your goals

Then – start!
start blogging/leaving comments, etc

Assessing social media success
quantitatively and qualitatively – both are needed
what you are measuring – the “trinity approach” – behavior, outcome, experience

the what (behavior)
quantitative
number of blog posts
– Boyd’s Conversation Index: posts/comments + trackbacks, should be greater than 1
number of facebook friends/fans
views/visits

Outcome: the tangible benefit of your social media activity
– higher satisfaction
– fewer help desk calls
– more searches
– increase in funding

Example – are your flickr imsages viewed? Monitor the number of users. Also monitor referrals from flickr to your website, then you can say collection use has increased by 2.1%… coolness.

Experience
put on your listening ears!
listen/engage/converse – take action
be authentic – admit problems and engage that way

Experience metric – experience CAN be measured and evaluated
stars, scars, or neutral? (positive, negative, neutral comments)

5 things to get started:
1. monitor general search engine results
– focus on google (they do the best in including social media stuff in search results)

2. monitor social media search engine results
– why?
– used by high-value, highly connected, highly influencial users
– pays great divedends if they are fans of the library
choose the specific social media search engines that match your media efforts
– delicious – see how many people bookmarked it (quant) and something else…
– twitter – do you show up? How often?
– advanced search has a local search option

3. create alerts
– check standard web logs for refers from search engines. What terms do people use?
– use quotes
– choose “comprehensive” to get results from news, globs, web, video, and groups

4. analytics
– create a conversion funnel to measure a social media action chain. It measures follow-through. IE if they go to a signup page, did they finish the process? If they did, that’s a conversion.

5. assess the nature and sentiment of activity
– what’s the stregth and tone of the social media activity?
– is it deep, is it a drive by, one-off comment?