Library 101 Project Website is up!

Originally posted at Libraryman.com. Michael says:

As of today, the Library 101 Project pre-launch page is live! This page is a teaser page at this point with launch info and a link to the Library 101 facebook page (where you can become a fan and get project updates). We’ll have a few prizes around both the pre-launch here and next week’s full on Library 101 Project launch! Woo hoo!

fyi, Next Wednesday at 2:00pm PST, this page will host all three of the main Library 101 Project pages, including the song, video, nearly 20 essays from Libraryland thought leaders and a resource list of things to help library staff keep up, get ahead and feel good about library work…even as technology and culture evolve in unexpected ways!

The Accidental Library Marketer – a Book Review

Enjoying the accidental library marketer by Kathy DempseyInformation Today sent me a copy of Kathy Dempsey‘s new book, The Accidental Library Marketer (Amazon Associate link). I read it and loved it! Let me tell you a bit about the book.

As Kathy says right in the introduction, on pg. xv – “The Accidental Library Marketer fills a need for library professionals and paraprofessionals who find themselves in an awkward position: they need to promote their libraries and services in the age of the internet, but they’ve never been taught how to do so effectively.”

There’s a lot that’s good in the book (check out my post-it notes in the pic!). Why am I interested in marketing? Well … by being a Digital Branch Manager, I AM part marketer/promoter. Part of my job is sharing the library’s digital branch with Topeka. And that takes … well, marketing and promotion.

Kathy starts with the basics – what IS marketing, anyway? The rest of the book is full of “how to’s” – including creating a marketing plan, basic rules for producing good promotional materials, different ways to get your promotional materials out, and using demographic data as a great starting point. Good stuff indeed – I learned things.

Anything bad about the book? … … well, not the book itself. I was more bummed out that my grad school’s library science program (University of Tennessee) didn’t teach me squat about marketing. Zilch. Seems to be a pretty important topic to me (and it is completely plausible that at the time they DID have classes on marketing, but I wasn’t interested – best-laid plans always seem to change)!

So… go read, go learn. Go market – but not accidentally!

Library 101 – Coming to a Screen Near You!

Michael Porter and I like to make videos. Music videos. Music videos about libraries! Remember our last one?

Well … we have a new one coming out called Library 101! We plan to debut it at Internet Librarian 2009 (during our presentation about making videos on October 28), and we are pretty stoked about it, too! Why, you ask? Well…

  • The music rocks harder than last time
  • We have turned up the video production a few notches (Michael is turning into quite the video producer!)
  • We have a website complete with essays from some amazing people
  • We found a sponsor (thanks, Information Today!)

But most important – the message. Library 101 tells a story. A story about the evolution of libraries and librarians. Historically, we grew and evolved to a certain point. Some of us are continuing to evolve, others are not quite there yet but are working to get there.

The goal of our song, our video, the website and essays? To inspire you to grow, to evolve, and to change your communities!

Michael does a great job of explaining Library 101 on Maurice Coleman’s regular T is for Training podcast. Take a listen. And more importantly, take a listen and a look on October 28 – I will post the video as soon as it goes live, so stay tuned!

Photo by libraryman

Thank you, Anythink Libraries!

Yesterday, I spoke at TechFest for Anythink Libraries in the Denver metro area. Cool place! They have completely re-worked their library brand, they have dumped Dewey, and are quickly picking up speed learning about technology (just the fact that their staff inservice day was called “Techfest” is a testament to that!). Keep an eye on this library – they’re doing some pretty cool things.

It was a fun presentation to do for a dynamic group of people. So thanks, Anythinkers!

Conversation is Experience

Some web designers, especially those with a marketing or graphic design background, say they want to build an experience – but their designed experience, no matter who the website is for, tends to be designed like a movie or a rockstar’s website  – heavy on the Flash, on the intro page (complete with low-pitched ominous music), and it makes cute noises when you click on a link.

That’s great for a movie or a rockstar website. But most of us are building library, organization and company websites. What type of “experiences” should we be creating for those types of websites?

Conversation Spaces

Visitors to your website want to talk – with you, and with each other. Are you providing conversation spaces? The web is FULL of conversation now – check out Amazon, most newspaper and TV news sites, YouTube, this blog, Facebook, Twitter – all spaces where conversation can happen. And conversation DOES happen, because that’s what people do. We like to talk, we like to share, we like to voice our opinion (as I hope some of you do in the comments!).


So, my simple digital experience tip for today is this – make sure to create conversation spaces on your websites. Places like comment boxes, online forums or discussion groups around a topic, Twitter accounts for feedback, online places to Ask a Librarian, etc.

Enable Conversations

Also remember to actually enable conversations once you build the space. What’s that mean? In my library’s case, we allow unmoderated comments to fly free and easy onto our digital branch. I know what some of you are thinking – “OMG, David! Don’t you have a TON of cussing, swearing, name-calling, and other highly inappropriate things being posted? How could you EVER allow that!???!!??”

Um. No. We simply don’t have that. Yes, once in awhile we have some negative comments. But why would we moderate or not show those? Instead, we respond appropriately.

But some of you will need to moderate comments for one reason or the other (i.e., those old-fashioned city attorneys who haven’t yet discovered the joys of Facebook). If you DO moderate comments, make sure to do it quickly. Same day is good. Same hour is best. Why? Because it’s a CONVERSATION. If someone starts a conversation and you don’t get around to moderating the comment for a few days … well, you have killed the conversation. And that’s really no conversation at all.

pic by Adventures in Librarianship