Transforming the Library Empire – Possible?

Speakers – Steve Coffman, LSSI
Roy Tennant, OCLC

This was the morning keynote presentation – here are some notes from their talk.

Steve talked first. He compared cataloging the web (some libraries were interested in that around 1999 or so) to Library 2.0, and said both those didn’t really work. I’ll disagree with him on the library 2.0 side of things…

– the real problem – google and amazon have larger collections than we do
– there is a huge amount of free material, and the average price is $7 so it’s cheap
– amazon, audible, and Netflix are capable of setting up library-like lending services

So – why would people go to a library, when you can get stuff pretty cheaply and more conveniently from other places?

His point – the digital library is here. It’s just not something we created or are in charge of.

Post-print futures

Maker spaces, gadget gurus, community convenors, publishers … Help improve society by facilitating the creation of knowledge in their communities…

Questions – what makes a maker space different from places like build-a-bear? Etc…what makes librarians unique in these new roles, because many others are already doing this stuff?

So where does that leave us? Because he thinks we are closely associated with books and buildings.

So …he thinks instead of running from our books and our buildings, maybe we should focus on them. That’s where our assets are right now.

So now he’s talking about how there are lots of print books still being published, don’t count print out, etc.

Also thinks that, in a few years, there will be some sort of digital backlash.

Ok … So I’m not really into Steve’s points. To me anyway, he’s basically saying people think of libraries as books and buildings, and publishers are still making print books, so lets still do that.

Again, to me anyway … That’s sorta like IBM saying let’s keep focusing on making typewriters, because people think of us as making them, and people are still buying them.

Um… ????

Roy spoke next…

Roy thinks libraries will survive.

Our flexibility is important.

Showing a bunch of old technology that has come and gone … and it wasn’t really that long ago

We as libraries have been through these technology changes – have done nothing but change for a long time.

Our gender matters. Our industry is overwhelmingly female.

Our principles matter. Freedom to read. Right to privacy matters. Yikes! Roy showed my old Facebook privacy settings video. I should update that one!

Our people matter. We have great people working at libraries that do awesome things. Patrick Sweeney’s Story Sailboat idea for example.

Maker spaces – a bit more positive thinking from Roy. Entrepreneurs try many things before something clicks. This might be one of them, but you have to try things to see what happens.

R-Squared conference – very different type of conference.

ALA ThinkTank – another great, lively idea.

Me here – I personally got more out of Roy’s part of the talk…

Websites at the Next Level – Internet Librarian 2012

Here are my slides from my session.

Here’s the session description – Ever had that feeling there was something missing on your website, or something not quite right … but you couldn’t put your finger on it? In addition to the seven essential elements, King describes ways to take your library’s web presence to the next level. Leave with lots of insights and ideas to improve your library’s website!

Great turnout, and a ton of tweets from it, too. Thanks!

Internet Librarian 2012, Day 1

For the next couple of days, I’m attending Internet Librarian 2012. Great conference – why aren’t you here?

Day one is over – I don’t have extensive notes from each session, but I will share some highlights.

David Weinberger started us off today with a keynote presentation on his Library as a Platform idea. He explained what he meant by platform and how knowledge is changing because of platforms, and then talked a little about the library as a platform. It was a good, thought-provoking talk.

Next up … well, that was me. I’ll post my slides in another post.

Michelle Boule talked crowdsourcing, and mentioned how to give your crowd the means to survive:

  • give them a goal
  • let the crowd choose their weapons – let them choose the technology they want to use to meet that goal
  • celebrate their successes and failures alike

M. Ryan Hess talked about Google Analytics, and then showed CrazyEgg. I’d forgotten about this really cool tool. It makes a heatmap of clicks on your website – great tool for usability, tracking clicks, etc. I need to check this one out again!

I was able to sign some books – always fun and a bit humbling, too.

And … I saw Jason Griffey’s LibraryBox in action. Very cool project, Jason!

So – good first day. Two more days to come!


5 Steps to Make Your Organization Sound Human Online

Be more human onlineI’ve been seeing a LOT of ReTweets of a guest post I did today, so I thought I’d share it here, too. I recently posted 5 Steps to make Your Organization Sound Human Online at the V3 Integrated marketing blog (thanks, guys!), and it was reposted at

here are my 5 steps (go check out the article to see the rest of the story!):

  1. Type Like You Talk
  2. Be Visual
  3. Use Video to Connect
  4. Ask Questions
  5. Celebrate Customer Loyalty

So – check out the article, leave comments, share it, etc!

image from V3

Facebook Page Best Practices

FacebookLast Saturday, I gave a Facebook Page session at Podcamp Topeka 2012. Part of that presentation included current best practices for posting content to a Facebook Page. Here are those best practices in bullet points:

  • Call to action – you need to tell people to do things like comment, like, and share. Include the call to action in the first 90 characters of your post.
  • Get to the point – 250 characters or less is best. Shorter posts get 60% more interaction than longer posts.
  • Ask for short responses, fill-in-the-blank responses, etc – i.e., “Who’s your favorite author?” This type of question post gets 90% more interaction than other types of text-based posts.
  • Pin important posts, so it stays at the top of your Page longer
  • Be casual (and appropriate). A conversational tone will attract more interaction.
  • Use images. More people comment, Like, and Share posts with images.
  • Post consistently. At least five times a week to stay on top-of-mind for fans.
  • Post the same types of content on the same day of the week. Example – book review Mondays. This helps fans know what to expect from you.
  • Give fans access to exclusive information or content. Yet another way to drive interest and engagement to a Facebook Page.
  • Find your optimal time to post. This will vary by organization.

Want to know more about current Facebook best practices? Check out Best Practices for your Page and Media Strategy by Facebook.

photo by Simon Q