Facebook for Libraries – an article in American Libraries

I have an article about Facebook for Libraries – in American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association (ALA). Here’s an excerpt:

“Today, I spent part of the day connecting with people. I complained about a silly election video, chatted with a college friend about a band, and put some finishing touches on plans for a conference taking place at the library.

I did all this through Facebook. These days, it seems like everyone has a Facebook account. Quite a few of my professional colleagues and most of my family have Facebook accounts. Nationally, I’m a bit ahead of the curve: Approximately 41% of the U.S. population has a personal Facebook profile, according to a 2010 study from Edison Research (PDF file). According to Wikipedia, 50% of those Facebook users actually log into their Facebook accounts every day. Total Facebook population? Globally, over 600 million of us currently use Facebook, MSNBC reported in January, and most of them interact every day with an average of 130 Facebook friends and acquaintances.

Think about that for a second. What library wouldn’t love to have a direct, free line to potentially 41% of your community’s ear? Keep in mind, these people could be connected to another 130 people in your community. That’s a lot of free communication!

So, stake a claim in this digital land and create a Facebook Page for your library. Here’s how to set up a Facebook account, and how to use it to connect with your community.”

Go read the rest of the article!

Upcoming Webinar – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites

If you’re interested in building better websites, make sure to sign up for my upcoming webinar for ALA TechSource on June 8 – Building the Digital Branch: Designing Effective Library Websites. Just click the link to sign up!

This will be the second time I have given this webinar. If you attended the first one, never fret! There will be new content – I’m going to talk about how Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (where I work) built our current website (the redesign went live on March 1).

Here’s the blurb for the webinar:

Every library needs a presence on the web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to deliver service and content to patrons outside  your building. David Lee King will once again present this popular workshop, taking you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will expand and enhance your library’s presence in the community.

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How to successfully plan and implement a redesign of your website
  • How to find out what patrons want from your website
  • How to use your website to interact with patrons
  • How to create strategic plans and goals for your website

Sign up NOW!

Why Just This Week?

Yay! It’s National Library Week! It’s the week libraries remind their patrons they should love a librarian. We make buttons. We remind people that a community thrives when they have a good library. We ask people to tell us their stories. We bake cakes.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with National Library Week. It gets press. It gets us librarians organized a bit for at least one week during the year. And it can be a lot of fun, too.

But I get a little miffed during this week. Some libraries pour a lot of money and planning and time and festivities into a week … that no one else really cares about. It’s just a made-up week sponsored by ALA. Sorta like National Health IT Week (ooh! That one’s coming up on September 12-16, 2011. Be there or be square!).

As I was writing this post, I received a canned email from Michael dowling, Director, Chapter Relations Office at ALA, that starts like this: “Thank you for supporting your state’s libraries during National Library Week, the perfect week to let your state legislators and governor know how important libraries are to you!”

Why is this week the perfect week? Why don’t we do this stuff the OTHER 51 weeks of the year?

What would happen if we very actively pushed the idea of libraries, of loving your librarian, of reminding our community that libraries thrive with a good library (and then backing up that claim with proof) ALL YEAR LONG?

Something to think about…

pic by vanhookc

Coming soon – Using Social Software in Library Marketing: Facebook, Twitter and More (ALA TechSource Workshop)

Some of you might be interested in attending this webinar coming up on December 1 and Decomber 8 (two part series) that Robin Hastings and I are leading.

Here’s the details (and here’s where you can register):

The popularity of social networking software—tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogs—continues to skyrocket, particular among younger populations. For libraries in the 21st century, a presence on these social networking sites is an essential part of library outreach and patron services. In this exclusive event, librarians and social software experts David Lee King and Robin Hastings will teach you about what tools you can use to engage with your patrons and the best practices for using them.

You’ll learn about:

  • Collaboration with libraries and patrons using YouTube, Flickr and Dropbox
  • Marketing your library with Facebook and Twitter
  • 4 things your library must do when signing up for any social media tool (listen, plan, respond, and opening up)
  • Time-savers and tools to use for maximizing your library’s social media reach

About the Instructors

Robin Hastings is the Information Technology Manager for the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Missouri. She manages the library’s network, websites and training classes, as well as social networking projects for the library. Recently, Robin went to England, Jamaica, California, Chicago (twice), St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri, giving presentations on Web 2.0, Learning 2.0, Library Mashups, RSS, OpenID and Web 3.0. When she’s not traveling, she spends most of her free time in front of a computer blogging at http://www.rhastings.net or writing articles, a book chapter on mashups in the library and a chapter on using Google Apps in the library, an issue of Library Technology Reports on Collaboration and a book on lifestreaming and microblogging.

David Lee King is the Digital Branch and Services Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans for, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website usability and management, digital experience planning, and managing techie staff and has been published in many library-related journals. David was named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” for 2008 and recently published his first book, Designing the Digital Experience. David writes the Internet Spotlight column in Public Libraries magazine with Michael Porter and maintains a blog at www.davidleeking.com.

Interested? Go register today!

Building the Digital Branch: An ALA TechSource Workshop with David Lee King

I’m teaching an ALA TechSource Workshop about building digital branches on August 3rd – and I hope you attend!

Here’s the blurb about the workshop:

“Every library needs a presence on the Web. Whether you work at a large academic library or a public library in a small town, you need to be able to provide service and content to your patrons beyond the walls of your building. In this workshop, David Lee King will take you through the process of building an effective, user-friendly library website that will exand and enhance your library’s presence in its community.

This event will take place on Tuesday, August 3rd at 2:30pm Eastern (1:30pm Central, 11:30am Pacific).

Whether you’re looking to launch your first website, redesign your site, or expand the site you have, this workshop will provide practical guidance for every step of the process.”

Interested? You can find out a bit more on this page, and you can sign up here!