Bring Back the Funny – Internet Librarian 2012

Speaker – Jennifer Koerber, Boston Public Library

Bringing humor back to your job can relieve tension, make work fun, etc.

Mostly work is serious …. but let’s not take ourselves too seriously!

Hillsdale Public Library – being goofy with some signs, pushing limits a bit with them. For example, they put a sign reading “dive into a good book! Sign up for summer reading” by their flooded parking lot.

Craigshead County Jonesboro Public Library – their funny billboards

The idea – take them a bit farther, push the limits

Smartphones – best tool ever for bringing funny into the library. Take photos of funny stuff, use them for inspiration, etc

Don’t just share what’s not allowed in the library. Share what IS allowed, too, in a fun way.

Get a pulse of what will work in your community. Don’t scare people off while pushing the limits. So use humor that works in your local community – not necessarily the humor you would personally use.

That was physical world stuff. What can you do digitally?

April Fools Day jokes on websites as example. Whole Foods did a fun one.

Recycle your ebooks here! Funny one… at free-ebooks.net

Me – Hmm… This could be fun. Thinking…

Kodak – new service – print your own kittens!

Elsewhere on your website:
– Avatars for library staff can be fun
– Fun with titles, 404 pages, etc

Lawrence University changes text on the website to pirate on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Those moving pictures! Videos…

Craighead’s comedy video series – on YouTube
– Other fun videos mentioned

Laugh at yourself, too!

Be a children’s librarian for one day – you will develop a sense of humor and get used to being the center of attention.

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!

Our Communicating Customers

Big ad on our website for the new library catalogMy library’s in the process of switching ILS systems – we just moved from SirsiDynix Horizon to a Polaris system (to all you non library types out there, I’m talking about our Library Catalog).

We just went live with the new system on May 23, and as you can imagine, it’s taking a couple of days to bring everything up, and get all the parts and pieces working like they should. It’s a huge, complex software/hardware switch, and it’s been a very smooth move, all things considered (mainly because we have awesome, great staff – they rock!).

We have two primary ways that customers can talk to us about the new catalog (well, discounting actually visiting the library and talking to us, and using the phone): an email form and through social media.

We set up an email feedback form that you can see in the catalog, and our customers are using it. So far, we’ve had maybe 20 or so customers communicate their love of the new catalog, their dislike of the “new thing,” or a specific problem with their account. Useful stuff.

Social media has been quite interesting!

First, I wrote a blog post about the catalog, complete with a short video. This post has received about 35 comments so far. Customers asking questions, and me responding to them.

Via Twitter, we have received some nice praise and good comments, including:

  • “Awesome! I’ve been hoping for this a very long time!”
  • “Can’t wait!”
  • “Good luck with the migration1 Bet the new catalog will be awesome!”
  • “We’re excited about the new catalogue! Not surprised that there are some hiccups.”

Facebook has been interesting, because some conversations were started by our customers.

This morning, one of our customers posted this: “Has anyone gotten into the new catalog?” And two people had a conversation about the catalog, about some of the third party things connected to the catalog (like our DVD Dispenser), and what was working/not working.

Since I’m one of the admins of our Facebook Page, I saw those conversations, and was able to answer their questions.

We also instigated some conversations. Yesterday, we posted this: “Today’s upgrade day & most upgrades to the catalog have been made. A few kinks are still being worked out, but you can now explore catalog.tscpl.org – and tell a friend! (Same goes for Facebook. We know you can use your influence to get us a few “likes,” right?;)”

… and that got us 25 Likes :-). And a couple more questions, too – which I answered via Facebook.

Why mention this? I find it fascinating to see conversations about library catalogs taking place via social media. 10-12 years ago – last time I helped with an ILS switch – I don’t remember seeing much customer feedback (though I’m sure someone got an earful). We didn’t se up email feedback forms, and social media pretty much didn’t exist yet. This time around, customers are helping each other, asking questions and tagging us … and I’m able to see them. And help. And hear.

Amazing.

New Presentation – Designing the Digital Branch – it’s everyone’s job!

Gina Millsap and I gave this presentation last week at the Texas Library Association’s annual conference (this year in Houston, TX). Great conference, fun people!

Especially check out the final part of this presentation – it will give you a little insight into how my library decides on strategy – through data-mapping and GIS market segmentation data. Really handy stuff.

Enjoy!

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My Computers in Libraries 2012 Presentations

As usual, I had a great time at Computers in Libraries 2012 (#CILDC). I learned some interesting things, and met some really cool people too.

I also gave a few presentations (ok – five presentations). Here are a couple of my slidedecks and some notes people took during the presentations, so you can get a feel for my sessions. Enjoy!

1. Seven Essential Elements to an Awesome Library Website

Nicole Engard took some pretty thorough notes! This slidedeck made the main page of Slideshare, in the Featured and the Top Pro Content sections!).

2. Digital Hangouts: Reaching Outside the Building

Digital Hangouts: Reaching Outside the Building

View more presentations from David King
This slidedeck also made the main page of Slideshare, in the Top Pro Content section. Sweet!
3. The Next Big Thing – an interactive panel (Jill Hurst-Wahl’s notes).

4. Benchmark Study – Library Spending and Priorities 2012 (another panel – notes from Joanna’s Conference Reports blog).

5. Let’s Make Video! (a preconference workshop with Michael Porter. Notes from the Montana BTOP Technology Training blog).