Monday, August 28, 2006
Several New Things: Communicating with Clients Using New Technologies: Reprise and Update.
That's the title of the QULOC workshop I went to today. As the program (PDF) indicates, there were some presentations then some workshops. I found the presentations most interesting and useful. (I guess if you're a librarian but work in IT you need to look a bit harder to find library-focussed workshops on technologies you haven't come across before. Or, start running workshops!)
Anyway, some glimpses into how libraries are using the technologies at their disposal to communicate with their clients. Specifically, people talked about blogs and wikis, PDAs (mobile access to resources), instant messaging, webcasting and podcasting. There was a lot of discussion throughout the day regarding the generational issues when it comes to using these technologies – that for me was almost as interesting as the use of the technologies themselves. There were comments about the clients – whether universities with a high proportion of mature aged students would really benefit; if communicating in new online spaces is really what those clients would be demanding – but also from within the profession. I didn't see who in the room asked it, but my favourite question of the day was: how does Librarian 2.0 convince Librarian 0.9 that Library 2.0 is the way to go? :)
(Related statistics: someone on the NewGrad list posted a link to the Librarian occupations page on the Australian Jobsearch page. The median age is quite high. And only around 10% of us are under age 34! Not that age alone makes Librarian 2.0, but that's a low number for digital natives.)
A few of the ideas I heard today that stuck out for me were:
- using wikis for FAQs, bibliographies, help pages etc – allowing visitors to edit them so you get more ideas about what they want to know
- using podcasts to deliver training, e.g. for infolit-type workshops, or self-guided library tours. Also to promote library services throughout the year. (Check out what UNE's radio station TUNE!FM does to help out during university orientation!)
- using webcasts to share information about specialist collections
- making sure you search student blogs for unsolicited feedback on your services – students in some courses are given the task of creating blogs for assessment, although you might find personal blogs from students out there as well.
- if you want to use technology, first make sure it will meet your needs and your clients' needs – then don't release anything until you have thoroughly planned and tested and prepared
- use the technologies to be where your clients want you, when they want you
- don't forget to apply traditional principles when you're using a new technology: evaluate the value of the content often, and have a weeding policy
- involve your IT people early! The IT section's security and policy needs seemed to be an issue for everyone.
Not boring at all! Thanks for the report on QULOC, which I had heard about but couldn't attend, being all the way on the other side of the country. We have been talking about it on lint so I mentioned this post too :)Post a Comment
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