Temporarily called “Name This Blog“, the group of staffers working to create it have jumped in with a splash! We set up a poll so staff can vote on a name, and it looks like “Grand CENtral” is the leader as of this morning. The other options are CENversations and CENergy.
Now that staff have got their feet wet, we need to meet once more to set up some standards for things like linking to titles in the catalog, whether to use CAPS for the Spanish language posts, linking to the event calentar, and format of book reviews.
We’ve got the green light, at my branch, to create and maintain a blog for our public. We’re brainstorming clever names, like Grand CENtral, CENsation, CENversations, InCENdiary, CEN Notations …
… and lining up the kinds of content we’d like to produce, along with a schedule of responsibility for posting so the blog remains fresh. Some ideas for content include book reviews, program announcements, information about Friends’ activities, highlights of the collection – artwork – staff – services that we KNOW are fun and practical but seem under-used.
Next meeting is tomorrow to name it, set up the template, and begin creating the posts.
Just read this article in LJ Express about the Boomer generation (“60 is the new 30″) as seniors. The general gist is that the generation will continue to rebel against tradition and create a new definition of retirement. Boomers want to keep working, so there is a huge market for voluntarism, project management, community partnerships, part-time work, and library programming that will be affected by the retirement of the generation over the next 10 years.
What was surprising was the statement that, despite interest in health and fitness, boomers may be the first generation to have a shorter life span than the previous generation, due to obesity and widespread incidence of cancers.
Implications for library services: boomers want to access information 24/7, will come to libraries for programs about activities they like (gardening, travel), and want to keep active (grab those folks and put them to work in innovative programs and projects in the library!) Once they’re in the building, leap at the chance to market online services offered by the library!
- I loved Westmont Public Library’s new fiction effect – totally cool! Setting clickable areas in the image that link to the library’s record for the title makes it easy for visitors to request the books. Wonder how they manage hold lists when they get really long …
- Hennepin County’s teen trading cards were sweet – great way to recognize teen council members – or volunteers.
- I wasn’t so charmed by the Colorado College’s Tutt Library’s photos – they seemed aimed more at staff, and were unedited snapshots.
- I liked the use of images on the Kansas City Public Library’s site – just enough to entice visitors to click, but not too busy. I also liked that the main image that changes has a selector underneath that indicates how many photos there are, and gives visitors a way to cycle through them, or go back to one they missed.
Podcasts: At first, I was bored by the voice-only podcasts; but found that I really enjoyed the great storytelling of some of the children’s librarians, and especially the guided teen book reviews of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library. The presence of the librarian lends credence to the reviews, and keeps the kids on-track and on-target. I was impressed by the standardized introduction which mentioned the library’s name, and the parts of the review: title, author, plot outline, memorable incident, target audience, and number of stars.
One thing I found annoying was the varying volume levels – some were almost inaudible, even with all my volumes turned up to “kill.”
Videocasts: The more you show, the more you need to have a showable product. It was evident that some libraries took more time with editing, and, while that can’t improve the quality of the speaker/performer, adding visual interest does make up for some shortfalls. I listened to a guitarist, whose presence and song left something to be desired, but the camera effects were splendid! I watched an author speech (cooking with the kennedys) whose presentation both lacked passion and suffered from a boringly monotonous camera.
While videocasts would probably engage today’s young people and provide a way to attend a program vicariously, I believe there has to be something there to engage the viewers, or it sinks to the level of city council meeting videos.
I wrote this post as an assignment for an online class about Web2.0
I thought Kansas City’s web site used images well – they highlighted and accented the services and programs offered, and added visual accents for their pages. I was disappointed that their OPAC was offline when I looked at the site this evening, so couldn’t follow links from images to the OPAC.
I didn’t think Tutt Library used images to best effect in their Flickr account – they looked like very informal snapshots of staff and staff work areas – maybe of interest to staff, but not to me, as public. Because others can view them, I think they should be more discriminating about what gets posted.
Hennepin County – what can I say? – It must be a trip to work for a library that allows its staff to play! I particularly liked their use of Flickr toys to create trading cards of their teen board. That would be a great way to feature the children’s librarians, Friends of the Library, volunteers … Hennepin had their photos organized into slideshows on discrete topics – a good way to advertise programs.
Westmont had the most innovative use of Flickr I’ve seen to date – their new books and new DVDs displays use Flickr tools to select jackets and create notes and links to the catalog, where patrons can place holds. What a great way to put their catalog right out there!
I know our library will be undergoing a major web site re-design in the next year or two – I’m sure we’ll be incorporating something like these uses of images. I’m glad I had a chance to look at them, and I’ll recommend our web team look at them, too.