Monthly Archives: February 2013

Free Facebook ebook

Just FYI, a friend sent me this link for a free ebook download Facebook for Business:

http://offers.hubspot.com/facebook-for-business-facebook?source=hscm-facebook-ad-facebook-for-business-ebook-20130208

You have to fill out a form with your information but it might be a good resource……

 

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Is Google Plus really a Plus for Libraries?

Of the social media we’ve discussed so far in class among Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google +, the tool that most baffles me with its relative lack of popularity is Google +. And by lack of popularity I’m referring to its use by the public in general and libraries in particular. Although I’ve been using the Google suite of products for years now, and this used has increased substantially since starting at SLIS (especially Chat and Drive), I only set up my Google + profile on account of this course. Upon doing so, the cursory check of my contacts for possible addition to circles illustrated that it definitely hasn’t caught on as much as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. This translates to the use of G+ by libraries as well, most of the library systems in my area have either a nonexistent page with few or no postings, the bare minimum of information, or don’t have a page set up at all. These are libraries who have a presence on Facebook or Pinterest, or both. Have they decided that Google + is just another social media tool that is one click too far?

As many of my fellow students have commented on, it seems that Google Plus just really hasn’t caught on, but a recent report by Global Web Index “benchmarks Google+ as the second largest social platform in the world.” The author of the posting goes on to state that the future is indeed bright for this platform, and that it has seen growth in user behaviors such as posting videos, comments, and links that surpass Facebook and Twitter. I’m inclined to believe that this is a social media tool that will continue to grow and its potential for library use as well. As a professional tool for librarians I’ve already seen that it surpasses Facebook for instance through the use of communities, one pertinent group being Libraries and Librarians, a “public community about libraries and librarians of all kinds, covering both local and global issues in librarianship.” With the wealth of tools at Google’s disposal, the use of circles to group people together of similar interests (and distribute specific and relevant information to them), the ability to have live Hangouts, all make me think that although use is currently minimal, libraries will have much to take advantage of in the future.

-Luis Salazar

Nurturing Discussion via Social Media

One of the topics I considered examining in my previous blog post was why some blogs generate lots of comments and others don’t. Instead, I dwelt on the related topic of expanding your social network. I did, however, mention the issue of “how some blogs are much better at encouraging and facilitating discussion than others” and went on to contrast two different blogs. Now that I’ve had a bit more time to reflect, I’d like to propose a few reasons why some people (and libraries) generate far more discussion than others – on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, etc.

1. Personal connection – When people know you (or feel like they know you), they’re more likely to feel comfortable engaging with you and your thoughts. This applies not only to celebrities and those in the public eye, but to those who share their own opinions and ideas. Thus, people (and libraries) that are rather impersonal are going to find it difficult to make people care enough to respond.

2. Engagement – If you tweet a question to a library and it fails to respond, then you might give up and stop trying to engage with it. Responding to comments and questions that people pose to you is a good way of nurturing discussion and showing that you actually care; it’s part of the dialogue. Social media is not just a way for companies and libraries to advertise their products and services at lower cost than traditional advertising. It is also about listening. I’m always impressed when I hear that a company has reversed one of its decisions or policies because of social media feedback.

2. Quality content – It’s not enough to just blog, tweet, pin or post often. You have to disseminate words, photos and videos that engage people’s minds and/or hearts. The library that posts on Facebook that it will be closed on Presidents’ Day is making an important announcement, but not one that will generate discussion. Libraries that share photos of events and exhibitions or videos of speakers or poetry readings gain a lot more traction.

These three reasons why some people (and libraries) generate more discussion than others are really just the tip of the iceberg. What would you add?

Digital Media, Youth, and YouTube in Libraries

In modern times, digital media plays a big role in the educational and social lives of youths.  In the article Digital Youth, Libraries, and New Media Literacy, Tripp writes that digital media is used in three main ways by the younger generations: hanging out, messing around, and geeking out.  Hanging out is the younger person’s social experience through digital media.  Much importance is given to social networking and an increasing amount of people depend media to create and maintain social relationships.  Thus, access to media is important for the social life and development of the youth of today.

Messing around represents young people pursuing self-directed interests, such as browsing online, playing games, and creating their own content.  While this may seem trivial, messing around is can be a fundamental part of leaning and becoming more engaged in the technical aspects of media.  Tripp gives the example of a boy watching YouTube videos and becoming inspired to make videos of his own.  Geeking out is an even deeper level of media involvement, wherein a person creates their own content, like fanfiction, YouTube videos, or a blog.  This person is then seeking out new ways to improve their skills and learn more about their craft.

This is relevant to library and information professionals because libraries are an important resource for connecting young people with computers and technology.  Tripp mentions in the article that in one study, over half of the nation’s 14 to 18-year-olds reported using a computer in a library, while another study showed that 61% of young adults in household below the poverty line used library computer for educational purposes.  Since libraries are such an important part of young people’s connection to digital media, it is important that libraries invent new strategies to make young people feel welcome, and to inspire them to become more involved in both the library and the digital community.

This is where YouTube comes in.  What most people don’t realize is that YouTube is not just a place to watch viral videos, tv show clips, and music videos.  It is actually a community of creators and fans.  People make video series about anything and anything, and they get constant feedback from people all over the world.

YouTube would be the perfect place for young people to have their voices heard.  A club at the public library where they get to work together and create videos would be a popular idea.  It wouldnt be an overly expensive idea either.  A single video camera could be purchased, and most PCs now come with a pre-installed Windows Movie Maker.  With these tools, the library could help young people feel important and involved while also promoting the library on the internet.

There are two different YouTube series that I think could serve as good models for this type of program.  The first is TheFineBros “React” series, in which kids and teens first watch a video and then are asked questions about what they thought about it.  Instead of videos, this could be a type of book club, in which young people read a specific book and then are asked questions.  The second is “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries,” a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in vlog form.  While not as ambitious as LBD, the idea here would be that the young people would write short scripts adapting scenes from book that would then be acted out by them and posted on YouTube.

Overall, I think that YouTube is often forgotten as a social media, but it could be a good way to promote the library and make younger patrons excited about their local library.

Source:

Tripp, L. (2011). Digital youth, libraries, and new media. The Reference Librarian, 52(4), 329-341.

Examples:

Teens React to The Hunger Games Trailer — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri6wRz_NjiA&feature=share&list=SP23C220A2C5EC0FDE

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Episode 1 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisuGP2lcPs&feature=share&list=PLDjrsPTuZSrTPfyfiVD4NFQSuaOL5DqWH

Tools for managing social media

A lot of us are posting about not having enough resources, about having to be selective on which social media tools we choose to stay connected to our users, about the longevity of some of these tools that keep popping up, etc. I am in that same boat. Though not managed by me, my library has Facebook, Twitter and Blog presence. Blog posts are automatically fed into our Twitter account with shortened (bit.ly) urls. Personally, I am on Facebook, Twitter (though I hardly tweet), and just created a LinkedIn account. I’d like to venture into Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.

I don’t think most libraries, unless they are a very large institution with significant resources, have the luxury of a PR officer or a web team (as it used to be called) to manage it all. Most of us are trying our best and have added on the duties of creating accounts, posting, responding to users, etc.

There are so many social media tools out there that there are now tools to manage those tools! You can consolidate/schedule posts, be alerted when others comment, provide analytics (who is checking you out!), etc. Though it does involve creating more accounts, I’ve begun to explore this as an option. Being on the cheap at my job (I don’t have any funds to buy a subscription), I will look at tools that have a free option. Some of the tools are very sophisticated; some may not have a free option but you may be able to set up a free trial. I’d love to know if anyone is using any such tools and what your experience has been.

Google even makes life “easy” for you: they have set up a page of companies/tools which they know have incorporated Google+ into their social management tools! That is one nicely compiled page to start me off on my trek, though I haven’t joined the Google+ bandwagon yet.

Some useful articles to get started:

LinkedIn HyperLinked Resume

I am not a very active user of LinkedIn yet but I have created a profile for myself to learn about the site. This is actually my second time creating a profile. My last one I had briefly but shut it down when I noticed a paid membership was required for some features. I did not feel that the benefits that a paid LinkedIn membership would bring to me were worth the expense at that point in time.

I keep this new one very private for now and haven’t connected with anyone. I use it as an easy way to link a resume to potential employers. I would like to network more in the future with my LinkedIn profile. I like the simple, clean, resume format the profile page has. I notice that some job postings now ask people to link resumes or profiles rather than emailing a resume in .doc or pdf format. If not always in place of an email attached document resume, I at least like the idea of maintaining a hyperlinked resume in addition to the traditional resume document.  

I appreciate the various options given to individuals to customize their LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn hyperlinked resume has the capacity to neatly nicely summarize various skills and achievements in one easily accessible document. I appreciate the ability to link to publications, add certifications, volunteer experiences, test scores. I think the feature that allows approximately 50 tags for self selected skills and expertise on the profile is also instrumental in making a well rounded profile. My initial tags are shown in the image below.

lINKEDiN SKILLS TAGS

If you go to the “More” tab and then the “Skills and Expertise” tab you can type a tag into the search bar and a list of similar tags suggested to add to your profile appears on the left hand side. After exploring further from one interesting similar suggested tag to another, along with the accompanying list of professionals and groups associated with each interest, it becomes obvious how much potential LinkedIn provides to develop and strengthen professional connections.

Library 2

 

LinkedIn seems to be the primary social networking site for “professionals” to connect “professionally” and I venture to guess once someone is bringing in a “professional” income then that membership fee would easily pay for itself. I probably will purchase the full LinkedIn membership at some point in the future.

Linking on LinkedIn

One of the things that I love about libraries is the fact that there is always something new to learn and it provides the perfect forum in which to do the learning. However, there is always something new to learn, which can be more than a bit overwhelming. This is particularly the case in an internet enabled world where the information that we can easily access goes so far beyond that which can be found in hard copy in our libraries. Given that, I need to take advantage of any tools that will help me to find quality resources without needing to devote my entire life to weeding through things.

I have found that LinkedIn and the groups to which I belong through LinkedIn are great tools to help me find great resources that I might have missed otherwise. I particularly like the links that I get through the ALA group and the LIS Career search group, etc. Through them, I get links to all kinds of articles that are both personally and professionally interesting and have the opportunity to learn from and with people from around the world. Even with the assistance of the other group members to choose articles, etc. that are on topic and interesting, I don’t have the time, or inclination, to read them all, however, I do often find content and sources of which I would not have otherwise been aware. (LinkedIn appears to be a tool used primarily by individuals rather than organizations, but it is possible for institutions to have LinkedIn profiles. More of them should take advantage of this opportunity as it is less work intensive than Facebook and Twitter as it requires less constant updating for it to remain active and relevant.)

These groups also provide great opportunities to expand the conversation, reaching out to people from around the world to talk about a whole variety of things. Last semester I took a course on instructional design and was putting together a unit of instruction on research and information literacy. There were some really interesting conversations taking place about things like the kinds of skills that we needed as LIS professionals and that we should be teaching in the libraries and schools. There were also discussions about using internet resources, etc. I didn’t find anything that was earth-shatteringly new, but hearing opinions from people who I do not know/work with/etc., meant that I was able to look at my unit of instruction from an outside perspective and confirm that what I was looking to teach was broadly applicable. I even found some interesting resources that I was able to share with my students when I taught the unit.

One of the challenges as you are getting settled into LinkedIn is to figure out how much or how little you want to participate in things like online discussions. To paraphrase what Scott explained to my class last semester, it’s a balancing act, but if you have something that you think will be value added, add it, if not, feel free to “lurk” and learn from the things that you are reading. I do not think that I’m presently in a position to judge whether my input into discussions has had a lasting impact on the people with whom the discussions have taken place, but I have to hope that what I had to say was “value added”.

One last thing about my experience using LinkedIn. As a distance learning student, I don’t have the opportunity to randomly learn things about my classmates and professors because we are in the same line for coffee, etc. However, I have learned some great things about and from professors and classmates based on their LinkedIn profiles. You can include volunteer work that you do (a GREAT way to showcase skills that you  have that might not be directly linked to past employment!), pieces that you have published, conferences that you have been involved in, blogs that you write, etc. Just as I suggested to my students that they use Wikipedia as a starting point for other sources by accessing the bibliographies at the end of each entry, I can use a professor’s list of publications as a springboard for information on subjects that are often related to my coursework. I know that much of this can also be done via Facebook, but doing things like this via LinkedIn gives them a professional spin that can be very valuable.