Tag Archives: libraries

Access

I’ve learned a great deal in this course about the potential of social media tools to help advance the mission and goals of libraries and other LIS institutions; as the world rapidly advances towards an increasing use of online and mobile resources, we can’t forget that issues of access to technology and these resources can’t be overlooked. The so called digital divide and information literacy go hand in hand with access: patrons without the means or knowledge to use and interact with all the great tools we’ve discussed will undoubtedly suffer personally and professionally.

The traditional means still exist, but all the great content that libraries extend online will remain a click too far for those without internet access, those whom don’t have a computer at home, or those unfamiliar that such tools exist. Yet, libraries have a responsibility to such patrons and indeed some of the very tools discussed here can be and have been utilized to bridge these gaps. What first comes to mind are videos and screencasts, which have been used extensively by academic libraries (like our own King Library) and a small number of public libraries to help patrons understand how to do research, access databases, and could theoretically be used for an infinite number of applications. The rising use of smartphones and statistics that youth, and especially minorities use these devices to go online more so than others means that this is an area of possible focus. Economically disadvantaged groups and minorities are less likely than other groups to have access and the skills to use this access effectively. Libraries, be they public, school, or academic can step in to educate and ensure patrons can and know how to use the abundant offerings the web has to offer.

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Tiki Toki Time

I attended the Society of California Archivists conference this past Saturday and discussed with my Preservation Management teacher, Vicky McCargar, part of a session on Thursday about social media and digital collections.  She shared with me the tools highlighted in the session that she had made note of.  I reviewed one that seemed like a neat tool called Tiki Toki through which you can make timelines.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/

Outside of the timelines shared on the homepage as examples of how to use the site, you cannot view or search for timelines there.  I resorted to conducting a Google search for “tiki toki library” and retrieved some examples of library related timelines.  Of the sites I looked at, my favorite timeline was developed by ALA for Banned Books Week.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/51787/Banned-Books-Week-Celebrating-30-Years-of-Liberating-Literature/#vars!date=2010-06-24_23:14:11!

Other information organizations with timelines include the Metro Transportation Library and Archive, the Weinberg Memorial Library, and the Salinas Public Library.  Some of the examples link to their organizations’ websites through their timelines but I was unable to find any of the organizations link to the timelines through their websites.

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/49819/Metro-Transportation-Library-and-Archive-History-of-Transit-in-Los-Angeles/#vars!date=1873-07-03_00:00:00!

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/15233/Weinberg-Memorial-Library/#vars!date=1989-01-01_00:00:00!

http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/106071/History-of-the-Salinas-Public-Library/#vars!date=1912-09-27_01:37:5

Not only can Tiki Toki be used to display the history of an organization, it can also be used to share and highlight an information organization’s collections.  Timelines can be made public or private.  The tool is integrated with YouTube and Vimeo allowing for the display of videos.  Categories of events can be color coded as was done with the Weinberg Memorial Library timeline.   They can be embedded onto a website as well as available for group contributions.  To allow for multiple people to work on a timeline, they have to be provided with a password.  Unfortunately, access to features is determined by the subscription level and the free service is limited.  The ability to embed the timeline onto a website as well as group editing requires at least a five dollar monthly fee.  In addition, the amount of embedded views per month and the number of timelines that can be created under one account is also limited and based on your subscription rate.  These associated costs may have something to do with why I could not find links to the timelines on the websites of the organizations in the examples.

Here is a short YouTube video about Tiki Toki.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdZUUVMSNJ8

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

Authors and Libraries on Tumblr

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Tumblr,as I’m sure many of its users do. As stated on the Tumblr community guidelines page, Tumblr “celebrates creativity. We want you to express yourself freely and use Tumblr to reflect who you are, and what you love, think, witness, and believe.”  The website was created in February 2007 and currently hosts an estimated 93.1 million blogs, including the blogs of celebrities such as Lady Gaga and President Barack Obama.

I have recently returned to using Tumblr after a year hiatus. The site can become overwhelming.  Your Dashboard shows every post that has been posted by you and the users that you follow since you last visited the site in an endless scroll.  This means that if you follow 20 people who post often and don’t visit the site for several hours, you likely have hundreds of new posts to view.  It doesn’t help that a lot of posts can be childish jokes or just a picture of that one actor in that one movie, and OMG isn’t he hot?

But the other side of Tumblr can actually be a great place for authors to connect with their fanbase.  For instance, I follow John Green, author of young adult novels and a youtube star, on Tumblr.  John Green is a master at using social media to connect with his fanbase.  On Tumblr, he answers fan questions, reblogs fantastic fanart based on his books, and post random things that he finds funny with added commentary written by him.  All of these actions serve to help his fans feel like they are important and that he appreciate them.

I feel that this is a model that more authors, especially young adult and children’s authors, should follow.  While most authors have their own website, it is more welcoming to young fans to be able to get to know their favorite authors via a social forum they already use, such as Tumblr, which is much more interactive than the usual author website.

Libraries can also reach out to the younger generation this way, by posting book recommendations and trivia.  It would also be a good forum for the library to get ideas on what programs and events people want to see at their local library.  It would be good to see the slower world of books and libraries get caught up in the faster pop-culture world of Tumblr.

DFTBA

Erin

(Here’s a link in which John green talks about how Tumblr connected him to fans on 2 different continents to collaborate on making a poster based on of his books a reality: http://youtu.be/tHp3c9ziIq0)

My, How Pinteresting…

When it comes to social media, I’m not the greatest advocate. Now, that’s not to say that I have anything against it. Quite the opposite, actually. I constantly check my Facebook account, and use it for both personal and professional needs.  On one hand, I use it as a means to keep in touch with gal pals scattered across the world, from San Francisco to Mozambique. Professionally, it allows me to keep in touch with teachers I have worked for in the past, and functions as a medium to secure future substitute jobs.  But up until recently, Facebook was really my only social media constant.  I never felt inclined to open a Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc., because all my social networking needs were met by this one site.  Why have multiple accounts on a variety of websites when the one does just fine and keeps me plenty busy?

However, I’ve recently become addicted to that young upstart.  It has taken the idea of bookmarks to a whole new, social level.  Not only do I have a visual database of interesting links, sorted into whatever categories make sense to me, but I can also view the collections of friends and colleagues.  I can even find pages run by organizations I support and authors I loved.

Yup, you guessed it.

I’m a Pinterest junkie.

As someone who has always been more of a visual learner, being able to organize all my digital metadata into a visual database is perfect.  No longer do I bookmark an interesting recipe, placing a brief line of text in a neat little folder within another little neat little folder within an unassuming icon on my browser, effectively putting it out of sight and out of mind.  Now, I simply scroll through my board “Yum :d,” look for that one picture, and follow the embedded link to that delicious looking crockpot recipe for Lemon Garlic Chicken (tomorrow’s main dish at dinner).  And it hold so much more than recipes.  My largest boards are for crafts, sewing, fandoms, clothing, music, and food.  It’s made me more organized, and constantly exposes me to new ideas and pushes me to think outside of the box creatively.  I also follow some favorite YA author’s boards so I can keep track of their book recommendations.

Obviously, it’s a great tool for my personal life.  However, I think it’s going to prove to be a great asset for libraries.  Libraries can now create a visual database of information for their patrons to browse at will. Fliers for current events can be posted on one board, and images from recent events on another.  Other boards could hold specialized information for different interest groups or to educate patrons about different events an issues, such as Black History Month or Women’s Suffrage.

Yes, all this can also be done on a blog, or through a website.  Pinterest, however, allows these to each have their own unique space, and users can choose whether or not to follow specific boards.  So rather than scroll through a list of facebook posts to look for relevant information, teens interested in YA fiction can follow the board specific to that topic.  Their homepage, then, is filled only with relevant information that piques their specific interests.  Book club members can keep in touch with each other by following and posting to a board specific to their needs.

Now, to be sure, ‘tags’ in blogs or #hashtags on Twitter allow for some filtering.  Users can, potentially, sift through a large quantity of posts and pull out only pertinent information with relevant tags. But this is still more work than the Pinterest board method.  Tags still require users to go from general to specific every time they go to the webpage.  With Pinterest boards, all the relevant information is already sorted, no extra steps necessary.

A quick search on Pinterest already shows that many libraries are taking advantage of this excellent resource. I only hope my local libraries will jump on the bandwagon too!

Tumblr for Libraries

I am very familiar with a lot of the major social networking sites and tools.  I have taught classes at my public library on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to both staff and patrons.  For my first blog post I wanted to focus on a social networking tool I’ve never used, tumblr.  I started my own account and started following other accounts, focusing on art, comedy and libraries, as those are things I really enjoy.  The thing I really like about tumblr is that it seems to be a middle-ground between twitter and regular blogs.  You can blog content on your own tumblr and followers can read that, it will show up in their feeds, and you can follow other tumblr accounts and their content shows up in your feed.  I really like this idea and am excited to keep exploring it!   I read this article about tumblrs for libraries and librarians:http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/08/social-media/tumblrarian-101-tumblr-for-libraries-and-librarians/ which gave me some great background information on tumblr.  The article also has some good tips for libraries that want to get in on the tumblr action, especially the emphasis on tagging.  I saw how important tagging is when I tried to search for “libraries” on the tumblr search function.  The result is a tumblr feed full of posts tagged with “libraries.”  http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/libraries  This includes posts by tumblr accounts of actual libraries (like the NYPL) and any other posts which have been tagged with that word.  It is interesting to see the results.

I’m always interested in ways that libraries can become more interesting to the communities they serve.  I want people to view the library as relevant to society and a fun place to learn, create and grow.  I see tumblr as a site that can help connect people in a community.  There are so many possibilities but one I am thinking of is if the library posts things relevant to the history and current events of the community it serves.  With the functionality of tumblr being a micro-blog where you can easily repost what others post, it would be great if the owner of the library tumblr followed local tumblrs and reposted the things they posted as well.  This would be less time consuming for the library itself to have to create content, instead passing on the valuable content that others have created.  It would be a way for the library to network and interact (virtually) with it’s community.  I’m planning to spend more time with tumblr in the near future and will look to find more ideas of how it can be used by libraries.