Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seriously Social: Leveraging Social Media

[Post is subject to some editing and revision, but I want to post quickly.]

Kolene Allen, Grand Rapids (MI) Public Library; David Lee King, Topeka Shawnee (KS) Public Library

What is social media, online conversations. When libraries join we join conversations they are already having.

“If you are not involved in social media you are not on the Internet.”

Twitter (Kolene):

Social networking, messaging site. 225 million accounts on Twitter as of March. 60% of all tweets come from 3rd party appl. 456 tweets per second the day Michael Jackson died, 4000 tweets per second when Obama announced death of Bin Laden.

A way to keep up, share what we are doing, recommend books, etc. We are already doing it, just in a different forum.

Recommendation: follow your followers; retweet what your followers say; mentions (@replies), talking about you.

Use DM for private messages. Often can deal with issues for folks who would not complain in person.

#Hashtags: organize conversations, useful for searching.

People are talking about you now...this is a way to keep track of what is happening, what people are saying about you, check out what other libraries are doing, build the library audience. Can search on Twitter:

Facebook (David Lee King):

How many social networking have had a movie made about them. What if you had a way for 51% of your customers for free. Right now 51% if Americans 12 and over are on Facebook.

Set up personal profile; then create organizational page, think of a shortened name. Once you have 25 friends/fans you can add that shortened name to your page. You can choose what you want for the "landing page." TSPL has just over 2,900 fans.

They have a "donate" page. With some work you can build a customized page. Can build in links to videos and pictures.

Facebook will provide statistics on "views." Therefore driving more business to the regular website.

Facebook = engaging. Easy, free, just takes time.

Planning and Strategizing:

Who is going to do the work, and then assign it (makes it a real part of their job). Use a team so that someone can handle if someone is sick or leaves. Figure out if you are going to use the events page and how, how often you post. Start with short term (one year) goals. Set goals for what you are going to do (how many status updates a week). Figure out what kind of content you will post. Figure out who your real audience is. Like button is cool which you can add to blog posts...

Important things to to:

  1. Actually tell people about your Facebook page, ask people to "friend" us.
  2. Remember you are creating and making connections, post things that are designed to continue the conversation. Post things for your target audience.
  3. Remember who you represent.....Nothing you do on the web is private.
This is real work. Someone needs to decide who to friend. Need to designate staff to do this. May need to do real training. You need to engage people and give them space to reply. There is a real return on investment. It is fun. It is where the library really needs to be, it brings the library out into the community.

First question was about multi-branch situation. Need to have folks from both branches and "central" to decide what to do. Can set up multiple pages. Topeka has separate pages for Library, Foundation, Friends, Art Gallery, and YA. Grand Rapids has only one page for all libraries, but many are doing separate pages for each branch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ALA Conference Calendar

Here is my ALA calendar using Google Calendar. It is always subject to revision!

The only info in here is my ALA Schedule from June 24 - 28. It is (of course) still subject to revision.

With any luck, I will get to blog some stuff. And I hope to write up a post conference set of comments.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Guide to Free WiFi in NOLA

There is a new-ish blog about things to do in New Orleans and many of the city's offerings called Earlier this month they posted a list of the free WiFi hotspots in New Orleans.

I certainly encourage you to go there, but for my friends/readers who are coming to town for the ALA Annual Conference, I have cut and pasted some of the information. (I am guessing that the airport part will be most useful to folks on the way home...)

Please go to the blog....there are notes here about what neighborhoods are where.


One of the amenities of Louis Armstrong International Airport is free wi-fi. Reception is best in the main terminal. Picking up a signal in the Delta-area of the airport can be iffy.

Algiers (Algiers is just across the river from the Convention Center, the ferry is free to walk on from the end of Canal Street. Just be sure to get on the Algiers ferry and not the Gretna one!)

CBD / Downtown The CBD/Downtown is the area closest to the Convention Center. This list includes Warehouse District locations.

French Quarter, Marigny, and Bywater Y'all know the French Quarter, the Marigny and Bywater are the two neighborhoods on the other side of Eslplanade Ave. -- the direction away from the Convention Center

I am looking forward to seeing you all at the end of the month!

rev 6/14/11

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Paying your dues and collecting acronyms - A response

I abandoned ship here for a bit, but I am back. I promised some comments on Josh's post:

To refresh, here are his questions:
  1. Do libraries suffer when I/you/we don’t pay my/your/our ALA dues?
  2. How much bargaining power do they have?
  3. Are you a member? If so, will you renew?
  4. In your opinion, what is the greatest benefit of joining a professional library organization?
I number them just to make it easier to answer.

1. ALA is the oldest and largest library organization in the world. It is a mix of librarians, other library workers, trustees and other supporters, and organizations. Interestingly, while it is the American Library Association, it is only individuals (not the library organizations) who can vote and who provide the governance.

In a way, when members do not renew (organizational and personal) the association does lose something. However, ALA is a very large organization, and the size of the membership varies. I'll note as a former chair of the Membership Committee, that the number of members has pretty steadily climbed which tells me that ALA is doing some things right.

Once upon a time, there was a National Librarians Association. However, I have searched through a number of volumes and indexes in my place of work, and have not found any concrete information on it. I believe that I was a member in the mid-to-late 1970s, and part of its goal was to advocate for better salaries.

2. I'm not sure of the antecedent here. ALA has some bargaining power. The association has worked hard on legislative issues. Some of what is happening at the FCC about e-rate and net neutrality is influenced by ALA's work. There are some things which ALA has done and supported that I think do not get much notice, the Oprah Book Club is one. ALA helped to get that going, and ALA institutional members received a benefit of receiving multiple copies of each of the Oprah selections. ALA also supports things like National Library Week, and Banned Books Week. The READ posters from ALA Graphics are well received.

3. I have been an ALA member since 1976. For more than the first ten years I did not do much besides get the magazine. (Other than job hunting when I graduated from Library School in '76 -- it was the Centennial Conference in Chicago.) It wasn't until the late 80s or early 90s that I began to be involved on committees. Yes, I will renew.

4. I learn a great deal from my professional activities. I have met some really great librarians over the years. I usually go away from every library meeting with at least one new idea or insight. But there is the other half of the equation that I hope that I have been able to help others. That is part of why I try to attend things like the NMRT (New Members Round Table) Orientation as well as the Council Orientation. While I still learn there, I also have an opportunity to share some of my knowledge with those newer to the event and/or profession.

Josh....thanks for posing the questions.