Blogging @ Your LibraryFinding, Reading & Creating Library Blogs Fox Valley Library Council December 10, 2004 Presented by Bonnie Shucha © University of WI Law Library email@example.com
Overview • Introduction to Blogs • Finding and Reading Blogs • Creating A Blog for Your Library
What Is A Blog? • A web site containing: • Brief informational posts arranged in reverse chronological order • Timestamp for each post • Archives of previously posted content
Why Should You Care About Blogs? • Helps you stay informed about subjects you care about • Get current, unfiltered news & information • Unlike listservs, won’t clog up your email • No spam!
Why Should You Care About Blogs? • “We librarians, as information experts, do our patrons a disservice if we fail to make an effort at tapping into some of the information that may only be found in the blogosphere.” • From “Mining Information Gold in the Blogosphere,” AALL Spectrum, November 2004
Example: WisBlawg • WisBlawg offers legal research and Internet news & information with an emphasis on Wisconsin • By University of Wisconsin Law Library • http://wisblawg.blogspot.com
Finding Blogs • General • Feedster http://feedfinder.feedster.com/ • Search – Search blog content • Feedfinder - Search titles of blogs • Daypop http://www.daypop.com/ • Compiles top blog topics • Search blog content
Finding Blogs • Library related • Blogwithoutalibrary http://www.blogwithoutalibrary.net/links.html • List of blogs by library type • Library Weblogs http://www.libdex.com/weblogs.html • List of blogs by country • LIS Blogsource http://lisblogsource.net/ • Blog about library blogs
Finding Blogs • Local Library Related Blogs • The Ides http://info.winnefox.org/blogs/ides/ • Caestecker Public Library • New Books at the Caestecker Public Library http://www.greenlakelibrary.org/newbooks/ • Kids Lit: Books and More for Kids and Teens http://www.greenlakelibrary.org/kidslit/ • Sites and Soundbytes: Libraries, Books, Technology and News http://www.greenlakelibrary.org/blog/ • Ask Wisconsin Librarians @ Winnefox http://info.winnefox.org/blogs/ask/ • From the Director's Desk http://info.winnefox.org/blogs/johns_weblog/
Finding Blogs • Others?
Reading Blogs • As a Web page • Requires reader to visit multiple sites daily to check for updates • With a News Reader – Better! • All updates are automatically delivered to one central location when you subscribe to a RSS feed, listserv, etc.
News Readers • What Is a News Reader? • A piece of software or Web application that pulls together RSS feeds from multiple sources into one place making it easy to browse newly posted information from blogs, alert services, and other Web sites
News Readers • News Readers are also known as: • News aggregators • RSS aggregators • RSS readers • RSS stands for: • Rich Site Summary -OR- • Really Simple Syndication
News Readers • RSS allows you to receive notification of current content without having to visit the web site of interest to determine if it has been updated. • Look for button to get URL for the blog’s RSS feed • Then subscribe to it from your news reader
News Readers • “Anyone who needs to monitor current news on a regular basis will need to understand and use RSS in some form going forward” • From: RSS Tutorial: What IS RSS, LawLibTech http://www.lawlibtech.com/archives/000098.html
News Reader: Bloglines • Bloglines is a FREE online service that helps you subscribe to and manage lots of web information, such as news feeds, weblogs and audio. • Bloglines tracks the information you're interested in, retrieves new stuff as it happens, and organizes everything for you on your own personal web news page. • From: Bloglines FAQ http://www.bloglines.com/help/faq
About Bloglines • Bloglines is free • Bloglines is Web-based • Nothing to download • Access from any computer with an Internet connection • Can subscribe to RSS feeds and have email listservs/subscriptions delivered to Bloglines
Subscribing to Bloglines • Go to http://www.bloglines.com/ • Only requires an email address & password
Creating A Library Blog • Why Create a Blog for Your Library? • To communicate with your users • To communicate with library staff
Public Blogs for User Communication • Library & Topical News • Announce New Services • Recent Acquisitions List • Book/Movie/Web Site Recommendations • Book Discussions • Local Events Calendar • Recommended Research Sources
Internal Blogs for Staff Communication • Announcements for Staff • Knowledge Management • Frequently asked reference questions • Password archive • Project Management • Forum for collaboration • Progress reports
Benefits of Library Blogs • Easy – no HTML knowledge required • Inexpensive • May be seen as innovative • Attracts younger users • Allow user feedback through comments • Can be career booster for bloggers
Drawbacks of Library Blogs • Requires staff time commitment • Training • Set-up • Posting • May need to educate people about blogs • Users • Staff
Steps For Creating A Library Blog • Consider purpose & audience • Choose blog software • Develop blogging policies • Create a template for the blog • Consider staffing issues • Post content • Market the blog
Consider Purpose & Audience • Determine type of content you wish to share • Library & Topical News • Announce New Services • Recent Acquisitions List • Book/Movie/Web Site Recommendations • Book Discussions • Local Events Calendar • Recommended Research Sources • Other??
Consider Purpose & Audience • Decide upon a target audience • General community users • Young adults • Parents of small children • Book club members • Genealogists • Students / faculty • Employees • Other specialized user groups
Choose Blog Software & Hosting • May be separate, but often combined • Software Used by Library Blogs • Blogger – 43.9% • Movable Type – 17.5% (available to Winnefox Library System) • Radio UserLand – 8.7% • Other Identified – Less than 2% each • Unidentified – 22.8% • Survey from Laurel A. Clyde’s Weblogs and Libraries, Chandos Publishing: Oxford, 2004, pg. 98.
Choose Blog Software & Hosting • Google Directory of Weblog Publishers http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/Tools/Publishers/ • Google Directory of Weblog Hosts http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Weblogs/Tools/Hosts/ • Blog Software Breakdownhttp://www.asymptomatic.net/blogbreakdown.htm
Develop Blogging Policies • Think about blogging policies for your library • To ensure that blog reflects well on your library • To offer guidance to bloggers on what is and is not appropriate • See: • The Library Blogger’s Personal Protocolshttp://www.tametheweb.com/ttwblog/archives/000568.html • Sample Corporate Blogging Policy & Blogger Code of Ethics http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/2004/11/blogging_policy.html
Create a Template for the Blog • Consider features to include • Archives • Blogroll • RSS & Subscription Options • Choose color scheme and style • Test in multiple browsers
Consider Staffing Issues • Decide who will post to the blog • May be one person or team • Train staff on blog software
Post Content • Develop a consistent style for postings • Use “your own voice” whenever possible • Check for spelling and grammatical errors • Post often
Market Your Blog • Announce in library newsletter • Email users directly • Share by word of mouth • Create bookmarks, business cards, etc. • Include URL on library publications • Seek links from other Web sites & blogs • List with search engines and blog directories • Issue a press release to local news
Questions? Contact – Bonnie Shucha Reference & Electronic Services Library University of Wisconsin Law Library firstname.lastname@example.org PowerPoint presentation available at http://library.law.wisc.edu/wisblawg/fvlc.ppt