I was lucky enough to go to the OUP last week for one of their Public Library Panel Days. They have these at least once a year or so for library staff to get together and talk about the best way of promoting online resources.
Although the day is primarily about OUP resources, there is no problem talking about any of the others we all subscribe to, so it’s a really useful day for getting ideas.
This year the day concentrated on promotion via the web. Firstly OUP talked about how people find their content. Google/other search engines was top along with library services, Wikipedia and viral awareness. Wikipedia is one of the highest referrers to the online version of Who’s Who.
The interactive Sgt Pepper cover put together by the ODNB for the 40th anniversary was very popular and is still online.
OUP are letting more of their content appear in search engines, usually a summary along with a link to how you can gain access. The new Oxford Dictionaries Online (replaces Ask Oxford) has a lot of free material and when the new OED launches in December it will have more public facing content.
The next hour was spent on Social Media. @schammond talked about the results of her dissertation – How are public libraries engaging with library 2.0? There’s a handy set of links on Delicious. Mobile access and QR codes were also touched upon. As ever a lot of the good examples came from the US.
I then did a quick round-up of some of the stuff we’re doing in Plymouth which led into a general discussion. Inevitably it was mostly around the issues of IT (or more usually corporate communications) and access to social media. I suppose we are luckier than most, but I’m a big believer in it’s easier to apologise than ask permission. It also helps that I’m quite passionate about it and therefore have no problem updating occasionally in my own time. I’m using these sites anyway, so it’s no big deal to quickly post to the library accounts. I think I may be a bit unique in that way though.
It was also discussed whether we should be using social media at all or letting library users maintain the presence for us? Interesting idea, but I’m not sure how I feel about that one yet.
This is getting too long, so part two tomorrow.