Monday, December 7, 2009

Useful Web 2.0 links for libraries

SLIC website
The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) have combined with CILIP to produce a helpful 10 page guide to the use of Web 2.0 technologies in libraries - PDF version available here.

They also offer some interesting webpages discussing these options, possibilities and futures...including offers of support and advice.

For example, on the Guidance page you will find:

Have a clear purpose
It is easy to be drawn in by the latest tool, especially high profile sites like Twitter, without proper consideration of targets and expected outcomes. Try to match the service to a business need rather than using just for the sake of it.
Be responsive
Most Web2.0 services are interactive, involving sustained input and communication. If your users take the time to contact you, you should always try to reciprocate.
Be prepared for informality
The open and instantaneous nature of Web2.0 services means that communication can be particularly informal. Do not be afraid to embrace this, less formality may help to engage potential users and even update the image of your service.

All of which may come as a surprise to managers who like the idea, but who don't realise the follow-through necessary for incorporating these approaches, from selecting and training staff to giving them the time (and delegating the responsibility) to allow staff to respond quickly and informally.

I note that in the PDF the main problem remains for many libraries not the staff skills, or the management's approach, but simply the resistance to change from the ICT departments around the country. Currently, for instance, staff here cannot access Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Google Wave or any Blogger blogs - to name but five. And although staff PCs can access Facebook, they are discouraged from using it (or familiarizing themselves with it) in work time.

I have no opinion either way about which direction we should take, but it is reassuring to hear that the problems we encounter are similar across the board, and not local to us. This website looks like a very useful, and growing, resource.

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