Information Online 2007 – Day 2 Session 2

Kate Wilson and Chelsea Harper then reported on their study of the Blog and Wiki landscape in Australia as of June 2006. Limited literature available on this topic, so most of their info came from a study run from Apr – Jun 06.

Blogs and wikis are being used for reference database/manuals, public resource guides, managing teams/project knowledge, marketing and communication with clients, current awareness and professional development.

Results – 18% of libraries had a blog, 11% had a wiki. Blogs – 47% public library, 45% special library, 22% university library. Wikis, the figures were 33%, 45%, 11%. Most blogs were external, most wikis were not. Blogs were mainly used for client communications, wikis for internal workflows. Other purposes were marketing, organisation of events, professional development, reference services and other.

Most organisations don’t have a blog or wiki policy. The main reasons for not blogging or using wikis were time, finances and technical knowledge or support. Can check out more on the report at: http;//www.seedwiki.com/wiki/libraryblogswikis/

Leona Jennings from Gold Coast City Council took us through the implementation of RFID at Gold Coast’s 14 libraries and 2 mobiles.

Timeline – Expression of interest Dec 04. Business case approved May 05. RFT Nov 05. Contract Mar 06. Main tagging commenced May 06. Aug 06 – first library live. Oct 06 – main rollout. Jan 07 – last library went live.

Didn’t want the complications of running 2 systems at the same time, especially with floating collections, so wanted it to be instituted in as short a time as possible. Done over 12 months, but over 2 financial years to spread the cost.

Why RFID – for staff efficiencies, to allow staff to spend more time with the users and on public programs. Efficiencies gained through self serve checkouts. Aim to get 35% of loans through self-checkout.

Benefits: efficiency gains, OH&S benefits, greater accountability of assets, increased customer satisfaction (due to shorter queues, more services etc).

Challenges: to tag with minimal disruptions, enthuse staff and stakeholders, review and revise circulation and collection policies, to install, over 7 months.

Recruited a team of 12 from their casual pool to work as tagging teams – minimal impact on branch operations. Worked in teams of 3, rotating tasks and monitoring each other – worked well.

Bought a tagging station for acquisitions, hired 4 others for retrospective tagging in the branches. Changed security case type on AV at the same time. Took 5 months to tag.

Problems: – overachievement, teams were competitive and completed the job too quickly which meant they had to go back and do all the returned, non-tagged items. Tagging alone came out of the first year’s budget. Rest came out of 2nd years.

Concerns about job losses were alleviated, some questions but no great concern about privacy. At this stage, no tags on membership cards and no self checkin. Involved staff in demos and once 3M contracted, all staff saw a demo were continually updated with visits and an intranet page, which had FAQs, updates, progress chart and user guides hightlighting the self-serve aspects. All reviewed circ and collection policies were in place before going live.

Each branch had one day of hardware installation. Next day was staff training and as soon as they were trained, went live. Exception was the self-serve units which remained for staff access and training until the 3rd day. Of 14 libraries, 8 have self serve units, more units to go in this year. Some libraries will have 2, smaller branches and mobiles none.

Too early for full impact, initial feedback is that checkin is happening more quickly, getting back on shelf quicker and queues are shorter. As of 31st Dec, 28% of loans went through self-serve. Staff are able to spend better quality time with patrons and they now have more time to stop and think and be proactive. Expect to be able to do more staff training, provide more customer services and now focus some time and effort on their website.

Colin Bates and Bernie Lingham from Deakin spoke about Electronic Information Literacy using multiple technologies. They began with a video of a session, showing us what they were talking about – always helpful.

Bernie spoke first on Ellimuniate Live – a trial synchronous web conferencing package, which enables librarians to run information literacy sessions for distance and other students who can’t make it into the library for the in-house sessions. The package uses software, which Deakin provides to students, microphones and headphones/speakers to enable moderators to communicate with up to 10 students at a time, whilst delivering a class. No formal evaluations were taken on the classes, however informal feedback from students has been very positive. They felt confident to do the tasks themselves afterwards and enjoyed having the training delivered in a form and at a time that was convenient for them. Only concern from the moderators side was the low participation rates, with sometimes only 1/2 the booked students, attending the session. The only technical problem was the need for JavaStart and firewall issues, which were the reasons for some non-attendance.

Colin then spoke on how the library was using Deakin’s portal to push library service to students and faculty. All need to sign into the portal to access their email and includes 30 tabs linking to different resources. The uni sought more library content available via RSS which could be presented on the portal. The Library channel has a quick catalogue search, but focuses mainly on online journal content through RSS feeds. It aims to supplement the library webpage and draw attention to the library’s online journals. Content was selected on the basis of likely interest, historical use, user requests and availability of RSS with topics including news, current affairs, general interest and news journals etc. Why RSS in the portal? Already authenticated, simple for the naive user and value adding. User response? 13-35% increase in subscriptions from Oct-Dec 2006.

1 comment

    • Ross on February 4, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    Sounds like a great conference. The mind boggles at all these technological changes.

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