LibMark Digital Marketing and Libraries Pt 2

I began the afternoon session with a presentation on Web 2.0 and Marketing in Libraries.

Unfortunately for the organising commitment, they had a second last minute cancellation, but were fortunate enough to have a couple of people step up and show what they were doing at their library.  Danny was first.

Darebin Libraries Website – Danny

Their website redevelopment began about 18 months ago. Advice for anyone who has a website – take your website content, print it out as pages, put them on the floor and see if you can navigate between them easily.

Its all about content, content, content. It needs to be coherent, accessible, and minimal.

Everything on Darebin website has been developed in HTML or XML.  No plugins required.  You need to be sure that anyone can access your site, without needing the latest software versions etc.  See W3C guidelines.

Firefox has a HTML validator plug-in which will validate your code, against the W3C guidelines. If there are HTML or CSS errors in your website, then Google will drop you down in search results.

Need HTML fonts that anyone can read and contrasting background colours.

Social networking will only work for you if you have a great, well working website.  The social networking aims to bring users back to the library website, so you have to get that right first.

They use a content management system for their website,  Convoy CMS produced by Roadhouse, customised for Darebin.  Roadhouse also developed the new PLEASED website for public libraries on disability topics.

Vision Australia has a free toolbar to validate your website.


Fiona was the second step-in speaker.

Yarra Plenty Libraries Website Redevelopment – Fiona.

Their redevelopment is going live in March 2010. They are going with the  Biblio Commons Discovery layer to bring the catalogue into the website.  Keep the branding and the menus consistent with the website, even when it moves into the catalogue on doing a search.

You can create collections, mark for later and create lists, which can be public or private.  You are able to share and bookmark using a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools.

You can send messages to other users through Bibliocommons, follow them etc.  Can also block them.

It all looks very interesting.  The Bibliocommons website takes you to customer websites to check out.


Pam Saunders and Elwyn Murray –  Talking about my generation – giving perspective on what their generation is interested in.

Pam Saunders  is gen X  and she has 10 library cards – a library junkie.  No one library gives her what she needs.  She lives in the city and the country.  She carries these cards in a wallet which also contains reviews, notes, recommended books, etc that she wants to get from her library.  She looks to which library can get it and which will get it to her the quickest.

Her first point of contact will be the library website.  Her impressions of library services, their reputations, will come from this. The best websites will be presented the same way that a house for sale is.  Pruned down, uncluttered.  Some libraries have other features that she is not aware of, because they havent sent them to her or she hasnt seen them on the library website.

Facebook – you can overload people with information that is not always relevant, so be careful about how much you dish out.  Don’t make her have too many user names and passwords.  Can find out interesting statistics about your Facebook users from Facebook itself.

Doesn’t like a big sign saying that you can pay your overdue fines online – not as a first thing. Put the positive things online, the not so delightful things should be tucked away – not unfindable, but not in your face.

Gen Y – Elwyn – uses the power of the Net to drive personal interest. Used Facebook to promote an event and got an unexpectedly good response.

Elwyn agreed with Leith’s earlier assertions, when you engage with people, you also engage with their networks. People attend events because they have an interest, because they know someone who is in it or because they know someone who is going.

You need to be personal in your approach, even if its in a broadcast medium like Facebook. Viral marketing plays a big role in promotion.

Things he is addicted to include: FFFFound – image bookmarking and Future Shipwreck – he also links to post things to Tumblr (microblogging tool).

Tends to shy away from institutions on the internet – wants to hear individuals’ opinions, not the company line.

Does a lot of buying online, reads a lot of blogs, doesn’t listen to the radio anymore.

Is he a library member?

Why did they publish a hard copy of their book, rather than just online?
Easy to digitally curate things, but there is a different status level to a printed copy.  If you can buy it, it is a way of showing appreciation and a way to own the content, which is different to the online. Had a grant to do it.

So that was the day.  It finished with the LibMark Marketing awards – one of which was one by my library, for our teen blog  Quicksand. Woohoo!

Thanks to the LibMark Committee for an insightful and interesting day.  I will chasing up more than a few things for my library.