October Conference Wrap-up – Roy Tennant

Roy discusses the salient points from each talk.

Wikis: Creating Collaboration in Libraries
Wikis are a low-threshold way to collaborate. Doesn’t need to be open to everyone to change. Search capability. Requires trust among a community (though it is easy to rollback changes). Many potential uses. Don’t even have to install software. WikiMarix is a really great space for picking the right software for you.

RSS to promote Scholarly Publications
RSS is a Simple data format. Used to syndicate information. Any piece of information that can be described simply in an RSS format can be syndicated. Often automatically generated. Projects he has worked on includes new theses and new faculty publications.

Feeds for the Masses
It is ridiculously easy to syndicate content onto a Website. Get a blog and use Feed2JS!

The Social Network
Many social networking technologies available. The old ones (listservs, forums, etc.) don’t go away, but we keep adding new ones. People use different ones interchangeably to interact with people (IM, txting, blogs, etc.). We need to be where our users are.

Three Uses of The iPod
Call number guide (audio, visual). Tours. Seminars. If people are using iPods so much, we need to consider using it for pushing our content.

Audio To Go: Podcasting at WPI
Tidbits of library wisdom, 2-3 minutes per week. Producing an audiobook. Offering audiobooks as MP3s and loaning iPods. Created RSS feeds for audio offerings. Learning more about podcast use on campus (what do students actually want to receive in that format?)

Mobile Technologies in Libraries
“Vehicles for information.” Lots of gadgets (PDAs, smart phones, blackberry, etc.). Convergence (lots of gadgets in one device). Outreach via PDA User group, host tech fair, support, training. Need to draw a line with support. Tablets, ultra-mobile, etc. So many amazing gadgets coming down the pipe. Devices getting smaller, but disk space getting much bigger. Exciting times!

Mystery Topic: Strategies for Keeping Current
We each have our own personal requirements for how to get information. We should choose to receive information in the ways that are easy for us to consume. Browser environment can be customized to give you visual cues for where you like to go. Some people like getting lots of e-mails while others don’t. RSS via e-mail. Conferences and meeting other interested people is important. Lots of publications — have to pick the ones that are most relevant.

Final Thoughts: Useful work is being done in libraries NOW using simple technologies (don’t have to be a coder!). What are you waiting for?