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Summary – 4th Dec 2012 – Innovative use of technology in libraries

On the 4th of Dec we held a #uklibchat session on Innovative use of technologies in libraries, which was complemented by an article written on the subject a few days earlier by @ggnwed.

Things that cropped up were:  further uses for RFID,  acknowledgement of the usefulness of smartsm (automated stock management system), resistance to social media in organisations, use of new tech for marketing purposes, questions of whether library qualifications were fit for purpose, what skills librarians needs to develop to make use of tech,  and perhaps a tech roadshow to give people the opportunity to see and use what is all the rage!

Many thanks to everyone who attended. Good effort was made to make sure info put here is correct, changes have been made to some text to make things read better. If you spot a mistake, or if we’ve miscontrued anything, we welcome corrections. Especially as some tweets were not numbered or linked to a question, and I had to make a few guesses.

For accurate quotes, please use the Searchable Twitter Archive

Q1  What new tech has your library introduced in the past few years?

  • RFID,  Self-service, staff roaming with tablets to help users @agentk23
  • I’d say biggest new tech has been RFID – mostly been good too. PN compes that allow usb flash drives and wi-fi @poetryghost
  • thin-client laptops for better access to institutional software. Thinclient is where the laptop is used to access things hosted elsewhere, works a bit like a Remote Desktop but a laptop. Bascially means the laptop runs faster cos there’s nothing on it, and a wider range of stuff can be available remotely @osmonkey
    • We’re using thin-client at the business school so students can access things like SPCSS and similar, from anywhere @roogly
    • There is quite a lot of interest in thin-client. There have been a few jisc projects e.g @paulbrichardson
  • We seem to have had most of the usual “new” stuff for ages, all we’ve done is upgrade our gear (on our 3rd RFID supplier etc) @pennyb
  • E-book service, free wi-fi, self-service machines, digital display screens & use free online services to promote lib service @ggnewed
  • nice new pod in the library – students love it. Whole ground floor refurbed Sept 2012 and proving popular @elstopbanana
  • Is anyone using Smartphones with RFID? @mickfortune
    • I”m not but seen it being used in France on a beta project. I believe ti was iPHone and iPad (seem to recall mainly iPad) @mardixon
    • RFID is being used in conjunction with social media, intelligent sherlving etc, but rare in UK @mickfortune
    • Is anyone using RFID in collections management (museum of art galleries)
  • Would you say smart sm is tech? It’s a stock analysis tool – prob software w[?] web interface I think. We’ve been impressed in some ways doesn’t replace stock knowledge. But given reduction of professional librarians and need for paraprofessionals to be involved, smartsm is a helpful tool. Interestingly except when we’ve over weeded, customers have liked the results and commented positively @poetryghost
    • Smartsm has also been very helpful in my lib service too @ggnewed
    • smartSM powerful tool to empower decision making @dave1lloyd
  • We use the school VLE to host our digital resources so pupils can access them at home as well as anywhere in school @bishopwalshlib
  • I like the software as service approach – software accessed anywhere via web, as a way to try to promote stock in new ways. W also have 2 apps. 1. Catalogue search, renewal reservation. 2. Ebook (Overdrive) @ggnewed
  • We used tiki-toki for historical timeline, Woices for literary audio tour.  All accessed via internet. @ggnewed
    • how did you convince your libraries to use these new tools and offer to users? do you have the authority to decide to roll out a service via the organisation? or need to make business case? @uklibchat
    • It gets agreed along the way – sometimes at beginning. Sometimes I tinker at home & it forms into something lib service can use. @ggnewed
  • Starting to use new technologies for marketing new (and existing) library services more these days. Adding messages to self service welcome screens, public computer login screens, OPAC screens etc. @DRagsdell

Q2. Do you think the new tech has been beneficial (to library/staff/users)?

  • In many ways yes, as full self-service is needed for 24/7, and users like that a lot. Staff rightly feel marginalised. Other tecnologies like social media more popular with staff, though still only a hardcore. Other stuff depends on courses . @pennyb
  • Display screens have helped promote services, library events, different types of stock.@ggnewed
    • Who puts together the content for your display screens? Is it easy to manage? @calire
    • at my work it’s librarians who work on publicity some of the time, and they use Powerpoint mostly. Our screens also show (updating live with the joys of code) where computers are free, a godsend when it’s busy. @pennyb
    • We use PowerPoint for a screen in one of our libraries. Have used digital photo frames to do same, but took time. @calire
    • The simplest way to do it is as a Powerpoint slide. I believe screens we use also display standard media files. Library staff provide content, but one of our team members is responsible for making sure it runs smoothly. @ggnewed
    • Some orgs hve done ‘available computers’. e.g. @rscwales funded project @GlyndwrUni @paulbrichardson
  • Ebooks attracted new users. @ggnewed
  • the digital library on the VLE has been appreciated by teaching staff and by the students who’ve used it. @bishopwalshlib
  • Think e-book market in libraries will take off next year when new library e-readers launch in UK? @mickfortune
    • If more ebooks are released for library use. Ebook services seem to be moving to web browser based reading too. So tablet/wifi enabled access might be the way it goes @ggnewed
    • Yes new 3M offer will use many many platforms for ebooks @mickfortune
  • Twitter is definitely better for chats than the ‘can you hear me?’ routine of the webinar. I like it!
  • RFID w self service staff : also hard to know as staff did restructure and reduce coincidentally at similar time. @poetryghost
    • I wrote about this ‘coincidence’ on @alanwylie ‘s blog recently @mickfortune
    • Given govt cuts, staff reductions were inevitable as v big overhead. In a way could have been worse without RFID @poetryghost
    • But libraries spent more on RFID than necessary. Rush to s/s means reinvestment will now be needed to keep up. @mickfortune
    • I’m sure it happens but in this case were not related. One was brought in, restructure was part of a different process @poetryghost

Q3. Can you name some exciting uses of technology that you’ve seen in libraries?

  • Libraries are keen on creating their own websites using startpages such as Netvibes. They can take control quickly/easily
    • going to be looking at NetVibes to create a startpage for jobseekers @calire
  •  also looks quite innovative @mickfortune
  • the use of the GoTo suite of product to induct and teach distance learning students. Also used to create instructional vids. @roogly

Q4. Have there been times when it hasn’t worked, and why? [tech that bombed or didn't do what you thought it would]

  • I remember the  bloomsbury ebooks offering and overdrive for public libraries. So clunky I did not like using it at all. ebook platform with limited content is a fail. Users check once, and may not check again. @agentk23
    • Think Overdrive may have improved, but had a nightmare a few years ago showing my mum how to download an audio book. @calire
  • *Shakes fist angrily at Yahoo pipers for letting me down too many times* ;) But saying that, things like Yahoo pipes are good for getting idea off ground if you are trying proof of concept.  @ggnewed

 Q5. Are there any technologies you think we should give up on?

  •  The VLE? ! VLE is too often simply a repository for lecture notes. conversation happens elsewhere, e.g. twitter, facebook, bar… @Paulbrichardson
    • I think that it’s too easy to internalise & try and control, rather than go out into 3rd party resources. (re VLE) @philbradley
    • Agreed. Q5: Re VLE Need to re-visit the purpose of the whole thing sometimes i.e. supporting learning! @paulbrichardson
    • are there any good alternatives to using VLEs @uklibchat
    • Can think about a cluster of apps, as in Personal Learning Envmt (PLE). Some might use Google Apps…. @paulbrichardson
    • PLE is a generic phrase. Everyone creates their own PLE using own tools for own purpose. @philbradley
    • Phil is right. PLE is conceptual – you can’t buy one! @paulbrichardson
    • Shouldn’t the focus be on the activity, rather than the tool? Always plenty of tools, so can essentially forget them. @philbradley
    • Tech is only as good as how you use it sometimes? (VLE case in point maybe) @uklibchat
    • Possible data protection issues? If you use cloud services, your data is elsewhere. @agentk23
    • Sure, have to take DataP into account, but should not define what can be done. Should be exception. PLE is really about individual, how they can keep up to date etc. Dragging info in from elsewhere, so datap not so much an issue @philbradley
    • (re PLE) Data protection? Absolutely it’s an issue. Policies needed @paulbrichardson
  • I suppose it’s difficult to give up on some technology if you’ve invested £££££s in it. Also sometimes entire services are built around services [tech?], making the implication of changing it all a huge task.@ggnewed
    • Yes, but that’s from a mistake culture. Agree if its physical item, but if software, should maybe use free stuff? @philbradley
    • I suppose if you pay for software you are also paying for a level of support from supplier. @ggnewed
    • Disagree. Supplier can go bankrupt. Developer may want to support/develop to improve their product. @philbradley
    • I’d say that’s what holds people frm free stuff – I’d be using Linux if I knew I could get support easily @poetryghost
    • I’m thinking about rubbishy experiences I’ve had with a couple of free services I thought were great & developers messed up. I’d have happily paid for access if they’d offered it to keep services running well. But I agree that some paid services are just as bad.  @ggnewed
    • Also, despite govt policy on using open source, we’re very limited to what we can download due to int[?] costs  @kosjanska
    • I use free stuff a lot – it works for me, but might not be okay for lib service with 600+ employees. But then again, some of it might well be useful. @ggnewed
    • Yes, fair point well made. Both need to be included in a healthy mix of products @philbradley
    • Interestingly @NickDimant says Open Source systems need commerical support to work as business model @mickfortune
  • Check out IFTTT to replace Pipes. Lori Ayre just popping in. Library Consultant from USA.  @galeciagroup
  • I’d say playaways are a dead end (type of audiobook device), and inevitably libraries will need to give up on CDs and DVDs. They were basically an audiobook device that only holds one book. You lend device, customer adds batteries n earphones @poetryghost

Q6. How much time is needed to learn and develop innovative tech in libraries? [may be good to have concrete examples?]

Q7. Do we need additionals quals to librarianship in order to develop innovative tech or can they learn at work?

  • all depends how fast tech moves and how fast your org is willing to let you move – see social media in local govt services @poetryghost
  • Would like someone to tell me what are important things to learn outside of libqual when working with online /e /digital @agentk23
  • I think it’s a question of mind set, not qualifications. Have to be ok with unknown and being uncomfortable. @philbradley
  • I think more people should learn about things like Human-Computer Interaction – it’s not very techy, but it IS important. @pennyb
  • Library schools are where the failure is. Curriculum for our profession needs to change. @galeciagroup
    • disagree it’s not the curriculum it’s the culture @poetryghost
    • Probably so. If culture changed, so would curriculum. @galeciagroup
  • I learnt about a lot of things because it was of interest to me anyway. @ggnewed
  • Some people aren’t keen on techy ideas eg Twitter, but when they actually use it, it makes sense as to why it’s useful. @ggnewed
  • My tech learning has been problem based. I want to do X, how do I do X? And I ask that on twitter :) @agentk23
  • Org Culture can make big diff. Creating a culture of risk-taking, encouraging ideas from everyone, flatter org – all help. @galeciagroup
  • Libraries need more coders. No brainer. @mrnick
  • social media management poor – staff not empowered to make use of when at work @dave1lloyd
    • I think use of social media depends on how overall organisation views it.  @ggnewed
    • agreed -personal experience is I’m not aware of many orgs that encourage all staff to make use of social media @dave1lloyd
    • But sometimes when new social media site pops up it may be necessary to justify using it again!! @ggnewed
    • Or just do it anyway and then apologise later ;) @calire
    • would be nice – my org doesn’t allow for library staff to access social media unless on break, not part of job @dave1lloyd
    • I did a lot at home or on my own devices. Still only person in library who can access SM at work. @calire
    • has anyone argued for a change? May just need someone to make a business case ask @tomroper.  @uklibchat
    • that’s a big prob in many orgs People at top older and suspicious of new tech treat each new 1 separately @poetryghost
    • That social media business case in full:  (use the drop-down menu) @tomroper

Q.8. Have you used any advisory services e.g. JISC, CILIP, other to advise on what tech could be helpful? Where else?

  • Not tended to use services such as jisc, cilip formally- but will have used policy documents, briefings & papers by them. @ggnewed
  • No promises, but would people find CILIP info service helpful if were able to offer access to play with ipad/kindle etc? Something I’d be keen to make happen, so thanks for enthusiasm. Does £££ so no promises, but will work on it. :) @philbradley
    • sounds interesting, may depend on how long we could ‘borrow’ for? think also may need support on use?
    • Yes, yes, yes – but not just in London please  @bishopwalshlib
    • We have done this for library staff & public. Hopefully organising a gadget day for library people to play & learn @calire
    • Just FYI, US group did a Tech Petting Zoo that worked well. Focused on how to learn devices in general. It was a hit. See for ideas. @galeciagroup
    • No much point showing kindles though Phil, as not allowed to loan them out etc!  Perhaps kobo better? @libwithattitude
    • could attach to existing regional events. @karjg
    • Good idea. We ran public drop in sessions here showing library users various ereaders and tablets – it worked well. @ggnewed
    • we’ve done something similar to a tech roadshow. Lets folk see it in action and play @kosjanska

Q9. Where are the places to look to get funding if lib can’t afford tech dev wanted?

  • Arts Council England are keen on funding innovate/creative ideas. Good opportunity to take a chance & do something “Wow!” @ggnewed

Summary 20th October – The Future of Libraries

Q1. How will/does the use of self-service machines affect libraries?

  • Changes the dynamic between staff and patrons
  • When first introduced customer / staff interaction is usually increased
  • Enables more time for staff to focus on supporting student learning
  • Frees up staff to do other tasks and eventually might end “librarian as bookstamper” stereotype
  • Can spend more quality time with customers
  • Can offer more services and have more time to explain them
  •  In theory as lower skilled jobs disappear staff can move on to higher skilled jobs. But in practice staff are worried they will be relocated in current economic climate
  • Complete reorganisation of staff – roving support etc.
  • Reduced staffing a possibility
  • Big challenge for managers when RFID is introduced
  • Important for managers to give staff clear idea of their changed job role post-RFID
  • Makes libraries seem more up-to-date. Some patrons see this as positive, some don’t .
  • Need to have good relationship with suppliers
  • Depends how people define libraries – if  defined as somewhere just to get stock, could affect heavily
  • Depends if introduced as service enhancement or cost-cutting measures
  • Impact of smartphones and smartcards, and RFID will go beyond self-service
  • Loss of a source of tacit knowledge – though cafes etc can make library more human
  • Will need to find other ways to engage with patrons
  • Technology will lead to a better library service – is anyone measuring this as a goal?
  • RFID Technology may be superceded by QR codes (or is it the other way round!?)
  • Possibility of more theft of materials?
  • Interesting data on RFID here
 Q2 What effect will ebooks have on hard copy purchasing?
  • E-books will coexist with hard copy. Many patrons not interested in ereaders or can’t afford them
  • Hard copy purchasing won’t decrease dramatically any time soon
  • Need to break the hold on Kindle / Amazon ebook model quickly, as predominant use of public libraries is book loans
  • Importance of children’s books for public libraries – and kids ebooks are lacking at the moment
  • Depends on type of library
  • Mix of formats required, partly due to problems with licensing
  • How will things change when there is more creativity with ebooks – not just PDFs?
  • Librarians should get involved with publishing to change things
  • Interesting blog on how Amazon is screwing libraries
  • Limited promotion at the moment on ebooks, but could potentially reach new users
  •  Libraries should not provide a service where a feasible commercial service provides the same (1964 Act). Amazon not free.
  • Ebboks can be difficult in corporate environment but will be well-received
Q3 What changes to job roles do you foresee?
  •  Greater facilitation, help members create content, become credible/authoritative source on social media
  • Librarian job role in constant state of flux
  • Public libraries – staff need to be comfortable working with children as that is the more successful part of the service
  • Redeployment or smart management will use free staff to provide added value services
  • More of this sort of job (library and social media assistant)
  • Outreach important for public libraries
  • Some HE libraries – super-convergence. Learning support and employability more important
  • Greater potential for reader development, including social reading
  • More back-office knowledge work
  • More involvement in special projects e.g.
  • Creating own content using our own expertise
  • Embedding librarians into workplace
  • More personal service provided
  • Collaborative approach – have to be able to turn your hand to anything, not just one speciality
  • Even job titles change – library no longer even part of job title
Q4 Do you expect any new sectors to expand and make use of information pros as information needs grow?
  • Information architecture
  • Space librarian
  •  Need to find new sectors and new groups to work with. Can’t expect them to come to us. Must be proactive!
  • Public library staff doing lots of new things but creating new roles out of these is difficult because of the cost
  • Computerised stock management
  •  A major problem is that librarians are associated with the tools they use, not the results they achieve (Ed.: I think this is easily the quote of this week’s #uklibchat)
Q5 What is the value to the nation of public libraries in the modern age?
  • Where to start!?
  • When you are unemployed and benefits are cut, a library is the best source of information, and its an open place free for all
  • Collective memory, free education
  • Skills to handle and manage information
  • One of the few public spaces you don’t have to have money to go in and use
  •  A public space with no bar to entry where no-one will tell you what to do or expect you to buy. Totally unique
  • Local studies (often not available online)
  • The IFLA / UNESCO declaration says it all! Also see
  • Please come up with a list as per Monty Python’s What has the Romans ever done for us!
  • Look internationally to see what they are doing to keep relevant
  • It’s a civic space, with value & role defined by members
  • Interesting use of libraries in modern age mentioned at #libcampuk11
  • People will want to invest in countries that kept their skills and expertise. So education matters
  •  Student said he would have never got the grades he did if not for quiet study space & resources in public library
  • Internet access is vital
  •  Song about why libraries are necessary
  • Serendipity
  • Value lies in librarians rather than libraries
  • Mixture of people and the resources in it
  • 3 legged stool analogy of resources, space, support provided by staff. Stool useless without all 3!
Q6 Having looked at the role of the libraries in the modern age,what are the goals for the future?
Q7 Given those goals, looking at the situation on the ground, what are the libraries strengths and what opportunities are there?
  • Sector needs to be proactive and get much better at marketing, PR
  • Best “literary ecosystem” on the planet
  • Survival
  • Need to make the non-users believe in us and offer them something to entice them in
  • Must be relevant by having information skills the public need
  • Increase market share of users – this is what local authorities judge us on
  •  Listen to what is wanted don’t just dictate, engage, be proactive, be bold
  • Need to link with more schools. See Michael Rosen comment
  • Librarians are there to empower users. We need to have power to do that, & that comes from users themselves. Beneficial circle. Show users we can save them cash etc
  • Opportunities for libraries to be providers of e-books, other digital resources
  •  “Academic librariess here to enable & enhance learning in all forms – whether a 1st yr undergrad or a Nobel Prize winning scientist” – Peter Brophy
Q8 How important, given current sector environmental factors, is creativity at all levels in the organisation?
  • Important but can be difficult when creativity is not encouraged elsewhere in organisation e.g. by councillors
  • Arguably creativity starts as what you need to find training and opportunities in the current climate
  • Creativity can be difficult to implement because of lack of resources
  • Need to find partners to help e.g. businesses
  • Technology means strategy needs to be inside out
Q9 What is the role of mobile devices in libraries?
  • Use of IPads for on the spot enquiries
  • Lots of options just need to dream them up, resource them and make them relevant to users.
  •  Stock recognition, guides, e-readers, self-issue, access to accounts and catalogues etc.
  •  We should ensure our digital resources are fully accessible on mobile devices
  • Augmented Reality could be used to give people more info about books they have near them, interconnections, locations etc.
  • Floorwalking – gadgets for all staff
  • Loaned mobile devices
  • Augmented Reality
  • Library apps e.g. City University
  • QR codes; graphic novels on mobile devices; junior library mobile site
  • Must remember not all have smartphone – public libraries must cater to all, not just techies or rich
  • Remember how things change – tech will become increasingly widespread
  •  The technology will become better and more will have them
Q10 What will the library of the future look like? Will there still be a physical library?
  • There will still be library buildings – huge symbolic and actual value still persists
  • May not be a library building – if so it will be a  a knowledge centre valued for lifelong learning and a social leisure space
  • Would be a shame if it wasn’t still a physical entity. People socialise in libraries, it’s a space for all
  • More use of zoned space in HE libraries
  • Students need study space still despite technology
  • The Hive, Worcester as an interesting example (combined university and public library)
  • Future of Academic Libraries Project from SCONUL, RIN, British Library and JISC
This week we trialled having a free chat where we discussed anything of  interest. This is some of the stuff that came up:
  • An attempt to dejargon management and organisation planning for anyone interested
  • It was mentioned that it might be better to use a chatroom for #uklibchat rather than Twitter – although convenience and serendipity of using Twitter was also mentioned
  • The problems of self-service were mentioned, particualrly pre-RFID systems. Issues mentioned included: misplaced books, confusing for patrons
  • Problems of self-service show that even if librarianship were just about stamping books, it’s not as easy as it looks!
  • Whilst some RFID machines can take fine money, some libraries still don’t even have a till
  • National marketing campaign. Take out bus adverts, cinema adverts. Could CILIP do this? (Though question of funding is difficult)
  • Interesting article about mobile technology that could be relevant for libraries
  • Should be a union specifically for librarians as well as a professional body
  • Home grown ad
  • Too much in-house advertising and marketing
  • Take a look at Welsh Gov ad targeting FE library students
  • Have libraries been in a topdown efficiency driven planning mode for so long they cannot now switch to an inside-out creativity and technology driven planning mode?
  • Amazon figures re Kindle sales outstripping hard copy sales refer to hard copy hardbacks – which few people want
  • Wondering how many people follow #uklibchat on their mobile…?
Please let us know what you thought of the Free Chat in the comments, or on Twitter by tweeting @uklibchat

Summary: Thursday 21st July 2011 – Library Marketing and Promotion

Summary of  the second #uklibchat discussion:
1.  Have you experienced any particularly effective library marketing campaigns?
2. What methods do you feel are effective for marketing a library?
  • Viral effective e.g. Old Spice and Library Ireland video. “Wow” factor but possibly exclusive and may end up being naff if not careful
  • Capitalising on anger re. public library closures
  • Face to face e.g. open day at a university
  • Use media students to design posters etc.
  • Leeds Shhh! Library bags
3.  How do libraries select a target demographic? And is it detrimental to the service by narrowing their focus?
  • Not detrimental – need innovative segmenting to succeed
  • Libraries can be unscientific in their targeting
  • Local public libraries should target less than others
  • Example of poor segmentation – Hail to the V Campaign (non-library, NSFW)
  • Vox pop style segmented marketing celebrating diverse range of users
 4 Does the library need a clearer selling point?
  •  “Marketing information services is much harder than marketing coca cola”
  •  Hard to market if you’re not clear what you’re marketing
  • “They save people time” as clear selling point
  • Selling points and USPs vary depending on location/sector/needs of community
  • “You said, we did” could demonstrate clear selling points. Though possibly too general
  • “Good information saves lives” – from CILIP Defining Our Professional Future Discussion
  • Libraries as a trusted source of information
  • Identify customer needs. In some HE libraries, subject librarian role is expanding into customer account planning
  • Resounding answer to this question is YES!
5. How do we explain what it is that the library DOES?
  • As undergraduates, many people said they didn’t know what libraries and librarians did
  • Different libraries send out different messages so it’s not a clear brand
  • Suggestion that we all tell a friend what we do to start busting myths. Others agreed and also reacted to this by suggesting that we do this by taking part in the Library Day In The Life project. Building on this – follow what was suggested by Megan Wiley at New Professionals Conference – share your Day In The Life entry with a non-library colleague (could use Google + to do this)
  • Promoting 3 core values or principles could be the way to go.
  • Saying what we are rather than what we do – see Lush bags, also see this TED Talk
  • Ironic – the things that we’re traditionally known for we still do – BUT better
6. How do we reach non-users?
  •  Bookcase in Cheam train station. Unofficial ‘library’ for commuters that advertises the local libraries. Think how many read on public transport
  • Use Library Day In The Life blog entries (see answers to Q5). Also suggested that you adapt it as a Day In The Life for non-library audience. Publish in library newsletter, local paper, local social media etc.
7. How do you convince management that marketing is necessary when they stubbornly refuse to see it?
  • Marketing is a misleading term – it’s just communication. Why would you not want to communicate what the library is doing?
  • Marketing is ‘identifying and satisfying customer requirements’ according to Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • Management could be concerned about increasing demand and expectation to a level of service that a library is unable to provide
  • Several said that they found management were largely positive about marketing in their experience
  • But management didn’t always have the budget or time to make marketing a priority
  • Can have problem of central marketing department making restrictions on library marketing department
  • Important to use tool of bizspeak as people view libraries as businesses.
  • Although it was also felt that libraries are not always perceived as businesses, so bizspeak not always appropriate
8. How do you join up marketing with other departments making best use of budget to reach a common target audience?
  • Central comms can offer additional support/resources/advice
  • Rules of central marketing can unfortunately prevent this happening
9. How do you demonstrate the ROI (Return On Investment) of social media marketing?
  • Brand awareness study (are we at this stage yet though?)
  • Annual users survey. Could put questions in there about social media marketing
  • Quantify time spent on social marketing (using free tools) and measure any increase in visits (footfall or hits)
  • [Web] analytics
  • Remember user attitude important as well as statistics like footfall
  • Individual library Twitter feeds get fed to widget on central library site, so reaching a wider audience than number of followers shown
  • Reward social media engagement with an extra book out
10. Are online reward and check-in programmes (like GetGlue and Foursquare) the way forward?
11. What/who do you think your competitors are?  Why is the library better?
  • Neutral space – “you bring your agenda, not accept someone else’s” (I love this quote – Ed). 
  • Library as community hub
  • Amazon, Google do some of the things libraries offer better
  • Marketing often more about partnerships than competition with other organisations
  • How it is funded and how widely it attempts to represent sectors beyond public
  • Should focus on library space and value of staff in marketing
  • Lovely staff – who aren’t trying to sell something unwanted/unneeded
  • University bookshop as competitor – they are emphasising good communication with lecturers
  • Does Amazon host book groups for the visually impaired?
12. What should the next #uklibchat be about?
Suggested topics were:
  • Increasing awareness across sectors/Breaking down barriers inside the profession
  • Ebooks
It was decided that ebooks would be the next session, although the first suggestion should also be a topic in the future.
13.  Miscellaneous. A couple of things discussed were not necessarily answers to questions but grew out of the general discussion
  • Bad library marketing campaigns are unfocused and don’t know their target market.
  • “Find us on Facebook” is bad marketing
  • Bad form to not put things like opening hours and URLS in your adverts.
  • Popular idea of National Library Marketing Campiagn – though process issues could make this difficult.  See ALA Love Libraries campaign for inspiration
General comments:
Thankyou very very much to everyone for taking part. It was great to see both new and old faces at this #uklibchat , including some from the US and Israel. It’s worth mentioning that many #uklibchat participants expressed how much they had enjoyed it, so please feel free to drop by next time if you haven’t already – even if you’re “just” a lurker.

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