Category Archives: Uncategorized

Social Customer Service White Paper

If you are managing Social Media for your library, check out the free Conversocial White Paper that just came out. 

It’s a business-centric* white paper that talks about how companies should use Social Media for customer service exchanges.  It’s a nice start to a bigger topic…how are you using social media to attract, engage, and assist your library users?  

*Libraries are a business too!  


This is how playing library is done right, people!

A recent post by Amy Karol at Angry Chicken highlights her daughters playing library and how they’re kickin’ it old skool with due date slips and everything!

It’s so cute you have to see it.

Read the comments – they will make any library person smile all day.

If all else fails…

you can promote that your library has a public restroom.  I mean, there are worse things to be known for.  So, y’know, if other awesome aspects of your library (free entertainment! charming staff!  untold treasure troves of knowledge!) don’t boost the door count, consider listing your library’s restrooms!

Check out Sit or Squat.  They even have an app!  Yes!  There is an app for that!

Saving Seeds – Free Webinar! Libraries take note!

Interested in the seed library concept?  Start by understanding more about seeds and what it takes to preserve seeds.  Check out this great free webinar happening on March 20 at 7 PM CDT!

Pima County Public Library is one of many libraries in on the seed exchange concept!  Consider for your library.


It’s time to track the outside world…

For a while, I’ve been doing a lot of listening.  I’ve listened in meetings, in appointments, at conferences and on listservs.  I’ve been sitting back and taking things in.  And more recently, I’ve started doing more talking.  Well, more conversing.  Talking with old friends, and meeting new friends and exchanging ideas via email.  It’s been energizing.

There’s one topic I’ve been dwelling on quite a bit and that’s the idea that we need to ask public library staff members to track specific groups and fields that are not necessarily related to our own.  So, instead of re-writing the idea, I’m just going to share a bit of my recent correspondence with a friend…

“One other note is that we have librarians who manage their own internal departments and monitor their own profession, but we need to ask library staff members to do more outward facing research.  I am of the opinion that each staff member in a library should be responsible for monitoring a broad knowledge area that is external of the library but could be incorporated in to library services or impact the library in some way.  So one librarian is responsible for monitoring local business and local food culture.  Maybe a circulation clerk is responsible for staying up to date on regional and national non-profit news.  Another clerk might be in charge of monitoring local health and social services activities.  This serves a two fold purpose.  The first is to find interactive touch points for the library to reach out to local groups and build partnerships of mutual benefit.  The second is to look at trends and issues facing other professions and seeing if their issues could potentially impact the library world and note how those professions addresssed the issue(s).  Libraries operate with a mindset that their problems are distinctly their own, but the problem and the solution are very often visible on the horizon often in a slightly different form.

What do you think?  Am I off base?  On track? Crazy?  I’d love to hear what you think.

Milwaukee Public Library Goes Social

I love the new Milwaukee Public Library campaign.  It’s takes social media logos and puts a library spin on them.

Check out articles on it here:


Nice job Milwaukee! 

You’re killing me with Twitter

I love Twitter.  I really do.  I use it constantly and am almost always connected to it.  But it drives me crazy sometimes.  So here are my tips for using Twitter effectively at work and in your personal life.  Most of this is wisdom that’s already out there.  Don’t get pissy if you don’t like the rules – they are mere observations and suggestions – take them as you will. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.  (Oh, yes, I did just say that…)

Add people as friends so you can DM
If you manage your library’s Twitter account, make sure you friend your Tweeple when they friend you.  When you’re both all good and friendly, then they can Direct Message you.  And that means they can ask you questions without the whole world listening in.  And that works for us – we’re librarians, people need to ask us things. 

I just saw a great series of tweets in which a person tweeted a particular company saying “Will you please friend me so that I can DM you?  I’ve got a question.”  Really fantastic of them to ask!  And even better that the company did it!

If you can’t abbreviate well, don’t  do it all
Okay, maybe I’m old.  I haven’t taken the Pew Millennial Quiz yet, so maybe it’s a generational thing and I dont’ get it.  But there’s such a thing as too much abbreviation.  What more can I say?  If you need to abbreviate to the point of omitting all vowels and multi-syllables, then maybe your message needs a different outlet.

If you tweet more than three times a day, it better be awesome
Here’s the thing.  I follow a particular library that tweets, oh, 12 times a day?  The thing about that is that I don’t allow the tweets from that organization to make my phone go “ding”.  (That sounded dirty, eh?) I have a lot of tweets that do make my phone go ding – people who don’t tweet often but tweet with relevance.  Plus, I don’t need my phone dinging all the time (oh, this is just getting worse and worse…get your minds out of the gutter!)  So, basically, if you tweet to much, you’re annoying and you will be banned from the list of relevant tweeple that I want making my phone go “ding”.

If you can’t fit it in two tweets, then twitter isn’t your forum
I think that’s concise enough isn’t it?  Dude, you get 140 characters.  If you need more than that, you have a ton of other options.  You can always blog and then send the link via Twitter.  A good time to use two tweets?  Comedic timing.  Granted, I’m not that funny, but y’know – tweet one is the set up…a few seconds later, the punch line in tweet two.  @thepioneerwoman is really good at that.

Don’t just output – retweet, comment, respond
People say this again and again.  Why don’t others listen?  You are boring boring boring if you’re only talking about you.  Twitter is a conversation.  And you are a library professional.  Twitter provides great information – we have to move that info like a drug dealer!  Pass it on!  Share it!  Comment on it!  A great retweet from @tac_niso says it best: “RT @learnpublishing Twitter is like a dinner party – If all you talk about is yourself no one will want to talk to you @electriclit #toccon”

I’m such a freaking hypocrite!
I tell you not to share so much, then I tell you to share share share everything.  Here’s the thing.  We’re all smarty pants people here – you’re going to get a lot of word puke, but if you’re good at determining what’s actually not smelly grossness and is real content, then you’re doing good!  Kind of like when you get a reference question and you sort out the best materials for a patron and don’t just walk them to an entire section of the library.

Be mindful of what you tweet from conferences and meetings – we need some context.
You’re at a conference?  Listening to a great speaker?  That’s wonderful!  Oh they’re funny and saying brilliant things?  GREAT!  Here’s the thing…1) if you tweet too much, you’re breaking the three times a day rule and 2) often, the tweets are out of context for the rest of us.  To be fair, there are some people who tweet meetings and conferences very well, and to you, I say thank you.  It allows those of us not in attendance to learn. 

Use more than one platform to track your account –  Twitter, Hootsuite, Ubertwitter, Echofon…  I use both the regular Twitter page and Hootsuite to track my Twitter account.  Like anything else, different tools provide different perspectives and options – you can get a fresh look at what’s going on and maybe see things you’ve missed.  I love being able to search for key words using Hootsuite. 

Set up searches for you and your organization – Make sure you’re setting up searches for you and your organization name.  Hootsuite will display the search results (as will other similar sites) and you can track conversations occurring about you and your org.

After 24 hours it might not be worth responding  I have mixed feelings about this.  If someone tweets your library a question then you should respond even if you got it overnight.  But in terms of negative publicity, sometimes it might be best to let it just blow over.  If a grumpy 20-something tweets “The library stinks” and you don’t see it for 24 hours, you might just want to let it pass.  It’s not worth stirring the pot, so to speak.  However, if you feel you caught it as it happened or it is truly blasphemous, then you may want to direct message the person or politely respond publicly.

See how the Air Force assesses with social media issues here.

When you rant, rant with care.
It’s my job at work to approach those who tweet about my company.  If they rant, I quickly follow up.  It’s shocking how many people are surprised that we follow up on tweets – HELLLLLLO, it’s a public forum folks.  If you tweet something negative OR positive it will be seen and companies (and people) don’t like being dissed in public.  I’ve been known to see a negative tweet, help the person out, and then request that they re-tweet something positive.  Why yes, that does take balls. 

Link everything  If you blog or put something cool out on Facebook, then link to it via Twitter.  Use Twitter as your speakers and amp – your blog as your microphone.

Have people initial  If mulitple folks on your library staff are using the Twitter account, then have them use a two letter inital at the end.  It helps you keep track of who is tweeting what, and builds personality into the Twitter experience.

Speaking of personality If you are tweeting for your library, you might not want to have multiple people tweeting.  Develop and voice and style and stick with it.  Is your Twitter account purely informational?  Funny?  Educational?  People will begin to have a specific expectation of your account so find the voice that fits you and stick with it.  Remember your audience when making the decision as well – what’s funny to you and I may not be funny to Joe Patron.  Don’t piss off the tax payers. 

Don’t be so sensitive.
I recently watched a popular member of the Twitterverse launch an attack against another member of the Twitterverse when the person sent out a link on a sensitive topic.  Person A (the attacker) didn’t feel that Person B (the attacked) didn’t provide enough context for the article and felt that it was a negative and horrible thing to be tweeting.  Turns out Person B was horrified by the content of the article and wanted people to be informed.  Before slamming someone, maybe DM them and say “hey, what did you mean by that” or politely ask publicly what is up.  Hundreds of people ended up slamming person B, following in the footsteps of Person A.  Person B was quite upset and genuinely shocked – and I stopped following Person A.  (Did you catch all that A, B, A, B???)

So, there you go.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Hope I didn’t offend any of you.  If I did, please see my last point.

I’m interested in hearing your Twitter pet peeves.

An ALA Annual Conference Scholarship Opportunity

The company I work for – Evanced Solutions – is offering a very exciting  chance to win the following:

– A free copy of Camtasia Studio by TechSmith
– A free one year subscription to a new or existing product
– A $1000 scholarship to attend ALA Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

All you have to do is create a 3-5 minute video or presentation about why you love Evanced Solutions and/or our products.

Details here:

Reading Dogs

Yesterday, ran a great article on how reading to dogs benefits early readers…

…should any of you be encountering skeptics to the benefits of such a thing. (Kids! Books! Dogs!  All good things in the world!  What’s not to love? But just in case…read the above and share…)

More info on the 3M/Envisionware Lawsuit

Mick Fortune wrote an interesting blog post about the lawsuit by 3M

He also shared the actual complaint, which is an interesting read of you’re a dork like me. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – librarians will run around like they’re on fire if they think legislation will take money out of their pockets, but then something like this lawsuit happens and well…*taps microphone*…uh, is this thing ON??????

If 3M wins the lawsuit, they basically will become the only game in town when it comes to RFID.  That could change pricing, that could change supply (and demand).

More later…