Thursday, December 30, 2004

Apple's Student Blog

Apple has a blog aimed at college students. As Mike Manuel pointed out, this show how companies, and of course libraries, should think about targeting blogs for different audiences. The blog is supposedly written by students, for students. How interesting. I would love the details on how this works exactly. Does Apple give these students free reign or are posts moderated?

I wonder if there are any library blogs divided by the target audience rather than subject matter? If you know of any, leave me a comment and let me know.

Even if you can't or won't turn a blog or part of the library's Web site over to students, refer to Apple's Campus Life Blog just for ideas on the tone and subject matter of blog posts. I love that the posts are all related, but every single post doesn't directly promote Apple and its products.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Things To Do When You're Stuck Inside

Stuck inside with the winter weather blues? Why not:

1. Check the Linkrank of your library's blog, your blog, or any URL. [via Micro Persuasion]

2. Read some ideas from academic and public libraries at Library Media and PR. The suggestions include sending personal letters to kids during the summer reading program and welcoming students with a letter from their personal librarian (for some examples of similar letter sent by the University of Dayton's librarians see the OhioLINK Marketing Toolkit's Idea Gallery).

3. Consider some new entrepreneurial efforts to raise money for the library. Read Beth Dempsey's article "Cashing In On Service" in the Library Journal (November 1, 2004. Volume 29, issue 18, p. 38) for some inspiration. I really wish a library in the area would launch a program like Kern County Public Library's (CA) Pennies for Periodicals. (hint, hint Columbus Metropolitan)

4. Use Google to check for online plagiarists. (Ok, if you're a librarian you probably way ahead on this one I know.) [via Contentious]

5. Check out Amy Gahran's series Online Media Outreach: 10 Ways to Meet Journalists Needs Online. She's finished the series since I last linked to it.

6. Create a Read poster for your library (or perhaps Research if you work at an academic library). See some examples from the Todd Wehr Memorial Library and several OhioLINK libraries.

This Christmas I'm Grateful for Electricity

*Time for another off topic post*

We were lucky enough to be one of the 180,000 in central Ohio without power for 12 hours or so (it went off in the middle of the night, I was too tired to get up and find my watch). Luckily AEP has done their duty quickly and restored power to our little area of the city. Thank you AEP linemen!!

I used to think it would be romantic to be without electricity once in awhile. Well, it's not. The temperature got down to 56F in here, but the fun was over long before that. Imagine, no cable, no cable modem, rapidly draining laptop batteries. I'm sure glad that's over.

Now I feel really badly for those who deal with the weather elements every day.

Happy Christmas to you and yours! (For the 2-3 of you who check in here occasionally) Next post, back to marketing and PR.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I'm On Tenterhooks

From the "you learn something new every day" category:

Ok, I have to admit I did not know the correct phrase for this is "on tenterhooks." I thought it was tether hooks or something like that. Don't ask me what a tether hook is or why I thought that. I just did. Apparently the commonly misused phrase is on tender hooks. But that too is wrong, wrong, wrong.

You can find more words that are commonly "confused, abused and misued" in this article from Ragan's Grapevine: Tips & Tactics From the World of Employee Communications.

Friday, December 17, 2004

BookCrossing: It Just Sounds Cool

Ok, this doesn't have anything to do with marketing or PR (Or does it? Sometimes I think everything has to do with marketing and PR), but since I'm a book lover it fits -- kinda, sorta. I read this Christian Science Monitor article (not a media outlet I usually turn to, but I guess this goes to show you never know...) recently about BookCrossing. If you haven't heard about BookCrossing, it's a site that monitors the journey of books that have been "set free." Of course you can read the article for complete details. I think I'm going to have to try this.

[link via Library Link of the Day]

Monday, December 13, 2004

Can't Trump a Librarian

This has been pretty widely posted, so hopefully you've already seen it by now, but just in case you haven't, check out: "A Billion Dollar IPO for John Hopkins" by John Hopkins President William R. Brody. It's too good to miss.

At the conclusion, Brody writes:

Massive information overload is placing librarians in an ever more important role as human search engines. They are trained and gifted at ferreting out and vetting the key resource material when you need it. Today's technology is spectacular — but it can't always trump a skilled human

Have you hugged your librarian today?

Monday, December 06, 2004

What’s Your Top 100?

The OCLC list of the top 1000 titles owned by OCLC member libraries sparked some ideas. Could you create a list of the top 10, 25 or 100 titles checked out by patrons at your library? Perhaps you can create a list of the most popular titles in your town or state. You can send the list to your local newspaper(s) and if they aren’t interested, publish it in your newsletter or on your Web site. If a list of the “top” titles isn'’t possible, you can always create a list of favorite titles, as voted on by your patrons and Web site visitors.

[link via Library Link of the Day]

Blogger Needs a Crash Cart, Stat!

Since I've started this blog I've been pretty happy with Blogger. I've heard about others having problems, but I usually haven't. This week, however, Blogger is making me mad. I haven’t been able to log in and blog for two days out of the past week. It’s very frustrating! I know, I know, you get what you pay for. In the meantime, I’m “blogging” in Word and I’ll post them when I can.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

What Were They Thinking?

I'm still catching up on my online reading after a week in North Carolina. Here are two stories that made me scratch my head:

1. "Orange libraries ban unaccompanied' adults from kids' area" (Associated Press, Florida Today)
Of course we all want our kids to be safe, but this is just sad. I wonder if the policy will stick?

2. "Overdue Library Books Could Mean Jail Time" (The Boston Globe)
Librarians in Bay City, Michigan asking their board for permission to seek arrest warrant for patrons who ignore repeated notices to return overdue items. Librarians want the worst offenders to face criminal charges and up to 90 days behind bars. And I thought turning people over to a collection agency seemed harsh! Don't get me wrong, I think keeping public property indefinitely is wrong, but I just can't quite come to terms with people with overdue library books going to jail. What do you think?

[both stories via Library Link of the Day]

Crumbs and Noise

Silas Lyons, in a recent column in The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, California) says that Libraries Could Use Some Crumbs and Noise. The column discusses Howard Schultz's book, "Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time," about the rise of Starbucks Coffee.

Lyons' advice:

Am I actually suggesting that grand old libraries, guardians of silence and of free public access, should follow in the footsteps of greedy corporations? That we should sacrifice shelf space for espresso machines? That the "No Food or Drink!" signs, beaten with age, should be stripped from the doors?

In a word: Yes.