Monday, November 28, 2005

Words of Wisdom from Roy

Here, here to several bits of wisdom from Roy Tennant's November 15 Library Journal article, "What I Wish I Had Known":

-I wish I had known that the solution for needing to teach our users how to search our catalog was to create a system that didn't need to be taught

-Read outside of the profession. Libraries do not drive the engines of innovation. Libraries are part of a niche market that either rides the coattails of other markets or gets left behind.

-It's about the user, stupid. While we were focused on crafting integrated library systems that served our needs, our users got left behind. Is it any wonder that they can't understand why our systems aren't as easy to work with as Amazon?

Summer Reading Clubs - They're Not Just for Public Libraries

Show 'em that academic libraries can be fun too:

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

UD's Funny Library Video

A funny library video? Impossible you say. Oh, but I must contradict you friend. It is possible! And the University of Dayton Libraries has done it.

How you ask? Admit the stereotypes and common perceptions about libraries and then exploit them. Another great tip from the UD video: if you're targeting students, use students as your spokespeople.

View the video here. (Warning: you need to be on broadband for this, it's a 26MB file. Oi.)

Want more examples of how academic libraries are promoting themselves? Visit the OhioLINK Idea Gallery.

(Thanks for sharing Heidi!)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Capturing Students' Interest with Fun Facts at Cal State Library

True or false - you can capture students' interest and teach them about library resources using fun facts and reference stats? True, says Rachael Green Clemens, distance education librarian at California State University Fullerton's Pollak Library.

Today on the AcademicPR discussion list, Clemens shared how she created a twist on commercial advertisements like those you might see projected onto large buildings in a place like downtown Los Angeles. Clemens created her "reference slide show" two years ago by creating a long, continuously looping PowerPoint slide show and projecting it on a very large wall abover the reference desk area.

"I collected about 150 Q&A's and made eye-catching slides that project for about 16 seconds each...akin to the trivia questions you often see in a movie theatre. I intersperse these Q&A's with library information - such as advertisements for chat reference service, photocopier info, library website tidbits, etc." Clemens wrote.

Clemens describes the project as a fun one that really gets results. "Students often linger at the desk waiting for the answers to the questions. I made a point to add the 'source' of the information - hoping to highlight library resources and model good citation practice."

The slides include a wide variety of facts and fun trivia. Examples include:
Q: What was the median home price in Orange County in July 2005?
A: $603,000 (source: Los Angeles Times article accessed through Proquest Newspapers)

Q: How many new hybrid vehicles were registered in the U.S. in 2004?
A: 83,156 (source: Article in AdWeek accessed through TableBase)

Q: How many gallons of soft drinks were consumed in the U.S. in 2002
A: 15.2 billion gallons (source: Beverage Aisle through Lexis-Nexis)
The slide show, which provides one and a half hours of programming on a continuous loop, is updated each semester to keep it interesting. In the future, Clemens plans to move the slide show onto a new large plasma screen that is hung in the library atrium.

Many thanks to Rachael Green Clemens for sharing this information and giving me permission to post it.

Interested in subscribing to the Academic PR list? Instructions are available online.

Friday, November 04, 2005

It's Time to Shout Presentation Handouts

To anyone who attended my session (It's Time to SHOUT! Using Blogs to Tell the Library's Story & Educate Users) at the Academic Library Association of Ohio's conference today and didn't get a copy of the handouts here is the PDF. If ALAO posts presentation content I'll add this there too.

If you weren't there and you wonder what these handouts are all about, feel free to take a look. The three page PDF contains my points to remember about how academic libraries use blogs, what to consider before you start a blog and how to market your blog. Then there's the all important list of example blogs and articles that will tell you even more about library blogs and RSS.

Congrats to everyone who helped plan and organize this conference. It looked like a great success to me and I know how hard conference planning is!

More on this conference later.