Magazine article Computers in Libraries

From Zero to Web 2.0: Part 1

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

From Zero to Web 2.0: Part 1

Article excerpt

With these ideas and goals in mind, we are ready to embark on a digital makeover and bring the Vise Library from zero to Web 2.0.

Cumberland University (CU), where I serve as a library technical assistant, is a small, private liberal arts college located in Lebanon, Tenn., about 30 miles east of Nashville. CU was the first college in Tennessee to have campus wide wireless internet access, and organizations such as the Alumni Association have a strong presence in the world of social networking. The Doris and Harry Vise Library's web presence consists of a website, a blog for our campuswide reading program (iRead), and a burgeoning Twitter account. Although this is a good start, we have a long way to go. Reference and instruction librarian Claire Walker and I have started working on a new branding campaign for the library. In the process of doing so, we have come up with six key ways to increase our web presence.

1. Create a more user-friendly and dynamic library website. Our current website has not been updated on a large scale since 2006 (which makes it ancient in computer yearsl). The site can be confusing to, navigate at times due to headings that do not make sense to students and the lack of a "trail of links" to show students how they have gotten to pages.

2. Activate and maintain accounts on social networking sites such as Pace- book, My Space, and Twitter. CU's Alumni Association has seen an increase in activity attendance since setting up accounts on Face- book and MySpace. According to Justin Bradford, coordinator of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, the Alumni Association group on Facebook has 930 friends, and the CU Alumni YouTube account has had more than 600 views.

3. Produce a library blog that allows students, staff, and faculty to learn about library news and events without having to wait on the biannual library newsletter. We already have a blog for our iRead program, but it is only relevant for the people who participate in the program. A library blog will give us a fun way to update people about what is going on in the library Plus, we can have links to the blog on the new library website and on our social networking profiles for even more coverage.

4. Implement text reference services and improve our chat reference services. L· __ 9 We are using instant messaging (IM) via a Meebo widget on our website. From September 2008 to May 2009, we collected IM stats for the first time; we had 29 queries during that time. …

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