Today, i gave a presentation on social media to our Libraries Management Team (i am doing the tour around different teams at present and so far it is going down well) and was very impressed with their positive attitudes towards supporting and developing these tools within the service. I must admit that the ideas that were suggested took me by surprise as it went further then i was hoping. My initial idea was to really just raise the awareness and to stimulate discussion to the point where i may need to go back and delve deeper into specific topics. But oh no, The new Head of Libraries Ciara Eastell, who is on Facebook herself, has from what she said been thinking about this and some of the ideas are very transformational within the libraries arena but exactly where libraries should be.
Examples of the ideas include:
- Surgery sessions for the public linked – supporting digital literacy and adult learning
- “how to use facebook and become a fan of your local library”
- “how to load photos to flickr”
- “how to use twitter”
- “how to use RSS”
- Expanded internal sessions (linked to social media forum) on how to make the best of social media.
- developing a social network to involve young children as part of a national reading agency project (groupthing.org)
- using tools as a way to invite feedback about premises and modernisation issues (photos of old carpets or wall paper etc – loaded onto a website for improvement ideas)
- Libraries 2.0 – virtual libraries
I am really excited about the potential work that libraries could achieve using these tools. There are many more ways in which the library service could use these tools and we as a council have already explored flickr which i previously posted on my blog
On a broader note i am very impressed with the willingness and eagerness of my council to explore these tools as part of a wider web strategy framework and i must confess i am currently loving the work i do in this area.
I do have to manage my own expectations on what is actually deliverable and by when but the culture seems to be shifting towards something very positive, open and inclusive here.