23 Nov Internet Librarian International 2008
Apologies for the lateness of this post, ILI08 was now over a month ago but since then finishing my Diploma, going to the States, and starting my new job have taken priority. Now things have calmed down a little, I’ve got chance to write the post I promised.
The day itself, the journey, the venue
After leaving home at an unearthly hour and being ill on the train down to London (maybe marshmallow flavoured Rice Crispies Squares aren’t such a good idea at 4am!), I got to the Novotel just before 8am. As it was the final day of the conference, I think most people were having a lie in; I was the only one taking advantage of the orange juice for most of the hour before the day started.
After listening to almost 40mins about streaming video froma very interesting guy from MTV Europe, I realised I was in the wrong conference room and promptly exited during the Q&A to get to the right one. Not a great start! I therefore missed most of the keynote by the Shanachies which I’d been looking for to. The bit I did see was interesting, the Shanachies seem to be travelling all over the world seeing some amazing places and meeting some great people from around the world.
We then had a break where I did a bit of mingling and had a look at the stalls. It was nice to see a good variety of stalls there; database providers, book publishers, and special interest groups. I had a good chat with Karen Blakeman at the UKeIG stand; I’m hoping to change my membership with my CILIP membership next year and will be joining UKeIG.
I took my Acer Aspire One with me and managed to get onto the wireless network which was incredibly useful. I made notes during the sessions and could also check out websites that were mentioned throughout the day.
I attended the sessions in the Information Literacy strand, including sessions on using YouTube to support teaching, online information literacy tutorials, and the 23 Things programme (which I am particularly interested in). I’ll give a brief summary of each and share any useful links.
Using YouTube to promote library services: the experiences of Lingnan University Library
Tommy Yeung from Lingnan University Library talked about how they had been using YouTube to promote their services. They realised that display, posters, leaflets, bulletin boards etc. were not doing enough to promote their services and so decided to try using videos. Initially, they produced an orientation video for new students and staff. They also had copies of this for circulation for those who missed the session. In addition to this, they produced a video about the Lingnan Digital Library and linked to it on their web pages. After 2 weeks, they had only had 52 viewings of the video and wondered if it was enough to simply host a video and link to it from their website. During this time, research papers about the use of YouTube in libraries started to attract attention, and so Lingnan University decided to try hosting their videos on YouTube. In the first week alone, they had over 100 viewings of the video. They also received ratings and feedback on YouTube which is very useful for future development.
One of the unique collections of Lingnan University Library are their media collections of guest lectures hosted at the library. They decided to produce 3 minute promotional cuts of 19 of these videos and included a link to the full video on their Digital Library to encourage people to view them. Some of these guest lectures have attracted over 2000 views, many of whom have gone on to view the whole lecture in the Digital Library. In total, 42000 new views have been generated on the Digital Library (I’m not sure if these were all generated from the YouTube videos but I think a large proportion are due to the videos).
The success of the videos had led them to think about ways to further utilise YouTube. In the future they hope to include general information videos about the library, as well as further videos to promote special collections. They are currently in the process of producing a strategy and policy regarding the use of YouTube in the library marketing plan.
Marketing Research in Internet Resources: User Needs Analysis
Angela Repanovici from Romania and Ane Landoy from Norway spoke about their quantitative and qualitative research into opinions, attitudes and difficulties of students accessing electronic resources. They developed questionnaires and administered interviews to help them discover student opinions. The results showed that more than 40% found the internet indispensable for their research, and 30% consider the library as their main source of information.The main reason for use of the internet (unsurprisingly) is the speed of access.
In response to their research, Angela and Ane developed an information literacy online tutorial to help support students in their online research. This takes students through the process of writing an essay, and also includes information about referencing and EndNote. Part of the tutorial is written as a student diary which Angela and Ane have found students particularly like.
Experiences of 23 Things
This session was split into three speakers who each talked about their experiences of the 23 Things programme. It was great to hear about it from different points of view.
Julio Anjos from Portugal used the 23 things project as part of his distance learning programme, using his classmates as the participants. Of the 20 participants, only 3 had a blog before the programme. He used Moodle to communicate to the participants and due to timescale restrictions allocated 8 weeks for the main project. Only 6 managed to complete in 8 weeks, but by 12 weeks 16 had completed the programme.
Following the programme, Julio collated feedback. 18 of the participants said they could remember all the tools and 15 said they know use them on a daily basis. They felt that it was too little, too late and would have preferred this earlier in their course; they have all added it to their CVs and feel that it will help them in their jobs (and also help them finding a job). A month later however, 12 still did not have a job (although personally I feel this is probably more to do with the current economic climate) and 3 that did did not use the tools in their jobs. All said that people reading their CVs had been interested in the 23 Things project though.
Julio has been asked to repeat the course but at an earlier stage and 12 weeks this time, and has also been running similar programmes at his workplace and elsewhere.
Julio’s website (written in Portuguese)
Harriet Aagaard from Sweden spoke about the 23 Things project she used for Stockholm public library staff. The library was utilising a number of Web 2.0 technologies in their new website and it was felt that it was important that all library staff to understand these technologies and why they are used. They used Ning for their project because it was easy to set up, has the ability to write blogs, upload photos and also has discussion forums.
Their initial plan was for all front line staff to do the course (1hr allocated per week) and their target was for 70% of participants to complete. To promote the project they used e-mails, their intranet, staff meeting, welcome packs, and held a launch party. They also had rewards to encourage participation. Unfortunately, their target was not reached due to a loss of employees leading to extra pressure on those still there. They also felt that a larger project group was necessary to offer support to participants. A colleague on each site is needed for encouragement, support, and to help people keep on track. To compensate for the lack of time, weekly workshops were held for participants to drop into if they needed support or just time to complete the course.
In order to gain feedback on the programme they set up an online questionnaire; 164 of the 350 participants answered the survey. Only 16% of these managed to complete all 23 Things but 77% said they liked the 23 Things way of learning. In general, people like the Ning platform and enjoyed uploading photos and liked the social aspect of the website.
In future they are hoping to give more time for participants who haven’t yet finished to complete, and possibly develop a more advanced programme to continue the initial one. They are also considering a similar programme for members of the public in their community.
Mariann Løkse and Jannicke Røgler spoke about the aftermath of 23 Things; they wanted to discover what difference it had made to participants in Norway.
Their web survey had 114 participants. Findings showed that the most popular tools from the 23 Things programme were blogging, RSS, Flickr, LibraryThing, and wikis. The least useful thing for them was Second Life, and also Origo which is like Myspace. Opinions on Facebook were split it was almost in the top 5 as well as almost in the bottom 5; it seems some love it and others hate it! Over 20% have not yet implemented anything from the 23 Things programme, of those that have blogging is the most popular.
Motivating factors of the programme included comments that it was stimulating and fun, it gave ideas of marketing the service using Web 2.0 tools, and it makes the library more accessible for users (being where the users already are). Demotivating factors included comments that some tools lack relevance for the library, there was a lack of support from management, a lack of time, and the view that this is just playing and they couldn’t see the real value.
Overview of event
Despite the terrible journey and missing most of the keynote, I really enjoyed the conference and only wish I’d been there for more of it. The sessions were very interesting, it’s always good to hear from others in similar institutions and situations to yourselves and the innovative things they have been doing. It was also great to meet a wide mix of people from across Europe as well as from other areas in the UK, I had a fascinating conversation with a couple of librarians from Hungary over lunch. I’d certainly like to attend the conference again and really like the whole sharing information mentality that the conference has, both in the sessions and in the breaks. I’d love to one day bring back something innovative that my institution has done and share it with others from the community at ILI.