Applying Social Tools to Library Projects

Technology Poster Children

What do these four have in common?  They’ve put today’s new interactive communications tools to work in solving real world problems. 

At today’s New Technologies in Instruction and Training Poster Session, Keith Martin (upper left), of the National Institute of Standards, described how a wiki was used to get staff working online together.  In phase 1, researchers each got a wiki page to describe their responsibilities, the projects they were working on, and their skills and accomplishments.  But, he said, "it soon evolved as a way for teams to communicate, without having to hold meetings."  By placing team documents on the wiki, users were encouraged to collaborate there.  As a result, the wiki also served as a "great place to document projects," he said.

When Keith’s colleague at NIST, Nancy Allmang (lower left) conducted a survey of the technical staff, she learned that almost 50% preferred to get news about new library resources by receiving an e-mail alert with links to abstracts for new materials.

Julie Arendt (lower right), a reference librarian at Southern Illinois University, is having luck with using a blog to communicate with the departments assigned her.  One trick Julie is using to draw users to her blog is to use it to announce new articles published by the faculty, with links to the full-text in the library collection.

Cory Craig (upper right) used an online survey tool, Survey Monkey, to ask faculty and graduate students in the chemistry department about what information literacy skills they wanted and who should be responsible for training them (the library, the faculty or the students, themselves, via  self-instruction). The information has proved useful in developing priorities for library training program development.

Dick Kaser
ITI VP, Content

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