Tag Archives: review

Review: Journal of Library Innovation

My favouritest new journal ever is currently the Journal of Library Innovation. I have vague memories of issue 1 being decent but issue 2’s contents are totally awesome. They include:

  • an editorial (pdf) pointing out that: a) when we innovate we don’t have to seize on every expensive new technology, and b) on the other hand sometimes failing to use a new technology can be expensive too
  • Quick and Dirty Library Promotions That Really Work – whee, fortune cookies!

    [I would really like to amplify this squee. I think we should do this: it puts a smile on people’s face and it 99% guarantees they’ll actually read the promotional message, which is at least 90% more than traditional signage. (Fudge factor because I can’t remember the number I saw the other day, though I think it was less than 10% and included primarily mature students.]

  • Accommodating Community Users in an Authenticated Library Technology Environment – making a computer kiosk for non-members to use which respects database license agreements; not my thing at present but cool enough that I nevertheless recognise the super utility of it.
  • Making Physical Objects Clickable: Using Mobile Tags to Enhance Library Displays – QR tags in book displays – evidence that these increase usage of promoted materials/webpages

    [See also Embedding tutorials into physical objects – using a QR code on a photocopier to link to video instructions. I think here I’d use QR codes in conjunction with a bit.ly link for people who don’t have the right hardware/software combo to make it work, but this caveat shouldn’t be construed as decreasing my enthusiasm for the idea.]

  • The Library is Undead: Information Seeking During the Zombie Apocalypse – another quick and dirty library promotion, jumping off a student event.

    [Why do we insist that big promotions have to be planned months in advance? Maybe it’s Parkinson’s Law (“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”) – when you plan 3 months in advance, it still feels rushed at the end so you figure next time you should plan 4 months in advance. But if you start planning 6 days in advance (as this library did), sure you’re rushed at the end, but the short timeframe has forced you to forgo normal inefficiencies and brush off the temptation to perfectionism, so you save thousands of staff time and in the end you’ve still got it done.]

  • and also book reviews which seem genuinely helpful and balanced evaluations of how useful the books are and for what purposes.

RSS feeds on Facebook

I’ve played with a number of Facebook applications that claim to let you import RSS feeds into Facebook – and then mysteriously fail to update them. RSS feeds that don’t update are not overly useful.

I finally concluded that if we wanted to import our library blogs into our (currently in demo) library Facebook page, we’d have to use Friendfeed instead. Only when I actually tried this out, it turns out that the Friendfeed application doesn’t work on pages.

So I went trawling through Facebook’s RSS applications again and (perhaps because this was a couple of months since I last tried) found one that seems to work: RSS-Connect(*). It looks clean, the display is reasonably customisable, and it works smoothly and intuitively to open/close items when clicked and take you through to the original item on demand. And most importantly, it really does update automatically – you even get to choose how often you want it to check for updates.

(*) There must be a way to get a link that shows you information about the app before forcing you to add it, but Facebook isn’t intuitive to me and I haven’t found it yet.

ETA 22/5/09 I can’t recommend RSS-Connect, aka Social RSS, any more as it frequently loads either very slowly or (more often) not at all. This leaves me without a working RSS application again. Anyone know of anything, or want to create one?

ETA 17/7/09 RSS-Connect aka Social RSS is back in my good books with some caveats; see comments for more.