Web 2.0 tools & NZ public libraries . . .

by tosca on Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hokey pokey, we're back to checking out national public libraries that're implementing web 2.0 tools. It's not meant to be a criticism of any sort - it's more in the nature of an exploration. I'm genuinely curious about who's doing what with web 2.0, so feel free to leave comments/suggestions if you think I've missed something! Right, on with the show.

It suddenly occurred to me that I wasn't sure if I had bookmarked all public libraries throughout Godzone. And what made me realise that was my mother emailing me at work to say she'd been reading my blog and liked the 'Library Elf - Reminder Service' alert that Hastings District Library uses. Which got me thinking . . . was I absolutely positive that I had looked up all public libraries? Short answer: nah. Solution: make certain. What a process! Prob was a shorter way but ended up searching MetroNet's site (they had 19 libraries listed with them) and then to make doubly sure checked WorldCat. Tried a classic title that most, if not all, NZ public libraries would have ('Pride and prejudice' by Jane Austen) and went through checking every library NOT listed with MetroNet. Then searched for 'In my father's den' by Maurice Gee - figured an NZ author was yet another way to double-check. Kinda funny really considering my post last week about WorldCat *rolls eyes* Isn't that the way? I don't see how it works and then BANG I find a use for it. D'OH. Phew! Now I have some 50 systems to work through *gulps* Sometimes I scare myself ;) I do have to backtrack slightly (at least alphabetically speaking) to cover Central Hawkes Bay District Libraries and Clutha District Libraries.

Central Hawkes Bay District Libraries - (wow, that's a mouthful) has a blog which I have spent the morning reading. The blog is used to highlight events like Library Week guests, or the Montana Book Award winners listing etc. They've also implemented the use of a Meebo chat widget on both their blog and their catalogue, that way customers can IM staff if they need help searching (they do point out that if CHBD Libraries staff are not available they can leave an offline message). There is also a wiki where customers are invited to say what they'd like to see in the library, what they'd like to happen or even just start a discussion about books.

Clutha District Libraries - I had fun trying to figure out how the 'New Books list' works. And I'm still not sure I've got the hang of it - shame on me! It doesn't so much list the new books as you have to search for them. I think. Help? Eek. They do have a pre-compiled reading list on a subject made up of text, electronic and web resources. Am imagining it's something that they're still working on as the only list there at the moment is Trucks. Web 2. tools - it could be this stupid flu but I'm not seeing any. That's not a criticism, it's an observation. Remember, I'm exploring who's doing what and how - not questioning why they aren't.

Note: thought it would be nice to add a 'Label cloud' to this blog. Hunted around online and got a headache reading people's long and convoluted explanations for how to configure a successful cloud. Threw my hands in the air and thought I'd try it again after a couple of days (and some deliberate thought about how badly I wanted it). Jumped online tonight and came across phydeaux3's blog with some technical, yet easy to understand, instructions. Probably the most fun part of the whole exercise was setting the colours. As I'm not familiar with any part of html code or colours or whatever I checked around online and found an RGB colour chart which was a huge help. While it wasn't a total walk in the park, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. And definitely if I can do it anybody can! Although I'd like to learn how to mix it up a bit.

Oh, and please ignore all of the new child related book-widgets that've been added all along the far left. I am experimenting with how they look, what their point is, and what value they would add. It would be nice to see some NZ related book-widgets for Children's and YA services. I wonder if they're hard to do?? Must find that out. The widgets will be gone within a few days so for now - grin and bear it ;-)

Oh hmm, was having a nosey around Library Elf's site and saw two things: quite a few NZ libraries are already members, and quite a few are in the middle of testing it.

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