Social Media ROI for libraries

We have all been indoctrinated in the importance of incorporating social media in our libraries’ outreach/marketing strategies, to the point one almost has to explain by way of apology if their library isn’t on social media. I am wondering, however, where is the evidence?  How do we know, first, that social media has any effect on our institutional bottom line other than from social media supporters connecting dots (e.g., surveys indicating social media use, and references to other supporters) and saying, “of course it does!” Where’s the data? I am still exploring, so help me out if you actually have the Continue reading Social Media ROI for libraries

Automation and Small Libraries, and CornerThing

The situation hasn’t really changed in the world of library automation since last year’s post.  Libraries find what works for them, given their  economic and human resources.  What is different, is a new tool, developed with some virtual interns.  I call it CornerThing, because I’m not very creative with names. I’ve got these small libraries (American Corners), where, for some of them, their “automation” consists of massive spreadsheets.  And LibraryThing.  Checkouts are still done by hand on cards.  They compile reports by hand, going through the cards each month, to send to me, or one of my colleagues.  It seemed Continue reading Automation and Small Libraries, and CornerThing

Automation and small libraries – first look

It’s kind of amazing to me that after over fifteen years in this business, I’m looking at a situation that pretty much hasn’t changed for small libraries looking for an automation system.  There wasn’t much available for them at a reasonable cost back then, and there is even less today.  Go ahead. Show me where I’m wrong. Seriously, a small library, a small public library, one that is supported, sometimes begrudgingly, by (too often non-existent) local public funds, does not have a lot to spend on annual fees for a library automation system.  They have even less to spend on a Continue reading Automation and small libraries – first look

Copyright and disruptive technology

What if you could give a book to everyone on earth? Get an ebook and read it on any device, in any format, forever? Give an ebook to your library, for them to share? Own DRM-free ebooks, legally? Read free ebooks, and know their creators had been fairly paid?  –From About, unglue.it Copyright is a round hole.  Paper publications are nice, round pegs.  Electronic items are square pegs.  Hard copies can be passed around, shared from person to person across time and space.  A copyright holder’s distribution rights are curtailed by the physical transfer of the copyrighted item (by purchase or gift) Continue reading Copyright and disruptive technology

Peer Review and Relevancy

The Code4Lib Journal exists to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.  —Mission Statement, Code4Lib Journal A colleague on the Code4Lib Journal’s editorial committee has posted a defense of the Journal’s position on peer review, or more specifically, double blind refereeing.  I was tempted, several months ago, to address the topic in the opening editorial for Issue 16, but was too preoccupied with food.  I don’t always see things the way Jonathan does, although I’ve learned over the years he gets it right a lot more times than I do.  In Continue reading Peer Review and Relevancy