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classes-online-outreach

Page history last edited by pollyalida 8 years, 6 months ago

Wiki Main Page > Digital Presence & Online Outreach for Libraries

 

Digital Presence & Online Outreach for Libraries 

 

April 2013: I've noticed that these pages are getting lots of visits. Please be aware that this workshop hasn't been updated in nearly 2 years - I can't vouch for the links.

 

Class Description:

In today‚Äôs online environment, libraries need to learn to reach beyond traditional ideas of outreach and take advantage of new tools for connecting with their users.  During this full day workshop we'll look at ways for improving web site visibility in search engines and discuss a variety of ideas for libraries to get information out into spaces beyond their library web sites and to connect with their users on their own online turf. We'll look at how to use social media tools to best advantage, how to monitor mentions of your library and community. social review sites and much more. This session is usually offered as a hands-on workshop, so come prepared with information about your library, services and events to get started with your own online outreach plan. (Can also be offered as a shorter presentation/discussion session.)

 

Class Resource Pages

These are the topics we'll be covering in class. Each page has more resources and links.

 

Class Overview

 

We're using the terms "digital presence, online outreach & marketing" quite loosely here to encompass any methods for getting your message (and content) out to and connecting with existing and potential customers. And even though we're focusing on online options in this session, it certainly makes sense for us to share other ideas as well. Offline and online efforts should all be part of the same plan!

 

I'm also trying to 'go green' (no handouts!) with this session for two reasons.

  • It's just the right thing to do when possible (how many unused handouts can my compost heap take!)
  • I know I haven't included all of the tools available to us.  And I certainly haven't mastered all the ones I know about. I hope class participants will add information to the these pages as they find new services and new ways of using these tools. There will be a section for comments on every page, please contribute.

 

Does this mean you shouldn't come to class? Well, there's lots of good info here and I hope you'll take away useful ideas just from using the pages. But please, do come to a class if you can! I can promise you'll learn more than is included in these pages, you'll get to meet great colleagues and share ideas. And we always have a lot of fun.

 

I owe a great big debt to Sarah Houghton-Jan and Aaron Schmidt for sharing their presentations on these topics. They were rich sources of ideas and services for inclusion in this class. Thank you both!

 

Why bother with online customers?

 

Simply put: Digital users are a rapidly growing audience and you have services for them!

 

But if they don't know about your services and can't use them easily, then it won't matter that you have those services - because they won't get used! You also offer a wide range of services available in your library buildings, you can expand the number of customers for those services as well by promoting them to your digital audience.

 

Whether a customer uses your library only by visiting the bricks & mortar building, only online or a bit of both, they're all customers, they're all part of the community and they're all part of the conversation.

 

How will we count them? 

Thought I'd put that one right up front! Obviously we don't have endless budgets to pay for staff and resources. To make good decisions, we need to have some idea of what's getting used and how often. All of the online resources your customers are using have statistic trackers built in. If it's online databases or your catalog, you should know how to generate usage reports. If you don't know, ask your IT staff and vendors for help.

 

Your web site server is quietly keeping a log of visits to your web site. If you haven't looked at your web site stats, do it now! There's a wealth of information there about:

  • which pages are getting the most use
  • what browsers are customers using
  • how many users are visiting from mobile devices
  • which web pages users are on before they come to your site
  • how long visitors stay
  • which search words used to get to your site
  • and so much more.

 

Your blog probably has a statistics package of some sort too. If not, you could use the free service, Google Analytics. And your wikis should have some statistics tracker built in as well. Again you could use Google Analytics or some other tracker package. I use the free version of StatCounter for this wiki.

 

Know your community & know the stats

 

(CT State Library Class Description and Schedule

 

More Resoures Recently Added to delicious

As I find new resources to check out, I add them to my delicious account and they feed into this list.

 

 

Slides from a presentation on this topic given at the 2009 Westchester (NY) Library Association meeting.

2009-05-westchester-slides.pdf

 

 

 

 

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