Social Networking at RRLC

Tonight I’ll be giving a presentation for Rochester Regional Library Council on social networking. I’m really looking forward to this, as there is so much potential for creating new ways to reach library patrons. Static websites are great for storing information, but as tools progress we need to use them to improve communication and interaction with our users.

Technical Difficulties. Please Stand By…

I held my first session of Second Life training at Rochester Regional Library Council tonight. Unfortunately, there is a limit on the number of new accounts you can create from an I.P. address at any given time, which forced me to quickly rethink my training plan.

The intention was to lead librarians through the process of setting up an account, creating an avatar, and then touring InfoIsland to show them the library work that is going on in Second Life.

We ended up having only five people able to create accounts (the others got error messages) and it turned into a demo for the rest of the group. It wasn’t bad, but I had to quickly rethink my plan and provide the same information without the benefit of the hands-on part of the program.

I’ll be holding another session next week, so will have people create their accounts ahead of time.

Webmasters Group

I just got back from the first meeting of the newly formed Library Webmasters Group held at Rochester Regional Library Council. There was a good-sized group of us from a number of different libraries, both public and academic. The group formation was the brainchild of Linda Hacker, webmaster for the Drake Library at SUNY Brockport, who thought it would be a great idea for all of us working on library websites to get together and discuss what we’re doing and what we’d like to be doing.

We talked about various resources we can use to make our jobs easier and our websites more interesting. Christopher Harris discussed content management systems in general, and Drupal in particular, as a way to allow library staff to focus on content rather than site construction.

(A little poking around on the web led me to discover that  the creators of SecondLife use Drupal to manage content on and I’ll be talking about SecondLife in the very near future; I’ve been having some fun exploring this world and have found a ton of interesting things going on at the SL Library.)

Personally, I find this kind of interaction very useful. Like-minded people getting together to discuss what we’re all working on helps all of us. Whether we’ve been doing this for 10 years or 10 days, we all benefit. I’m looking forward to the next session with this group!