Lesson # 3 RSS Feeds and Blogs

Lesson # 3 RSS Feeds and Blogs

Farkas’ article, Keeping up Web 2.0 Style offered a very compelling reason to subscribe to an RSS feed TO SAVE TIME. An RSS feed functions like a radio tuner honing in on the most relevant content. Browsing through the blog links provided in this week’s lesson demonstrated the incredible diversity of blog publishing from professional, academic, highly specialized blogs to zany, recreational, whimsical blogs. An RSS feed set to deliver the best on a subject of your choosing provides an opportunity for easy, efficient information gathering. The RSS feeds essentially pluck the low hanging digital fruit.  While this might limit serendipitous discoveries afforded by surfing the Web from a time management perspective, an RSS feed makes sense from a library manger’s perspective, saving staff time and therefore $$. The inclusion of an RSS feed in your own library blog can be a great tool to deliver library specific content directly.

I really appreciated the practical advice provided in Darlene Fichter’s article, “Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library’s Services.”  It provides a comprehensive check list of what ought to be considered before jumping into a blog including audience, technical tools, and determining the scope and tone of your blog. Blogging tools are also free, and from my own experience incredibly easy to use.  Evan Williams, the creator of blogger, sums up the elements of a great blog, “the blog concept is about three things: Frequency, Brevity and Personality.”  Identifying a defined target audience and creating a considered purposeful message facilitates communication with customers. Blogs and RSS feeds offer libraries extraordinary opportunities for efficient and effective communication with their customers.


Farkas, Meredith. “Keeping up, 2.0 Style.” 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/columns/practice/keeping-20-style

Fichter, Darlene. “Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library’s Services.” 2003. Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/mls/nov03/fichter.shtml



Lesson # 2

Web squared- Web 2.0 where are we?

The O’Reilly and Battelle articles provided a clear definition and evolution of the web. This overview of web squared and web2.0 concepts and technologies offered some point of reference for examining web applications used in the provision of library service. While reading these articles I considered the web 2.0 and web squared applications currently employed by libraries. Furthermore, I imagined the possibilities of web squared technologies yet to be applied in the provision of library service.

When examining the web square concepts of a sentient and sensory networked web I could identify numerous examples of its application in my daily life but I found it more difficult to identify examples of web squared application in library service.  An awareness of the evolution of the web to a sentient web was enlightening, and thought provoking, affording a glimpse into the web squared environment. Libraries must consider participation in this dynamic environment. The article’s emphasis of the web squared network’s reliance on data was clearly communicated “…data is the new intel inside the next generation of computer applications… data gathered through our multitude of digital device is collected presented and acted upon in real-time.” the open sharing of data appears to be the price of participation for utilization of  web squared capabilities. I fully expect that library constituents will come to expect and want the applications and features inherent in web squared applications. Not surprisingly however, in the description of a book’s information shadow (data), the article did not include the library OPAC but rather offered “…a book has information shadows on Amazon, on Google Book Search, on Goodreads, Shelfari, and LibraryThing, on eBay and on BookMooch, on Twitter, and in a thousand blogs.” The pressures for library service are real and apparent and the peril of exclusion is obvious. For the library to remain relevant in its service it must establish a way to incorporate web squared capabilities in its service. With all the possible technologies to offer access to books and information it appears that libraries will need to adopt web squared applications and an attitude of openness.  As a patron, I would like the option to provide personal data to conveniently search in a mobile device for a book or article and have the networked web offer the best possible point of access including ILL, Local OPAC, database, or purchase, including the access suggestions provided through, maps, library hours, and be provided with a host of other related information including, reviews, book and author websites, or suggested next reads. The articles clearly communicated the possibilities of web technology and web environment in which libraries ought to participate.

The other articles from this week’s readings offered alternative considerations for library participation in a web squared and web 2.0 environment. Maness’ 2006 article outlined his conception of web 2.0 library service  “… a social network interface that the user designs. It is a personalized OPAC that includes access to IM, RSS feeds, blogs, wikis, tags, and public and private profiles within the library’s network. It is virtual reality of the library, a place where one can not only search for books and journals, but interact with a community, a librarian, and share knowledge and understanding with them.” This vision of the web 2.0 library from my observations and experience has in part been realized. However, considering it’s been seven years since the article’s publication I wonder how many libraries have managed the shift? In order to remain current, Maness suggests that libraries will need to change.  He points out that participation in the networked web will require a major paradigm shift for librarianship, allowing access to their catalogues and collections, as well as access to their control. Casey and Savastinuk’s 2006 article cautions that library users should not be required to identify themselves publicly in order to participate in virtual service. They suggest that libraries remain as vigilant with protecting customer privacy while using technology based services as they are with traditional, physical services. Perhaps a compromise can be found where patrons determine whether they are willing to share personal information to make use of web technologies. Casey and Savastinuk also raise the issue of limited funding as a real challenge to the library’s adoption of new technologies, leaving little resources to respond to changes in technology. The digital divide presents obstacles to realizing web 2.0 library service. It is essential to examine whether our patrons have the tools to participate in these web services to determine who may be excluded.

Finally, the article by Brian M Carson brought forward some of the legal considerations in adopting web 2.0 technology including copyright, defamation and privacy. This article raised awareness of legal obligations of organizations inherent in the use of social media, and a necessity for considered social media planning and policies. Of course a planned and legally considered approach would be prudent prior to employing web 2.0 and web squared applications. However, the article acknowledges that the laws governing new technologies have failed to keep pace with the technology. The article highlighted my lack of awareness of the legal implications of using social media and web technology. The reach of the technology is global, generating questions about the jurisdiction of laws governing our practices. In addition to the legal implications I have yet to see a library social media policy and implementation plan. What should be considered and included? Do most libraries have a policy and plan? The article forced me to realize my own ignorance on the topic. I am hoping that through this course my confidence steering the adoption of social media and knowledge of legalities of providing 2.0 and web squared library service will be remedied.


Casey, Michael E. and Laura C. Savastinuk. “Library 2.0: Service for the Next Generation.” Library Journal (2006) Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6365200.html.

Maness, Jack. “Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries.” (2006) Retrieved from http://www.webology.org/2006/v3n2/a25.html

O’Reilly, Tim. “What is Web 2.0.” (2005) Retrieved from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

O’Reilly, Tim and Battelle, John. ” Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On.”(2009) Retrieved from http://www.web2summit.com/web2009/public/schedule/detail/10194.

Lesson #1 LIS 9763

Looking forward to learning more about social media and public libraries. I would like to be able to evaluate social media tools to determine their best use in a public library context. I work in a rural library and find the possibilities for digital media fascinating. Understanding more about the potential and utilization of this media will help me to better serve the people in my community.

I have been working toward my MLIS part time since Fall 2010, commuting from Goderich Ontario (an hour and a half drive). So… I am thrilled to have this opportunity to participate in a distance education course! Looking forward to fun semester. Christa