Archive for January, 2012

Raising Expectations

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 by Roy

There are precious few library speakers upon whose every word I hang. Call me difficult to please. But one person who has achieved that status is Prof. David Lankes from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. The dude rocks. And although he is a frequent speaker, including at the upcoming ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, you don’t have to wait a single minute to hear him talk about some of his most important issues.

Last week I caught up with him virtually via Skype, and recorded him for our ongoing podcast series “What keeps you awake at night?” What resulted was a rollicking 25-minute romp through some fairly important issues for us all. Central to his theme was “raising expectations” — for ourselves, for our institutions, for the clienteles we serve. He also talked about making innovation a core part of what we do. To do this, he asserts, we need to create environments where taking risks and failing is OK, and he cites Seth Godin’s definitions for “mistake” vs. “failure”:

A failure is a project that doesn’t work, an initiative that teaches you something at the same time the outcome doesn’t move you directly closer to your goal.

A mistake is either a failure repeated, doing something for the second time when you should have known better, or a misguided attempt (because of carelessness, selfishness or hubris) that hindsight reminds you is worth avoiding.

Prof. Lankes covers a lot more ground than this, including a segment on “dead wood” in the organization, and much better than I can attempt to parrot back to you. What I’m trying to do, if it hasn’t become obvious by now, is to intrigue you enough that you will listen to the whole thing. It’s only 20 minutes since I sped up the recording by 20%. Yes, we know your time is valuable. After all, you have some expectation raising to do.¬†

More social metadata for LAMs

Monday, January 16th, 2012 by Karen

Today we released Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Part 2: Survey Analysis. This is the second of a series of three reports a 21-member Social Metadata Working Group from five countries produced as the result of our research in 2009 and 2010.

The cultural heritage organizations in the OCLC Research Library Partnership have been eager to expand their reach into user communities and to take advantage of users‚Äô expertise to enrich their descriptive metadata. Social metadata‚ÄĒcontent contributed by users‚ÄĒis evolving as a way to both augment and recontexutalize the content and metadata created by LAMs.

Our first report, Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Part 1: Site Reviews, provides an environmental scan of sites and third-party hosted social media sites relevant to libraries, archives, and museums. We noted which social media features each site supported, such as tagging, comments, reviews, images, videos, ratings, recommendations, lists, links to related articles, etc.

The second report is our analysis of the results from a social metadata survey of site managers conducted from October to November 2009. Forty percent of the responses came from outside the United States. A few highlights:

  • More than 70 percent had been offering social media features for two years or less.
  • Engaging new or existing audiences is used as a success criteria more frequently than any other criteria.
  • A minority of survey respondents are concerned about the way the site‚Äôs content is used or repurposed outside the site.
  • Spam and abusive user behavior are sporadic and easily managed.
  • The survey results indicate that engagement is best measured by quality, not quantity.
  • The vast majority of respondents considered their sites to be successful.

The upcoming third report provides recommendations on social metadata features most relevant to libraries, archives, and museums and factors contributing to success and an annotated list of all the resources the working group consulted.

As with many OCLC Research publications, this report was written to help meet the needs of the OCLC Research Library Partnership. The Partnership not only inspires but also underwrites this type of work, so many thanks to the institutions who both contribute to and support our work!

We look forward to hearing your feedback!