RSS, Blogs and Wikis with Karen Blakeman

Last night I attended a thought provoking CILIP event at Basingstoke Library – RSS, Blogs and Wikis by Karen Blakeman. Organised by my local sub-branch this was a very popular event – interesting as I had seen very little publicity and had wondered if we would be the only ones there! At the beginning Karen did a quick hands-up assessment to see how many folk had heard of the different 2.0 technologies. About half of the room had heard of RSS feeds although not everyone was sure what they were for; blogs were only used by a small number of people and wiki knowledge was mostly limited to the odd search on Wikipedia. Probably quite indicative of an average group of UK library staff but it was good to see how many people had given up their evening to come along and find out more. I’ve been reading Karen’s blog for a couple of months now and had come across most of her recommendations before but it was really interesting to hear which services she recommended for beginners and how to get experimenting. Today Karen posted her presentation and recommended links on the RBA website and I’d recommend having a look as it is a useful introduction to the subject.

I’m looking forward to getting together with my colleagues who also attended and seeing how we can start to use this technology to improve our library service. Maybe an internal wiki for library procedures and ideas or RSS feeds for readers to get news of new books/library events etc. There is always the standard difficulty of permission, getting the powers that be to agree (or even the IT department!) will probably be the biggest battle but I’m hoping if we start small and demonstrate something that works and makes a difference we can move onto bigger things. Watch this space…

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