Because using RSS is about sharing and delivering information, it seems perfectly natural for libraries to adopt this technology for library services. Here are my 10 ways for how libraries can use RSS.
10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS
1. Create an RSS feed for new additions to the online catalog.
2. Create an RSS feed tied to a library card account for hold notifications and/or overdue materials.
3. Create an RSS feed for new programs and events posted on the library website.
4. Create an RSS feed for the library’s electronic newsletter.
5. Create an RSS feed for press releases and other media advisories.
6. Create an RSS feed for library closings, including emergency closings.
7. Create an RSS feed for library job openings.
8. Subscribe to a few RSS feeds, such as local news websites, and share the content on the library’s website. This could be included on a page containing other local resources and local links.
9. Subscribe to RSS feeds of interest to library customers and share the content on the customer’s personalized library webpage. Customers can choose to access selected RSS feeds, their library account information, subscription databases, and email/chat with a librarian all in one spot.
10. Subscribe to a few professional RSS feeds and share with library staff on the library intranet.
The Monroe County Public Library (IN) website lists both today’s library events and upcoming library events. More, they offer a library events RSS feed. I love this! What a great way to keep your customers informed of the many happenings and events at your library!
ICARUS…the Santa Fe Public Library Blog was recently brought to my attention. This blog is rich in content and visually appealing. The posts are very well written and I love their fresh, personal approach. But there is no option to comment 😦
Web 2.0 tools are participatory by nature. The option to comment on a post is one of the neat features of blogs. Why not open the blog to the public as other libraries have done? To name a few, Darien Public Library, Westerville Public Library and Fairfax County Public Library blogs allow comments. I am not saying all public library blogs should permit comments, as that may not be appropriate to the blog’s focus. In this case, however, much of the content relates to library programs and library holdings.
Let their customers comment on the programs they have attended, share their favorite event, and communicate their excitement for an upcoming event. This blog reads like an online newsletter. In fact, I see little more than an online newsletter presented through Blogger. (And I truly do not mean to pick on Santa Fe; I found many other library blogs that I thought should be more interactive.)
Sure, it can be scary to forfeit control. But public libraries open their doors daily to the world; why not do the same with the library’s online presence?