Read NELA Part I here (or scroll down to previous post). Here are my summaries of the first two sessions on Monday; the last two will make up the final NELA post.
Connecting through Social Media panel
Ryan Livergood, Library Director of the Arlington (MA) libraries, led off with some guidelines for libraries using social media. He reminded the audience that social media was more than just advertising and shouldn’t be just one-way, but should be an interactive dialogue that engages the community. When trying to decide which platform(s) to use, he said, “Go where your users are.”
Next, Michael Wick of the Peabody (MA) Institute Library talked about what works in social media: conversations, informing your community, finding a niche, and instruction. (Wick is the local hero who created the how-to videos for downloading e-books from the Wellesley Free Library and throughout the Minuteman network.)
Finally, Ona Ridenour and Allison Babin from the Beverly Public Library talked about how they use Pinterest. They have created many beautiful and useful boards with visually curated content, and in many cases (such as book lists), links to click through to the library catalog. After their presentation, I was much more open to Pinterest than I had been.
The need for a social media policy arose during the Q&A session. Not all libraries have one, though most follow a few rules of thumb: be respectful, create/reuse appropriate content, think twice before posting anything, and follow/friend only other organizations, not people.
The Trouble With E-Books, Scott Kehoe and Danny Pucci
Massachusetts Library System consultant Scott Kehoe outlined the history of the relationship between publishers and librarians, focusing on recent thorny issues surrounding e-books, such as digital rights management (DRM), proprietary hardware and software, and the erosion of the First Sale Doctrine. It’s clear that another solution is necessary; for out-of-copyright works, that solution is already in the works, in the form of the Internet Archive and Open Library.
Digital Projects Librarian Danny Pucci of the Boston Public Library also spoke about e-books (she described OverDrive as the BPL’s “28th branch,” and said it had the second-highest circulation after the main branch, Copley) and digitization. The BPL works with the Internet Archive to digitize library materials and make them available to a wider audience online; visual collections are available on Flickr.