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Blog posts from November 2011

Sarah Houghton and Paul Signorelli Take on Web Analytics for Librarians

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 28, 2011 - 8:29am

CHICAGO - ALA TechSource announces a new session of the popular workshop Web Analytics for Librarians: Informing Decisions Through Web User Data with Paul Signorelli and Sarah Houghton. This workshop will take place in two parts on Jan. 12 and 26, 2012.

In order to guide purchases and appropriately distribute services and staff time, it’s essential that libraries accurately track the usage of their websites and online resources. In this two-part workshop, Sarah Houghton and Paul Signorelli will define, demystify, and explore web analytics. You will learn how to use web analytics as tools for improving your library’s information architecture, usability, marketing and communication. 

Topics include:

  Read More »


Social Media Archiving with ThinkUp

Submitted by Jason Griffey on November 21, 2011 - 9:01am

Way back in mid-2010, Gina Trapani (founder of Lifehacker, host of This Week in Google, all around brilliant awesome coder) announced that she was developing a piece of software then called ThinkTank, the purpose of which was to archive and analyze her twitter stream. Since Twitter doesn’t give you unlimited access to your own tweets, she wanted to ensure that she had control of her own content and could analyze it any way she wished. Now, over a year later that project is called ThinkUp, is being developed by dozens of coders and the help of Expert Labs, and is being used by the White House to analyze it’s social media presence.

ThinkUp just came out of Beta, and the 1.0 is really an amazing piece of software. It installs on your LAMP server (or on Amazon EC2) with about as much effort as a Wordpress install: unzip, upload, enter some database information, and hit go. It’s a bit more work to get the various websites feeding your database. ThinkUp currently has built-in connections for Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, but in order to connect them to your ThinkUp install you have to follow some simple directions that create a link between your install and the API in question. It’s not difficult, and if you can read and push buttons there shouldn’t be any issues. Read More »


Do You Really Own That eBook?

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on November 7, 2011 - 10:51pm

Anyone who has watched even a few minutes of one of the disturbing number of hoarding shows on television and immediately felt the urge to clean house will be familiar with the panicky feeling one's own belongings can engender. Librarians on twitter are devotees of Unclutterer and Zen Habits and nothing brings librarians together like talking about weeding. Except, perhaps for collection development. Ownership is a fraught proposition.

Librarians are familiar with the "I loved this book so much I went out and bought it" phenomenon, where readers enjoy a borrowed book enough to make the leap to ownership. Anecdotally, book sellers are now witnessing a similar phenomenon: readers who purchase the print book after enjoying it on their e-readers. The purchase of a physical object makes an intuitive sense to us that license agreements do not. Read More »


Continuing the Conversation: Facebook in the Library

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 2, 2011 - 2:35pm

We just wrapped up David Lee King’s ALA TechSource  Workshop Facebook in the Library: Enhancing Services and Engaging Users. We had some great discussion during the event--here are some more questions to discuss. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation!

Questions from Today’s Event:

  • What are key issues for deciding whether a library should have multiple Facebook pages, that is for different audiences, like children and families, or branches?
  • Do you need to reach a certain level of followers or fans before Event pages make sense?
  • What are your thoughts on offering reference service through Facebook?

The Preliminary Readings from Today’s Event: Read More »


Upholding Library Values in Your E-Book Acquisition: A Viewing/Reading List from Sarah Houghton

Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on November 1, 2011 - 7:29am

On December 7th and 14th, Sarah Houghton will be facilitating the two-part ALA TechSource Workshop E-Books and Access: Upholding Library Values. Regardless of whether or not you plan to attend, you should check out the preliminary reading list that Sarah put together for the event. These materials underscore what Sarah will show in more detail during the workshop--that you can build a big, vibrant e-book collection for your library without violating widely-accepted library values and pricipals. You can register for the workshop on the ALA Store at both individual and group rates. Read More »