Computers in Libraries, Part 1 — Mobile Trends, Marketing Using 2.0 Tools

I went to my first Computers in Libraries conference this week. It’s going to take more than one post to mention all the cool things I learned.

But first, let me say that CiL is a really fun conference. It felt a lot more low-key than ALA mid-winter to me; maybe that was because everyone who was there was pretty like-minded about technology and just excited to be talking about what’s new and innovative. Or maybe it was because I’m starting to feel less left out of things: I got to meet many friendly library professionals from all over the place. I’m definitely starting to feel like a genuine member of the greater library community (and I made some new Twitter friends).

CiL basically consists of three days of presentations, and each day is broken into five tracks. You can stick with the presentations in your track for the whole day, or you can bounce around, which is what I did. I tried to balance my schedule between sessions that I knew would apply specifically to my job and sessions that were about information that I thought I should know about as a new public librarian. For example, I attended “From WoePAC to WowPAC,” a double session on OPACs, since I know nothing about them beyond the very basics. I also tried to check out anything I could find about marketing, since that’s a major component of what I’ll be doing in building a new teen program from the ground up.

So here’s some information I got from some of the most useful and fascinating sessions.

Mobile Trends: Hi Tech & Touch – Megan Fox

Megan talked about what’s happening RIGHT NOW in mobile technology, and what to watch for. Here’s my notes. Sorry for the shorthand!

  • hybrid computers — larger than a phone, smaller than a laptop. AKA a sub/mini notebook. The “affordable 3rd screen” — lightweight for travel (3-400$).
  • Android – open os created by google. Offers more flexibility in developing apps specific to a particular device
  • multi-modal input methods — speaking commands, gestures, physical location, photo
  • pre-programmed sign language — phone responds to gestures
  • visual access — take a picture of a book in order to get more information (barcodes, movie posters, magazine ads/editorial), facial recognition — can also tag photos this way.
  • spoken interactions — jott. can call and leave message. will transcribe into text file (email, etc.). can read to you, if you can’t read the screen. could work for those with sight impairments. can read printed docs. take photo of something and have the phone read it to you.
  • location interactions — child monitoring, medical monitoring, traffic, workforce management, friend finder — let people know where you are at any time.
  • mobile web — roundpoint, volantis, winksite, .mobi (new domain name. for content best viewed on mobile devices)
  • transcoded web — translate full-size web content into mobile content. strip out certain content.
  • widsets — widgetizing content
  • mobile web content — many major sites have web content available. accessible at point of need for patrons.,,,
  • pubmed, news offerings, some just for iphone
  • monographs avail in ebook format for mobile screens
  • books written on phone — japanese fiction in serialized novels. bestsellers!
  • iii endeavor, syrsi, all developing mobile content
  • look at minneapolis public
  • blogger, youtube, second life, myspace, all have mobile interfaces. some are carrier/device partnerships, some are general
  • multimedia embedded and expected by the patron (ex oscar website — embedded trailers, march madness — video coverage, highlights)
  • sms/texting — can text restaurant item to them and get nutritional info back
  • sites have im/text to friend feature
  • purchasing tickets w/ phone — bring device and barcode is read off phone
  • services that translate txts into emails and vice versa
  • what’s next —
  • google gears
  • color version of e-paper
  • displays: projectors available in portable devices (like cell phones)
  • glasses w/headset that allow you to watch movie, like watching 80″ screen
  • contact lenses — data sent to contact lens
  • data input — pentop computers. uses bluetooth to comm with mobile phone
  • wireless neckband — vocalizes your thoughts and can send in text form
  • biosensor chip. implanted under skin, use tattoo of phone
  • microsoft surface

Innovative Marketing Using 2.0 Tools — Helene Blowers and Michael Porter
The message from this session? The best way to get your customers to market your brand is to shift the focus to them.

  • Brands – more than just logos
  • Old paradigm: control the look and feel of the brand
  • New: Influence the character and portability of the brand
  • Consumers now own the brands – orgs need to let go
  • Library branding:
  • Allen County Public Library – online databases – Allen County community album. Collection of images related to the community. “A Day in Allen County, Indiana.”
  • Santa Clara County Library — wikipedia entry. Library responsible for checking it.
  • Palo Alto — on main page: looking for a good book to read? Then use wiki. reviews for kids by kids. teen book review wiki. Blogs. teen blog — link to all schools in the area that teens are attending. pictures of kids participating in library activities. flickr photos, tons of videos on youtube.
  • Flickr — Libraries and Librarians group. 16,000 photos. 365 library days project. 387 participating institutions. document of library activities.
  • Brooklyn Public Library — RIF program on MySpace
  • Second Life — webpage/blog/resource center, flickr group, youtube videos, myspace page. Saturation — many different outlets for information.
  • It’s not about us; it’s about the community. We need to be better at telling our own story.
  • Hennepin Public Library — bookspace photos. permissions page is built into the submission page. Uploads straight to flickr page.
  • Gail Borden Public Library — Storypalooza. videos of users with their favorite books.
  • New Jersey state library — we love our libraries. “three reasons why i love my library” videos.
  • PLCMC — national library week foto fun — image generator, big huge labs. use image generator to produce motivational poster. (users create themselves)
  • denver public library — youtube contest. teens posting videos of having fun in the library.
  • louisville free public library — when you completed the summer reading program, you could put a library champion poster in your yard and take a picture of yourself. photos cycled through the website.
  • 8 steps to marketing 2.0
  • educate. learn about social media.
  • experience. participate & join the conversation.
  • envision. develop a 2.0 marketing plan. encourage participation.
  • engage. create social celebrations. celebrate the customer in our space. celebrate our communities.
  • enable. help your library brand and content to travel. focus on portability. how can the user embed the library in their own space?
  • expand. play with multimedia. let your customers play, too.
  • explore. learn as you go and track success. we won’t have all the answers as we set down the path.
  • experiment. have fun and play. build upon your successes.

About Sarah Ludwig

I am the Academic Technology Coordinator at Hamden Hall Country Day School in Hamden, CT. Prior to that, I was the head of teen, technology, and reference services at the Darien Library in Darien, CT. I started my library career as a school librarian at a small boarding school in Western Massachusetts.
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  1. Thanks for the great overview, I might have to attend the next one because it sounds so informative. I would have loved to see the marketing 2.0 presentation.

  2. i am gonna show this to my friend, guy

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