Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thing # 6 Libraries using web 2.0

I've finally sat myself down to write down my thoughts on the libraries profiled in thing 6:

Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, Personally I don't like the rotating banner. I find it too distracting. Everything is clearly repeated below under New and Notable. They do offer a number of exciting services. One can subscribe to a variety of feeds of library programs and events, by topic or location. They offer online reference via instant messengers and email.

Seattle Public Library: Nice clean home page. Library news is clearly presented with appealing graphics.

Ann Arbor District Library: Their blog is nicely integrated with their home page and catalog. I do like Ann Arbor's very rich blog with its ability to subscribe to just those topics (tags) you are interested in. I'm assuming that the tags and book reviews within the catalog were submitted by patrons, not staff. Tagging and reviews must be a relatively new feature as there aren't many yet.
The tag cloud is very interesting, http://www.aadl.org/sopac/tagcloud based on the most popular tags, I'd guess those that tag are young adult males who are into graphic novels.

Denver Public Library I don't like Denver's home page with Live News Feeds pulled from Yahoo! News, NY Times, etc. It just doesn't seem to fit. I'm all for creating RSS feeds for patrons to subscribe to for library created content. I'm not so sure about putting news feeds from outside sources on library web pages. Should the library website be a one-stop everything you might ever think you might need to know about your library, community, state, country and world? If I want to keep abreast of breaking news I wouldn't (nor should I?) think of getting it from my local public library.

Denver Public Library podcasts: The podcast page is nice, clean, and appealing. It has very clear podcasting help. Electronic story time for kids, what a great idea. The image of the book cover is linked to the catalog record. I'd have liked to seen a recommendation to check out the book and then listen along. It's not too obvious that you don't have to sit your kid in front of the computer to just listen to a blank screen talking, that you can check out the book and read along. Getting to the podcast page from the homepage required one to click on the DPL Download link. Pretty much straight forward but not obvious.

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