I presented a workshop on enhancing your library website with Web 2.0 tools to 12 wonderful people yesterday. I went over about 45 tools that they can use with their websites including Flickr, Youtube, Delicious, Thinkfree, box.net, etc. We also discussed how a public library can better position themselves to improve their website. As many of you know, public libraries often face challenges from both their city technical staff, who are security conscious, and the political realities of being a city entity. The library must conform to the city standards for websites and be embedded within the city's overall website. This arrangement limits what a library can do to make its website better.
One idea from the workshop attendees that I thought was pure genius was that the library can create a "Gadget Garage" on their website where patrons can go to test out new website features and tools. For example, you want to place a search box on your website for Worldcat. You would place in in the Gadget Garage before placing it on your library's website. In this way, people can test it out and let the library know what they think. The library can then turn around and use this feedback as justification to permanently add the tool to their website.
One attendee, Richard Posey of the Arlington Public Library, sent me a email after the workshop.
couple things I thought you might want to include in the future ...
Look for the November 18 post on http://www.acplinfo.blogspot.com/ This is the Allen County, Indiana library site: http://www.acpl.lib.in.us/
This is the mashup: http://blog.acpl.lib.in.us/amzamash/book_wall.php Very cool concept ... making books visual in a way that a catalog doesn't. It always seemed to me that since the catalogs "know" the sequence of the books, that they could allow you to "browse" the covers as though you were browsing book-by-book down the shelves.
Great sites. Thanks Richard.
If you want to access the handouts from this workshop, you can get to them here.