Monday, May 21, 2007

Reference seminar Q.6 Making "E" visible!

Q.6 Making "E" visible - how do we make our online services known? What should vendors' roles in this be?

Libraries make our "E" services visible to existing library users and those who use our website by various means:

- Highlighting services via our websites
-Screensavers on PCs within the library
-In-house literature
-Making resources known to clients as we use them to answer queries at the Ref Desk or over the phone/email (a type of user education)
-Through user education programs, internet classes etc.
-Promoting "E" services to new members as part of the joining process
-Promotion to client groups i.e. schools (students and teachers), local businesses, local history groups, seniors, youth, book groups.
-Promote to "internal users" - council staff - via Corporate Librarians, intranets, induction programs
-A number of libraries have looked at Federated Searching (as used at many academic libraries) but found that software was prohibitively expensive.

-There is a need to make our "E" services visible to non-library user groups - those who don't physically or electronically pass our doors, we need to address the Web 2.0 communities in some way

Vendors roles

-Vendors of Federated Search software could address expense issue.
-Database vendors could rethink they way they present their databases i.e. consider allowing partial access to searches before password is required (more of a lure for users).
-Database vendors could make themselves and their products more visible in the Web 2.0 world, promote the "More than Google" idea (would redirect users back to libraries)

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