I’m finding it pretty hard to be critical about ASU libraries’ use of the platforms, as I think they go above and beyond what many libraries are doing, they’re doing it consistently and they’re doing it in a fun way…
Below are the 5 videos I picked:
* Search (you never can know enough about searching)
* Open access (many educational institutions are coy about this)
* Resources for online students (self-interest)
* Meet your subject librarian (a wonderful institution)
* Academic articles (again, self-interest)
I was just looking at a great infographic the other day, about online videos and one of the striking things was that youtube is the world’s second largest search-engine after google. I’ll admit it’s not my first choice of getting information but obviously it is for many people. So ASU is hitting the spot with what is probably a large percentage of its users. Plus any other miscellaneous person who stumbles on their videos – which happily are freely available. They’re also following the rule that says “short and sweet”, keeping the videos to around a minute. So not much to critique there. The challenge with any tool of course is to keep it current. Their most recent video is from November 2013 and the first is from 4 years ago. And the 4 year old on is still on file. I watched this and then compared it to their current library site. Naturally there are differences. But cleverly they’ve put the same things in the same spots, so even if they look (slightly) different they’ll function the same.
Besides their video, which hits content creation, but not the other C’s – as it’s a one way communication channel, I had a look at their Facebook page and their main blog. Again, it’s hard to see them hitting all the C’s.
The Facebook page has been going since January 2013 and it’s really nice – they’re making a real effort. But they only have 579 likes (student population is 76,000 students!) and about 10 people have commented on any of the regular posts. Yes, content creation and trying to create community but not showing much collaboration or communication besides one way communication.
The next thing I looked at was the library blog, where one can find recent information, links to the videos, exhibition promotion and other projects. There’s a link to their twitter feed, but again, it’s all one way communication and any collaboration that’s going on must be going on behind the scenes.
This has been a very interesting exercise for me. I started out thinking “wow” they’re doing so, well, they’re so engaged in Library 2.0. But then seen through the lens of the 4 C’s it turns out they may be missing the boat online. That’s not to say they’re not doing a fabulous job in the real world. But putting resources into all these “interactive” social media tools needs to have a pay off, and I wonder if they’re getting it. Certainly I got a huge kick out of the fact that I got my first comment on one of my posts yesterday! Woo hoo!