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Do Libraries Stay Atop the Adoption Curve?

Here’s the main chart from OCLC’s WebJunction survey of librarians’ use of e-tools:

Library Staff Report Their Use of Online Tools

You must read the whole postings (it’s not long but there are differences in the usage of some tools by type of library).

Lastly, I have to echo OCLC’s Roy Tennant’s concerns in his Library Journal post:

An Industry In Search of Failure



Posted on: July 31, 2010, 10:48 am Category: Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. 50% Never use RSS feeds? Really?

    That doesn’t make sense to me. If people are reading blogs and online news sites, they are probably using RSS feeds to read them (I know I do).

    Do you think that people do not understand that RSS is a product of the social web? If you have your twitter or news feed embedded into the library web site or your facebook account, that is using an RSS feed.

  2. Most of the people I talk to (mostly older) just still bookmark blogs to read them and just try to visit on a regular basis. Hence the often expressed opinion that it takes so much time. Astonishing as that is. Many librarians seem to not understand the productvity and professional tool that RSS is. Maybe we need brodbased institutional one-on-one training to get the staff up to speed or reap the productivity lags.
    On the other hand, I see lots of library people who claim not to use blogs or Twitter but clearly often do and just seem to recognise them as websites and don’t see the difference.

  3. Maybe asking people if they use RSS feeds is the wrong question. RSS is so ubiquitous, making social media work seamlessly in the background, that it isn’t necessary to ask.

    Like, do you use html or php or javascript or flash? Most people would say, “no”, not realizing that every web site is built on it. Asking people if they use RSS is meaningless when they don’t know what it is, but if they read Huffingtonpost blog for news, and keep track of their facebook page, they are using RSS without realizing it.

    Otoh, we should have an intervention if we have co-workers who are visiting a couple dozen web sites each day instead of gathering up all the feeds into a reader 🙂

  4. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments about our survey question here and elsewhere. For example, I’ve read some comments expressing incredulity that “only” half of respondents use listservs on a daily basis, while others can’t believe that anyone “still” uses them. And several comments that are basically along the lines of Lisa’s above: that the respondents might not have understood the tool enough to respond correctly. To that point, we were attempting to ask about library staff’s *deliberate* use of tools; so if they don’t know what RSS is, they probably aren’t feeding RSS to their webpage or to Google Reader. Reading websites that make use of those tools is not interesting to us, because one doesn’t need to know how to use RSS in that case. However, we can certainly use HuffPo and other feed-based sites as examples of how RSS can be applied. From all of the feedback we get from our users, we know that many library staff are seeking what others may see as very basic information about web tools: what is a blog, what is a feed, how do you use Facebook and Twitter, and so on. Our response is to try to provide this information, without judgment. We encourage anyone who has a good understanding about a particular web tool to set aside the hand-wringing about what it implies about the library profession for a few minutes, and try to explain it in the simplest, most straight-forward terms for your colleagues who are feeling quite embarrassed that they aren’t as web savvy as they feel they should be. Answer these basic questions: (1) How can my library use the tool–with real life examples, (2) What steps do I follow to use it, and what skills do I need, (3) Where can I find it and is it free. I invite you to post your web tool primers to WebJunction, right here: