Improving the OPAC: An Overview of Changes at Wichita State University by 78M5m2H

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									Rightly Sore Subscribers:
Where Libraries are Going Wrong with RSS




                                          Gemma Blackburn, Library Systems Developer
                                           Mary Walker, Electronic Resources Librarian

                                                            Wichita State University Libraries

Brick & Click: An Academic Library Symposium, November 7, 2008
Today’s Agenda
•   What is RSS?
•   RSS Usage
•   Overview of RSS Options for Libraries
•   Introducing RSS to Library Patrons
•   Future of RSS
What is RSS?
• RSS trends are surprising
• RSS shrouded in mystery
• Emerged in the late 1990s
• Tool to move information in an automated
  fashion
• Part of the Web 2.0 suite of technologies
• Most popular use is content summary
How does it work?
• Content into metadata elements
• In XML document
• Fed into a feed reader or aggregator
RSS by many other names
• RDF - Resource Description Framework Site
  Summary
• Rich Site Summary
• Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0)
• Atom
RSS Usage
• If RSS is such a great tool, why are so few
  people using it?
• Users = Classic Early Adopters
 2005 Yahoo! Study
 % of Internet users aware of RSS          12%
 % of Internet users knowingly using RSS   4%
 2006 Media Buyer Planner Study
 % of US Employees aware of RSS            9%
 % of US Employees using RSS               2%
Aware/Unaware RSS Use
• There are many more unaware RSS users than
  aware RSS users
• 27% of internet users are unaware RSS users
• 4% of internet users are aware RSS users
• How is this possible?
What is Email?
Most email programs use a protocol called SMTP




Users don’t understand SMTP, but do understand the
  concept of email. The same is true with RSS.
How RSS IS being Used
• Some companies are trying to promote RSS use
  without promoting RSS by branding as something
  else
• Majority of RSS comes from personal portal pages
   – My Yahoo!
   – iGoogle
• Information is chosen by the user and fed into the
  portal
My Yahoo!
Examples of feeds in a My Yahoo! Account




This user is completely unaware of what RSS is,
  but is able to manage RSS feeds
RSS Potential
• RSS has so many uses, and so much potential
  as an information delivery tool
• Profit-driven companies are not embracing
  RSS because of the low number of users
• Non-profits, such as libraries, are more open
  to experimenting with RSS, and have many
  options available
Uses for RSS feeds
    Common Uses           Library Uses
•   TOC alerts      •   Library blogs
•   News            •   Book reviews
•   Announcements   •   OPAC search results
•   Search alerts   •   Circulation activities
                    •   New e-resources
                    •   Library news
                    •   New purchases
Libraries as intermediaries
•   List of RSS aggregators
•   List of journals with TOC feeds
•   Providing collated feeds from other sites
•   Incorporating other sites’ feeds
•   Providing RSS-based search engines
E-Journals and RSS
 Libraries creating lists of journals that provide RSS

 Ebling Library – RSS Journal and News Feeds
                                                      Health Science
 http://ebling.library.wisc.edu/rss/index.cfm
 Serials in Cyberspace
                                                      Multidisciplinary
 http://www.uvm.edu/~bmaclenn/
 University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
                                                      Multidisciplinary
 http://www.library.unr.edu/ejournals/alphaRSS.aspx
E-Journals and RSS

 Publishers providing similar lists for their journals
 ACS Publications
                                             Chemistry
 http://pubs.acs.org/alerts/rss/index.html
 APA Journals
                                             Psychology
 http://www.apa.org/journals/rss.html
RSS & Library Patrons
• Libraries and librarians are promoting RSS use
  more aggressively than the profit driven
  industry
  – 25% of ARL libraries have RSS feeds available
  – 12% of business have RSS feeds available
• We are willing, but are we able?
RSS & Library Patrons
• Little attention has been given to the BEST
  USE of RSS within the library field
• Statistics show a great disparity between the
  enthusiasm of feed publishers and the
  potential user base
• Libraries are in a good position to lead the way
  in promoting RSS as a TOOL and not as a
  TECHNOLOGY
RSS & Library Patrons
“People do not want to learn a new software if
  there is no motivation to do so”
• Most RSS feeds consist of a button on a page
  – Click on the button and nothing happens
  – How are users supposed to know what to do?
  – Users don’t want to have to learn how to use an
    RSS Aggregator
  – The whole RSS process is not intuitive
RSS & Library Patrons
• RSS needs to be intuitive
• If users have no concept of what RSS is, it
  needs to be promoted as something else
  – Part of a personal portal
  – An extension of email
  – An extension of a web browser
RSS & Library Patrons
• RSS needs to be easy to use
• Make it easy for the patrons to subscribe
  – My Yahoo! / iGoogle buttons
  – Add This buttons
  – XSLT for visual display of RSS
Assessment of RSS Use
• Use statistics are important to gauge the
  success or failure or individual feeds and
  services
• RSS statistics are difficult to assess, but more
  options are available;
  – Google Analytics
  – My Yahoo! / Add This
  – Feed Burner
Future of RSS
• Fully integrated
• Used in the mainstream
• keep end user needs & interests in mind



      Libraries have the potential to lead
           the way for all RSS users!
 Any Questions?

                  Thank you!


Gemma Blackburn, gemma.smith@wichita.edu
Mary Walker, mary.walker@wichita.edu

								
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