Mashies Finalists for Library Promotion Inspiration- Part 3

Please view past posts for more background: Mashies Finalists for Library Promotion Inspiration Part 1 and Mashies Finalists for Library Promotion Inspiration Part 2

In my first post I stated that I was going to create library ideas based on each nominee for every category each day. This has proven to be a bit too time consuming so from now on I’m only going to select a few nominees from multiple categories and post about once a week.

Alright today I am taking on the categories of Best Real-Time Marketing and Best Use of Google+:

Best Real-Time Marketing

Mashable describes this category as “the best branded digital response to current events as they’re happening.” I think utilizing current event information is a great way for libraries to demonstrate relevancy, promote their collections, and respond to patron complaints.

Nominee: Bodyform– Rubber Republic

  • Rubber Republic created a hilarious response to “a disgruntled boyfriend’s rant on Bodyform’s facebook page.” The video features  “Bodyform’s fictional CEO Caroline Williams apologizing to Richard for the flagrant use of metaphors in the company’s advertising of feminine hygiene products” and was posted 7 days after the comment. The video currently has 5,325,707 YouTube views.
  • Library Idea- Videos are a great way to get your proposed solutions out to a large audience. Try making a video response of your library’s solution to common complaint.

Nominee: The Poop Tweet– Razorfish

  • This video does a wonderful job at explaining how powerful a timely and creative social media response can be. Razorfish created a tweet in response to someone’s comment about Smart Car’s durability. The response was blogged about, then picked up by Reddit where it reached number 1 twice, and the next morning it was making headlines around the world. The video states that they generated 22 million impressions, increased their Twitter mentions by over 2000%, and searches for “tridion safety cell” increased by 333%.
  • Library Example
    • All libraries get complaints from patrons. With the advent of social media like Facebook and Twitter many of these complaints are disseminated digitally. It’s important that libraries not only respond to digital complaints but do so as quickly as possible.
    • Sometimes digital complaints stem out of one’s desire to vent their frustrations and aren’t even sent directly to the institution they are complaining about. Tracking these comments down allows you to be a fly on the wall and peer into real people’s conversations about your library. For example our library has had many tweets about people talking in the quiet study area of the library. The only way we were able to find those tweets was by searching for the word “library” and limiting by location via zip code. In response to those tweets we offered this solution:


  • Library Idea- If you have patrons complaining a small collection you could calculate how large your paper and digital collections are and tweet it. If people are making comments about how libraries are out of date or no one reads actual books you could tweet out your yearly book checkout statistics.

Bottom Line: Respond to complaints in a timely manner, have a sense of humor, and don’t ignore the power of social media regarding this area.

Best Use of Google+

Nominee: The #CadburyKitchen- Mondelez International

  • Cadbury invited chocolate lovers to a Google+ Hangout hosted by French Patissier Eric Lanlard. The hangout featured tips on pastry creation and information about his new book.
  • Library Idea- Google+ is not as utilized by libraries as Facebook, but in my opinion it should be. The main reason is the Hangout feature. Google+ Hangouts allow up to 10 people to video chat at once. This could be a great way to offer reference assistance or teach a library workshop and/or orientation to small groups. You could offer a Hangout featuring a local author and have a Q and A about their new book.

Top Ten IFTTT Recipes for Librarians


Ok if you’re a librarian then you’re probably familiar with the statement “if this then that” (IFTTT). It’s pretty much a Boolean search that performs an action in a web application. If you’ve ever performed an advanced search, run a list in your LMS, forwarded your email to another email carrier, etc then you’ve used an IFTTT statement. IFTTT is a free service came out in 2010 and allows you to create and use “recipes” that execute commands online. For example you can backup your tagged Facebook photos in your Dropbox folder by creating the recipe “IF I am tagged in a photo on Facebook THEN I want to add that file to my Dropbox (THAT).” And IFTTT takes all the coding out of it making recipe creation a piece of cake 🙂

Here are my top 10 IFTTT recipes:

1) When you get a Gmail that you have a new Twitter follower automatically tweet them a welcome message

2) Back up my contacts to a Google Spreadsheet: Useful method for backing up your contact list.

3) When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 eBooks, send me an email

4) When a new book is added to the NY Times Best Sellers List, send me an email: #3 and #4 utilize RSS URLs so the possibilities for this recipe are endless.

5) If I star a Gmail, send it to Evernote

6) Save the Facebook photos I upload to Dropbox:This is a great way to save the photos you post for your library’s FB account.

7) Log all of my completed goals (iOS) in a Google Drive spreadsheet: This is a useful way to keep a record of all your completed projects for your yearly reporting.

8) Tweet every YouTube video you favorite

9) Upload new Instagram photos to Flickr

10) Create a Facebook status update via text message: This is especially useful for those who have not jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. If you manage your library’s Facebook and are on the go just simply send a text message w/ the hashtag #FB and it will appear on Facebook as a status message. Now when you get an awesome idea for a status update you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to post it, all you have to do is text!

IFTTT also has a great user community. You can share recipes you’ve created or browse the ones that have been shared by others. You’ll be surprised w/ people’s innovation! If you have any awesome IFTTT recipes that you use please share them below:

Use a Backchannel in Your Next Presentation/Lecture

By Andreas Skog

By Andreas Skog

I went to the Texas Library Association’s annual conference for the first this year. I attended a bevy of sessions and felt like my head was spinning from all the fantastic information that was entering my limbic system! One valuable gem that I gleaned was from instruction technology specialist Jim Holland. He introduced me to the backchannel TodaysMeet. Once I was exposed to the glory of a backchannel I was shocked that not everyone is using one! Not one other presenter at any conference I have attended has used one. Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself, let me explain what a backchannel is.

Backchannels enable the presenter to use networked computers/smart phones/tablets to ask questions and access session links in real time during a presentation. TodaysMeet is specifically awesome because it is free and does not require the users to login or downlad anything. Sessions are archived anywhere from 2 hours to 1 year after the session. This type of tool is ingrained in the webinar format where users can chat, ask questions, share links, etc but backchannels make it possible to be easily integrated into the physical platform as well.

I used TodaysMeet in one of my information literacy sessions this summer and it went swimmingly. I was able to effortlessly create the channel, share links and respond to questions. What was great about it was that I didn’t have to worry about taking up valuable presentation time to share a link (even if you use a URL shortener it takes time for one to key/type in), students can just click and go (if I had a dime for every time someone asked me to go back to a previous slide so they could write down the link to a certain site I was sharing I’d be a rich gal!) . Also students that didn’t want to ask questions audibly could discreetly type their query. Here’s and example:


It is helpful to have a moderator who can blast out the links as you discuss them and ask questions as they are sent, but it’s not imperative. I managed it without a moderator and did fine.

As an attendee I loved how I never missed an important link or had to tediously type a URL. As a presenter I love it because it makes communication a lot more streamlined, allowing me to focus more time on content. I will be using the backchannel in every class and presentation I conduct and I suggest you give it a try! Also if there is a backchannel you recommend please comment below.


Use TED-Ed to Flip Your IL Sessions


Last week I attended the Texas Library Association’s 2013 annual library conference. My head was spinning with all the innovative fresh ideas that were shared! One awesome session I attended was Flipped Classroom: Supporting New Educational Models. The session consisted of a panel of 6 educators who shared their experience flipping their classroom. While it was primarily aimed at teachers and school librarians many ideas were shared that could crossover into the IL session. Ok, so I’ll start by explaining what a flipped classroom is:


A flipped classroom involves providing materiel before class (usually in the form of a video or a podcast) that the students need to read/watch/listen to and then taking class time for hands on activities. With flipped teaching teachers can spend less time lecturing and more time on interacting with students. Flipped learning allows you to spend your valuable class time on discussion and critical thinking.


One great thing about flipped teaching is that the instructor doesn’t have to make the videos themselves (although they definitely can!), they can choose from a myriad of educational videos that are already out there in cyberspace. One resource that was shared was TedEd. If your familiar with TED already you know what a valuable resource it is. TED-Ed teams up educators and animators to create TED-Ed Videos- exceptional educational videos for your classroom. Here’s a video explaining what it is and how it works:

TED-Ed carefully curates their video library so you don’t have to sift through a bunch of junk to get what you want.

  • On the homepage if you click on Find&Flip 
  • Search for “information literacy” or whatever you want your lesson plan to be and choose the video you would like to use
  • Click Flip This Video and add your own questions, notes, and resources to customize it for your students
  • You can also search Best Flips to find user nominated lessons as well as search by subject or series

And there you have it! Fantastic lessons and great animation that can be customized for your IL sessions. Couldn’t be any easier than that!


Here are just a few tips that I learned during the session


SXSWi Spots and Sessions for Librarians

Here is the list of all SXSWi events. There are so many sessions to attend and people to meet that it can be pretty overwhelming. When searching this extensive list try narrowing it down by theme such as:

I have listed a few spots and sessions that are great places to start. If you have any ideas please leave a comment!

#ideadrop House


Hosed by Electronic Resources and Libraries and ProQuest this is a must for any librarian attedning sxswi. This is a place where you can share ideas, attend sessions about digital librarianship, and network with your fellow colleagues! Attendance is free, click here to see the various sessions and speakers. Here is a list of just a few events:

  • SXSWi Kick off: Being Interactive @ Interactive
  • How to be Human Online
  • Social Media and Libraries

Librarian Meet Up

Free 3/10

Meet up with librarians who are attending sxsw, share ideas, network.

2013 SXSW Newbies Meet Up

The Mashable Variety Show

Must be a badge holder

Pete Cashmore will discuss the revolution of the Internet and what it means.  He will “explore how the world has grown and change due to the constant re-invention of the Internet through how marketing strategies have evolved, how news delivery has moved from your doorstep to your newsfeed, and how the Internet itself has gotten the world to reconnect through images, stories and sometimes, cats!” You will be sure to learn new methods for marketing your library, new ideas for to delivering digital content, and a better understanding of the ever changing digital stratosphere.


Must be a badge holder

Listen to educators who are focused on digital learning.

Digital Creative Job Market

Free, 3/7 & 3/8

Market your research talents to some cutting-edge employers.

SXSW Create

Free, 3/8-3/11

Are you a digital DIYer? Then this is a great place to collaborate! Even if you are not that tech savy this is a inspiring place to learn about new innovative tools and ideas. It could help you w/ your own library services or give you some awesome collection development ideas.

SXSW Librarian Guides

People/Groups to Follow on Twitter

Your Infographic Toolkit (For those with little to no graphic design experience)

Creating an infographic can be tedious and time consuming, especially for those with little to no graphic design experience. Here are the best tools that I have found that enable me to not only create an infographic but streamline my process.

Find an Infographic Generator

These are just some of the many infographic generators that are available. Generators involve you selecting a template and various objects, plugging in your desired info, and designing your infographic to suit your taste.

Create a Color Scheme

  • Kuler: Kuler allows you to create color schemes based on rules that you specify (analogous, complementary, etc).
  • Color Droppers: Ever tried to figure out what the hex value is for a specific color on a Webpage? An eye dropper is the answer! Simply hover the dropper over the desired color and get the hex value. Then plug it in to the program your using and viola! This allows your colors to be uniform across your infographic.

Get Inspired

The best way to learn how to create an informative, visually pleasing infographic is to learn from the experts. Take a look at your favorite infographics/visuals and make a list of all the aspects that you like. Here is a list of some awesome infographics that I have found.

Explore the Application

Every infographic generator has specific tools, templates, objects, etc that are available. Take some time to play around so you can streamline your productivity once you’re in “creation mode.”

Make a Plan

Decide what kind of information you want to share, what color scheme you want to use, etc. Miranda Rensch has a great blog post on how to plan your infographic.


Here is an example of a infographic I created with piktochart:


Top 10 Libraries for Academic Libraries to Follow on Pinterest


libraries on pinterest

With the popularity of libraries joining Pinterest I thought I would share the list of top 10 libraries that I think are worth following. I like to follow libraries that have boards that focus on research, technology, and interesting promotional ideas.


  • Post quality content for repinning- This includes content that promotes research, innovation, best practices, etc
  • Generate inventive boards
  • Employ creative titles
  • Do not overpost or have too many boards

New York Public Library: Boards include themed boards such as Downton Abbey as well as The Librarian’s List which includes librarian picks from libraries across the country (as long as your a librarian you can contribute to this board!) *Update: The Librarian’s list is actually managed by the O’Fallon Public Library. Contact Heidi if you’d like to be added to the list. 

Boards to follow: #ireadeverywhere, Book Pickings from Brain Pickings (a collaboration w/ Maria Popova)

Clearwater Public Library System:  Boards to follow: Infographics, Technology Tidbits

UW-Parkside Library: Board to follow: Research/Writing Tips

CTR Library at UT Austin: Board to follow: Research Tools and Data

Biblioteca UPM: Boards to follow: #readytoresearch, #academiclibrary, and #socialacademics (to name a few!)

Somerset Learning Commons: Boards to follow: Fun Tech Stuff, and Instruction and Scholarship

Birmingham Public Library: Boards to follow: Reference and Social Media/Technology

Oakland Library TeenZone: Board to follow- In the Margins: Books for Teens

Rice Library: Boards to follow: Research Tips and Tricks, Infographics, Marketing and Outreach Ideas and Libguides

Library Journal: Board to follow: Shush! and Library Design of the Future

**Update: Check out Top Libraries for Academic Libraries to Follow on Pinterest: Part Deux!