David Lee King

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social media | emerging trends | libraries
Updated: 2 hours 7 min ago

Marketing to Millenials – 5 Strategies

Thu, 2016-02-04 09:30

I recently read this article about marketing titled 5 Winning Strategies for Millennial Marketing. It has some great ideas, and I thought I’d share them and add some librarian-ish thoughts to them.

Here are the strategies and my thoughts:

1. Stay mobile. This makes perfect sense. A good 85% of millennials have smartphones and use them frequently. So make sure everything your library does works on a mobile device. I mean everything – for example, does your library REALLY want to spend $25,000 a year for that amazing article database if it doesn’t work on a mobile device? Maybe not.

2. Create peer brand evangelists. The idea here is that instead of bombarding people with ads, work on creating partnerships with online influencers already trusted by your millennial customers. So in a library’s case, you might contact your better-known Facebook or Twitter users, and see if you can get them interested in something your library does. Because if they think it’s cool, they’ll share it on their favorite social media channels. And you have just created a brand evangelist.

3. Be socially connected. To do #2 above, you need to have this one in place. You need to have active social media channels, and be connected to your customers who use these channels. I love what the author says in this section:

“When done correctly, your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram channels should make each and every customer feel special.”

Easy to say, hard to do, huh?

4. Create authentic content. This point is why I talk so much about how to create content on your digital branch and in your social media channels. When done well, your content will connect to your millennials. Which means you will have connected the library to them. Definitely something to work on!

5. Give them a say. Reach out to your customers and have them “help.” In the article, the examples are things like Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” campaign, where people helped create weird chip flavors. In a library setting, this might be as simple as a list of great books to read, created by your customers.

So go read the article, and figure out how you can better serve (and reach) your millennial customers!

Image from the Blue Diamond Gallery

Categories: Library News

Twelve Tips to Better Writing for the Mobile Web

Tue, 2016-02-02 09:30

I recently wrote an article for Computers in Libraries magazine titled Twelve Tips to Better Writing for the Mobile Web. In the article, my 12 tips include:

  1. Write for the small screen
  2. Touching the screen
  3. Mobile readers are easily distracted … squirrel!
  4. Think short
  5. Create strong titles
  6. Focus on the benefits
  7. Front-load the call to action
  8. Make content scannable
  9. Be conversational
  10. Actively engage customers
  11. Use images
  12. Ignore your English teacher


Go read the article, then tell me what you think! What am I missing?

image by Katie Kreuger

Categories: Library News

6 Slick Improvements for 2016 – New Emerald Article

Tue, 2016-01-19 09:30

I have a new article up at Emerald Group Publishing titled Six Slick Improvements for 2016. Here’s what I talk about:

Whew – you made it through the holidays and vacations, and now it’s a new year. Time to look at your technology plans, and see what needs to be improved.

Here are six improvements you can make, or at least start, in 2016. They include:

  1. Share – customers STILL don’t know all the cool stuff we do.
  2. Market the website inside the building.
  3. Make your website mobile-friendly.
  4. Privacy issues (you’ve seen the new Pew Report on Privacy, right?).
  5. Delete (as in, all those 10-year old emails you have, etc).
  6. Community creation spaces (expand those makerspaces for non-geeks).

Go visit Emerald Group Publishing to read the rest of the article!

Image by Stephen

Categories: Library News

Libraries Rock – Do your Employees Think So?

Thu, 2016-01-14 09:30

Yesterday, there was an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled In the Age of Google, Librarians Get Shelved. You should all go read the article. Then come back, and let’s discuss.

Ok … first off, the article is completely wrong about libraries and librarians. It’s based on no library I’ve ever been to.

But here’s the rub. The article is written by someone who works in libraries. You can even Google the author and find out where he works, if you’re so inclined.

And that’s why I’m suggesting that you read the article (and why I’m linking to it): You, my dear, awesome reader, have people working in your library that believe this stuff.

No, not most of your staff. But perhaps a couple. You might even have a board member or library leader who believes this. You certainly have someone in your community that believes it.

Your job is to come up with short, factual answers to each of the author’s challenges.

Why? Because at some point, you will be asked why you exist in the Age of Google … and you need to have solid, understandable answers.

Image from the unquiet librarian

Categories: Library News

Gentle Reminder about Creative Commons Licenses

Thu, 2015-12-17 09:30

A couple of weeks ago, I received a request to remove a photo off of my “website” by a rather large public library. By the head of their marketing and communications department, no less.

Why? Because they decided to change the license on their Flickr account from Creative Commons to All Rights Reserved (which is where I found the photo).

Here’s the [edited] email they sent me:

“We are writing to you from [insert public library name here] to let you know about the current license on our photos available through flickr, and we note that you have a [insert public library name here] photo posted on your websites at http://www.slideshare.net/davidleeking/technology-trends-in-libraries-the-emerging-generation and http://www.slidesearch.org/slide/technology-trends-in-libraries-the-emerging-generation.
This will inform you that [insert public library name here] now has a license of ‘All Rights Reserved’ on all its flickr content, including the image you have posted on your site. All previous licenses, including of Creative Commons, are unequivocally revoked, and you are requested to remove the photo from your site within seven days.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and we’ll follow up in several days if you have questions about this request. Please email legal@[insert public library name here] to confirm that you have removed the photo from your site.”

Guess what? You can’t do that with a Creative Commons license. According to the Creative Commons website, CC licenses cannot be revoked. Creative Commons says this: “Once you apply a CC license to your material, anyone who receives it may rely on that license for as long as the material is protected by copyright and similar rights, even if you later stop distributing it” (found here).

Here’s what I emailed back to the library:

“As a reminder, once you use a creative Commons license, that license cannot be revoked – https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Considerations_for_licensors_and_licensees#Considerations_for_licensors

I won’t use the photo anymore, since it appears you have taken it offline (the link no longer works). But per Creative Commons licensing rules, my use of that particular photo was, is, and will be fine and legal, since it at one time had a Creative Commons license.”

So long story short, I won’t use that particular photo anymore. But I’m also not going to sift through a couple of slidedecks that I posted at slideshare.net (i.e., not my website) and remove one particular photo from them. Because the library can’t change the CC license, once given.

And so – a gentle reminder to you about Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons licenses are great. They allow for easier sharing and remixing, and seem like something libraries should do. We are, after all, all about sharing, distributing, and remixing content of all shapes and sizes.

But think long and hard about applying a Creative Commons license to your content. Because as staff, departments, and priorities change, someone might want to change those CC licenses too. And you (the people who create and control the content) need to know what’s allowed and what’s not, what’s legal and what’s not, etc.

And a small side note on that legal thing – I’m a librarian, not a lawyer. Do Creative Commons rules hold up in court? Beats me. Hopefully I don’t have to find out!

CC logo from Creative Commons

Categories: Library News

Six tips for better videos – a new Emerald Publishing article

Tue, 2015-12-15 09:30

Online video is huge, and it’s not slowing down. Currently, adults spend an average of five hours a day watching video. Over an hour of that time is spent watching video on digital devices. In fact, current trends show that online video watching is steadily growing, while more traditional TV video viewing is slowly shrinking.

What does this mean for libraries? I think it means that libraries need to be making useful, usable videos for our customers. And we need some help doing that well!

So, here are six handy starter tips for cranking out better videos:

  1. Get Close
  2. Light it up
  3. Make it sound good
  4. Start strong
  5. Plan it then wing it
  6. Edit

And a bonus tip … (gotta visit Emerald Publishing to get that tip!). Enjoy!

Categories: Library News

Check out Green Libraries 4 Hope!

Thu, 2015-12-03 09:30

Someone emailed me about the Green Libraries 4 Hope project, and I thought it was pretty cool. So – here’s more information about it. Please share!

“Green Libraries 4 hope is a project that provides children and youth who attend underprivileged public schools in the area surrounding the largest landfill in the state of Oaxaca, with decent, active and transformative school libraries built with a certified technique using recycled materials, with support from parents, teachers, students and YOU!!!

In the area, internet access is limited and there are no libraries or spaces for children to come together, research or read comfortably. We are instilling passion for books, providing appropriate learning environments, creating a healthier environment and forging community ties.

Help children and youth rewrite their stories!

Last year we built two more Green Libraries in the area, bringing the number up to five! This year, we expect to build one more library for the local Telesecundaria, as well as a library for a local Community Center. With your support we can transform garbage into hope!

Why Zaachila, Oaxaca?

The Municipality of Zaachila hosts the largest landfill in the state, which has important environmental, social and economic effects, and also provides the livelihoods for people and families who depend on waste-picking/recycling. Around 17,500 people live in the area, which lacks sewage, running water and sometimes electricity.

Local schools lack internet access and appropriate infrastructure. Many classrooms are still made of recycled metal sheets, which make them hot, noisy and creates a difficult learning environment. Children and youth face economic problems, deficient nutrition and high levels of violence in the area.

In order to provide better learning conditions, improve the environment and enhance educational opportunities, SiKanda builds “Green Libraries” for local schools. We want to break the cycle of poverty through education, solidarity, and awareness. Books are a fantastic tool in the fight against inequality, so join in!

How are they built?

Green Libraries of 60sq meters (650sq feet) are built with a certified echo-technique reusing over 10,000 PET bottles and 8,000 milk cartons! WoW!  Materials are readily available, due to the vicinity of the local landfill.

The construction technique is safe and simple. It also maintains a stable temperature inside the room throughout the year. Parents, teachers and students are joined by volunteers and the SiKanda staff in order to create the Green Libraries, making them the result of a collective effort. By building together, the community learns a simple, low-cost building technique that can turn a local problem: garbage, into a solution.

SiKanda provides an initial book collection that is age appropriate for the schools and that includes books about science, biology, history, anthropology and a selection of literature with world classics as well as Mexican and local authors. The collection grows with support from teachers and through our permanent book donation campaign: Pass the Words.

Who are we?

International Solidarity Kanda (SiKanda) is a local non-profit organization that has been working in Oaxaca for the past six years. SiKanda has obtained different awards thanks to its commitment to the empowerment of people who live in slums and fringe areas. You can learn more about who we are, and what we do, on our official website: www.si-kanda.org

How to help Green Libraries:

There are three simple fantastic ways to help Green Libraries grow!

1. Dedicate a book to encourage children and youth to read! You can send a brief message to encourage children and youth to read! We will translate your message to Spanish and place it inside one of the books in the library. You can chose a specific title, or write a message that can be placed in any book. We’re certain our young readers will love to read from you! Contact us at: comunicacion.sikanda@gmail.com

2. Donate today to our Indiegogo Campaign: Go to http://igg.me/at/greenlibraries and Donate Today! Funds raised for the Green Libraries project are used to build new libraries, create links between the existing ones, expand their book collections and provide workshops, reading sessions, and environmental education for primary and secondary students in one of the poorest states in Mexico.

3. Share the campaign and the project. Share the link to the campaign in your social networks. Encourage friends and family to donate or dedicate a book! Follow us on Facebook www.faceboook.com/sikandaoax and Twitter @sikanda_oaxaca and help us spread the word!”

Categories: Library News

Moderating Conference Sessions

Tue, 2015-11-17 09:30

Have you ever helped organize a conference? There are quite a few jobs that need to get done, including handing out badges, creating the program, promoting the event, speaking … and moderating conference sessions.

I’ve been asked to moderate sessions at a number of conferences over the last couple of years. It’s fun, and sometimes a bit challenging! If you’ve never done it before, or wondered what’s needed to be a moderator … don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!

Here are some tips on moderating at conferences and events:

  • Email speakers in advance. Ask your speakers to double-check their bios or supply one. Tell them to email you with questions if they have any.
  • Get there early. You’ll want to make sure the room is ready, the mics are on, and the projector is working.
  • Set the mood for the day. At the start of the first session, tell attendees what’s going on in your room for the day, especially if you are moderating a whole track of sessions based on a theme (i.e., a web developer’s track). That helps people know what to expect for the day. There might also be some last minute changes that you need to share.
  • Introduce yourself to the sound dude. Most event centers and hotels have staff who set up and run the audio for each session. Sometimes they hang out in the room the whole time; more often than not, they are busily running to each room, making sure everyone’s ok. That person can make or break the event. So introduce yourself as the moderator and find out how to contact them if you need anything.
  • Know how to use the mic. Know how to turn it on, how to attach it if it’s a lavalier mic, etc. Check out my article on good mic technique for some more tips.
  • Test the equipment. Make sure the speaker is comfortable with the tech they are using. If they are switching between slides and a video, make sure they practice that. Test the audio levels of the video. Remind people how to advance slides. Yes, that sounds silly … but when an inexperienced speaker is standing in front of 200 people, they can get flustered pretty easily and forget those simple things.
  • Paraphrase the bio. Especially if it’s long. No one really wants to hear you read 600 words about the speaker. Give just enough to introduce the speaker, then get to the talk.
  • Time the sessions. At a busy conference with lots of sessions, you have to keep a tight schedule. I set two alarms on my iPhone – one goes off when there’s 5 minutes left, and one when time’s up.
  • Multiple speakers need equal time. If there are two or more speakers during a session, make sure to give them equal amounts of time to speak. tell each presenter how much time they have, and then stick to it. It’s never fun to have your 15-minute presentation turned into a rushed 6-minute mess (been there, done that).
  • If it’s a panel discussion, include everyone. When moderating a panel, make sure everyone on the panel has a chance to speak. If someone’s not talking, it’s your job to draw them into the conversation. On the other hand, if someone is talking too much, it’s your job to give other panelists a chance to speak. An easy way to do that is to say something like “Thanks for that idea. What do the other panelists think?” And turn to someone else to give them a chance to speak.
  • Repeat the question. During the Q & A time at the end, make sure to either repeat the question that was asked, or have the speaker do it. If the room is large, some people won’t hear the question, and sometimes the session is being recorded. It also helps make sure you get the question right.
  • Move people along. This goes with timing the sessions. You might need to cut off a long-winded speaker, or end the Q & A, to move people along to the next session. Sometime during the Q & A, I usually walk to to the podium and stand by the speaker. I’ll help find people with questions. When it’s about time to end the session, I’ll say something like “we have time for one more question.” After that question is answered, I’ll make sure to thank the speaker, and tell people what’s coming next (i.e., lunch break, next session in 15 minutes, etc).

If you have never done any moderating … what are you waiting for? Try it out and see if you like it!

Pic by r00s

Categories: Library News

My Presentations from Internet Librarian 2015

Mon, 2015-11-02 09:30

I just got back from a whirlwind 4 days of Internet Librarian 2015. As usual, it was a really useful conference for me – lots of solid tips, learning, and networking with cool techie librarians.

Here are the slide deck versions of my presentations:

Tech Trends for Libraries in 2016

Aligning Digital & Print Content: Editorial Content Calendars

Analytics for Social Media

Writing for the Web

I also lead a panel discussion on Innovation in Libraries. It went really well … but no slides for that one.

Categories: Library News

Easy as a Light Switch

Tue, 2015-10-27 09:30

Make your website as easy to use as a light switch.

What do I mean by that? When you enter a dark room and reach for the light switch, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about electricity, or the electrician? Are you thinking about the construction workers, or the technology involved? How about the functionality of the light switch?

My guess is probably not. Light switches are so simple to use that you simply flip on the switch, turn the light on, and go on about your business, not thinking about the technology or the functionality behind the light switch. The light switch is so simple to use that you don’t have to think about it.

That’s how easy your website needs to be.

Want to read the rest of the article? Go here… Thanks!

Really cool light switch drawing by John LeMasney

Categories: Library News

What I’m Talking about at Internet Librarian 2015

Fri, 2015-10-23 09:30

Next week, I’ll be in Monterey, CA at Internet Librarian. It’s a cool conference in a fun city. Here’s what I’ll be talking about while there:

  • Sunday –  Tech Trends for Libraries in 2016 (pre-conference session)
  • Monday – Aligning Digital & Print Content: Editorial Content Calendars (with my library’s Marketing Director, so I’ll be on my best behavior)
  • Monday – Social Media Analytics & Management
  • Tuesday: Writing for the Web
  • Wednesday: Innovation in Libraries (a panel)
  • Wednesday – also moderating a track

If you’re attending, make sure to say hi! If you’re not attending, you can follow the tweets using #InternetLibrarian.

Categories: Library News

8 Easy Ways to Humanize your Digital Branch

Thu, 2015-10-22 09:30

At my library, we like to say “It’s not about the stuff, it’s about the people.” Sure, we have a lot of cool books, videos and services, but our staff are awesome and they help make the library what it is. They help give the library a human face.

How do you present that “human face” of the library online? Here are eight ways to humanize your digital branch:

  1. Pictures
  2. Conversational Writing
  3. Videos
  4. Being Available
  5. Responding Fast
  6. Cut Extra Words
  7. Reach Out
  8. Tell the Customer’s Story

Read the rest of the article at Emerald Group Publishing. I also wrote a whole book on this topic!

Image by Marjan Lazarevski

Categories: Library News