The Information Professional
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The Information Professional
Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
Curated by Karen du Toit
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Free Twitter Analytics - what can libraries and archives get out of it? - Ned Potter

Free Twitter Analytics - what can libraries and archives get out of it? - Ned Potter | The Information Professional |

Twitter stats packages are sort of fascinating but also not. I look at a fair few because I need to be able to talk about them in social media workshops: what tends to happen is I put my username in, go 'ooooh that's interesting!' a few times, but then never actually go back and check the analysis on a second occasion.

As individuals we don't really need Twitter stats apps (unless you take Twitter very seriously) but as organisations they can be genuinely useful. They can help us understand our network, show us what works (so we can build on it) and what doesn't (so we can phase it out).

For an analysis package to be useful to an organisation it really needs three qualities:

1. It must give you information you can ACT on. There are a million
stats apps out there, but if they don't tell you anything which you
can use to inform better practice for your twitter account, then they
don't really have any value.
2. It must NOT tweet things about that information on your behalf. Someapps tell you useful things - but they tell the rest of the world
those useful things too. I'm dubious about this at the best of times
(for me an auto-tweet saying "This week on Twitter: X follows /
unfollows, Y ReTweets and Z total reach!" either looks a bit awkward if X, Y and Z are small numbers, and a bit show-boaty if they're large) but I really don't think organisational accounts should have anything tweeted on their behalf.
3. It ideally needs to be free. Some things are worth paying for but
realistically it's hard to get the people who control the
purse-strings in libraries to shell-out for a Twitter stats annual

Thankfully the official Twitter Analytics, newly available for all, meets all three of those criteria. If you just tweet as yourself, sign in to and have a look a round at the things worth noting; it's interesting to see how few of your followers actually see your tweets, for example."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Great guide to make the most of your Twitter Analytics for your library or archive!

Karen du Toit's curator insight, September 4, 2014 3:43 AM

Great guide! Also for any corporate account!

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Why you need social media information governance frameworks

Why you need social media information governance frameworks | The Information Professional |

Kate Cumming:

Businesses run on information and by extending your information governance frameworks to the social media environment you will help ensure that all your business needs for information, now and into the future, will continue to be met.

To develop a social media information governance framework you could firstly:

map the business that is moving to social mediamap the information that is moving to social mediaassess your client information needs and expectations, as well as public accountablities that are dependent on your business information.
Karen du Toit's insight:

Social Media governance > the importance of it! Also in libraries


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Librarians: The First Data Scientists

Librarians: The First Data Scientists. Data is big – and it's getting even bigger. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillian bytes of data – so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.


"Librarians and research services staff were the first data specialists, trained to locate, compile, analyze, and summarize large volumes of data. Any organization would do well to harness the brain power and honed skills of a library and research services team. Companies should take care to explore all of their options when searching for data specialists; utilizing the robust capabilities of a Library & Research Services department may just be the competitive edge everyone is looking for."

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What can librarians/info pros do for your business? | NKS Info Services

"What can a librarian or information professional by any other name do for your business? Besides the tradtional research, print and electronic collection management, knowledge management, and so on? 


- publish articles in industry venues that advance recognition of your business and/or issues of importance to you,
- provide data management, data curation, and project management in support of helping you and your business to build on its own knowledge base and/or meet federal agency expectations for research management , if you receive federal funding for said research,
- offer GIS mapping of data and other information visualization skills,
- educate your staff by offering brown bag seminars, webinars, and other events on various timely topics,
- deliver regular industry-related news in various easy-to-digest formats for busy staff and managers,
- add great value to your technology committees or other IT-committees (think of the experience your librarian/info pro has with online research tools, electronic subscriptions, software tools, and the information-seeking needs of your staff),
and so much more!"

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The Public Library Wants To Be Your Office, by Anita Hamilton

The Public Library Wants To Be Your Office, by Anita Hamilton | The Information Professional |

"D.C. Public Library president Richard Reyes-Gavilán defends libraries’ growing role as business incubators, despite their tenuous connection to books, literacy, and information access. “Libraries have always been a place for personal betterment. We are providing a space for people to get a leg up on their lives, whether that’s someone running their own business or getting their library card for the first time so they’re better able to tackle first grade.”

Adds NYPL President Marx, “libraries should be providing free access to information and physical space to engage in the life of the mind whether it is a new business idea or thinking up a new novel.” It’s a nice idea. But as demonstrated by the failed plan to gut the stacks at the crown jewel of the New York Public Library system, trying to accommodate everyone in a finite space is just begging for a turf war."

Via nickcarman
Karen du Toit's insight:

The case of the library as office space! Definitely the library of the future! There should be a work-around between the library loyalists and the library as community space enthusiasts!

nickcarman's curator insight, August 12, 2014 12:49 AM

Libraries are becoming de-facto business incubators, and a few are actively targeting that market.

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Why Libraries Should Be the Next Great Start-Up Incubators

Why Libraries Should Be the Next Great Start-Up Incubators | The Information Professional |

By Emily Badger:

This old idea of the public library as co-working space now offers a modern answer – one among many – for how these aging institutions could become more relevant two millennia after the original Alexandria library burned to the ground. Would-be entrepreneurs everywhere are looking for business know-how and physical space to incubate their start-ups. Libraries meanwhile may be associated today with an outmoded product in paper books. But they also happen to have just about everything a 21st century innovator could need: Internet access, work space, reference materials, professional guidance.

Karen du Toit's insight:

Future of libraries! Start-up incubators!

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How Public Libraries Are a Boon to Small Business | American Libraries Magazine

How Public Libraries Are a Boon to Small Business | American Libraries Magazine | The Information Professional |


"Tips for Enhancing Business Services

- Post a pathfinder to resources on your website. Outline all the steps involved in a business start-up as well as how to use your resources. Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library is an excellent example with its business and career center site. \

- Databases and other online services are often available through state library associations or regional consortiums. If you are purchasing your own, look carefully at all your options and keep reevaluating new products. Gale Cengage, for instance, recently released its DemographicsNow: Business & People database, which it says is powerful enough to replace two or three other popular services.

- Choose trade journals that fit your local markets, which might mean fashion design in New York but food trucks in Chicago and agriculture in Carson City.

- Attend business functions to listen for trends and topics for your programs and to identify speakers. You may persuade even professional speakers to appear pro bono because they may wind up with a customer or two at the end of their program.

- Record your workshop speakers for videos or podcasts on your website or on YouTube. Keep them short, or edit them into focused segments. Link to good programs on other library sites as well. The New York and Simsbury, Connecticut, libraries have very good collections.

- Join BRASS, the Business Reference and Services Section of ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). The BRASS website offers some wonderful information, and you can learn even more by networking with others in field."

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