Kia ora. We explore what Christchurch City Libraries’ webpages and blog posts and social media postings were popular each month – so we can learn more about what our customers are interested in.

Website pages

The Source, and Kids pages were the most viewed this month, and also in the top 20 were the Book Sale and the Treaty of Waitangi.

March’s popular blog posts

Photos on Flickr

There were 274,197 views in March. We are at 2,675,512 page views.

4 and 5 March were very busy days – we clocked up 106,297 views on those two days (due to photos of the flooded Avon River in town).

Our most popular photo is this view of the flood by Our City O-Tautahi.
Flooded Avon River on Oxford Terrace

Top on Twitter

We have 2910 followers. The most popular tweets:

Facebook favourites

We have 3684 likes.

The Avon River in town photo album was our busiest Facebook post ever with 106 shares, 49,800 engagement and 7,500 reach.

Central Library ManchesterLast week was Enquiry Sampling Week at Christchurch City Libraries. As librarians we count and categorise our customer interactions for one week. It comes round fairly regularly and provides statistical information for the library network. This got me thinking. What do tally marks really tell us about our interactions with customers?

I had two enquiries that show how diverse our interactions with customers can be. The first happened when a customer approached me holding a piece of paper with half an article printed on it.

Customer: I need a copy of this and I want the whole article.

Me: Can you tell me anything about the article?

Customer: I got it twenty years ago at the Central Library from a paper I think.

Hmmm … This would require my “super librarian” reference skills (aka detective work) so I dusted these off and got to work. The interaction involved many questions, clarifying, listening, searching the catalogue, asking for help, more questions, clarifying again, and finally ending with filling in an an online form to request an archive. I categorised this interaction as “Reference – more than 15 minutes” which did not seem to give the query the justice it deserved.

My second interaction happened at the self-returns kiosk, where customers return their own books. This was a new for the customer so I was talking her through the process.

Customer: This is easy, you’ll be soon out of a job.

Me (not feeling so super): Hmmm …

Luckily for me this particular query was just a tally mark!



Day one of talks from last year’s National Digital Forum at Te Papa are now available on YouTube.

If you are interested to find out about all things digital in NZ’s GLAM sector this is the place for you!

Topics include WW100, creating a digital marae, the Dunedin flat names project, developing NZ sign language archive, terminology control (one for all you cataloguers out there), using volunteers in digitisation projects, digital publishing and more.

Presentation vary in length from around 10 minutes to half an hour or more.

Over at Library Journal, the latest batch of Movers and Shakers – 50 passionate library people – is out.

Here in Aotearoa, librarians are sharing their ideas and practices in Library Life.The first issue of Library Life for 2014 is out – in PDF format.

Library Life editor Abigail Willemse has put together an interesting selection this month. The focus is social media and how to blend (or separate) the personal and professional.

Cath Sheard (on Twitter as @kiwilibrarian) in Being social can be professional too (p.11-12):

If what you’re saying is meant to matter, let people identify you.

Judi Kercher of Massey University in Social media reflects real life … (p. 13) argues:

To me, social media reflects different aspects of me – my work life and my personal life and, as I keep them separate in real life, I also keep them separate online.

There is plenty more interesting professional stuff to explore, with reports on IFLA and volunteering in Timor-Leste.

Its always difficult trying to parse a conference as diverse as Webstock into a few lines of blog posts or a 1 hour talk. Sometimes I end up talking about a handful of the fascinating sessions, the ones that really resonated with me or the ones that seemed to have the most bearing on libraries, our work and our customers. Often I try to draw out a theme or two, as Webstock speakers often seem to have shared themes. It never does justice to either the speakers or the event as a whole. This year you’re getting a book/link list c/o BiblioCommons and a Wordle. Enjoy, explore, employ.

The Webstock 2014 book / link list

Cover of The year without pants by Scott BerkunThis list features books by Webstock 2014 speakers as well as those they refer to, their presentations where they’ve been posted publicly, websites that they have referred to or in some cases their own websites.

The books in particular are very interesting in that you’ll notice that NONE of them are to do with web specifically. In fact most of them are to do with psychology, or rather thinking, with some design and media stuff thrown in. That’s because, despite its name, Webstock is not really a web conference (any more?) – sure most of its speakers and attendees are doing stuff on the web, but then most of everyone is on the web these days. If you tied me down and tickled me for an answer I would say that Webstock is about creativity. Not (only) arty farty creativity but the creativity that makes us make and innovate, whether it’s a really great public service website, a music album, an orchestra, a park, a health programme; and creating the conditions that maximise that creativity.

My Webstock ’14 Wordle

Wordle based on phrases from webstock 2014

Check out that great big change. Not that that’s surprising – whether it was Liz’s “QUIT”, or Tom’s “revolution not evolution”, or Scott’s “‘what we’ve always done’ has no value”, there was a huge emphasis (see, a theme emerges) of making major changes to the way you do things and think about things, of letting go of the past and its baggage and reassessing where your plans are taking you. So to end this rambling summary I’m going to leave you with some of the snippets that made up the above and encourage you to have a look at the book/link list – I’ll be adding to it from time to time, particularly as the conference videos emerge.

Choose important over urgent… Erase the meanings that are holding you back.

Do it properly. Stop making digital services as if you’re buying something.

Don’t underestimate passion and human spirit. Take a leap of faith.

Don’t write a strategy, deliver. Go back to first principles, focus on user need.

Create patterns for personal serendipity. Create rituals.

Choose a gap, start small and run fast. Optimise for momentum.

Some useful and interesting stuff on the WWW:

This is a list of recently purchased titles, (in a fairly dull format unfortunately) but hopefully brimming with interesting titles for your professional enjoyment! Topics covered include searching, study, library design, leadership, web design and social media.


Computer skills:

Professional development:




Web design and social media:

Jane Keenan.  Library Content, Selection and Access


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