Robyn Lees: NDF 2015 highlights

Robyn Lees, library assistant at New Brighton, shares the highlights of her first ever visit to a National Digital Forum, held in Wellington in November last year.

Attending NDF

NDF2015 conference slide

The Digital Forum has many facets and the areas of interest for me at the forum were learning and digital literacy, and how we can encompass it in to our programmes and general abilities of staff. As a part of going to the forum I was able to meet learned colleagues for whom a surprise collaboration with a very real result was achieved (more on that later).

Fun and…

Raspberry Pi computer
Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive computing tool great for learning about programming and coding.

Firstly I attended a pre-conference workshop that was about a very cheap system of computing called Raspberry Pi- to explain, Raspberry Pi is basically a miniature operating system that you can hold in your hand. It is like a motherboard of a computer about 5cms square. It has an operating system and can be plugged in to any existing system or operate independently as needed.

Raspberry Pi
Playing with Raspberry Pi

The trick is that you can learn basic programming and coding with it and it’s cheap. These would be great little tools for our learning spaces as the users can make lights work, make alarms or programme it to make actions. After we were shown some demos we got hands-on with Raspberry Pi and we were allowed to fiddle with them and put some basic programming in to them to make lights flash and set off alarms and other trickery. You can plug anything in to them like keyboards and USBs and screens so they are an appealing way of introducing some fun and coding to people with limited resources.

…Games

Screenshot of #OneThread tweet
A Twitter clue in the #OneThread game

I was interested to learn about how organisations other than Libraries are engaging with new technology and using it to engage with their customers. Auckland Museum did a presentation about a Twitter campaign they ran where they used objects from their collection to convey clues accompanied by questions for users to answer. They ran a new quiz each week to keep users interested and tied it in with displays and events they were holding. It was hugely successful. This has inspired the team on to new ideas and new social media plans.

Baruk Fedderborn

Here is a clip from Auckland’s outreach librarian – Baruk Fedderborn. In general he is talking about Digital Literacy or as he terms it Post Literacy and engaging with Makerspaces in terms of Māori and Pasifika communities and how we can use our technologies to cross the digital divide and provide useful collaboration with these communities by way of language. It is best to let him explain.

Free Range

Slide from Claire Amos' keynote

In line with my interest in ways of learning I saw a keynote address that began with Disrupt, Connect and Co-Construct. These are the go words of Clare Amos who is deputy principal at Hobsonville Point School where the style of learning is much different than how we were educated. The focus is on how to work with digital natives and support their different ways of learning. Recently I had a customer whose 2 year old son was fidgeting while I was signing him up. I gave him a toy plane to play with and he was not interested in it. So what does this mean for us?

The end bits

Some of my key notes are that there was a lot of conversation around how we get all our colleagues to invest and engage in the new technologies as we dive deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. You don’t need to be 5 to understand it all –but it helps as our “digital natives” way of life changes how we offer our services. This leads on to us running programmes and designing our physical and digital spaces to fit what is happening now for customer needs and looking to build quickly in response to the fast paced changes in our society. Mostly it’s about being relevant and timely with our actions and training for Digital Literacy.

Which leads on to our most important function of customer service and making sure we are actually responding to what is needed and a small example of that is helping with CVs – it may not be glamorous but it’s important to the customers and we can use those sessions to promote all our fabulous services!

Glams 101

Baruk Fedderborn from the earlier conversation about Makerspaces and I found out that a lot of the forum attendees were keen to be able to communicate professionally with each other across the organisations there. These were Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. We discussed planned and collaborated to create a platform for colleagues to do this and settled on Facebook as a suitable platform after discovering that it is frequently used by professional groups. We started a closed group called GLAMS 101 and have since grown the membership to over 120 colleagues and counting. They are located throughout NZ and range from management to customer facing colleagues. It has proved to be a very worthwhile and unexpected learning opportunity from the NDF 2015 Forum event.

The future

The two biggest stand outs for me for the future from the forum were:

  1. That people in these organisations want to share information and collaborate.  Sharing of project information, expertise, resources etc are very possible for the future using social media platforms in addition to traditional methods.
  2. Everybody at the Forum was really excited about what will be coming in the future technology wise and how we can start to shift our mindsets to fully engage with such technologies like 3D printing and Robots which we have started to do, and think about the new ones coming like Virtual Reality and Nano Technology among many others.

Attending the Forum was a valuable experience and I recommend it to others for helping colleagues to learn and grow.

Some light library inspo to start the New Year…

Because really who wants to tackle some heavy reading or weighty issues first up in 2016?

I was fortunate enough to attend Shout! Karanga Rā, the annual LIANZA conference in Wellington in November.  Unlike the physical exhaustion I experienced in completing the my first half marathon in Queenstown that same month, post-conference it was my brain that was overwhelmed after four days of ideas, conversations, laughter, themes and information.

Speakers from New Zealand and around the world inspired, challenged and made us laugh. In the interests of keeping things light to kick off the year, here are some memorable quotes and comments that captured my attention:

“The library listens, interprets and makes awesome things happen” + The public library should be fun!” – the effervescent Justin Hoenke Director of Benson Memorial Library in Pennsylvania.

“Australia is full of bogans” – Ghil’ad Zuckermann, chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, currently working on the revival of the Barngarla Aboriginal language. Fascinating style of delivery for his keynote opening with a Hebrew song sung to the tune of Pokarekare Ana and great application of the ‘Driver Reviver’ message to saving languages.

“Everyone f**king hates councils, but everyone loves libraries” – Nigel Latta wondering why his council doesn’t promote their libraries as their awesome service to improve credibility with their ratepayers + “work life balance is bollocks” + “practice a growth mindset” – changing your worldview from fixed to one open to change.

“The World Wide Web is the reading room of the 21st century” – Bill MacNaught, National Librarian.

“The library is the Agora of the community” + “libraries need to be more like Bowie” – Kim Tairi, University Librarian, Swinburne University.

Kim Tairi keynote
Kim Tairi keynote. LIANZA Conference. Wednesday 11 November 2015. Flickr LIANZA-2015-IMG_0853

“Do what people need but market what they want” – Ned Potter from the University of York and his Library Marketing Manifesto.

Ned Potter
Ned Potter. LIANZA Conference. Tuesday 10 November 2015. Flickr LIANZA-2015-IMG_0702

 

New professional reading

Those of you who are doing study towards a library qualification, or just interested in Library and Infomation studies might be interested in these new books that have been ordered for the Library Network.

Cataloguing

Collections

Digital,Tech, and Web

Library profession, professional development, and study

Planning and buildings

Programmes

Social Media

National Digital Forum – Christchurch barcamp

On Friday 19 June, a bunch of GLAM sector types gathered at the Undercroft at the University of Canterbury for the local area NDF  barcamp. It’s a chance to discuss a variety of issues and topics related to digital stuff.  Joanna Szczepanski from the Canterbury Museum wrangled us for the day.

We had two guest presenters. One was Murray Quartly who demonstrated Focus 360.  His virtual tours of the Red Zone were fascinating.

Adrian Kingston, Digital Collections Senior Analyst, Te Papa spoke about “Born Digital collecting”. His presentation Digital roles in GLAMs is online for your perusal, and is well worth a read.

There’s a Google doc that brings together some of the Christchurch barcamp discussion.

Here are some tweets from the day:

National Digital Forum

Spread the word: Using social media to promote community programmes and events

Christchurch City Libraries has been using social media since 2007 when we started our blog. Since then, we have added Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. These tools help us share our stuff, inform people about events and resources, and allow us to have conversations with our customers. Here are some things to consider, particularly if your community group is using social media.

Think, practice, and play

Why does your group want to use social media? The best reason is to be where people are, and to be able to communicate with them. Once you’ve decided that, there are many social media tools you can use.

Play with them as yourself before you launch your organisation’s online presence. This gives you time to see how the platform works, to practice using it, and to become more familiar with getting the best out of the medium. Once you have launched on a social network, spend some time posting and browsing.

Bike Maintenance Evening

Orange Chair @ Parklands. Bike Maintenance Evening with The Bike Shop’s Graeme Taylor at Parklands Library, 18 June 2015. Flickr: Orange-Chair-Bike-Maintenance-1060721.jpg

Plan and prepare

Once you’ve become more familiar with how social media and various platforms work, consider how you will use it. Think sustainability.

  • What tools best suit your organisation?
  • Who will be doing the writing and posting?
  • How much time do they have?
  • Can the tasks be shared?

Favourite tweets and like Facebook posts that you think work well. You can learn a lot from good examples:

  • What wording works?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • What makes you want to read more?

Be there

The most effectively communicated message is tailored to the medium – in Twitter you need to be pithy and punchy, in Facebook you have a bit more room to explain things.

There are tools that allow you to share posts between platforms, but it is best to do a Facebook post in Facebook etc. Being present also allows you to gauge what’s happening in the community, to answer queries, and to take part in discussions.

You should be a listener as well as a broadcaster.

The World of David Walliams
David Walliams. WORD Christchurch Autumn Season. Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margarets College, Christchurch. Flickr 2015-05-14-IMG_7286

Timeliness

Be alert. If something is in the news, share what you have that is useful and relevant. Timeliness is one of the most powerful advantages of social media – it is no coincidence that Twitter is quoted often by the media. If you are promoting an event, give people plenty of prior warning and follow up with more messages closer to the time. It is not a simple matter of mentioning the event once.

Photos, pictures, and video are powerhouses

What’s the stuff that gets people revved up in social media? Images and videos – historical and  contemporary – have great traction. Whether they are heritage images, photos of events, or shots from around town – these are often things that get retweeted, reposted, liked, and shared.

We use Flickr to manage our images, and this works well in a social media context. You can plop images easily into blog posts. It also interacts well with Twitter, Facebook,  and Tumblr. Build up your collection of images by keeping your eyes peeled for interesting things. It is easy to take and share photos in the age of digital cameras and smartphones.

If you are on Facebook, have a go at making an album of images. They make the most of your pictures, and are easily shareable. Think about the size of the image you are using – a PDF A4 portrait poster might look good pinned up on a noticeboard, but on Facebook it’s not ideal.

If you have graphics, images, or posters you want people to share or print out, consider having a downloads section on your blog or website.

Taking photos during your event is not only a record of what happened, it is a great tool for you to use when promoting your next one.

Te Pao o Tahu kapa haka group in performance

Te Pao o Tahu kapa haka group in performance Matariki at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Sunday 21 June 2015. Flickr: 2015-06-21-IMG_7703

Participate as well as promote

Start conversations with your followers. If you have questions, ask them. Answer their questions. Comment on their posts. Follow other local groups and organisations, and you will be setting up a useful network for your group.

If you want an idea on which organisations to follow, see who your favourite groups are following – and then follow them too. Build up your network and you will start seeing interconnections, crossovers, and ways in which you could work together.

The reciprocal sharing of information and ideas is one of social media’s great strengths. It is a place to broadcast your message, but also to listen to what other have to say, and talk about it. Sharing is a two-way street and offers lots of opportunities.

Promoting both your own activities, and those of other groups, is a way to maximise engagement with the community. Hashtags – which work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr – are a way of hooking into a wider community.

If you worry that social media is catering only to the online community, remember that people online talk to people offline too – so your message can be spread through word of mouth.

Facebook

Facebook has a large audience, and allows you to connect with relevant groups and local organisations. Creating a page gives you a space to share events and other information.

As at April 2015, over 2.5 million Kiwis active on Facebook every month. Find out more Key trends about Kiwis on Facebook.

Facebook photos

Facebook automatically resize and format your photos when you add them to Facebook. To help make sure your photos appear in the highest possible quality, try these tips from Facebook:

Resize your photo to one of the following supported sizes: Regular photos (width in pixels): 720px, 960px, 2048px. Cover photos should be 851px by 315px

Use Insights

Facebook Insights allows you to find out more about your users. What demographic are they in? When are they online? What posts do they find most engaging? Use the data to help you. For example, we found our users were mostly online between 6pm and 9pm. We can schedule posts for this time for maximum reach.

Create events

Facebook events are a great way of building a community. If you make an event page, you can invite people to the event, and you can also share information on it. See our Matariki event on Facebook.

Matariki1

Facebook advertising

If you have some money in your budget for advertising, consider using some of it on Facebook ads or boosted posts. You can target your information using demographics, and ensure your information gets a wider reach out into the community.

untitled-1

Useful Facebook resources

Facebook pages

Here are some local Facebook pages that illustrate how an active presence and community can work well. They take a different approach and yet are all effective:

Other social media platforms and tools

  • Twitter is a microblogging platform with a fast sharing, active community.
  • Instagram is increasingly popular, and allows you to add filters to your images and pin them to a location.
  • Tumblr lets you create attractive, highly visual blog posts.
  • WordPress and Blogger are blogging platforms, and many groups use their blog as a website.
  • Flickr is a photo-based blogging platform.
  • Social media management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck allow you to monitor interactions and to schedule posts.

There are of course many more …

Conversationprism

Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3 (http://www.theconversationprism.com/) [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Resources

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks [Infographic]  Hubspot

Social Media Gameplan
A nine-step guide by Sport New Zealand for sports organisations starting off in social media.

Honoa te hapori me te hapu – ki te ipurangi – Getting your community and hapu online
A Department of Internal Affairs resource to help communities, hapū and iwi develop digital initiatives.

Social media
Useful information on social media in the New Zealand Government Web Toolkit.

Christchurch City Council courses for event organisers
Learn how to plan, organise and promote your own community recreation programme or event. CCC regularly run two workshops throughout the year: Get Set Go! and Spread the Word! These workshops and guides have been designed in collaboration with Wellington City Council.


Information updated 20 October 2016.
This post is an updated version of a 2013 post.