Category Archives: YouTube

Winnipeg Public Library

With 20 branches in Manitoba’s capital city Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Public Library serves a population nearly double that of Saskatoon. Similar to the Yukon Public Libraries homepage, WPL’s main page is nested under the city of Winnipeg’s city services site, which is a pity since I think the library merits its own site. On the other hand, people who are new to the city or checking out the city website might be more likely to stumble upon the library site.  The library has several buttons that connect to its various 2.0 tools, which can be confusing at a first glance.

I checked out WPL’s Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube accounts, and they use them in much the same way as the Saskatoon Public Library. WPL’s YouTube account has only a handful of videos that range from entertaining in-library programs to informative how-tos. They also have a blog called Readers’ Salon, a forum to discuss books. But since we were on the topic of YA lit. in the previous post and because WPL uses Facebook and Twitter in similar ways to the Saskatoon Public Library, I thought I would focus on WPL’s teen blog Booked in this post.

I didn’t notice the Booked button on their homepage until I had already found the blog through the blog button at the bottom of the page. The Booked button isn’t very helpful since someone who is new to the library or doesn’t know about the blog would have no idea what Booked is. The same applies to the Readers’ Salon button.

So what is Booked? Booked is an engaging blog space for teens. Booked includes a blog, online polls, events at the library, hot topics, reviews, top tens, a link to the catalogue and the library’s social media tools, and a space called The Mash Up that I have yet to fully comprehend. There is a “What is a Mashup?” button on Booked, but the site is currently under construction. From what I can see, the Mashup is a space for teens (not for librarians) to post their photos, poetry, and create collaborative fiction. You don’t need a WPL card to post to the Mashup. So far, there have only been a couple dozen posts, but I think it has the potential to be a relatively safe online space for teens to explore and share their creativity.

The blog portion of Booked has been running since January 2010 and is updated several times a month. The posts are mostly substantial reviews of YA lit., book awards, and reading awareness such as I Love to Read Month. Comments on the blog are not enabled, which is too bad since readers might like to contribute feedback about the posts and discuss books that are reviewed. The Top Ten lists are for the most part subjective and provide useful links to the library catalogue if you click on a title, which is a great way to use social media to bring patrons directly to the library’s catalogue.

The online Polls are few but have the potential to get important user feedback. So far, the polls have focused on both library and non-library questions such as “Which of the following series is the most futuristic?” or “Do you use your cell phone during class?” People can suggest a poll they’d like to see on the site and while this might produce some amusing polls, I think the library could do more to include polls that relate to library services or the information and entertainment preferences of teens in particular.

YALSA’s (Young Adult Library Services Association) Teens & Social Media in School and Public Libraries toolkit says that when teens “have the opportunity to communicate with peers, experts, authors, etc. via online social media they develop social and cultural competence,” when they “have a voice in the future of the school or the library by using social media they gain a sense of personal identity and value,” and they may also see how positive role models such as librarians engage with social media. WPL’s blog Booked has the potential to help teens develop strong online social skills, a voice for their future, and a sense of identity as well as provide a model for how teens can use social media for educational, entertainment, and social purposes. I never want to be a teen again, but if I were, I can see myself using this space to write collaborative short stories.

As a final thought, here are some tips from Michael Stevens about how libraries can use social media to connect with teens. Overall, I think WPL’s blog Booked is trying really hard to engage with teens, and is keeping the posts fresh and relevant. I hope they can keep up with the numerous services offered on the blog and keep teens coming back.

Yellowknife Public Library and Nunavut Public Library Services

Yellowknife is the capital of the Northwest Territories and one of Canada’s smallest capitals with only 18, 700 residents. The Yellowknife Public Library is the only Northwest Territory library that uses a Library 2.0 application to reach users.

The YPL does not have its own webpage but is instead nested within the city of Yellowknife’s homepage. Unfortunately, the YPL’s Facebook page can only be accessed if you have a Facebook account, which I don’t, so I couldn’t even take a peek. The link to their page is easy enough to find, but they should make it accessible to anyone rather than Facebook users only to reach a broad audience.

My post could end here, but I decided to look a little further and see if there were any related organizations, blogs, or websites that were using 2.0 apps. I found the Northwest Territories Literacy Council website, an active site with great resources on Aboriginal languages, literacy facts, and digital literacy (which provides information on some Web 2.0 social media such as blogs), and more. The NWT Literacy Council has a YouTube channel, a Twitter account, and a Facebook page that include regular updates on poetry, books, youth literacy, the NWT 11 official languages, and much more. Twitter and Facebook are updated regularly, and the YouTube channel has 15 uploaded videos where you can learn about Family Literacy or how to make a foam book.

The territory of Nunavut has a population of just over 33,000. The Nunavut Public Library Services site serves all of Nunavut’s public libraries. The Nunavut Public Library Services provides vital services to those in the community, including a Borrower by Mail program, Reading Circles, and internet access. Although Iqaluit’s Public Library has seen major cutbacks in programming in the past, recently, the library has had a record number of visitors. Hopefully, as communities and telecommunications companies work to bridge the digital divide in Nunavut and as more and more people visit the library, library staff will be able to engage in 2.0 services and maintain a regular presence online.

I wondered if the digital divide has anything to do with the NWT and Nunavut’s libraries’ lack of engagement in Library 2.0 services online. I came across a recent article on the digital divide in Canada’s northern communities in Up Here Business magazine. Loren McGinnis’ article “The Digital Divides” discusses internet connectivity in northern communities. McGinnis says the digital divide “means some people have access to all of the information and services provided on the Internet and some do not.” The digital divide in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as the relatively small and sparse population, may explain why their public libraries use few 2.0 applications.

Perhaps there are in-library initiatives that I am not aware of that encourage patrons to engage with their library. As Michael Casey iterates, “Library 2.o is not just about technology.”