[Web4lib] RE: [Publib] re: database marketing

Robert L. Balliot rballiot at oceanstatelibrarian.com
Sat Oct 18 20:26:19 EDT 2008


I took an hour this evening to design a method to increase the
use and visibility of Library Databases in public libraries.

I decided to use Sara Weissman's Morristown Public Library as an
example of how this method can be implemented.

The one thing I recognize that I have no right to do is
use the Morristown Public Library header, but this is a test for
education purposes.  So, please treat it as a derivative
work akin to Leslie Nielsen's Naked Gun 33 1/3rd Demi Moore
parody - without the humour, though.

Please note, this only took about an hour to arrange and I do
not have access to Sara's web server.  There are more options available with
server access.

Background - The Morristown Library subscribes to multiple databases
through a consortium.  The Morristown Library operates in
Morristown New Jersey, and is effectively the most advanced
information resource in that local.

Currently, Morristown and Morristown Library use Google
Custom search as their web search method.  The two services are
independent and just search local files.  Google Custom search
is free to public libraries and very easy to set up.  The
more advanced versions of it can be as complex as you like
and yield all kinds of great results, but that requires a
good understanding of Google API.

In the past, we really did not have an effective method of indexing the
web so we have relied on the major engines to do this for us.
Of course, librarians can do it better.  No matter what the
'word on the street' may be about reference services, any
reference librarian can create a better abstract. We have
merely been held back by technical implementation.

Implementation - This search engine searches Town of Morrison, Morristown
Library, and Morristown Library Blog.  The search box can be put anywhere
on any web site on any blog.

Unlike Google results which rely on Google index, these searches
include as much or as little as we want. Content is up to date.
And, by using key words such as business or reference we can recommend
databases - effectively putting them in front of the information consumer
when they are searching for related information:




This is just one set of several effective methods to promote
databases and make local library web sites information destinations.  There
are many more.  By expanding the scope of the search to include
all relevant local government information, you immediately increase
exposure to the databases and their use.  Which is what I think Nielsen's
parody was all about: http://tiny.cc/Lkocx

Robert L. Balliot
Skype: RBalliot
Bristol, Rhode Island

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