Quick review of Web 2.0 tools @ ASU

December 27, 2010 at 11:13 am (Communication, Libraries, Online Communication, Social Media, Web 2.0 Tools and Apps) (, , , , , )

Arizona State University (ASU) library uses a range of Web 2.0 tools to both promote and advertise their services through the online environment. The most prominent is their use of YouTube and the creation of The Library Minute video series, but they also include the use of a blog as their Library Channel home page as well as Twitter (@LibraryChannel) as a joint announcement and student interaction channel, along with a few others of note such as Flickr, Vimeo and iTunes.

The Library Minute videos offer a series of one minute insights into what services are available both online and within the ASU library and how users can access these services. While most videos stuck to a similar strategy of quickly demonstrating the use of available online services. Some focused on what the topic of the video – or rather the concept highlighted – meant to the individual and not how the library had integrated this concept into its services. This seems to suggest the tailoring of these videos to what questions the library users frequently ask rather than just the offering of what services are available and how to use them online.

The other web 2.0 applications that showed the most promise for uptake by users was the use of a blog format for the ASU’s Library Channel home page. I felt that this feature was demonstrated well as a communication tool to broadcast – and allow comment and discussion – about library exhibits and events, new or updated resources added to the library collections, changes in the services provided amongst a range of other library orientated notifications. It also demonstrated good understand and control by the blogger as most of the posts published where kept to a short length (meaning they are quick and easy for most people to scan rather than read in full).

The ASU’s use of Twitter seems to also follow the ‘short and shiny’ guideline of their home page blog posts. The posts – or tweets – are mostly notifications of changes, events and exhibits that are happening within the library. However, ASU also use their Twitter feed as a personal communication tool with students for fast, effective direct @ replies and retweeting of posts that advertise the library, its services and events.

On the negative side I felt that more information would have been useful in the videos. Some seemed incomplete and lacking for the user to gain full understanding of how the service worked Рor they seemed to miss small details such as where to locate the access point/link for the service. These missing details could result in the user experiencing  frustration and choosing not to use the service.

Overall, the ASU library offer an excellent example of how predominantly free Web 2.0 applications and tools can be utilised to promote a library and connect with existing and new users online.

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