Free ebook: NYPL turns 100

Just came across this in the Kindle Store: Know the Past, Find the Future: The New York Public Library at 100

Currently priced as FREE!

Editorial Review, as posted on Amazon:

From Laurie Anderson to Vampire Weekend, Roy Blount, Jr., to Renée Fleming, Stephen Colbert to Bill T. Jones-more than 100 luminaries reflect on the treasures of America’s favorite public library.Marking the centennial of The New York Public Library’s Beaux-Arts landmark at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, now called the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Know the Past, Find the Future harnesses the thoughts of an eclectic assortment of notable people as they ponder an even more eclectic assortment of objects. From among the Library’s vast collections, these writers, artists, philosophers, scientists, musicians, athletes, architects, choreographers, and journalists-as well as some of the curators who have preserved these riches-each select an item and describe its unique significance. The result, in words and photographs, is a glimpse of what a great library can be.Published by Penguin Classics for The New York Public Library

For free! How can you go wrong?


Build your website before you focus on social media

Need to create a Website/online presence for yourself or your library and don’t know where to start? I came across this handy list at PR Daily that gives “6 keys to building a website from scratch.” Of particular interest is that the list focuses on the creation of your website, the creation and maintenance of the content on said said, before you try to create a social media presence.

  1. Reserve a unique domain for your website.
    Recommended is GoDaddy, which I use as well.
  2. Set up a simple website.
    Recommended is to use WordPress, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. Even if you’re not setting up a blog, it’s a good content management tool.
  3. Create content and update frequently.
  4. Now you’re ready to create a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn company page.
  5. Constantly remind people that you offer information on other platforms.
  6. Keep the content fresh.

See how they tell you to create a website, create content on it, then create the social media accounts? That’s the way to do it.



Geek Out @ your library

From the American Library Association:

Teens choose Geek Out @ your library® for 2012 Teen Tech Week™ theme

CHICAGO — Hundreds of teens voted for the 2012 Teen Tech Week™ theme, selecting Geek Out @ your library® as their favorite with 62 percent of the vote. Using Geek Out @ your library, librarians will be able to build programs and events that highlight the expansive technology offerings available to teens, for free, at public and school libraries during next year’s celebration, March 4-10.

More than 1,200 libraries across the United States celebrated Teen Tech Week™ 2011, March 6-12, an annual initiative that highlights the technology available in libraries and sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association.

Teens who took the survey also answered questions about how they used technology both at home or in school and public libraries.

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults with a general theme of Get Connected @ your library®. The initiative ensures that teens are competent and ethical users of technologies, especially those that are offered through libraries. Teen Tech Week encourages teens to use libraries’ many free nonprint resources for education and recreation and to recognize that librarians are qualified, trusted professionals in the field of information technology.

The 2011 Teen Tech Week theme was Mix and Mash @ your library. Teen Tech Week 2011 Promotional Partners include ALA Graphics,, the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and Nonprofit supporters are and the Federal Trade Commission. To learn more about Teen Tech Week, visit

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens.  For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

To comment, share, or see related resources and images, go here.


QR Codes in a Library

Thinking of ways to use QR Codes in your library? Check out this post by David Lee King, where he suggests using QR codes to “give” free ebooks.



How New York Public Library uses HootSuite

The HootSuite blog has a great case study posted on how New York Public Library increased their Twitter followers from 7,000 to 90,000 in 2010. “The Library also increased the number of visits to coming from Twitter by 353.98% over the previous year (2009).”


Teen Tech Week promotional tools

The American Library Association has posted a great list of resources (and the resources themselves) to help you promote Teen Tech Week:

The promotional effort for this year’s Teen Tech Week, held March 6- 12, is coordinated by ALA’s Public Information Office (PIO) and YALSA. It includes a number of online tools libraries can use to publicize Teen Tech Week activities: Sample Press Release, Tips for Creating a Press Release, Sample PSAs, Sample Letters to Editor, Sample Proclamation, tips on Using the TTW Logo and downloadable audio PSAs featuring Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, are all available at



Libraries, what’s your Twitter Response Strategy?

Many libraries have already jumped on the social media bandwagon, and library staff will tell you that they do have a Twitter account to help them reach out to their customers. Uses of Twitter vary from library to library, but concerns over formal procedures come out in queries to list-servs, friends and blog posts.

Does your library have a Twitter Response Strategy? Odds are that you do, you probably just didn’t know it. A Twitter Response Strategy is your approach on how and when you are going to respond to comments and direct messages via Twitter. And, for libraries, you often have to add on steps to comply with your state’s open records policies too.

From a customer service and interaction standpoint, you need to think of things like: Do you send a DM to everyone that follows you when they first sign up to follow you? Do you thank all RTs (retweets)? Do you acknowledge all Follow Friday mentions? These are decisions you’re going to have to make as you move forward.

From an open records standpoint, I’m going to point you to your city, county or other organizational legal counsel to give you feedback on anything you may need to do to be in compliance with Open Records for you. Maybe your library isn’t subject to those rules, in which case I’m jealous, but many many libraries are.

If you need to get started on a formal Twitter Response Strategy, American Express’ Open Forum has good guidelines to walk you through the process:

  1. Decide what you’re going to respond to. Examples, Direct @ reply questions, @ mentions of your brand, people talking about your brand name, etc.
  2. Response speed matters.
  3. Know when to DM and when to publicly reply.
  4. Set guidelines, but also trust your community managers.
  5. Listen to your community.

Check out the entire post for some great info on each of these items. It will walk you through some of the decisions you need to make as you look into how to approach your Twitter responses.



Tips for Do-It-Yourself Public Relations

Michael Hess penned a great post at BNET entitled “How to Get Started Doing Your Own PR” that’s worth a read for newbies and veterans alike. Basically, it’s common sense stuff that many of us take for granted. Some recommendations:

  • Build a press list. Hess writes “I started my press list by buying every magazine on the newsstand that might be appropriate for our products and sending (via snail mail) the editors a short release announcing our new business with a photo of our products.” I’ve built mine manually as well, from contacts I’ve met or worked with. Once a month I check the local newspapers to see which names have changed, and I update accordingly.
  • Monitor and respond to open inquiries from the press. HARO is the main recommendation for this, especially since it’s free. I have to admit that I’ve had little luck with this service, but have heard good things from others. I would add that you need to respond to all queries in a timely manner; that has given me good results. Reporters remember who answers phone calls and emails, and who doesn’t.
  • Know how to write and send press releases. Hess writes, “A news release is not an ad.” Remember that the point of a news release is, well, to share news.
  • Put a process in place. Hess writes, “Don’t just fire off press releases and hope to see your big story in the paper the next day. Not gonna happen most of the time. Make sure you have a start-to-finish process in place that covers release writing, list targeting, distribution.”
  • Be professional. That includes: “Make sure your news is truly newsworthy and convey it properly.” & “Be hyper-responsive.” & “Understand the basics of lead times and deadlines, image requirements, and other elements of the trade.” & “Above all, don’t annoy your contacts.”

Please go read the entire post. Good stuff, even if it’s something you think you already know.


make your Library newsletter “green”

Still producing a printed newsletter? Worried about how “green” your publication is? American Libraries recently ran a story with tips on simple ways to make your newsletter greener.

They really are simple.

Here are some of the tips provided:

  • Limit the number of pages of each issue or find a way to print fewer pages.
  • Start using recycled paper, ideally made with at least 80% recycled content.
  • Instead of full-color, publish in black and white or two-color.
  • Skip the glossy paper. 
  • Get a handle on the number of copies you print of each issue; don’t waste issues.
  • Find a printer who embraces green printing practices.

Source: “Simple Ways to Make Your Library’s Newsletter Greener Today” by American Libraries

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