Today Friday 27th June 9.00 Oliver Obst was talking about “Marketing virtual services” at the EAHIL Conference 2008 in Helsinki, FInland. He talked about the libraries and the loss of information monopoly, loss of face-to-face interaction and need for a ROI-philosophy. “How much money is the library saving with their efforts?”, he thought was an important question in this case. He also said libraries are in competition with free resources like Google Books and other services. Some librarians see for example companies offering free resources as a truly cooperating partner like free is always good. I don’t agree with that and as I understood Oliver he has a critical eye of that also.
Oliver showed an investigation of the Münster Medical library products and customer satisfaction with them. The homepage, the teaching and the opening hours as the worst and document delivery, e-journals and handheld computers as the best.
Then he showed all the ways they used to market their library. Let me say it was impressing. They have a blog maintained since 2003. An e-newsletter maintained since 1997, sent out every friday. It has 800 subscribers and they have produced 520 Issues. They have a 3-monthly journal, each issue about 12-16 pages and 45 issues published this far. He also showed how they worked with the content of the articles. Often it’s interviews with user statements and in the text they promote extra-ordinary library services. They also have an URL near the article content to the blog.
They have what he called a knowledge wiki, where the users can get answers of the library services. Their own toolbar for webbrowsing and -searching at: zbmed.ourtoolbar.com. They also produce a podcast irregulary but he said nothing more about that experience during the talk so I asked him afterwards.
Tell me more about your podcast?
-The podcasts are 3 minutes but unfortunately it takes about 2 hours to make. It takes time to cut and read same parts over again. I usually audio record my speeches at conferences and publish it as a podcast. The audio recorder I have with me is excellent. I also have jingles in my podcast. For example I use the sound from a pinball computer game.
Can anyone edit in your knowledge wiki? For example me? :-)
-You have to register and I decide who’s allowed to edit the wiki.
Do you see the wiki as a replacement of the usual textbased web pages?
-Something like that in the future maybe.
Oliver’s talk at EAHIL recorded by Guus van den Brekel and uploaded at Blip.tv: