digital.brarian

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

CODI - What's all the Fuss about RSS?

Glenn Peterson, Hennepin County Library

What's all the fuss about RSS? or... what is RSS and why should I care?

What is RSS?
  • Really simple syndication
  • another way to publish your library's content
  • XML based (computer to computer)
What's in it for me?
Setting aside the whole improved customer service thing for a moment...
  • low effort, high (?) impact
  • users will be asking for it
  • recyclable - write once/read many
  • other websites can publish your information (like the town or city website)
  • enhance your reputation as a cutting edge library
What's in it for our users?
  • new way for them to get your content
  • users are in control
  • users want your content
  • easy to use
  • spam free
  • users can customize your content to meet their needs
Glenn then showed his Bloglines account as an example of an RSS reader.
Bloglines is one of many free RSS readers.

Shout out to Jenny (TheShiftedLibrarian), Michael (TameTheWeb) & Dave (Dave's Blog) who were listed in his Bloglines account.
If you're not reading these blogs, you should be! They're always filled with important stuff!

What should I feed them?
  • Booklists
  • Event listings
  • My Account info (items out, items due, holds awaiting pickup)
  • New book alerts
  • Catalog searches
  • Feeds based on subjects that interest them see AADL for an example
Tools for RSS
Hennepin Co. tries to protect patron privacy in their "items out" feed.
  • Only include 1st name and initial
  • Don't include barcode or pin in the Bloglines feed
LibraryElf was mentioned as another method of getting "items out/due/on hold" info.

[audience comment]
Garry from Kenton County Public Library runs a SQL then places it in XML to offer new book feeds. DVDs are most popular and stay in the feed for 14 days. He created tables in Horizon to store the new titles. Cataloging had to re-evaluate workflow when the feeds created huge request lists.

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