Category Archives: Library Patron

4 Ways Text Messaging Can Improve Your Patron Communications

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A recent Pew study revealed that 80 percent of American cell phone owners use text messaging as a means of communication, sending or receiving an average of 41.5 text messages per day. For the 18-24 age group, 97 percent of cell phone owners text, sending or receiving an average of 109.5 texts per day.

One look at these numbers and you know instantly how to reach a majority of your current library patrons and an even greater majority of tomorrow’s library patrons: via text.

Text messaging is a fast and efficient means of communicating with your library patrons and there are many ways in which you can use text messaging to improve your patron communications. Here are just a few types of messages you can communicate to your patrons via text:

1. Circulation Notices Such as Holds and Overdues.

Emails today convey much less of a sense of urgency than they did a few years ago, especially to younger library patrons. To catch your users’ attention with important circulation notices, try sending them via text instead of email. This way, they can act on the notices immediately.

2. Promotional Polls and Contests

A great way to keep your patrons engaged is to link promotions to programming and other library events. Your library can have contests where you send out polls or questions via text for prizes such as first row seats to an upcoming speaker (ie. “The first three patrons to text us the author of Tender Is the Night win front row seats to our October Author Speaker Series Event”). You can also hold a text vote to choose between two programming possibilities for an upcoming date.

3. URLs to Newsletters or Other Library Publications

Does your library publish a monthly newsletter? A terrific way to get the newsletter into the hands of your patrons so they may have immediate access is to send them a short text with the URL right when it is published. Your patrons can be reading the newsletter that your staff worked so hard on literally within seconds of publication.

4. Programming Reminders

In today’s fast-paced and information-packed world, we need to be reminded of things. A great way to promote your library programs is to send your patrons text reminders of upcoming events, along with URLs linking to further information if available. This way, they can check their schedules on the go and even add the events directly from your text to their calendars.

Try these text messaging tips to improve communications at your library. We think your patrons will appreciate it.

Ideas for Improving Patron Service at Your Library, Regardless of Your Department

Customer Service

Self-Checkout Machines

Improving patron service doesn’t always mean providing the human touch; in fact sometimes it can mean giving the patron the option to forgo the human touch. One example of this is self-checkout machines.

There are many reasons why a patron might prefer to use a self-checkout machine. They may be in a real hurry and just want to pop in real quick, grab a certain title from the shelf, and dash back out. Or they may be checking out books on a subject that would make them uncomfortable to bring to the circulation desk for check out.

Providing this additional self-service checkout option improves service by giving these patrons exactly what they want – more convenience and improved patron privacy.

Staff Training and Cross-Training

There is perhaps no better way to improve patron service at your library than to ensure that the staff is well-trained on customer service strategies and able to handle any basic library function or patron request.

To ensure the first, regular customer service training should be an integral part of your library’s staff development programming. Repeated exposure to different types of strategies and techniques for improving patron service and tips on handling difficult patron situations with poise and tact will help foster a patron-centered environment.

Making sure that all staff members are cross-trained on the basic functions outside of their own departments will help ensure the second. When a patron stops a staff member to ask a question that falls outside of the staff members immediate duties and activities and that staff member is able to provide the needed assistance rather than having to go find the answer from another staff member, your patron service has stepped up to the next level.

Give Them What They Want

Finally, one of the best ways to improve patron service at your library is to provide opportunities for your patrons to tell you how you can improve service. This is easy because you don’t have to be creative; you just listen and then implement.

The old-fashioned suggestion box is still a terrific way to solicit this feedback from patrons. Add the modern incarnation to your library’s homepage – an online suggestion form – and you will have no shortage of projects to work on.

Improving patron service is an ongoing assignment. Use these techniques on a regular basis to ensure that excellent patron service in your library is no harder to find than the latest bestseller or local newspaper.

10 Great Library Marketing Videos

Video

Librarians are known for their creativity and love of technology. And with today’s easy-to-use video-making apps and programs, librarians are using these twin passions to create some terrific marketing videos for their libraries. Below are 10 great library videos, everything from parody to patron endorsements to ghouls in the stacks.

1. The Research Games — Part One: You Learn or Die

This parody of the Hunger Games from Texas A & M Libraries draws you in immediately with its high production value and professional narrator. Throughout the story different aspects of the library are marketed, such as the reference librarians, the text-a-librarian service, the library’s holdings and the cafe.

2. Library Palooza: Innovative Library Marketing

This video details SUNY Albany’s Library Palooza, a welcome event held the day before classes in the fall semester. Librarians market the library using giveaways from their vendors, by partnering with other departments across the campus, and by creating a fun environment that includes photos with the school mascot.

3. Research Rescue | Episode 1 “Stuck”

This entertaining first episode of a multi-part series from the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has plot, drama, and, best of all, librarians as actors.

4. Effective Library Marketing: Think Out of the Box

These video details Southeastern Louisiana State Library’s “Learn to Love Books All Over Again” day, a Valentine’s Day-themed event to celebrate reading and eBooks. What is the key to a successful library marketing event? “You have to serve food!”

5. Marketing Your Library Preview

The importance of directing your message to specific audiences to better meet your goals is emphasized in this library marketing video, which advises to “create specific messages, deliver them, and then measure your success.”

6. Brand Launch by Richland County Libraray

A great video that accentuates the service orientation of the library staff with endorsements from library patrons. A satisfied customer is often the best marketing tool for your library products and services.

7. White Plains Public Library: Transforming Lives, Every Day

This simple but very well-done video has the patrons, through their personal stories of how they use the library and why the library is important to them, market the libraries services and holdings — from databases to computers, reference help, tools for managing stock portfolios, computer classes, job search resources, and English language classes, there is a patron and a personal story for practically every service the library offers.

8. University of Maryland Gangnam Style Parody

This terrific parody of the song takes place in the university’s library. While none of the library’s services are mentioned, a video like this makes the library cool and just makes people want to go there. With over 190,000 YouTube views and counting, this is a marketing effort that will reap results for years to come.

9. “My Library” — ARY Campaign

This short but very effective ad for the Cedar Rapids Public Library is incredibly creative and well done, with kids voices at the end each claiming the library to be “theirs.”


10. Libraries Will Survive

Central Rappahannock Public Library staff and patrons singing and dancing to their own version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.” It goes something like this: “Come on now walk, in our door, find inspiration and knowledge — how-to-books to ancient lore…”

Bonus! The Haunted Library

From a branch of the New York Public Library comes this spooky marketing video with a terrific surprise ending.

With today’s video-making apps and your creativity, there is no limit to the number of ways you can market your library’s services with videos. We hope you find some inspiration from the above videos to take your library marketing campaign to the next level.

Library News Update: 3D Printing Arrives at the Library, a brief history of the Bookmobile, and more

File photo. The Johnson County Library's Shawnee branch is located at 13811 Johnson Drive.

Libraries are often on the forefront of technology. The Chicago Public Library brings new meaning to that trend with its new CPL Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is free to the public and features three 3D printers, 3D printing software and various related tools. The CPL is also offering workshops to introduce patrons to the technology.

Chicago Public Library To Open 3D Printer Space

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At Mosio we’ve been watching the ’3D Printer in Libraries’ trend grow and we’re all for it. Chicago isn’t the only one. Joining them is the Saxonburg Area Library in Pittsburg, which received a generous gift of one 3D printer for its patrons to explore.

Heard Off the Street: Library’s 3-D printer spits out all kinds of fun and learning

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From technology innovation to the history of an innovative way to provide service to underserviced rural communities, the Chicoer has a story of the beginning of the California State Library Bookmobile. Long before digital reference was avialable, libraries reached out to patrons by physically bringing services to them. We might even say that the Bookmobile can be seen as the start of mobile reference

Check It Out: A library on wheels

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We’re also keeping our eye and these trends in library technologies and services, from the Library as a retail space, to studies on how young people are using libraries today.

Dalby Library enters the digital age

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Library system works to serve patrons’ changing technological needs

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When Libraries Become Retailers

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Siouxland Libraries Upgrade System

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Libraries will release a “Top 10″ recommendation list starting this fall

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THE LATEST ADDITION TO THE OBAMACARE ARMY: LIBRARIES

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Library learning to grow on its own

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Hutt libraries offer eReaders

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New report maps young Americans’ library, technology use

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Lake libraries add new database useful for finding friends, doing business research and more

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Young adults like libraries and books, new study finds

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W.O.W. bus brings books, technology to Missoula County

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Healthy libraries, healthy communities

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NFC tagged library lets you research books with your smartphone before you borrow

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Library user numbers up 10,000 as eBook usage rockets

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Queens Library Introduces Downloadable E-Magazines

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Libraries offer patrons e-books

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Westfield Library offers magazine collection online

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Library use can reverse falling standards

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Johnson County Library honored for innovation

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Staten Island’s Stapleton library bigger, beautiful and chock full of books

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Library to start Sunday hours

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Libraries using radio waves to save staff and customers time, The “Bookless” Library, US libraries to help uninsured Americans figure out new health coverage options

(Chris Carlson/AP)

At Mosio we love libraries. It turns out so do young people. A new study finds that the age group that uses libraries the most is 16 to 29 year olds. Given how tech savvy young people are, this is an incentive for libraries to keep on the cutting edge of technology and digital reference trends. However, the study also finds that despite their technological skills, young people are still fond of traditional bound paper books.

Young adults like libraries and books, new study finds

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A love of paper books may be part of the success of the “Little Free Library” kiosks. Popping up around the globe, these small wooden boxes offer people a new way to share books and the reading experience.

Little Free Library kiosks pop up in Sacramento area

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From free books on every corner to the “Bookless Library,” North Carolina State University is turning the traditional library on its head. Their new Hunt Library is a clean modern open space, with lots of room for students to congregate and collaborate. What’s missing are the books. They aren’t gone completely, however. They are simply tucked away in an archival space, and delivered by a book delivery system called the “bookBot.”

The “Bookless” Library

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Here are some other news items from the libary world you might find interesting.

Queens Library Offers Free Digital Copies of Magazines

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ALA 2013: Libraries to Offer Monthly ‘Top 10′ Book List

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Bringing libraries back to communities

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Video: Libraries using radio waves to save staff, customers time

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Local libraries: staying relevant in a digital age

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Siouxland Libraries New Technology

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The Central Library Moves Hidden Treasures Out Into The Public Eye

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Library now offers even more downloadable audiobooks

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Morton Grove Library to open new entrance, install self-checkout

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Amid changing technology, West Virginia’s public libraries maintain relevance

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Laptop donations increase access at library

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Howard Library System named Library of the Year

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APNewsBreak: US libraries to help uninsured Americans figure out new health coverage options

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Who knew reading could be so lucrative — Library system to give away $1,500 in prizes

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Library to roll out new checkout system

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Mt. Airy’s Lovett Library selected as prototype in citywide library system transformation

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Oregon State Library offers services to enhance local library programs

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Perry Castañeda Library consolidates service desk

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New mobile app lets users search library catalog, download eBooks

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Access Aberdeen library services 24/7

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Pima Library goes mobile with new app

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The Library virtually and in reality

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

 

Library News Update: African Libraries in the Digital Age – “Reaching Outside Their Walls”, Introducing the new standalone catalog system, Dubai libraries: A paradise for book lovers

Here at Mosio, we love to hear about ways libraries going digital. One consistent technology trend that is driving up circulation numbers across the country is e-books. West Virginia public libraries are finding that their patrons want books in every form they can get them, from paper to audio books to ebooks. The variety of options is bringing people in the door.

Popularity of eBooks has changed library circulation

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Meanwhile in Texas, Bryan-College Station libraries have seen an additional 2000 patrons due to their e-book collection.

Bryan-College Station libraries increasing use of eBooks

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E-books are also driving an steady monthly uptick in circulation numbers at the Calloway County Library in Kentucky.

Ebooks proving popular at Calloway library

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Where do you learn how to survive a zombie apocolypse? The public library of course. The Baraboo Library is bringing teens in the library by turning it into a community center with their Tuesday night programs. During the zombie program teens discussed zombies in pop culture, as well as learned important lessons about overall disaster preparedness.

Feeding teen brains at the library

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Here are some more news bytes about digital libraries and libraries as community spaces.

African Libraries in the Digital Age – “Reaching Outside Their Walls”

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Advances in technology changes local libraries for the better

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Heard Off the Street: Library’s 3-D printer spits out all kinds of fun and learning

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Column: Library offers plenty of e-options

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Introducing the new standalone catalog system

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Chicago Public Library to Open Free Digital Fabrication Maker Space

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South Brunswick Library Offers Cardholders Access To Digital Magazines

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A single library card for Bradford County

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The New York Public Library checks out e-commerce

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Solano libraries now lend out laptops

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Rockford Public Library Seeing More Digital Bookworms

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Dubai libraries: A paradise for book lovers

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Little Free Libraries’ Catching On In Door County

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Library of Congress Transitions to Free, Online-Only Cataloging Publications

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Houston Public Library unveils new catalog, customer account interface

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Rafael Anchia: Think libraries are important? Let’s prove it

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HUDSON LIBRARY OFFERS DIGITAL PROGRAMS TO WHET THE TECHIE APPETITE

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Secrets of the Library: Download magazines and more at your library

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Library one of the best deals in town, says director

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“Little Free Library” encourages reading, community spirit

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Library’s electronic magazines free, easy

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Library system vital to community, Public Libraries Outnumber McDonald’s, Behold, Every One of the 17,000 Libraries in the U.S. Mapped

It seems like there’s a McDonald’s or Starbucks on every corner. They’re a sign of dependability. You might be surprised to know that there are actually more public libraries in the United States than individual stores of either of the mega chains. There are approximately 17,000 public libraries, while McDonald’s has approximately 14,000 stores and Starbucks has 11,000.

Public Libraries Outnumber McDonald’s

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If you want to get a visual of what that looks like, you can view all the public libraries in America mapped out here.

Behold, Every One of the 17,000 Libraries in the U.S. Mapped

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Seattle Public Libraries are reaching out to patrons in a creative new way, with their Books on Bikes program. Librarians will be bicycling to various outdoor events this year with small trailers that function as mobile libraries. The innovative outreach goes a step further by including mobile wifi connections that allow the librarians to demonstrate e-books and other digital technology the library has to offer. It’s a marriage of high tech and lo tech.

Seattle Public Library Puts Books on Bikes

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Here are some more library news items we found interesting.

Library Enhances Digital Library

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Devon libraries’ self-help mental health scheme

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OUR VIEW: Library system vital to community

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App puts Pima County Public Library on your smartphone, tablet

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Rockford Public Library sees boom in digital borrowing

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At Your Library: Empowering people to change their lives

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The Future of Libraries: Short on Books, Long on Tech

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Digital library to lighten the load in Ridgewood schools

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New app launched to help library users in Gloucestershire

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Ottawa library first in Canada to offer Google Chromebooks

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The house of treasures: your library

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Books on wheels: Mobile library, a hit

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ALA 2013: The Library of 2020 Will Be…

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New One Card Six Libraries service a major success

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Sunnyvale: County’s first library vending machine serves books at the push of a button

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Little Free Library – A good thing that’s in a small package

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Box serves as portable library in Brooklyn

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Sacramento Public Library named one of top 3 in North America

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Red telephone boxes in Essex to become ‘mini libraries’

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Libraries Check Out E-Sales

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Kitchener library launches mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers

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Rockford library adds magazines to its digital lineup

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Libraries look beyond the shelves, Why Libraries Are More Relevant Than Ever Before, New York Libraries 24 Hour Read In

Albertsons Library at Boise State gets some great publicity from the campus newspaper. The story talks about the various services the library provides that aid students in their research needs, and save them valuable time. The piece details how to get research assistance both in the library, and through the text and mobile options.

Library tips to save students time

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Another fun example of how libraries are drawing in young people is Harlem’s new library dedicated entirely to teenagers. The library offers 4,400 square feet of open space. Teens can play video games, snack, lounge and study. The space boasts bright colors and creative seating.

PUBLIC LIBRARY ENCOURAGES TEENS TO HANG OUT [PICS]

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Read more about new trends in libraries in these other stories.

Libraries look beyond the shelves

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MidPointe: We are a modern, changing library

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Maine libraries’ Internet expansion aids jobless

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Washington libraries embrace technology

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Montclair Public Library investigating new ways to check out

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Could Bookless Libraries Revolutionize Access for the Poor?

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Public Libraries of Saginaw keep kids, adults reading with summer reading kickoff June 3

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Why Libraries Are More Relevant Than Ever Before

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A Gorgeous Home Library Would Turn Anyone Into A Bookworm (PHOTOS)

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Rediscover the wonders at your local library

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Even in the digital age, public libraries provide an important service

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Digital bookmobile’ promotes e-books

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Library of Congress to exhibit 230 new items in “Civil War in America”

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Bookmobile Hits The Streets

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Howard County Library System Named 2013 Library of the Year

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Libraries expanding availability of free digital downloads

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City of Evanston announces new mobile app for the Public Library

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New York Libraries 24 Hour Read In

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Check it Out at the Library: Traveling photos tell county libraries stories

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Library use on the rise in a tough economy

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Duluth library’s book-delivery program comes off the shelf

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Patrons can use materials from any location in the library system

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Williamsburg Library gets online magazines

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: Libraries invest to keep up with demands, New technology increases efficiency at library, World’s Tiniest Library Pops Up In New York City

About 76 percent of public libraries across the country already are offering e-books, and about 39 percent of all libraries nationwide offer e-readers.

We know libraries provide access to information, but how often do you think about libraries as information creators? American Libraries Magazine shows us how libraries have always been content creators, and how they can use social media to harness and focus their content creation to get attention. Videos, podcasts and blog posts are all discussed as ways for libraries to further reach out to the public.

Libraries as Content Creators

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Last year, the Snell Library at Northeastern launched the Digital Media Commons, which offers students high tech digital tools including 3D-modeling, animation and game designing software. In the wake of the success of the Digital Media Commons, the library is announcing the next phase of the project. The first floor of the library will be converted into a new modern technology focused workspace which will include new studio space and 3D printing.

Northeastern to expand library’s cutting-​​edge Digital Media Commons

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Here are more stories of library innovation and technology.

Libraries invest to keep up with demands

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E-books present new chapter for libraries, publishers to solve

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Libraries, not just for bookworms

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Little libraries’ provide big boost for local readers

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Garwood Library brings e-books to patrons

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What does a school library look like in the digital age?

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World’s Tiniest Library Pops Up In New York City

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Making Room for Innovation

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Lehigh County students can now get eBooks through school libraries

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Library to Launch e-Reader Lending Service

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Northeastern to expand library’s cutting-​​edge Digital Media Commons

Read MoreNew technology increases efficiency at library

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Walker Memorial Library digitizes old images

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West Caldwell Public Library now bringing enhanced digital services to its patrons

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Libraries add 3-D copiers to allow readers to design, create

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Paperless public libraries switch to digital

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Library launches digital audiobook service

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Santa Maria Library has new phone for hearing impaired

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World’s 1st green Library for kids has opened

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In the Digital Age, What Becomes of the Library?

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Evanston Public Library participates in initiative to improve technology service

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Study Shows Library Branches Popular, Serve Different Needs

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Public Library marks new milestone with 500K library cardholders

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El Cerrito Library boosters seek increase in open hours

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

How to Create a Great FAQ Page for Your Library

isolated faq button

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page can be a useful tool that patrons, and even library staff, can refer to to get helpful answers to frequent questions. However, FAQs can often become outdated, and lackluster FAQs will give a poor impression of your library and its customer service. A well thought out and maintained FAQ page can serve as a great resource and a good marketing tool for library services.

 

Make sure to discover what your patrons are really asking. Keep a log at the reference desk where librarians can note questions that are asked. Go through and group like questions together and decide which questions are appropriate for a FAQ. They should be questions that are not only frequently asked, but that are brief and easily answered to completion in an online document.

 

Keep your FAQ timely and up to date. It may be too much of a burden to continually track all questions posed to the reference desk, but you may want to have reference staff note when new repeat questions seem to pop up. You can also select certain time periods throughout the year to have questions logged.

 

Ensure that your answers are clear and answer the question completely. Inquiries that require a more in depth explanation, or have various nuances,  may not be appropriate for an FAQ document.

 

Make your FAQ easy to find and easy to search. Place the link in an obvious place on your website. You may want to have the link in several locations. Group questions by subject and have a search function, so patrons can find the answers they are looking for without too much effort or any aggravation.

 

Consider letting patrons contribute ideas for the FAQ. Provide a form or a contact page for them to submit ideas. Obvious contact information is also necessary to make sure patrons know where to go next in case the FAQ doesn’t answer their question.

 

Remember that a great FAQ document can be a key element to successful customer service. Patrons can get quick satisfaction by finding their own answers to basic questions. Additionally, rather than repeatedly answering the same questions library staff can quickly and easily refer patrons directly to the FAQ, saving valuable time.