RSS Feeds and Libraries

RSS is something I’ve used to keep up with entertaining blogs and webcomics for a number of years now.  Back when it was a new thing I set up an iGoogle homepage and populated it with feeds.

A screen-grab of a fragment of my current iGoogle homepage.

Originally, it was half covered in widgets also, but they proved too annoying and space hungry, so they were slowly replaced by more RSS feeds.

It is only during the study of this course that I have considered signing up to RSS feeds for education and keeping up with new library trends rather than for pure entertainment.  As such they could be extraordinarily useful to a library professional as most library tech and innovation blogs offer RSS feeds. Blogs like Moxie Librarian that has a neat little post about using RSS feeds in libraries.

RSS is useful for libraries as well.  Frankston City Libraries have several RSS feeds availible to alert their clients to new titles in the collection.  Clients can also opt for email syndication if that is preferred.

By grouping the new acquisitions into multiple, item-type feeds, it allows their clients to customise their feed to only include the type of items they are interested in, making their feeds shorter, more focused and manageable.  All the new title entries in the feed include a link to the  OPAC, where checking locations and placing reservations is simple.

The Frankston City Libraries blog, The Blogalogue, is also available through RSS and email syndication.

Boroondara Libraries have four blogs and a tumblr, all of which have RSS feeds.  Links to the blogs, and the library’s other Web 2.0 communication tools can be found on their Keep in Touch page, but adding these to an RSS feed can only be done from each of the blogs/tumblr individually.  Again, this gives the client the choice to follow only the feeds that interest them.  The disadvantage is the links to the RSS feeds are not collected in one place, and each of the blogs/tumblr has a unique layout, with a different position and appearance of the RSS link, making them sometimes difficult to locate.

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~ by nomidale on January 18, 2012.

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