#43 Web 1.0 v Web 2.0

Web 1.0 v Web 2.0

It is always tempting to post information on school Intranets and websites, to keep your pupils informed, and also to highlight the library’s role in the life of the school, and to raise its profile.

However, it is worth asking whether this is the most appropriate way to do things. Is it easier to create a blog rather than update a school website? As many librarians find out, updating a school website can be a chore, particularly if you don’t have the ability or access to update pages yourself. Also, with a blog you have complete editorial and administrative control.

As discussed earlier, it is very easy to create a blog. After taking the following into consideration, it is worth looking at the blog route as the solution to keeping pupils and staff informed:

  • Will the school have any objections to a library blog?
  • Will I be able to brand it? (Regional logo, school crest)
  • Does my school or regional authority already have acces to in-house blogging technology?
  • Who will be allowed to post?
  • Will I have time to update it regularly?
  • Do I actually have anything to say?
  • Will any one read it; how will I promote it?

Many librarians have already decided that blogging technology is for them, and have some excellent sites. Some are listed below.

A Library By Any Other Name

Anne Johnstone’s Library Blog

Bramcote Hills LRC

City of London Academy

Cumnock Academy Library Blog

Infomancy

Joyce Valenza

Judy O’ Connell

Librain

Meredith Farkas

School Library Land

How To Use Weblogs Safely In Schools (Becta)

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#10 Creating A Blog

Blogs

Blogs are wonderfully simple, yet powerful, tools.

They are useful for anyone who wants to transmit and share information on a regular basis, without spending time on presentational or technical issues.

Using a host like Blogger (link below), you can create a blog within 5 minutes, in three easy steps. No technical knowledge whatsoever is required.

Once you have your blog up and running, you can experiment with templates, settings and tools to get it looking and functioning just the way you want it.

But why would a librarian want to start a blog? There are several reasons, and some are listed below:

  • Children and teenagers are used to the medium, and will have no difficulty in accessing or exploring them. Many will have their own blog
  • Blogs are great for promotion
  • Promote books, magazines, clubs, services, events
  • Use blogs for listing purposes: list to author websites, reviews, publisher sites, other libraries, online library catalogues
  • Use blogs for promotional purposes for reading schemes, curricular needs (eg. Specialist Subject Literature) and tie-in books with movies
  • Keep parents and the wider community informed about your activities
  • Invite comment (moderation would be recommended to avoid abuse and spam)
  • Use photos and audio to promote stock
  • Invite your pupils to contribute, if not run the blog!
  • Get it linked from your school website

Blogs really are easy and fun. The setup described below can easily be setup in Blogger within hours, and could serve as a wonderful promotional tool for your library.

Your blog would update pupils, staff and parents about your activities, your services, and new and useful library stock. You could setup a regular cycle of messages to promote stock for particular topics across the curriculum.

On the left hand frame you could have the following tools:

A search box, a list of useful homework links, links to popular (and not so popular?) authors and a blog archive listing all entries.

On the right hand frame you could have the following tools:

A link to a photo archive, library details and opening hours, a news feed (automatically updated for you), a quote for the day (automatically updated for you), and a statistics counter, so you can see who’s visiting (visible only to you)

To update your blog, you just login, start typing and hit the publish button. Easy.

Creating A Blog: A Step by Step Guide

At a cost of zero, can you afford NOT to have one?

Useful Weblinks:

Blogger. Easy, fast and customisable.

http://www.blogger.com

EducR Websites For Schools.

“We want to and will make it easy for schools to keep their staff, pupils, parents, partners, other stake-holders and wider community informed, updated and engaged.”

http://www.walsallschools.org/