Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Thing 4 Current awareness - Twitter, RSS and Storify

Thing 4 looked at current awareness and Twitter, RSS feeds and Storify.


I have been on twitter for a few months now. I help to manage the Health Library account @ceclibrary as well as my own account @libcheryl. Both these accounts are focused on our user groups. The health library account promotes services and resources available at the Health Library. I use my account for current awareness and resource promotion. I follow a number of healthcare-related tweeters as well as librarianship-related ones and a few local (Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire) resources. I tend to retweet mostly. I must admit that I don’t make sufficient use of hash tags to identify my tweets. Though I have recently started to pick up on following particular tags, for example #mlib and #lilac12 which followed conferences. I use Hootsuite to manage my twitter account.
I don’t think that we have really had the breakthrough to connect to our user groups yet. Though I am picking up… well, I’ll say an eclectic group of followers.

RSS Feeds

I have used RSS feeds for quite a long time now. I currently use Google Reader to keep track of feeds that I sign up to, previously I used Bloglines. At the moment the most active ones that I keep up-to-date with are health-related ones or (lo) technical ones. I think many of the library-type bloggers that I signed up with originally have moved on – I need to review which library blogs I follow.
I have found that RSS feeds are invaluable for making resources visible to users, even though our user groups don’t seem to have embraced their use. We can put feeds into web pages, blogs, emails and reuse the content – a mashup? - etc. using netvibes, yahoo pipes and feedburner; as well as provide email update services. (see SATH libraries wiki for information about how to do this).
For example our Health Library latest news blog is embedded in our home page; I have used RSS feeds with Netvibes to create a current awareness service; then used yahoo pipes and feedburner to re-use our netvibes feeds to create news animator widgets which I put on our subject pages.


I have not come across Storify before. It seems to rely only on social media sources such as twitter. I must say I wasn’t impressed with the presentation and it didn’t really appeal to me.

Scoop it

I love Scoop it! I really like this as you can have any type of internet resource, as well as add your own text. I think it looks pretty good too as items are presented in a magazine type format. You can also follow other people’s topics and make/receive suggestions.
I am already signed up to this. I have 3 topics:
I was so thrilled when people started following my topics (ok only 4 but still).
I also follow….
I have linked my scoop it account to my twitter account so that items are re-tweeted.

I hadn’t come across this before and this seems to look even more like a newspaper / magazine. It seems that you set up searches to populate the paper rather than individually select your own content – how useful this is would seem to depend on whether you are collecting the information for yourself or presenting it to someone else.

Current Awareness

I use a whole range of resources and tools to help me to keep up-to-date both in my own profession of librarianship as well as in the subject areas of my users. In addition to these mentioned above I also follow a number of Jisc mail groups and am signed-up to a number of email bulletins. The tools I use depend on function required, availability, ease of use and how attractive they are to re-purpose to use with library users.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such a clear and useful summary of your discovery and curation process tools.

    FYI, by using a an awareness engine (such as the one we have at Darwin) it is possible to conduct discovery from all of the sources you find useful, and all in one place. Instead of going through lists, it's possible to see context and relevance, speeding up the discovery process and moving you more quickly to posting relevant material to your feeds.