Washington State University Libraries

WSU Library

WSU Library

At Washington State University Library, a few 2.0 services are offered, but are also difficult to find and go unadvertised. The library website prominently features online access to their catalog, resource guides and contact information. From their Ask a Question page, there is also the popular embedded IM chat box, offering access to librarians while they are on duty. This is the most obvious and easy to find of the 2.0 services the library offers; the other area of the site that offers 2.0 services is in the News & Events, which has options to subscribe to various RSS feeds. Hidden within these feeds is access to podcasts that were created by the library. Neither the IM chat option nor the RSS feeds are advertised on the home page, and navigating to their respective locations is somewhat confusing.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that there are many branches included under the umbrella of WSU Library, and they seem to maintain their own information. Under News & Events, for example, each of the branches has their own separately published feed. While this is certainly a useful and usable distinction, nowhere in the main navigation system is this fact made clear. In the same way, certain branches of the WSU Library (including the Holland and Terrell Library) also have their own social networking presence. These pages are well maintained, informative and updated regularly; many events are advertised and promoted through Facebook, and information about library services (such as laptop lending and workshops offered) can also be found here. However, this Facebook presence is not advertised or linked to from the main WSU Library website, and thus may have limited potential exposure to students and other users.

Holland & Terrell Facebook page

The Holland & Terrell Facebook page

The act of producing and maintaining Library 2.0 services is not enough to generate use; promoting their existence should also be a priority. Because a library’s home page is still a main source of information for students, having an aggregated, common page for all the many branches of WSU Library, where services such as RSS feeds and links to Facebook organization profiles can be found, might increase student awareness of their library’s efforts.

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