Indiana Library Federation Reference Unconference 2009
Last week I presented at the first ILF Reference Unconference, held at Ball State University. I showed our new Tips4ToughTimes page, which is a list of links to community agencies for people seeking information on unemployment, housing, food assistance and more. Following is just a short outline of what I talked about:
1. Introduce Tips4ToughTimes
2. We built this page because patrons are constantly asking us for information about unemployment, job listings, applying for food stamps, etc. Many libraries have a “community resources” page but few create a page directly marketing it as a “tough times” page.
3. Give a short tour of the page. As you look at this, think about the social services and agencies that you would put on a page in your community.
4. Take a look at how some other libraries have done this. Examples:
- Seminole County Publc Library
- Tough Times Library Lifelines (Metro Net Library Consortium, MI)
- Fresnow County Public Library uses premade lists from other agencies
- Elkhart Public Library
5. Planning your page:
- Has anyone else in your community already done this? No need to reinvent the wheel
- Have a timeline
- Organization of the page
- Design of page
- Where will you put it? We have a slide for it which will always be up. On your site? Google sites or some other?
- Think about publicity: signage, slide on page, business cards, Twitter, other social networking sites
- What do you call it? Needs to have be catchy but not overdramatic or depressing.
- Get lots of help from your web dev. I initially did mine as a blog and it was text-heavy and boring.
6. Other issues?
There were some really good suggestions from participants:
- translate to create Spanish and Burmese versions
- take paper publicity out into the community: laundromats, grocery stores, etc.
I would like to thank Vincci Kwong and Alison Stankrauff for offering me the opportunity to participate and held plan this conference.