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Go-Tabs On The Go

Some of our patrons who visit the library cannot afford online devices.  They don't own a smartphone, eReader, tablet, laptop, or other device used to access the Internet.  For years, these patrons have had to visit our computer lab to log-onto a desktop PC (or, now, thin-client workstation), but that's all changed.  Who needs all that expensive technology when you can checkout a portable Internet tablet from the library's circulation desk?
Click Photos to Enlarge


We even have a helpful "how-to" video for patrons to watch.
Portable Tablet Checkout (How-To Video) by Mooresville Public Library
Patrons use their library cards to checkout the tablets from the Tablet Hub.  These tablets are programmed to automatically connect to the library's WiFi network as soon as they are checked out.  The tablets will only operate on library premises, shutting down automatically if taken beyond our WiFi receptivity.  To check-in tablets, patrons simply insert them into an empty por…
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"Library Spokescritters" Social Media Success Stories

Previously, we discussed how libraries could use "spokescritters" (i.e., resident animals) to promote their services and collections.  Many of these "spokescritters" have taken to social media as their primary promotional vehicles.  How successful have they been?
Consider Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library's feline roving reporter, Cauli Le Chat.  Her blog, Cat's Eye View @ MPL, has been viewed extensively--as of right now, it has 475,341 viewings.  We saw this graphic from yesterday's blog posting:
Total Blog Viewings (as of February 24, 2018) Cat's Eye View @ MPL
Mooresville Public Library (MPL) serves Brown Township in Morgan County, Indiana, which has a population under 15,000.  Furthermore, Cauli Le Chat officially "retired" as roving reporter early last year, because she doesn't get out as much as she used to (she once lived down the street and would hangout outside the library--hence her "roving reporter" status), and al…

Follow the Screener

When I first became a staff training instructor over 20 years ago, if we wanted to illustrate how to use a particular software or navigate a certain website, we had to take screen-shots that we saved as JPEG images, to which we would add text showing where to click or what to do.  Then we'd import the images into MS-Word or WordPerfect documents.  I wrote training manuals for hospital employees to use payroll software, patient record databases, or MS-Windows programs.  If we were really fancy, we'd prepare a PowerPoint slideshow.
In recent years, trainers have been using screen-capturing software to track their mouse movements on screen that they can incorporate into a video illustrating how to use a particular software or web-based interface.  Of course, my library is just now getting around to purchasing such software, and I've begun experimenting with it.
If, like me, you're new to this screen-capturing world, you might find that the software we use suits your needs:�…

A Million Ways to Watch Library Videos

Psssst!  Want to know how to get viewers to watch your library's YouTube videos over a million times?  Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library (MPL) might have some suggestions.


MPL serves the citizens of Mooresville and Brown Township (in Morgan County, Indiana), with a 2015 population of 13,044.  The MPL YouTube channel currently has 775 videos that, to date, have been viewed 1,083,122 times.  That's more views than, for example, videos on the YouTube channels of Los Angeles Public Library (99,931), Seattle Public Library (891,944), and Indianapolis Public Library (213,439), all of which have made fantastic videos.  MPL's service population is much smaller than these libraries, but its videos have been watched more.  How is that even possible?
MPL began its YouTube channel in January, 2010.  Its most popular videos include children's songs, children's read-alouds, book trailers, and music parodies.  Why are its videos so successful in reaching an audience?  We offer a…

Slideshow: Using Videos to Promote Your Library

We have an updated PDF slideshow available that offers some suggestions about using videos to promote libraries.  Click the Slideshare logo below to watch.
Click Logo (Above) to View Slideshow

Facebooking Local History

Like most libraries, we post lots of pictures to Facebook promoting programs or events, technologies, services, or other information about the library.  According to Facebook's "insights," we "reach" a substantial number of patrons with these messages.  But none of these begins to compare to the patron engagement we achieve by posting local historical photos.
Generations of families have called Mooresville, Indiana home, so there is an appreciation among our patrons of family and local history, which is why history looms large in our mission.  When I began working at Mooresville Public Library a decade ago as our Indiana Room librarian, local and state history was my thing (so was genealogy, about which I knew just enough to be dangerous).  So I produced loads of local historical handouts for patrons to peruse.  At first, these were distributed on paper, but we decided that was environmentally unfriendly, so we digitized the content and placed it in our "tr…

Library Blogs Can Still Be Relevant

I recently watched a webcast of a librarian round table talking about social media, and there was a brief discussion about library blogs.  The panel consensus was that blogs had run their course as a library communication vehicle.  "There're too many out there," said one librarian, "droning on and on.  (He's obviously read my blogs.)  Modern readers want compact content."--meaning, presumably, Twitter and Facebook blurbs.
So, are library blogs dinosaurs?  Can they still garner followers while imparting important messages relevant to their readers? Yes, if the blogger is talking about something lots of somebodies want to read.  (That's rather axiomatic.)  Clearly, I'm no expert about blogging and holding an audience's interest, but, in my experience, I've discovered two types of blogs that have maintained consistently large readership: Local history blogs; andLibrary animal "spokescritter" blogs.Previously, we've talked about resi…