Shhhh. Four Lessons Librarians Can Teach You about Curating Internet Content

May 25, 2012 by

Shhhh.  Four Lessons Librarians Can Teach You about Curating Internet Content

If you are using the Internet to build a business or a professional practice and doing so successfully, you are probably posting to a blog, sharing presentations on Slide Share, producing videos for YouTube, and commenting on trends in your industry. Regardless of the particular methods you are using, you are creating a collection of content and curating it.

Consider what longtime curators at the library can teach you about building and managing your collection of content.

  1. Libraries keep the collection current.  They are constantly adding new items to the libraries holdings. Do you have a content strategy? Are you executing it so that visitors see signs of life? Do you regularly evaluate your collection and update it?
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  3. Libraries measure how often items get checked out. They survey patrons and track requests for particular titles. They measure how many patrons are waiting for a particular title.  They mine this data for insights about what to add and subtract from the collection. How are you measuring the performance of the content in your collection and mining it for insights? Are you making the most of tools to measure the popularity of items in your content collection?
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  5. Libraries make it easy for patrons to perform crucial tasks. The library near my home redid its floor plan to make dropping off materials easier and added self-check out. Have you evaluated your content collection to make sure key parts are easy to reach?  If you run a blog, does your blog have a section on its front page displaying the most popular posts?
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  7. Libraries allow self-serve. Recently my library moved materials that patrons had requested on inter-library loan from shelves behind the clerk’s desk to shelves right on the main floor. No more waiting in line to have a clerk hand me materials I can go get and check out myself. Does your social media presence make it simple for those who want to help themselves? How can you make it easier for patrons of your content to help themselves?  A carpet cleaning company recently got my business because I could get a quote for the number of rooms I needed done, place the order, and schedule the appointment directly on its site.

Whether your collection of content is just beginning or large enough to require a team of web experts to curate, you can learn a few valuable principles of web content curation from your local librarian.

 

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