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Engaging Your Community with Tablets and Social Computing

I was very interested in attending a session called Repositioning with Tablets, Social Media, & Outreach.

The first speaker, Tim Donahue from Montana State University, discussed what tablets are being used for in his library (roving reference, QR code reading, & brainstorming sessions) and their implications (since they’re easier to read from than to type on, they are “ideal platforms” for library content consumption).

The second speaker, Allen Cho from the University of British Columbia, talked about a government-funded project to gather Chinese-Canadian stories and all the community engagement it prompted. (Learn more at

The final speaker, Arlene Keller from Multnomah County Library in Portland, OR, discussed their successful Facebook page, which has more than 15,000 fans. She attributed the success to many things, chief among them was starting with good planning and policymaking and knowing what content customers want. (One way to do that is to observe how they interact with each other on the page and what they like to discuss.) They also use FB’s statistics to measure usage and ROI.

Engaging Your Community with Tablets and Social Computing

Engaging Your Community with Tablets and Social Computing

Mobile and social computing are changing everything and libraries need to keep up with their users’ expectations.

ShanachieTour Returns to Monterey, 1 Year Later

If this scene looks familiar to you, then you were at last year’s IL Tuesday evening session where these Dutchmen did a presentation about their "ShanachieTour," which was a 3-week road trip they took across America in a "campervan" (RV). Exactly 1 year later, they’re back in Monterey (where last year’s tour ended) to talk about that tour and others they’ve done around the world since. Once again, they filmed part of the presentation while they were doing it, which is why you see both the live Erik and the on-screen Erik above.

After showing some opening scenes from the movie they produced about the 07 ShanachieTour, Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap van de Geer, and Geert van den Boogaard settled into their own "welcome to our living room" presentation style. Nevermind that boring podium, they told the hotel’s room set-up staff — their talk took place on a cozy stage with a couch and chair, coffee table, lamps, plants, snacks, and even a refrigerator (used to chill beverages for the guests they brought up on stage to talk with).


The guests they interviewed on stage included Greg Schwartz (Uncontrolled Vocabulary) and Michael Sauers. They also Skyped in far-away colleagues and asked them about the libraries of today and tomorrow. Overall, it was a really innovative and entertaining presentation that kept the huge crowd in their seats until after 9pm.

You can keep an eye on future Shanachie adventures on their Facebook page and their web page. In a few weeks they’ll be touring across Australia, speaking at conferences and stopping at libraries. So stay tuned!

~Kathy Dempsey