Free Your Content! RSS for Libraries

August 7, 2007

I had the opportunity to listen to Merdith Farkas and Paul Pival present on RSS for Libraries through the SIRSI/Dynix Institute today. They gave a good overview of RSS and how to use feeds in libraries.

Some key reasons why libraries should care about RSS:

  • patrons can receive content when and how they want
  • content can be updated dynamically
  • can aggregate content from other sites and sources and make it available to our users

How can libraries use RSS?

  • create a blog and allow users to subscribe to updates via the RSS feed
  • aggregate content from multiple sources on your library website
  • add RSS feeds to library podcasts so that users can subscribe to updates
  • in library catalogues (i.e. new acquisitions)
  • create subject guides (try del.icio.us)
  • current awareness bulletins including “Table of Content” alerts from journals and online databases
  • collection development (i.e. subscribe to publishers catalogues)

RSS Tools
Feed2JS
Can’t display RSS feeds on your website? Feed2JS can be used to repackage RSS feeds to text. Content is updated automatically on your website.
del.icio.us
Read my post on how libraries are using RSS feeds from del.icio.us to create subject guides.

Libworm
The librarian RSS search engine with over 1500 RSS feeds. Search for RSS feeds by category, subject and tags.

The RSS and Javascript Cookbook / Tools
Meredith Farkas’ and Paul Pival’s wiki on RSS and Javascript. Amazing list of RSS resources including links to RSS aggregators, tools for creating feeds and OPML files, tools for adding RSS to webpages, RSS re-mixers, syndicating podcasts, screencasting, social bookmarking sites with RSS feeds, finding journals with RSS feeds, and syndicating feeds in wikis.

Don’t forget to visit the SIRSI/Dynix event archive for a link to the presentation (forthcoming) and subscribe to the podcast.


Update, August 16/07:
The podcast is now available from SIRSI. Listen to it here.

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