RSS feeds have been the one thing I have been looking forward to the most to learn about in social networking. Often I see the little display widget on the bottom of most websites and wanted to stream line my content. Streamline is my word for Really Simple Syndication (RSS). It is a really easy way of receiving up to date and relevant information without having to subscribe to a forum, website, newsletter or discussion list. The icon looks like this on websites.
I created a Google Reader account and started adding subscriptions. I didn’t go overboard as I normally would. I kept it simple, concentrating on a bit of novelty, my interests and professional learning.
The first RSS feed to capture my attention was from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website. I was thinking how awesome it would be to receive updates, weather and warnings that were relevant to me without having to log onto the BOM website. The weather is always a great conversation starter with customers too.
Australia’s Parliamentary Library offers RSS feeds for the latest updates from the House of Representative and the Senate. It also provides links to library publication updates, public hearings, tabling of reports, seminars and any new inquiries taking place. It also offers employment opportunities.
Subscribing to job vacancies is a wonderful way for new and existing staff to receive information on new recruitments within their libraries especially large council and shires that have many branches. The applications for libraries are endless with opportunities to provide updates and discussion for family history enthusiasts, book groups, romance lovers and parents wanting to discuss children’s books. The moxielibrarian provides 10 ways libraries can use RSS on her blog.
Library RSS feeds is not just beneficial to customers but also for staff wanting access to professional development and networking.
Sauers (2010) has a very handy book for librarians called Blogging and RSS: A libraries guide It helps librarians with syndicating and publishing blogs and how RSS feeds and aggregators can be used in a library context.
Parliament of Australia. (2013). RSS feeds. Parliament of Australia. Retrieved February 1, 2014, from http://www.aph.gov.au/Help/RSS_feeds
Sauers, M. P. (2010). Blogging and RSS: a librarian’s guide (2nd ed.). Medford, N.J: Information Today.
Wolfe, C. (2008). 10 Ways libraries can use RSS. The Moxie Librarian. Retrieved from http://moxielibrarian.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/10-ways-libraries-can-use-rss/