WLA 2007: Real World RSS: Developing a Current Awareness Service for Your Patrons

Posted by Lisa Strand on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 in WLA Blog Archive
Real World RSS: Developing a Current Awareness Service for Your Patrons
a presentation by Rebecca Holz, Health Sciences Librarian, Ebling Library, UW-Madison; Stephen Johnson, Health Sciences Librarian, Ebling Library, UW-Madison; and Andrew Osmond, Health Sciences Librarian, Ebling Library, UW-Madison http://ebling.library.wisc.edu/

~ This slides for this presentation are available at http://www.slideshare.net/eblinglibrary/ ~

Why might RSS be the answer for a current awareness service?
  • flexible
  • scalable
  • portable
Providing RSS feeds of the tables of contents of journals of interest to faculty; some of which are available full text because Ebling subscribes to the e-journal

iGoogle and Google Reader as the aggregators of choice

Methods of communication used by the staff for this project:
  • intranet used as a communication tool for staff working on the project (agenda, minutes, report of activities)
  • staff blog also used to communicate progress (both of the above create transparency for the project's progress)
  • decided to meet once a week for no more than an hour
  • set up a wiki to manage the project
Phase 0 -- is this project practical? have others already done something similar we can replicate?

Phase 1
create categories for each journal

Phase 2
Develop bundled OPML packages (an easy way to export all the feeds into a feedreader/newsfeed aggregator)
How to Import OPML http://ebling.library.wisc.edu/bjd/journals/rss/opmlhelp.cfm

OPML means users can import...
  • RSS feeds of all journal on a subject
  • RSS feeds of onl the top journals in a subject

Phase 3
Develop a shopping-cart-like application; however, the ROI on the programming didn't make it feasible or practical

Phase 4
Develop instructional and promotional plans
Get the word out; show how it can be valuable to faculty and staff

The future:
  • more local integration into the library's web site
  • expansion to news, podcasts
  • integrated article retrieval, citation management, and proxy issues
  • maintenance issues; missing feeds
  • formalized approach to sharing
  • continued evaluation
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