Edmonton Public Library & U of A Libraries at Facebook

Post ImageLast October I wrote a post about some radio ads the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) was running at the time. My argument was that the EPL’s advertising just wasn’t “with it” and that they should take a good long look at what would appeal to younger patrons. Here is what I wrote:

The goal is clearly to try and bring young people into the library. Instead of some hokey ad about an adventure, why not highlight the aspects of the library that appeal to young people? Things like public computers, excellent study and workspaces, a Second Cup built right in (for the downtown location at least), power outlets for your laptop, and wireless Internet (do they have this?).

I could have saved myself some characters if I had simply written “things like technology.” I wonder if someone at the EPL read my post, because they certainly got the hint. Tris Hussey (editor of the excellent blognation Canada) posted about the EPL’s new Facebook application this week:

…it looks like the Edmonton Public Library is the first public library to have a Facebook application! Taking a quick look at the EPL site, they seem to have “gotten” Web 2.0 . they have RSS feeds for events, you can add a catalogue search to you Google homepage, pretty darn cool.

That’s all true, but the main EPL site is still ugly as hell! I bet Jakob Nielsen likes it though.

Kudos to the EPL for diving into Facebook! Dickson remarked during lunch today that libraries don’t get enough credit for being technologically savvy, and I have to agree. And wouldn’t you know it, the University of Alberta Libraries has a Facebook application too. Very similar functionality to the EPL application.

I wonder how many other libraries have Facebook applications? What other kinds of organizations should create Facebook apps? I’d love to see a Starbucks app, where I can manage my card and fill up someone else’s card all within Facebook. As Tris said, “something that people can use. Something that is simple.”

Read: catech

Edmonton Public Library "Adventure" Ads

Post ImageIf you live in Edmonton, and listen to the radio occasionally, you may have heard the new ads for the Edmonton Public Library. If you haven’t, fear not, because I am going to summarize them anyway:

There are two young guys trying to skateboard, when one says to the other “I am not cut out for this.” The two are then faced with a problem – what to do? One guy suggests the adventure of a lifetime with dragons and all sorts of other things. The other guy thinks hes crazy. Then the first guy says all of it is possible at the public library. And the two go on their merry way, to slay dragons in their imaginations no doubt.

Now when I heard the commercial, I couldn’t help but laugh. No one I know gets all excited about taking an “adventure” to the public library. I get what they are saying, but I can’t see it working with young people. Maybe I’m just “too cool” but I think their marketing team took the wrong approach with the latest ads.

The goal is clearly to try and bring young people into the library. Instead of some hokey ad about an adventure, why not highlight the aspects of the library that appeal to young people? Things like public computers, excellent study and workspaces, a Second Cup built right in (for the downtown location at least), power outlets for your laptop, and wireless Internet (do they have this?). Okay so I can’t think of as many characteristics that would appeal to young people as I thought, but I am sure they are there. Thing is, I haven’t been to the library in so long, I don’t know what they are.

Do you agree with me? What else about the library would you highlight?

Read: EPL