RSS stands for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ and, as the name suggests, they are really simple to set up. As this is an assignment related post, I have a word limit so can’t go into how to get RSS feeds up and running, however, if you use Windows their Help and Support pages have some excellent advice on how to get started.
There are other methods of receiving updated information through media such as Facebook or Twitter, but for now I’ll just concentrate on RSS feeds and get to the point of this post which is how RSS can enhance a library or information service’s ability to meet the information needs of its users.
One of the best examples I’ve seen of a library using RSS feeds comes from the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) website. Here you can see the diversity of information offered by the library from their latest news and events to presentations, collection highlights and related blog posts. As someone who lives approximately 1,300 kms away from Brisbane, having the opportunity to subscribe to the library’s feeds gives me an insight into what this great library has to offer. I often listen to the latest webcasts and like to stay informed on any travelling exhibitions that might be coming my way. Having access to this type of information from SLQ keeps me connected and certainly provides me with an incentive to visit the library if I happen to be in Brisbane in future.
A second example, and one a little closer to home, can be found at the library I work in – I’m very proud to say that just in this last week, the library team have been creating links to RSS feeds as part of our LibGuides subject guides. The feeds are set up so visitors to the site can have access to the latest news the library staff have subscribed to for the guide and the intention is to provide feeds from reputable websites in support of further information that might be of interest or helpful to our students.