Raising Awareness

"A centre of excellence in digital information management, providing advice and services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities."

UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

MLA Yorkshire Workshop May 2008

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The one-day MLA Yorkshire workshop organised by UKOLN on "Web 2.0, Social Networking for Museums, Libraries & Archives" held in Sheffield on 12 May 2008 consisted of a series of talk in the morning. In the afternoon the 39 delegates were split into three groups. The groups then attended three sessions which lasted for 30 minutes: a discussion group on "Exploring Options", a discussion group on "Barriers and Solutions" and a hands-on session. The participants attended each of the three sessions.

A summary of the notes of the two discussion groups is given below.

Discussion Group 1: Exploring and Implementing Options

The facilitator for this discussion group was Stephanie Taylor, UKOLN.


  • Using Wikis for project planning - but we need to allow time to get used to mechanisms
  • Using Wikis to link up with other organisations
  • Use Wikis for recording visitor experiences


  • Use Blogs to gain a better awareness of what bigger organisations are doing
  • Use blogs to link in with other organisations
  • Create Blogs for projects as communication tools or archives
  • Finding out about what is being said about us/our organisations

Google Maps

  • Implement Google maps or our websites wherever there is an existing map
  • Integrate Google Maps with Wikis for relating comments to what museums they are about

RSS Feeds

  • Encourage people to link with them and more importantly use them - more training requested
  • Talk more to our marketing people
  • Use things like to share book marking, to find out how other organisations e.g. BBC news use these


  • Look at how our individual organisations are mentioned and correct if necessary
  • Consider carefully how we describe ourselves if we make an entry - not using marketing jargon

Facebook and MySpace

  • Consider using them to reach wider audiences, opportunity to have more interaction with users
  • Get to know the differences for different audiences for each social network website
  • Pod-casting, video casting and videoconferencing
  • Explore as interactive tools


  • Trialling all tools before use on projects, time/resource implications
  • Child protection issues - know what they are. Find out if your organisation has a policy/strategy or work with older age groups
  • Build a business case for access to online resources (including Facebook and MySpace)
  • Explore more new technologies and keep up to date

Discussion Group 2: Barriers and Solutions

The facilitator for this discussion group was Ian Thilthorpe, Tyne and Wear Museums.

Barriers Solutions
Corporate IT - Security fears, loosing control, corporate identity, legal issues, IT policies not broad enough to accommodate new tools Get buy in and support early on from the right people e.g senior management
Try to get a voice into policy
Provide evidence for why in the right language and remembering targets/priorities/objectives
Do cost benefit analysis
Out source where appropriate
Lack of control of content - Web 2.0 means direct access to the user Assess risk
Negative media coverage, child protection Promote good news stories/case studies
Use existing agencies e.g. Becta
Long term sustainability Partnership working
Resource implications - cost in time and people for e.g. moderation Partnership projects to spread costs
Not knowing appropriate tools resulting in non participation Don't be scared find out about things by asking
Skills - lack of training/few support mechanisms in place/poor IT support/ knowledge MLA/Hub partner led sessions
Lack of awareness, perception and potential of tools e.g amongst senior management, user groups, facilitators Dispel fear by good evidence, look positive, create positive.
Case studies to show impact and sustainability e.g National Archive, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Partnership projects to spread costs
Create champions
Evidence of good practice
Support is there if you look for it
Censorship issues Establish principles at early stages
Technical and resource capacity Partnership, ask for help
Not everyone has access to Internet Alerting and campaign for need
Poor perception of need sometimes viewed as age specific Showcase good practice case studies
Copyright - permission/cost Research costs, mechanisms e.g. Creative Commons and consider sustainability
Hacking and viruses Assess risk, contract carefully, use back ups
Not being able to meet legal accessibility requirements Do what you can, find out about small or no cost solutions