Most weeks, we have a certain activity in our 525 – Managing Internet Information class to learn about or do and then we're supposed to report on it.
This week's activity was to join the class Yahoo! Ggroup and then send a message with something useful or funny in it.
I did as instructed and sent the Roll Call survey out since it's such a great way for people on a library listserv to get to know each other. There were eight messages before mine and so I quickly used the online interface to look through them – lots of good links to both useful blog-related info and some humour stuff as well.
The second part of the assignment is to write a brief comment about how libraries can use this technology. I think the potential for listservs in libraries is virtually unlimited, especially when there are services like Yahoo! groups and MSN providing free, easy-to-use ones.
A library could use a listserv for communicating with teen-aged patrons, patrons of a particular branch, members of book clubs, an upcoming events listserv, maybe even a “General Library Information” listserv that includes posts from all the other listservs in one spot.
I'm a big fan of listservs and for me, the biggest advantage of listservs is that it is a opt-in “push” technology where people self-select as to whether they want to subscribe or not and if so, the messages go into the in-box. This is in contrast to something like a message board which can also be useful but usually requires the patron to remember to visit on a regular basis to see the latest news and postings. With that said, if someone feels like they get too many e-mail messages already, they can subscribe to a listserv and then choose to receive Digest messages (ie. all messages compiled into a daily or weekly mailing) or only view messages online.
We're supposed to print out a copy of our comments on each assignment then hand it in – I wonder if this blog post will suffice?