Week 4 Case Studies: RSS & the Library
Kansas City Public Library presented their RSS feeds as Subject Guide. Their list was straight forward and the feeds were broken into a categories so you can select was is most relevant to you. The Movies & TV Guide was pretty fun. The How Do I Guide seemed useful but I’m not sure I’d need an RSS feed for all the new How Do I’s that come out. The standard Libraries Guide section was as always interesting and useful for staying on top of what other libraries are up to, and especially useful for LIS students J
Hennepin County Library’s feeds were pretty good but the layout of the page was a bit confusing. For example the Book Lists feed looked like it would take you to another page before providing the RSS feed but it goes straight to the RSS XML feed, so you’d have to subscribe to the feed before previewing what it offers. I couldn’t figure out how to subscribe to the Catalogue Search Feed at first. The description of the feed says you can but I didn’t see the RSS/FEED button at the bottom of the initial search page. It wasn’t until I clicked on one of the results that you see the RSS button. This makes sense but it wasn’t intuitive at first and the description didn’t make it clear.
The NHMCCD custom feeds seemed pretty standard, however it was nice that clicking on the link showed you a sample of the current contents of the feed, allowing you to choose from another list of narrowed feeds under the given subject.
Tacoma public library also had pretty standard feeds, upcoming events, broken into children’s events and upcoming events in general. There were feeds for holiday/closure schedules and new arrival feeds broken into categories so you can get current information about only what you really want.
University of Oklahoma Libraries RSS feeds again seemed to have the standard components on News & Announcements, New Books, and New Electronic Resources. You were not taken to another page before you clicked the RSS button, which I think would have been kind of nice, but at the same time listing the RSS feeds this way seemed clean and straight forward. It was also standard in that it had links and explanations of what RSS is and how to use it, and like all the other sites it had links to RSS readers/aggregators.
Western Kentucky University also had a very clean looking presentation of their RSS feeds. It was very clear from their main page what has and RSS feed and what does not. You can click on links and go to a page on Announcements and view them or you can click on the RSS link and get the RSS subscription URL without going first to the page.
I am really starting to get into and understand RSS feeds, but you can only subscribe to so many before it’s not better than visiting all the sites. I don’t have very many feeds added to my bloglines account beyond the ones for this course and sometimes I find it hard to keep up! So I guess you just have to decide what’s appropriate to have as a feed (how often do you need to be updated) and what is appropriate to visit occasionally. How are you guys deciding what you add as a feed and what you don’t? I’d love to add feeds like mad but the reality is that I’d never get to read them all!