Internet Librarian 2010: My favorite session

Social Computing Tools: Telling Users About Themselves

I thought this would be another talk about how to use Facebook and Twitter. Instead, Bee Bornheimer of Qualcomm — who was unexpectedly presenting solo — talked about using social networking tools within her company’s network. It gave me some good ideas about stuff I could do back at MPOW.

Her library has three main areas:

  • Research and analysis
  • Content licensing (e.g., market research)
  • Technical

They have a database of their past service requests, which is what drives a lot of their magic. For example, they do an annual report with statistics to management, such as:

  • Here’s how your group is using the library
  • Here are popular downloads for your department

“People like talking and hearing about themselves.”

They have internal versions of social media. (Note: it’s not clear to me if these were completely home-brewed or if they purchased software and slapped their own name on it, invariably beginning with a “Q.”)

  • Wiki
  • Blog
  • Social bookmarking (similar to

When a group is sharing information on a wiki, the library can chime in with resources.

They produce “wiki widgets” about the library, which can go on users’ web pages, with information such as:

  • Most popular books for your department
  • Most popular journals for your department
  • Popular downloads
  • Additional resoruces
  • Contact info.

Once they produce these, they are dynamically updated, so there’s no more work to do.

“Nobody ever says no.”

When they talk about the library to staff, people say, “I’ll go when I have time,” which means they’ll never come. You can come to them.

Benefits to clientele:

  • Embedded in their workspace
  • Customized to their needs
  • Highly relevant resources
  • Allows staff to see what their peers are doing (particularly useful for new employees)

Benefits to the library:

  • Connect more people with resources
  • Strengthen partnerships with other groups
  • More opportunities to learn about users’ needs
  • It’s easy to do!

They keep their stats in a Filemaker DB (including circ. system and web site stats — both imported into Filemaker).


  • Research request
  • Purchase request (linked from no-results screen in the catalog) **

One thought on “Internet Librarian 2010: My favorite session

  1. Pingback: Tour of Qualcomm library and UC San Diego library #sla2013 | Water Librarian's Blog

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