Thing 7 : Communicate

It often seems as though distance and time are the enemy, yet there are many opportunities to work together using technology to break down the tyranny of distance. In this Thing we’re taking a closer look at Skype and Google+ Hangouts to see how libraries are using them to deliver client focussed services and to work together as teams.


Robin Ashford has some great ideas about ways libraries can be using Google+ Hangouts and Skype.  David Lee King points out that Google Plus hangouts are some of the interactive and accessible mediums that may help your library (or blog) grow its online community.

Google+ Hangouts:

  • New York Public Library have a NYPL Google+ Hangout Book Club available
  • The Games and Public Libraries seminars in World of Warcraft are offering a Google+ Hangout option to watch
  • Create a Google+ account (if you don’t already have one) and try holding a Google+ Hangout with a colleague at another branch or library site




  • Could a school class Skype with a member of your staff, for example the local history librarian or reference librarian?
  • Could you Skype author visits into your community and show it on a big screen?
  • Can you Skype in a guest presenter for a team meeting or professional development day?
  • Are you trying to work together as a team across distances (eg. various library sites or branches), could a Google+ Hangout sometimes replace a meeting?
  • Could you use Google+ hangouts to create a virtual tour / orientation visit to your library?
  • Could your library offer high school students ”late night librarian Q&A sessions” during the cram weeks / study vacation before exams via Google+ hangouts?
  • Do you offer a Google+ online reference desk service?

5 Comments on “Thing 7 : Communicate

  1. I’d love to have more to do with Google+ Hangouts, but our patrons don’t have Google accounts. :-/

  2. I can see there are tremendous applications for these things, both on a library and social level. And I feel comfortable enough with the actual use, but of all 23 things it’s also the thing that I am least comfortable with. But then, I suppose your watching the other people, not yourself

  3. Oops. Of course I meant ‘you’re’ not ‘your’ watching other people not yourself on Skype etc

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Jan Holmquist | Mylee Joseph | Kathryn Barwick 2013