RSS Feeds

RSS in simple terms means rich site summary or really simple syndication.  RSS allows users to subscribe and automatically receive web content, from information sources and sites they are interested in. They can target the content they wish to receive and it will be updated on a periodic basis, hourly, daily etc.Libraries are using RSS feeds in a variety of ways to connect with their customers, by providing information on new resources, latest blog info, new documents ,databases etc. It is a professional tool to use to share and connect social media updates with users. It does unfortunately though require an understanding by the user of how it all works!?? For some this can be the most daunting task to try and navigate the process and using and applying new tools and functions to access the information required.

10 Ways Libraries Can Use RSS

1.  Create an RSS feed for new additions to the online catalogue.

2.  Create an RSS feed tied to a library card account for hold notifications and/or overdue materials.

3.  Create an RSS feed for new programs and events posted on the library website.

4.  Create an RSS feed for the library’s electronic newsletter.

5.  Create an RSS feed for press releases and other media advisories.

6.  Create an RSS feed for library closings, including emergency closings.

7.  Create an RSS feed for library job openings.

8.  Subscribe to a few RSS feeds, such as local news websites, and share the content on the library’s website. This could be included on a page containing other local resources and local links.

9.  Subscribe to RSS feeds of interest to library customers and share the content on the customer’s personalized library webpage. Customers can choose to access selected RSS feeds, their library account information, subscription databases, and email/chat with a librarian all in one spot.

10.  Subscribe to a few professional RSS feeds and share with library staff on the library intranet.

San Diego State University Library has embraced RSS feeds to “sell “all of their items to users, new books updates under subject heading, technology updates, reference news, administration news, ILL, etc.

Both Alia and the State Library of Victoria use RSS feeds to advertise What’s on, Job vacancies  and blog updates.The Library of Congress and the New York Public Library makes great use of RSS Feeds too.



 Related Articles & References

Holvoet,K.(2006).What is RSS and how can libraries use it to improve patron service?Library Hi Tech News,23(8),32-33


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