Anyone reading through some of my older “How to” posts would realize that (besides Twitter and Friendfeed) I love using RSS and RSS readers for keeping up with information. I also love being able to use them for mashing up information feeds and enabling auto sharing.
However I know that other people may not even be aware of what an RSS feed or reader is or does.
“Keeping up” and current awareness is a big part of the service and training that we are concerned with at MPOW. Most of our clients are researchers with long term projects and interests and appreciate being auto notified of newly published research. A lot of journals and databases now support RSS as well as email alerts. And most researchers will say that their email boxes are overloaded and they can’t keep on top of it all. But most will not know about RSS readers.
There is a digital divide amongst scientists as well as the rest of the population and last year Martin Fenner in discussing it thought that Science Librarians had a role in helping bridge it.
When we rolled out our in house current awareness blogs we couldn’t enable email alerts at the time and one of my colleagues ran RSS training sessions for the others so now most of my colleagues are at least aware of RSS and readers and some now actively use them. We have talked from time to time about taking this experience and running sessions for our researchers but as with most things these proposed sessions take a back seat to other priorities. As in most special libraries training is just part of our role and we don’t have dedicated librarians for the purpose.
So I would like to hear from other librarians. Has anyone else included using RSS feeds as part of their info lit/digital lit/literacy programs to clients/patrons/faculty/students? Can you share your experiences?