With the implementation of AquaBrowser at my library, I was charged with creating a tutorial for staff. Rather than the usual pdf or Word document, I wanted to create something dynamic which allows for continuous updating and editing, as AquaBrowser continues to develop and we find new ways to use AquaBrowser in our everyday core library services.
When I started writing this tutorial, I realized that there wasn’t a lot of available literature around to assist in developing this, and that while a lot of libraries may want to train their staff on AquaBrowser, or schools want to introduce their students to what social catalogues are, there were limited resources available to do so. As a result, I not only wanted to created this tutorial for staff here at my library, but for other professionals to adopt as they saw fit and for library schools, hoping to not only teach what features are common in next generation catalogues, but the many different ways you can implement its functions into services such as Readers’ Services, Youth Services and Promotions/Events. Hopefully this tutorial will spark lots of ideas for you, indicate some future directions these catalogues should be exploring and the possibilities for using social catalogues.
One of the key objectives was to show staff that AquaBrowser (which we have named “Discover“) is more than just an updated version of the classic catalogue. As a result, the different sections of the tutorial explore, albeit not too deeply, the many ways we can use social catalogues to assist and enhance core library services. It isn’t just about pointing out what features exist and where they are located, but how to implement the use and benefits of AquaBrowser into everyday library services – and perhaps, while doing this, to realize some shortcomings, some potential and inspire additional ideas and thoughts about how social catalogues will be used in the future.
Because this is an ongoing work and the tutorial will continue to change and be updated to reflect ongoing enhancements, versions or components, I welcome new ideas or additional thoughts on how these catalogues can be used – or are being used in your libraries.
In the meantime, please feel free to use this tutorial at your own libraries, or to create your own tutorial using this one as a guide. Rather than re-inventing the wheel and duplicating the same “how to use our new catalogue” tutorial, I’d rather see other professionals spend their time thinking about additional ways to use these catalogues and how they benefit library services.