Enhance Your Library Presence on Google

Welcome to Google My Business!

Of course users can find your library on Google.  But with a few simple steps, you can enhance your library’s presence on Google services such as Search, Google Maps, and Google+ by adding library information, photos, and hours.  You do this by creating a profile for your library in Google My Business.

When searching Google you have probably seen the the information-rich box to the right of the search results list.  Google calls this the Knowledge Graph display and it has been in use since 2012.  It uses semantic search to enhance search results when a person, topic, or place is identified.  The Knowledge Graph information can also be used to add instant information to the top of the search results list, such as today’s library hours.

Google Knowledge Graph in Search Results

Here is an example of a Knowledge Graph display before it has been claimed and enhanced:

Google Knowledge Graph (Before)

If the link “Own this business?” shows in the Knowledge Graph display for your library, no one has claimed ownership for your library’s profile. Clicking this link allows you to set up your Google My Business account. Note: This process also creates a Google+ page.

First, you’ll have to check the box that says “I am authorized to manage this business and I agree to the Terms of Service.”

On the next screen you will be given the choice to verify your business by phone or by mail.  If you choose mail, you will receive a letter at the mailing address in the Knowledge Graph display that will contain your verification code (and a Google sticker).  This usually arrives in about five days.  You don’t need to wait for verification to edit your profile.

Once you have chosen your verification method, Google will create your basic Google My Business page.

Google My Business - Home

From this Home page you can edit your library information (name, address, phone, website URL) and add library hours and photos.

Google My Business - Edit Mode

Once your Google My Business profile has been completed and your account verified, your enhanced Knowledge Graph display will appear in Google search results and other services.

Google offers an app to allow you to update information and hours from your mobile device.

Available on the App Store Android App on Google Play

Technology Podcasts for Librarians

Just in the past few months several new technology podcasts have launched which are useful for any librarian interested in technology.  A few address library technology topics specifically, while others cover general technology that has relevance to libraries.

Here are some of the best technology podcasts for librarians.

Library Technology


Library 20/20: A Podcast about the Future of Libraries

Library 20/20: A Podcast about the Future of LibrariesFollow along with Charlie Bennett as he talks through the renovation and modernization of the Georgia Tech Library as an example of the future of libraries, especially with the use of technology.

The Library Pros

The Library ProsThis new podcast (since March) is produced by Chris and Bob, a technology librarian and an “Information Technology professional” who cover new technology applicable to public libraries.

LibUX

LibUXCovering all aspects of the library user experience.  Amanda and Michael “talk design, development, and the user experience in libraries and the higher-ed web” with many guest contributors.

General Technology

TWiT Bits

TWiT BitsThese short podcasts present highlights from Leo Laporte’s longer This Week in Tech (TWiT) episodes at twit.tv.  TWiT keeps you up-to-date with all technology from computers to gadgets to the Web.  Topics also cover technology culture and politics.

W3 Radio

W3 RadioCurated and presented by librarian Michael Schofield, this brand-new podcast covers the week in Web technology in under ten minutes.

Linked Data and Library Vendors

In February we wrote about Linked Data basics and resources but only briefly mentioned its application by library vendors.  In this post we’ll look deeper into existing and future library applications and services from major library vendors that implement Linked Data.

OCLC

OCLC WorldCatBefore the BIBFRAME model began development, OCLC was already experimenting with Linked Data using the Schema.org model and worked toward expanding its vocabularies to include bibliographic data.

Right now all WorldCat entries include Linked Data.  At the bottom of an item record, there is an expandable section headed “Linked Data” which will display the Linked Data schema:

OCLC WorldCat Record Linked Data Example

WorldCat displays the Primary Entry and any Related Entries in several standard formats:

SirsiDynix

BLUEcloudBLUEcloud Visibility was announced in a press release on January 7, 2015.  SirsiDynix partnered with Zepheira to create this add-in product to work with SirsiDynix’s existing products.  They created a pilot program with Douglas County Libraries.

BLUEcloud Visibility transforms MARC21 records to Linked Data.  Some features:

  • Service to extract your MARC records and transform them into BIBFRAME resources
  • Records are enhanced with library location data making them geographically relevant to patrons in your area
  • Creates linked data for your library resources, so search engines can index, link them to other resources, and make them discoverable

Currently only library catalog data is included, but the company plans to extend to electronic resources.  Currently there is no real-time item availability.  Records will be updated twice a month.

BLUEcloud Visibility Graphic
Graphic from: BLUEcloud Visibility: The Future of Library Data webinar at http://go.sirsidynix.com/BLUEcloud-Visibility-The-Future-of-Library-Data-On-Demand.html

Read more on SirsiDynix’s BLUEcloud Visibility page.

Innovative Interfaces

Innovative InterfacesInnovative Interfaces is an active sponsor of the Libhub Initiative.  In August 2015 they published The ILS and Linked Data: A White Paper to explain why the company was adopting Linked Data and answers some questions about it.

On March 16, 2016, Innovative Interfaces and Zepheira announced a partnership to use Zepheira’s Linked Data technology in Innovative’s new Innovative Linked Data service.

Innovative Linked Data
Graphic from: Innovative Linked Data FAQ at https://www.iii.com/sites/default/files/Innovative Linked Data FAQ.pdf

“Innovative Linked Data is available immediately as a subscription service for Polaris, Sierra, Millennium, and Virtua library systems” according to the press release.

Ex Libris

Putting Linked Data at the Service of LibrariesIn January, Ex Libris announced that the company launched a program to “harness linked data technology in its resource management and discovery solutions” and published the paper Putting Linked Data at the Service of Libraries. The paper details how Ex Libris will enrich products such as their Alma resource management service and Primo discovery service with Linked Data both as a source and a consumer.

Future versions of Alma will ingest BIBFRAME records and enable cataloging librarians to utilize global online authority files such as VIAF for author/creator authority records, Library of Congress Linked Data Subject Headings, and GeoNames geographical place names database.

Ex Libris Primo

The next Primo user interface will include Linked Data features to enhance search results.  Linked Data will, of course, increase the exposure of the library’s resources to third-party applications and the Web at-large.

Ex Libris is working with its user groups to form Linked Open Data Special Interest Working Groups to help develop and test Linked Data features in the products mentioned.  Collaborating libraries include those at Boston College, University of Oklahoma, and University of Amsterdam.

Library Technology at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference

ALA 2016 Annual Conference

The ALA 2016 Annual Conference is just about a month away.  The conference covers a myriad of library topics and sorting through the program sessions to find the ones focused on library technology takes effort.  Let us do the work for you.

Here is our list programs related to library technology.  You find interest groups and sessions on data and metadata, makerspaces, UX, Linked Data, ILS and LMS, websites, mobile apps, emerging technologies, and more. Committee meeting were not included.

For official descriptions, speakers, and final schedule, please check the conference Full Schedule page.

Continue reading “Library Technology at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference”

Introducing Microsoft Academic

Microsoft Academic

The Microsoft Academic search tool is an open discovery service for scholarly scientific works including citation relationships between works, authors, institutions, places, and subject fields.

Microsoft is quietly developing an open discovery service for scholarly scientific works called Microsoft Academic based on Microsoft Research’s Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG).  This search database will function much like Web of Science and Scopus in linking paper citations to aid in discovery.

To build the MAG, Bing technology crawls the Web looking for “publisher websites, university repositories, researcher and departmental web pages, etc.” which then get analysed for content and citations.  If papers are determined to be scholarly works, they’re added to the MAG.

Microsoft Academic search: BIBFRAME

Microsoft describes the service in their FAQ:

This new service puts a knowledge driven, semantic inference based search and recommendation framework front and center. In addition, a new data structure and graph engine have been developed to facilitate the real-time intent recognition and knowledge serving. One illustrating feature is semantic query suggestions that identify authors, topics, journals, conferences, etc., as you type and offer ways to refine your search based on the data in the underlying academic knowledge graph. You can also refine your results using the filters on the search results page. Since we are built on top of Bing’s web crawling infrastructure, we are able to discover and index new academic papers in a more scalable manner. We now have over 150 million entities and billions of relationships in the Microsoft Academic Graph and growing!

Microsoft Academic results: BIBFRAME

Search results can be filtered by date range, author, affiliation, field of study, journal, and conference.  Users can choose to include news items or limit results to scholarly works.

The underlying MAG data is available for download or accessed via the Academic Knowledge API.

It remains to be seen if Microsoft Academic can develop the features to rival Google Scholar.  Three features would go a long way towards that goal.  The service should allow libraries to register so that search results can contain custom links including institutional authentication such as a proxy URL prefix.  Microsoft Academic could add its own altmetrics by gathering results from Bing crawling the Web and social media sites.  A simple tool to add citations to Microsoft Word documents would be a way to set Microsoft Academic apart.  But its open, non-commercial platform with downloadable data and APIs makes it a search service to watch.

Preview Microsoft Academic at https://academic.microsoft.com.