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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sparking Conversations with Our Users: You Talk and We Listen

Here at BHL, we want to do a better job of connecting with our users. We want to interact with you, know what you think, what you would like to see, and have you contribute to the biodiversity conversation that shapes the development and progress of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The recent debut of our new series on this blog, focusing on our users and how they use BHL for their work, is an example of our passion to get to know you, our users, more, and interact in new ways with you. However, the blog is not the only way we hope to accomplish this.

One method by which we converse and interact with our users is through our feedback form on BHL. This feedback form allows you, our user, to not only communicate with us about problems you've encountered or questions you might have, but, with the implementation of a specific request a title for scanning form last summer, 2010, it also allows our user community to actively participate in our collection development, ensuring that our resources are spent scanning the content our users truly need. Indeed, this feature has been a runaway success. Since the introduction of the request a title feature, BHL has received almost 900 requests for scanning. While our queue is long, and it will take a while to complete all of these requests, we are thrilled that our users are interacting with us in this way and helping us make sure that we focus our efforts and resources in the places that most need them.

We've increased our activity on Twitter and Facebook as well, striving to spark interesting dialogues about biodiversity, literature, and the brave new world (well, not quite so new anymore) of mass digitization. While we hope that this increased effort is useful and engaging for our users, from our perspective, it's already paid off. Last week, we reached our goal of attaining 500 followers on Twitter (thanks, Ms. Brenner, for being our 500th follower!). For our next goal, we're reaching high: 1000 followers. Pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested in conversing about the biodiversity literature field and assisting in our mission to serve up as much biodiversity literature as possible in an open access environment for the benefit of the world at large.

And if you have something to say about BHL, biodiversity, mass digitization, or any related topic, let us know. Comment on this blog, sent us a tweet to @BioDivLibrary, or post on our Facebook page. We're listening, and we're waiting!

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