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Why social media and mobile are on the radar of Naval Postgraduate School's Ann Jacobson

One of the interesting people that our blogging team interviewed at SLA 2011 was Ann Jacobson, Reference and Instruction Manager for the Naval Postgraduate School's Dudley Knox Library.

She attended SLA to give a presentation, "Breathing Life into Your Newsletter and Online Presence," in which she shared her insights as the new editor of SLA's military library division newsletter. But newsletters weren't the only things on her mind.

In the podcast interview that we posted last week, Ann spoke about the latest developments in social and mobile technologies, and the role she sees them playing in the library space.

In case you missed it, hop back to our podcast, or read the transcript below.

Janelle: I am Janelle Kozyra, blogger for Inmagic. We are at the SLA 2011 Conference and I am with Ann Jacobson. Hi, Ann.

Ann: Hello.

Janelle: So what brings you to SLA this year?

Ann: Well, a couple of things. I am the relatively new editor of the newsletter for my division which is the military libraries division. And so I'm actually doing a little presentation with a couple of other newsletter editors. So that was a big draw.

I came to SLA a couple years ago and I found it just really exciting and I live in a pretty small community, Monterey, Calif., so it's nice to mix it up with some other librarians and information professionals. And I also enjoy schmoozing with vendors.

Janelle: So tell us what company you're with and your role.

Ann: I'm not with a company. I'm with the Naval Postgraduate School which is a military academic library, and I am the Manager of Reference and Instruction.

Janelle: So the theme of this year's show is Future Ready. So what sorts of maybe changes or investments do you have planned for the next year or so to get you future ready?

Ann: Well, I think for me as a 50-something, keeping up with all of the technology changes, especially things that are more social and collaborative. I'm trying to really keep up on that. We're in a little bit of a unique situation. Our students tend to be people in their 30s, not 18-year-olds, and so we have the luxury of a little bit of a buffer between every new technology that hits and when it hits us but, nonetheless, we have to stay pretty up on that.

And I just see so many changes coming with mobile I think would be one of the biggest ones that's on our radar right now. Seeing everybody come in with their iPads and their BlackBerrys and their iPhones and wanting to be able to provide the services and resources on mobile devices and to take good advantage of social networking things to communicate with our users. I guess those are two things that are on my mind.

Janelle: What sorts of challenges do you see surrounding that, though. I mean, getting into social networking and some of these other things you were mentioning?

Ann: Well, the challenge for mobile, a lot of it is that we use products that aren't mobile-friendly yet. A lot of the databases and things that we use are not mobile-friendly yet and mobile isn't great for everything. I don't think people want to read a 200-page book on a mobile device. I think I'd have to think more about the challenges. Right now it's sort of like we're just exploring and excited.

With social networking, I think one of the challenges in our environment, anyway, is having that be taken seriously. So we have a Facebook presence and getting faculty to understand that isn't just a stupid thing but it's actually a really great way to communicate with some of our students and alumni and other people who might be interested. It has not been a challenge for us to keep that up and engaging and things like that.

Janelle: Well, great. Thanks, Ann. Good luck at your session and good luck with the rest of the show.

Ann: Thank you very much. Nice to meet you.

Janelle: You too.

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