Library News Tutorial

HOWTO: Integrating your Library’s KLOW site with an RSS Screen Saver

Today we have a guest post from Thatcher Rea from Basehor Library. Enjoy!


Thatcher Rea
Technology Services Coordinator
Basehor Community Library

Hopefully your decision to use KLOW for your library website has been an incredibly enjoyable experience – Basehor Library’s move meant not only could we more quickly publish content to our website, we could have multiple librarians and staff authoring content as soon as it was ready, instead of waiting for a webmaster to massage and publish the content.

The use of KLOW brings a number of really helpful and interesting features – one of which is RSS. If you’re not familiar with this feature, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is quickly becoming the preferred method of keeping up to date with other web sites in an automated fashion, without visiting the website from which the content originated.

Users of KLOW will also have the added benefit of being able to create specific categories, and then use RSS feeds from those categories specifically (Which KLOW does for you automatically). Combine this with a freely available RSS Screen Saver and you now have a simple, yet powerful tool for prominently displaying information in your library. Update the website, and your information is automatically updated and displayed without any further effort on your part.

This sounds great you may ask, but what would we use it for? By being able to subscribe to an RSS feed for a specific category within your KLOW site means you can use this approach for a variety of different uses. For example:

  • Displaying helpful tips on your public access computers for patrons at your library
  • Display upcoming events on a public computer marquee
  • Any other creative uses – the sky is the limit!

One such product that we at Basehor have used is by NuParadigm – there are other free RSS Screen Savers out there, and you may find one that you like better, but so far this one has worked out well for us.

Click below to see how!


Idea for post: What the director is reading

P.J. Capps, director of the Atchison Public Library has a great post on her KLOW site entitled “What the Library Director is Reading.” What a great way to get the community involved! She’s got a lively conversation going with her patrons about what she’s reading and what they are reading.

What other kinds of posts really get your patrons going?


Keep it fresh!

How do you keep people interested in your site? Fresh content!

I have heard varying opinions about the minimum frequency for new posts. Some people think you should add new content every day. I, however, think that if a rural library is adding new content once per week, that’s great!

What types of content are KLOW libraries posting?

  • Event announcements (story time, movie nights, library board meetings, etc)
  • New arrivals (books, DVDs, music)
  • Services and resources (Homework Kansas, Kansas Audio Books, Music, and More, etc)
  • Library announcements regarding holiday closings and weather closings, too

What else? How do you keep patrons coming back to your site?