Using the Library Catalogue to Teach RSS, A Workshop Idea!

I love bragging about being the first to get library materials, and I want to teach you how to beat me!

I want others to use open tools such as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to enhance their ability to read a wide range of websites and to become better informed from a wide range of sources.

I'm thinking of a workshop on RSS, free to the public,or nominal cost to cover materials, on how to use RSS. I'm interested to know if your interested.

I use RSS to follow over 500 websites, in a wide range of interests, and even use RSS to monitor things such as my server RAM usage.

One of my uses of RSS is to follow my local public library catalogue, and receive notifications of new books I wish to borrow. This has utility to many people, and I think its a hook to introduce people to RSS.

I have a whole range of RSS feeds for the library. I get notifications every time a new "Star Wars" item is added to the collection, each new DVD, all new PBS DVDs (makes it easier to prioritize), a few books I'm waiting to be added to the collection, and subject area feeds.

What my RSS Feeds Look Like][Here's a section of my HPL RSS feeds

This comes in handy, because I generally avoid waiting in line for the material I want.

I was front of the line for the latest Star Wars DVD (check out that , first to get the Rogue One Novel, discovered a documentary via RSS feed, have a hold on Jesse Brown's new book (he hasn't finished writing), first with Lego Star Wars (trust me, you want to be first before its all scratched up and unusable), Andrew Baulcomb's excellent local music book, a military biography book (history is a topic RSS of mine)

Here's what the listing of DVD added to the Library collection in the past 7 days looks like in my RSS reader:
List of DVDs added to HPL catalogue in the past seven day

The past couple of days, I've tweeted some of my catalogue finds (only after I placed my hold of course) and a few people have tweeted me saying thanks, they were interested in the items. This got me to thinking, I should teach how to use RSS.

The Idea

A course that assists people to set up a RSS reader, gives them an introduction to RSS, shows them how to subscribe to various local RSS feeds, and then shows them how to set up HPL RSS searches.

It's fairly simple in concept, I'm confident they are open licensed teaching materials I can build on, and the materials could be reused locally by others.

I think there will be interest because there is utility. Personally, I may regret this, because right now people will be able to get in front of me for Star Wars. I have 46 "on order" holds, this is my current holds front page:

My current holds front page

The Reason

I love open systems and open source. I'm a blogger, and very proud of that fact. I use open source software and code to power this website. I release all my original materials using an open culture license. I also enjoy learning and then sharing knowledge. A few years ago, I regularly taught open data mapping sessions. I enjoyed doing so.

Are You Interested?

Would you attend the workshop if I organized it? Let me know by Tweet or on my Facebook Page.

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