INF506 / OLJ Task

INF506 – Mod 4.2 Reasons why Libraries should be on Social Media

How do these three libraries use social media? (Colour coded to easily see which SM is used the most)

University of Northern British Columbia Library (UNBC)

Vancouver Public Library (VanPL)

University of British Columbia Library (UBC)

(NB:   * denotes poorly or never updated)

UNBC Library

Van Public Library

UBC Library

Library collection and services marketing (Text based)

-Homepage

-Facebook page*

-Twitter account

-RSS feed

-Homepage

-Facebook page

-Twitter account

-RSS feed*

-Mobile App

-eNewsletter

-Homepage

- Facebook page

-Twitter account

-RSS feed

Library collection and services marketing (Photo/video based)

-Facebook page*

-Twitter account

-YouTube channel

-Facebook Page

-Twitter account

-Flickr account

-YouTube channel*

-Facebook Page

-Twitter account

-Flickr account

-YouTube channel*

User feedback, comments, suggestions opportunity

-Website form

-Facebook page*

-Twitter account

-Website form

-Facebook page

-Twitter account

-Website form

-Facebook page

-Twitter account

User questions and referencing help

-live chat widget on website

-Website form

-Facebook page*

-Twitter account

-Text-a-librarian

-Email

-LibAnswers

-Live chat widget

-Website form

-Facebook page

-Twitter account

-Email

-OverDrive Help (for digital resources)

-Live chat widget

-Facebook page

-Twitter account

-Email

-Website form

Library tips and how-to instruction, educational programs

-Website

-Youtube channel

-Facebook page*

-LibAnswers

-Website

-Tumblr

- OverDrive Help (for digital resources)

-Website

Space/ facility/ event reservation

-Online booking

-Online booking

-Online booking

Now, based on this analysis of just three libraries, Why do I think libraries be on social media??

Communication with and between users (Burkhardt, 2009)– Social media is all about communicating with and between people. A library being on the most popular SM sites such as facebook and twitter gives the library and users other means to communicate besides in person or even a static comment form on a website. All three of the above libraries have online query forms, but these are a form of closed communication comparable to the telephone, 1 to 1, in Clay Shirky’s Ted Talk (2009). The library’s website itself is much like the television or radio, 1 to many. But social media has the essence of what Shirky (2009) says is the benefit of the internet – many to many. Being on social media means users have the opportunity to ask questions and comments that are displayed publically and other can read the library’s responses or respond themselves to add to the conversation.

Marketing and exposure (Burkhardt, 2009)– Not only can the library market itself using facebook pages, twitter, and flickr as the above libraries do with news and event posts and photos (Vancouver PL is doing it the most successfully out of these three examples); being on social media has the added possibility of your posts going viral, being shared, and ‘liked’ extending your reach beyond users who visit the library’s social media pages and reaching into the lives of those who don’t -A chance to find and grab non-users

Educate – Social media can be great as an online teaching tool, reaching users outside the physical walls of the library to teach them a skill or introduce them to something new. YouTube channels are increasingly the go-to social media source for this; however, in the above libraries, only UNBC library is utilising this platform for education potential.

Lastly, and this one is just my own thoughts, Users expect to able to find your library in a form that suits their preferences – a library shouldn’t do something just because they see another library doing it, but these days I believe many people expect to be able to find a library while logged in to their facebook or twitter, and not having a presence on these sites diminishes the chance for a library to be relevant. This expectation should be a reason for committing staff time to regularly updating the main social media sites because being on them is only worth it if content and posts are new.

References

Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four Reasons Libraries Should be on Social Media. Retrieevd Jan 2, 2014 from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/

Shirky, C. (2009). How social media can make history [TED Talk]. Retrieved Jan 2, 2014 from http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html

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One thought on “INF506 – Mod 4.2 Reasons why Libraries should be on Social Media

  1. Pingback: INF506 – Assignment 3 OLJ & Evaluative Statement | A TL's Learning Journal

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