In one of my modules last term, we discussed how libraries can use social media. I’m not sure we reached a conclusion, but part of the discussion was about the purpose of social media – do we use them to update our users about news and events, or do we use them to fully interact with our users?
Taylor & Francis (2014) recently researched the use of social media by libraries. In their white paper, they identify several social media objectives, including: promoting events, resources and collections and library services; connecting with new students and the wider community; highlighting subject specific information; a customer service tool; and a teaching tool. Not all of these were equally important to the survey respondents: the objectives that fall under marketing activities were rated as most important.
So what exactly do libraries do on social media? I’ve had a closer look on Twitter this week. What follows are some examples of interacting with users that stood out for me.
Library of Congress (@librarycongress) February 08, 2015
LiverpoolUniLibrary (@LivUniLibrary) February 10, 2015
Bodleian Libraries (@bodleianlibs) February 12, 2015
LibraryofBirmingham (@LibraryofBham) February 13, 2015
(I am so going to see this one.)
Updates about library services
Did you know short loan books are now due back at 2pm rather than 11am? Click here for more info: intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/libraryserv…—
UoB Library Services (@UoBLibServices) February 12, 2015
Promoting library resources
LibraryofBirmingham (@LibraryofBham) February 11, 2015
Warwick Uni Library (@warwicklibrary) February 13, 2015
Paul Hogan filed in European travel! That's the sort of anarchy we can all expect now Australia can do Eurovision http://t.co/pFNqU98CN8—
Orkney Library (@OrkneyLibrary) February 11, 2015
Taylor Inst. Library (@TAYOxford) February 11, 2015
These are just a sample of tweets that caught my attention, but I guess it is obvious that promotion is a big theme. And why not? The only question that remains is: what is the story behind the Library of Congress photo?
What about you? Do you have any favourite library twitter accounts?
Taylor & Francis, 2014. Use of social media by the library. Current practices and futures opportunities. A white paper from Taylor & Francis. [online]. Available from: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/access/white-paper-social-media.pdf [Accessed 13 February 2015].