Category Archives: Social Media

Libraries and Twitter

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.

Promoting collections

Promoting events

(I am so going to see this one.)

Updates about library services

Promoting library resources

User engagement


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: [Accessed 13 February 2015].



I first came across this lovely video of staff and students at Texas A&M University Libraries dancing to “Happy” via Ned Potter’s blog.

You can read more about the thinking behind the video on Ned Potter’s blog. Personally, I think this is a great way to reach out to new students and to introduce the library to them in a fun way.

I speak from personal experience! These days, of course, my local university library  is one of my “happy” places and you can often find me there browsing the shelves after a long day at work. A particular favourite are the Library Science books on the fourth floor. It de-stresses me. I remember well, however, being a first-year undergraduate student at Münster University, and being terrified of even entering the huge, imposing university library.

Here is a photo of said university library. It actually looks really cool, don’t you think?

ULB Münster HDR Gehorche Keinem

For my entire first semester at university, I relied on the two libraries of the History and English departments. Admittedly, they were quite extensive and probably covered most of the needs of a first-year student, but that’s not the point.

I eventually got over my awe of the main library, you will be pleased to hear. I joined one of the many library tours on offer, and after that, became a regular patron.

The point of all of this? I think that videos like the one above can go a long way in familiarising students with the library early on. Watching the video has got me thinking about library induction and this is something that I would like to explore more. Do you have any suggestions for resources I should look at?

Video source: “Happy” by Texas A&M University Libraries

Photo source: “ULB Münster HDR Gehorche Keinem” by Philip Brechler is licenced under Creative Commons CC BY 2.0