AnnaLaura Brown (2010) wrote an article on her blog listing ways in which libraries can utilise social networking technologies to benefit their clients. Below is just a couple of her points and how I feel they could be applied to a University library, this library has begun use of some social networking technologies, but does not appear to be using them to their full potential.
“F-Facebook, having a presence on facebook with a fan page or a group is a must. Facebook is so popular now that it is expected” (Brown, 2010).
The library posts once a week or so, mostly concerning services. These posts are just general informative posts with a stock picture. Comments on the Library’s posts are few and far between and the ‘likes’ have sat at 621 for months. This page needs a total refresh, include content that students are interested in, engage using information and questions that are interesting, e.g. today is Charles Dickens 200th birthday, what is your favourite tale?
“H-Help- relying on only one or two people to build your library’s social networking presence will not work. It needs to be a whole team effort on behalf of your entire library staff.
Z-zeal, is your library staff exciting about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library? If not, you will struggle to make it work for you” (Brown, 2010).
In a lot of ways H & Z go hand in hand, if staff aren’t excited about it, they will not help whole-heartedly. Getting staff familiar with these technologies will go a long way to getting them excited about it. Perhaps at an all staff meeting encourage your staff to tweet and have a screen up displaying the live twitter feed. Create a storify later on so staff can come back and revisit the events of the day.
“M- Mobile, more and more your library’s social networking needs to be able to be accessed via mobile devices. There are also more options than ever for making this a reality” (Brown, 2010).
Almost everywhere has a mobile version of their website now, to not be well and truly in this sphere is a bad place to be. Currently the library has released a mobile site only last year and it is still working out bugs. Their needs to be a concerted effort to have this website running flawlessly by the end of 2012. Right now not only is the library far behind its competitors, but also behind it’s vendors.
“V-Video whether on youtube or elsewhere, use video to enhance and engage with your users via social networking” (Brown, 2010).
Video sharing sites like YouTube can be embedded in most other social networking platforms. If the library were to create its own youtube channel it could promote it via the libraries facebook or twitter page. It can be used to connect with students, for example rather than book suggestions from Goodreads, you could tape interviews with library staff about books they recommend.
Brown, A. (2010). A to Z of social networking for libraries. Retrieved from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/ on 30 July, 2012.
OnceUponaTingle2. (2012). Library role play #1: YA Recommendations (ASMR). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eCwdhpyqYQ on 30 June, 2012.