Technology utilized in a library isn’t just computers or other hardware, e-books or other digital formats, it is also the way libraries present themselves to their users. Now, with more and more people forgoing print material for digital material, libraries need to make their presence known even more and let their users know what they have to offer. Social media has become an excellent resource for many libraries to do just that.
In the August/September 2012 issue of Library Technology Reports, David Lee King discusses some of the ways libraries can utilize social media in his article, Running the Digital Branch: Guidelines for Operating the Library Website. These ideas go past simply creating a facebook page, but include a YouTube channel, Twitter account, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Google Plus, among others. By utilizing as many of these social media outlets, a library can reach not only current users, but potentially new users as well.
A facebook presence really goes without saying any more: it seems everyone has a page in the “book of faces”. Facebook is a great place to post upcoming events, new releases, even posting photos of recent events that were held at the library. Using Pinterest and setting up boards for different subject such as “Best Reads for Young Adults” or “Staff Picks” or even an “In the Neighborhood” board generates interest as well. YouTube is a great place to post videos that introduce the staff or give a virtual tour of the library. More and more people now use Twitter, and a lot of these are “movers and shakers”: achievers if you will – why not utilize them in helping the library achieve as well?
Our local public library, as do most, has a webpage, but in addition to that, they have a facebook page as well. They have not yet tapped into all of the social media that is available to use, but with a little encouragement, I think they will. I think all public libraries should take full advantage of social media sites. Most of the content you see on these sites starts a conversation, and wouldn’t it be nice to see a conversation about – or by – your library?
Social Media. (2012). Library Technology Reports, 48(6), 23-27.