Wednesday, 6 February 2013

INF506 OLJ Task 5

Reasons why libraries should be on social media

Activity: Select three (3) libraries of your choice that use social networking to meet their goals.Develop a comparative table which documents how each of the libraries use social networking tools to support information service provision, educational programs, conduct business etc.

Based on this comparison (and in no more than 350 words) develop your own list of “Reasons why libraries should be on social media”, and draw upon aspects of these three libraries to illustrate each point.

Libraries chosen that use social networking to meet their goals.

•    Sydney University Library, Sydney, Australia
•    Macquarie University library, Sydney, Australia
•    New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons (Lexington, South Carolina, USA)

Below is the comparative table I developed:

Some reasons why libraries should be on social media

1. To promote library products and services among online users to potentially attract new patrons.
Social media enters the world where the users are. (Farkas in Uni of California, 2007). It offers more than just the traditional ways of promoting libraries, through, posters, newsletters and advertisements.
The three libraries use twitter  and  Facebook for this purpose. They all promote new resources and the school library provides competitions to allow the students to be the first to borrow the new resources.

2.To allow users to access library information on their own platform
All the libraries have a Facebook and Twitter Account. Twitter is the quicker way of being made aware of events related to or promoted by the library. They can the tweet the information to others. The library patron can then go to the library Facebook page when they have more time to interact with further information
The three libraries also have the opportunity for users to view past events on YouTube. Macquarie Library and the elementary learning commons both  have blogs, while Sydney University library has RSS feeds.

3. To allow users to contribute feedback
Social media provides an opportunity to get feedback from users. Libraries need to provide an effective service that promotes further library use. Social media provides that forum.
The three libraries allow opportunities for comments about events related to the library. All the libraries have guidelines about what types of comments that are allowable. Patrons can post negative comments but they must do so in appropriate language.  This applies to Facebook, twitter, and blogs.

4. To understand Users Better
Social media allows conversations with users, and these conversations often reveal important insights about the users needs. The library needs to provide services not from what the library thinks users need  but what actually they need.
The new Macquarie University Library (completed 2011)  is an example of where  consultation occurred on a number of levels.  Information about various meetings can be found on the blog and the Facebook  page provides regular information about the library.

   Sites Accessed

* Library - Macquarie University

* Macquarie University Library | Facebook

*  Macquarie University blog@library2010

* Macquarie University New Library » Welcome to blog@library2010!
* MQ_Library (MQ_Library) on Twitter

* New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons

* New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons on Facebook

*New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons on Twitter   (Mrs Fort is the Learning Commons Specialist at NPES)

*New Providence Elementary School Learning Commons , (Students Work)

*Sydney Uni Library (UniSydLibrary) on Twitter

 *University of Sydney Library | Facebook

*The University of Sydney - Library


* ALA.(2011) . The State of America’s Libraries Report: Social Networking.  Retrieved from

*University of California Berkeley Library.(2007). New Directives Initiative: Academic Libraries 2.0 Keynote: Meredith Farkas. Retrieved February 3rd 2013 from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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