The comparative table below shows how a university library, high school library and a museum uses social networking and media tools to support service provision and promotion of educational programmes.
Some of the more common social media tools used by all 3 organisations are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Blogs and Wikis.
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.
Some reasons why libraries should be on social media are:
- Promote library or museum resources, services and events.
The ASU library, Creekview High School Media Centre and Brooklyn Museum actively share timely information, promote useful content including resources, services and events through the use of Facebook and microblogging sites like Twitter. Brooklyn Museum for instance is currently promoting their 2Feb Gallery Tour: Hide/Seek. What i found most impressive about Brooklyn Museum and ASU facebooks are their timely response to comments which i posted on their Facebook wall. Within 24 hours, i received response from the respective Facebook administrators. This is one thing that they have gotten right about using social media ie to respond and have a conversation with their audience!
A Museum Guide leads a free evening tour of the exhibition HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.Source: Brooklyn Museum Featured EventsPublished: 2012-01-30 15:59:00 GMT
- Reach out to larger community or audience, hence maximise library exposure. Social networking tools like Facebook, twitter and blogs are also used by all 3 organisations to communicate with the larger community of users. As mentioned above, the timely response to comments is certainly a plus factor for ASU and Brooklyn Museum administrators.
- Engage users by facilitating discussion groups and collaborative work.
All 3 organisations have harnessed the use of social networking technologies such as Facebook, blogs, wikis to facilitate online communication, collaboration and co-creation of content through the collective intelligence of the online community (Berger & Trexler, 2010; Bradley, 2007; Richardson, 2009). Creekview High School Media Centre has an excellent LibGuide creatively used by Buffy Hamilton to support the school curriculum and library support programmes. Buffy is an active and regular contributor to her blog site and this is evidently seen through the regular alerts received from blog RSS feeds.
- Engage volunteers to help with projects and apply concept of “crowdsourcing” where organisations can consider tapping into the talents and wisdom of the crowd for instance Wikipedia.
- Create a progressive and modern Library 2.0 (Museum) image to connect with technically savvy Web 2.0 users. All 3 organisations uses Flickr photostream and YouTube clips to post photos and videos of events and library learning commons to inform and connect with users. ASU actively uses Vimeo to produce a diverse LibraryChannel clips such as One Minute Library to announce or inform users on the various services and facilities available in the library. The ASU One Minute Library clips are informative, entertaining, interestingly and creatively produced. Every one of the One Minute Library video provides a useful summary with detailed and useful description all within a minute which is about the attention span of any audience. The video clips allows for commenting and audience participation. The One Minute Library clips are definitely an efficient and effective way of reaching out to users. Being hosted in YouTube also saves them costs. Buffy Hamilton, the Unquiet Librarian, at the Creekview High School Media Center produces excellent slideshows to feature workshops conducted for both students, school staff and other workshop participants. Brooklyn Museum similarly uses video clips to engage potential museum visitors.