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From Michelle Kraft–Libraries Leveraging Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media

Posted by Editor on October 13, 2009

Monday afternoon I was a part of the Technology Forum for the Midwest MLA Annual Conference in Columbus, OH.  I spoke on libraries using Twitter and Facebook.

You can see my slides at http://bit.ly/hA9g0.  I specifically wanted to show examples of what other libraries were doing with these two social networking sites.  I tried to find as many medical library examples as possible (I even found one example of a hospital library).  But there were also neat things being done by other libraries and I went with those examples when I found they were doing something that the medical libraries hadn’t picked up on yet.

Some of my favorite examples:

  • Weill Cornell and Loma Linda both have tied their catalog new books feed into their Twitter account. So when a new book is added to the catalog a tweet is sent out with a tinyurl.  Clicking on that tinyurl gets you to that record in the library catalog.  I thought this was cool.  I don’t know how difficult it is to set this up, perhaps somebody who has done this could comment.
  • Health Library & Resource Center of El Camino Hospital put their patient education material up on their Facebook page under Notes.
  • UTS Libraries (University of Technology, Sydney Libraries) use Twitter’s tweet poll feature to create a quick survey and ask for feed back on an issue.  In this case it was the use of QR codes, but almost any question could work.

I notice a lot of libraries out there dipping their toes into the social networking arena, but as I was researching this topic for the presentation, I started to notice that a lot of libraries good efforts seemed a little disjointed.  What good is having a Twitter account if you don’t list the feed on your home page.  I’ll even go a little further with that idea.  What good is even having the Twitter icon on your site if you don’t have the feed displayed anywhere on your website.  There are tons of libraries that are using Twitter as a sort of “what’s up at the library” news service.  Yet, I really couldn’t find all that many that tied this news feed into their own news feed on their own library web page.  Why?  Why do these libraries have two different news feeds?  Which on should a patron pay attention too?  We spend so much time on authority records in our catalogs and databases, yet where is our authority control on our Twitter and news information feeds?  I don’t mean specifically what they are posting but the fact that there are two (or more) sources of different news information.  This is extremely distracting.  So a library patron has to subscribe to the Twitter feed to get information and check the library’s site for information, not good….Read entire post and other great articles here: http://kraftylibrarian.com/

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One Response to “From Michelle Kraft–Libraries Leveraging Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media”

  1. April said

    Good examples, good article!

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