social media

Making Use of Government Social Media at the Reference Desk

Dog at reference desk

At this year's American Library Association Annual Conference, I strayed a bit from my usual public library path and attended a session from two academic librarians who work at Columbia University. But like many sessions at ALA, this one shared some useful tips for public librarians, particularly those who work at the reference desk.

Chubing Hong and Tara Das, both government information librarians at Columbia University, discussed how government agencies have used social media to communicate both official and unofficial government information. Hong discussed how the government in China is just starting to embrace social media as a means for communication.

There's so much information out there for librarians on how to use their own social media, but what about how to use other social media for finding and sharing information? And can you use it to answer questions at the reference desk?

Crowdfunding Tips from Two Small Libraries

Once upon a time, there was a suburban Chicagoland public library with an enormous dream: to raise enough money for its very own Incredible Hulk statue. And over on the East Coast, a one-room library without running water was dreaming of a more modern building.

Both libraries garnered an incredible amount of support for these dreams, from mentions in popular magazines to shout-outs from celebrities. Oh, and a substantial amount of money too. How did they do it? Through the magic of crowdfunding!

TechSoup for Libraries held a webinar on July 29 on tools, tips, and tried-and-true practices for running a successful library crowdfunding campaign. We invited the librarians from those two crowdfunding campaigns to share their experience:

  • Laura Bartnik, Northlake Public Library District (Illinois) shared how her library used crowdfunding to purchase and promote graphic novels and technology in the library.
  • Mary Anne Antonellis, M.N. Spear Memorial Library (Shutesbury, Massachusetts) used crowdfunding to support a capital campaign to build a new library.

Video Streaming Apps — To Stream or Not to Stream

This post originally appeared on the TechSoup.org blog. We thought the library audience would be interested in these apps for a few reasons: storytelling, copyright issues, and potential privacy violations. Read on to learn TechSoup's Ale Bezdikian's musings on the Periscope and Meerkat apps.   

 

someone's hand holding a phone up at a concert to film it

The nonprofit sector thrives on a community of rich storytelling. Whatever form that storytelling takes, from photo essay to member video, story-driven content is dynamic, shows impact, and can attract new potential donors. Many of these stories, however, are only as good as their delivery strategy or the platforms used to connect them to wider audiences. And that's where live streaming can be useful.

Dive into the World of Library Hashtags

One of the (many) things I love about the library community is how active it is on social media. I use Twitter both personally and professionally and have discovered a wealth of information through library-related hashtags.

Hashtags were developed by Twitter as a means to build community. In technical speak, hashtags are a form of a metadata tag. When you put a "#" in front of a word, it gets tagged and is searchable on the platform in which it is used. Hashtags were started by Twitter, but are now supported by Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.

Whether you operate your library's official Twitter account or are looking to connect with and learn from with other librarians via your personal account, there's a library hashtag out there for you.

Hyperlocal and Hyperconnected: New Ways to Publicize Your Library

I signed up for Nextdoor not really knowing what it was. Advertised as a "private social network for your neighbors," I assumed it was a place where neighbors exchanged tips on local hidden gems or important community updates. Boy, was I wrong. The majority of posts were arguments over petty things, such as the noise level of the city garbage trucks.

When I moved to a different neighborhood, I was on the verge of deleting my account, but an announcement from a neighbor about the local branch library made me think twice. After a little digging, I found out that the neighbor was actually the children's librarian at the Visitacion Valley branch of the San Francisco Public Library system.

Four Public Libraries to Follow on Instagram

In honor of TechSoup's StoryMakers challenge kicking off in a few weeks, I wanted to help you get inspired by other libraries. Instagram is a great tool for exploring how other libraries tell their story. Yup, I'm telling you to go lurk some other libraries! Here are a few of my new follows:

1. Piscataway Public Library

Piscataway Library

Move the Reading Conversation Online

As summer approaches, readers' advisory (RA) programs are ramping up. At PLA 2014, one of the liveliest panel discussions I attended was on reader advisory and social media. 

While you probably already have your services and programming planned out, the librarians had some fantastic ideas on how to move the reading conversation online. 

Avoid Social Stagnation! Get Your Whole Staff Involved in Social Media

Are you having fun and being creative on social media, or do you feel like you're just tweeting and posting the same things over and over? Maybe your library's social media presence is stagnating. Here's how to break out of that rut.

Interesting Uses of Technology: Social Media

In continuation of our July theme of "interesting uses of technology," we've collected tips and resources to help you use social media.