I have chosen to look at three libraries in the local Melbourne area, 2 public and a university library. All three use a selection of social networking tools to connect and interact with their patrons. The platforms they use may be the same or similar but the customer demographic is very much varied, so why have they chosen these tools and how do they use them to their advantage and most use.
|Mornington Peninsula Libraries||@||@||@||@|
|Monash University Library||@||@||@||@|
|Melbourne City Libraries||@||@||@|
All of the three libraries use Facebook and Twitter in a similar fashion, to update, inform, give links to events, special subjects, highlight areas of interest and general news on what is happening in the library. Melbourne City Libraries seemed to have targeted it’s audience well, given the 2,470 Twitter followers, much more than its Facebook Likes. Monash uses a library blog again for imparting news and information, but it does encourage and welcome feedback, as do the other libraries. Using an image tool, Flikr for Melbourne City and YouTube and Pinterest for Mornington is great as it targets people who prefer visual access .It creates and helps enrich the library by providing a visual backdrop and landscape which customers can connect too. Although the demographics of the clientele are very different all the libraries are trying to harness the power these social media tools can provide and connect, converse and collaborate with their customers.
All have made their social software mobile compatible, which enables users to access from wherever they wish and on the go. Also using a variety of platforms widens the range that people like to use and also takes into account the dynamic change of social software and each tools popularity. Social networking allows libraries another dynamic way of reaching their patrons, whether just for information, or to provide study and research needs .Finding the right platform, whether it be for the demographic ,for ease of use or because it is the most popular, is one of the important steps in introducing and using social software in libraries.It also connects libraries with other libraries,for professional information to collaborate on services and to connect to a global presence online.
Related Articles & References
Dickson,A.(2010).Social networking in academic libraries: the possibilities and the concerns.New Library World, 111(11/12),468-479
Odell,S.(2010).Opportunities and obligations for librarians in a social networking age: a survey of Web 2.0 and networking sites. Journal of Library Administration,50(3),237-251
“How Libraries Are Using Social Media”, American Library Association, July 16, 2013.
http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/how-libraries-are-using-social-media (Accessed January 20, 2014)
Social Media: Libraries are posting, but is anyone listening?