‘The A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries’ is a list created by AnnaLaura Brown in 2010 where she offers advice as to why libraries should be using social networks. Choosing only five points to discuss in this post is a challenge mainly because Brown makes a lot of good points! I will mention those points that I feel should be embraced as part of a Library 2.0 ethos as well as two relevant technologies that could be made use of in my workplace.
- Active – if you are using social networking in the library it is not enough to just set it up and then forget about it. For example, if you choose to have a library blog it must be updated regularly in order for it to work for you and your library. Make a commitment to spend some time each day or each week to keep your social networks alive.
- Content – are you offering your users valuable information that they will want to read and appreciate? Ask your users what they would like. Ask for feedback. Make your content relevant, interesting and informative. Make use of your site’s statistics to provide you with valuable insights into user growth and trends.
- Facebook – having a presence on facebook is a must. Facebook is currently the most popular social networking site in Australia with users from both sexes and all age groups. Using your library facebook page for marketing purposes can be a very effective way to reach your users where they already are.
- Video – use video to enhance and engage with your users via social networking. A great example of how one library is offering video content to inform and instruct its users are the Arizona State University Library Minute videos. Each video in the series is presented by the engaging Anali Perry and uses humour to impart information about the library and its services in a fun way.
- Zeal – if your staff is excited about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library, their energetic and unflagging enthusiasm will be a key component in helping your social networking strategies succeed.