Social Media in Libraries 101

Is it possible to learn a lot in one week about social media in libraries? Yes, it is. Today ended the week-long class I took at the iSchool at Syracuse University. I had no idea what to expect this week, but here’s a quick lesson of what I learned.

1. Know who your audience is, and understand what social networks will work for their demographics. Some libraries will use both Facebook and Twitter, or one or the other.

2. Create an authentic user name that will transcend to all platforms. If there is one name for multiple networks, it will be easier to form connections with others.

3. Personalize your social media. Have fun with the design of your page. Create an interesting biography. Link to all your sites.

4. You have to do more than read Tweets or posts on Facebook. You need to participate to the conversation. Post good links to websites or comment on what people post. If you don’t interact with other people, it will be difficult to form connections.

5. It’s simple to create an account with a profile picture and email address. It’s harder to maintain and grow your account. Hundreds of friends and followers will not happen overnight. Make goals to post a certain number of times each week, and make sure you stick to this schedule. Soon, you will develop a friend-follower base if interactions continue. Networking is a two-way communication. Be aware of what you are posting, and who you are posting to.

6. Social media is informative, but slightly informal. Write like you would talk to a friend.

7. Social media can be used in libraries to highlight collections, post news and events and reference portals, plus so much more.

 

Librarian Stereotype #5: All young, recent graduate librarians are tech-savvy

In class this morning, my professor said a lot of people expect young graduates to know about technology. We have to know how to fix problems with computers and network connections.

Want to know the truth? I am not tech-savvy. I know how to use basic computer processes, but when it comes to building my own computer and fixing malfuntions on a compuer, I’ll be the first person to ask the IT department for help.

Because we are being trained in new ideas of librarianship, I think most people assume we know everything about library science and information technology. I’m sure there are some people who know these skills, but most young graduates know basic website design, social media and can fix minor computer problems.

Though I may not know how to fix a  virus on a computer, I know how to find someone who can.

Social media and libraries

Next week, I’m taking a week-long, bootcamp class about social media in libraries.

I’m hoping this class will provide information and tips as how to gain followers for social networks in libraries. I’ve been doing some research, and blogs and Twitter seem to be more popular than Facebook.

Twitter tells you what’s happening now, and it provides instant feedback from patrons. Blogs are a great way to promote services, events and any great general information.

More to follow once the class starts!

Librarian Stereotype #4: All librarians own cats

I’ve finally succumbed to this stereotype. I adopted a cat from the SPCA yesterday, and he is adorable. He is a gray-and-white Maine Coon mix, and is cuddly, calm and a lap cat. He came with the name Walter, but that’s changing to Louie, Milo or Simon.

People always ask if I have a cat when they discover I’m a library student. They think we have no social lives, and want to hang out with our cats all day. Some of my fellow library students have cats, but it’s less than half. Some have dogs. Others have guinea pigs.

I have heard of librarians being “crazy, cat people,” with 10 or more cats, but I’d like to think I’m safe with only one to take care of. For now. Muhhahahahahhaha.

Internship update

There are only three more weeks left at Le Moyne. As it comes to an end, it means that classes will begin shortly after.

Instead of completing one big project, my supervisor has had me complete lots of little ones. From weeding out the science collection to creating a lit review for social media in libraries, I feel I have dipped into so may areas of academic librarianship.

I have learned I want to stay in academic libraries. Not really sure how to explain it.