Reasons why libraries should be on Social Media.
If you access any local, state or national library, it’s very likely that the library website has incorporated a social networking application to connect with its users. Below is a comparison of three libraries that use social media to meet their goals. I have selected a National library, a university library and local public library.
Reasons why libraries should be on social media
- To connect with their users especially the younger demographics. Majority of students use Facebook, and/or twitter and have access to a SMART phone. Their daily chats include SMS, IM, and microblogging. In order for libraries to communicate with their users they must be active on these sites.
- Feedback, (Burkhardt, 2009) “being responsive to users concerns or praise”. Libraries subscribing to Facebook, Twitter and Blogs can view and read customers’ feedback and respond to comments about their libraries. Consequently, indicating to their patrons that their opinions and concerns are important, “trusting them… giving them a role in helping define the library” (Farkas, 2008).
- To notify their community of library services. Often the community are unaware of the services provided by the library. All three libraries use social media to promote their services. Most people search for information on the net using their SMART phones, computers, or tablets. Brookover (2007) states that blogging allows the library to reach out and have “conversations with its users through a medium they already know”.
- Collaborate with internal staff and external libraries. Brookover (2007) states blogs written for internal and external staff improves communication flow. It is an additional method in conjunction with e-mail, and phone to communicate and collaborate with other libraries.
- Advertisement .Wee (2010) suggests when people search on the net, they do not proceed past the first page on the search engine; therefore it is essential to have the library’s website on the first page. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” (Wee, 2010) which indicates how the library’s site ranks on a search engine page. Wee (2010, Mar 15) illustrates how particular social media sites adds value to the libraries site and ranking on a search engine.
These are some of the reasons why libraries should be on social media. Of course, there are privacy and security issues which every library needs to consider when accessing these social media applications.
Brookover, S (2007, November 15) Why we blog, Library Journal [web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6497263.html
Burkhardt, A (2009, August 25) Four reasons libraries should be on social media [web log post]. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/
Farkas, M (2008, January 24) The essence of library 2.0, Information wants to be free [web log post]. Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/
Wee, W (2010, March 15) INFOGRAPHIC: Guide to the social media marketing landscape. Retrieved from http://www.techinasia.com/infographic-guide-to-the-social-media-marketing-landscape/