Twitter is a free social networking and communication tool that enables you send short messages of up to 140 characters to your group or friends via the Twitter website, SMS, other Twitter clients, email, or IM. It provides a dynamic way to connect with patrons, students and professionals. It is used in a number of different ways in teaching and learning. It is now becoming increasingly popular with libraries and librarians to use Twitter to engage with patrons to promote and market their services via this popular social media.
Here are some ways libraries can use Twitter
Reference services – use new online tools to connect with patrons
- Read latest news – many major sites have Twitter feeds which makes it easy to catch up with news & latest information – BBC, ABC, CNN
- Identify expert in a specific area – find out who is talking about you or your patrons
- Share tips on finding or accessing information online – spread the knowledge of learning to others
- Posts can link to interesting stories about literacy or other libraries
- Use it as an assessment tool to find out what others are saying about your service
- Patrons can ask questions about specific materials
Announcements and updates
- Use it to highlight new resources, group meetings, current news,
- Stay informed of new technologies
- Inform patrons of library programs
- Create alerts for specific groups
- Update patrons about new resources
- Get information on conferences of interest to libraries & follow feeds
- Get feedback on potential policy changes
- Try having a question and answer session – provide assistance to patrons
- Don’t ignore conversations that are happening about your library or library community – stay engaged with followers to find out what people are saying about your services
Helpful feeds – find the ones that is useful and follow such as
- @librarycongress: The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world, keep up with everything from their special collections to latest events
- @LibraryJournal: @LibraryJournal offers library news, book reviews, and more
- @heyjudeonline: Check out Judy O’Connell to learn about library and information services.
- @mstephens7: Michael Stephens is an educator, librarian, and blogger that encourages his followers to never stop learning or dreaming
- @geeklibrarian: This Librarian is a geek helping public librarians venture into the world of Web 2.0.
- @Librarian: This feed will give you a look at libraries in a totally unique way.
Vendors using Twitter – interact with your vendors in a new way
100 ways to use Twitter in your library (2009).