This OLJ accompanies the Comparative Table in the previous post that looks at how each library uses social networking tools to support information services, educational programs, promote collections and services and develop a learning/reading culture.
Social media enables libraries to connect and communicate with patrons in new and innovative ways. Because of the ubiquity of social media use libraries can leverage these social networking tools to interact with patrons news ways.
List of reasons why libraries should be on the social media.
1. Promoting and Marketing services and collections – through the use of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Youtube and RSS feeds the library is able to publicise and promote services to a wider audience using information sources their patrons already use. The NLA participates in a variety of social media to network with its patrons for example they have created a number of instructional videos using YouTube with screencasts to show how to use the wealth of content in Trove. Yarra Plenty has subject specific blogs with RSS feeds for patrons to select the services of choice. ( Comparative Table )
2. Communicating with patrons – social media enables libraries to solicit feedback from patrons and respond to feedback as shown by SLA through their posts and comments blog. The NLA has an active Twitter account to notify patrons of news, special collection and events. A special blog to showcase special exhibitions and through Facebook they get feedback from patrons.
3. Reach a wider audience – by using several subject specific blogs regarding their programs Yarra Plenty reaches out to specific groups of patrons such as Plenty of Web 2.0, Yarra Plenty reads, Genealogy, Local history, Book groups.
4. Extend the collection to a wider audience – using social media libraries can transport their collection to any place at any time as shown through the webcasts and RSS feeds at SLQ and the library podcasts at NLA.
5. Keeping patrons up-to date with programs and services – shown by the variety of feeds that SLQ offers to patrons. Patrons can subscribe the feed of their choice.
6. Understand user needs and improve services – comments from Facebook and Twitter (as shown by all 3 libraries) provides libraries a with a rich source of information t o evaluate services and programs to meet changing user needs.
7. Making information accessible –shown through the variety of social media – RSS feeds , podcasts, web feeds, Youtube videos, Twitter and Facebook by NLA.
Participating with social media is a two-way street and responding to patrons’ feedback is important as shown by these three libraries. Libraries must harness the benefits of social media as it provides libraries with new ways to engage with clients, build relationships and contribute to digital citizenship.