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).


Module 4 Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation, social media, social networking and libraries: why bother?

My reflections on the following posts as these provided much insight into social networking for information professionals……….

Brookover, in her article Why we blog raises a number of important points to consider regarding blogging.  She mentions that “….libraries are reaping the rewards, well-written, frequently updated public blogs help librarians relate to their patrons, generate support for new building initiatives, and market programs, collections, and services”. A blog is a great communication tool for disseminating targeted information to patrons and but it must be regularly updated. So it is important to consider how a library will use the blog, staff training and the time commitment required  and the scope of topics it will cover. How will public comments be handled and how the success will be measured?. I think addressing user comments in a timely manner is very important to maintain our relationships with patrons.

I explored a few academic library blogs at random and found that the topics covered included new materials, library programs and events, online resources, and library services which are often the same as those covered by in person or email interactions. User feed back was little but blogging has ’empowered librarians to reach their users in new ways and develop user-library relationships that is so fundamental for our institutions ability to thrive’ in these tough economic times.

Meredith Farkas’s post The essence of Library 2.0 ( January 24, 2008) on her blog Information wants to be free has a clear message for library and information professionals  as we can learn much from this pioneer of Library 2.0 movement.  She stresses the importance of assessing what our users need and want before implementing Library 2.0 technologies . Her focus is us is on user needs, services and learning. Do not be caught in the hype of Web 2.0 technologies. I think innovative practices does not necessarily equate to Web 2.0 technologies as all libraries are different. And not every library will be able to use all those tools. Our users have different needs. So find out  what your users want, assess your services and find out what other libraries are offering so you can learn from that experience.

Andy Burkhardt’s post Four Reasons Libraries should be on Social Media (August 2005, 2009) states the following reasons:

  1. Communication
  2. Respond to Positive/Negative Feedback
  3. Marketing/Advertising
  4. Understanding Users Better

This is a great article that briefly and succinctly sums up why libraries should be using social media. The email is dead is a huge take home message – and a lot of the libraries are using IM for communicating with  their patrons. This is true at my library. The reasons are clear and make a lot of sense in this digital age. I think this is an article that all librarians should read and take notice as it will help them to see that there isn’t one good reason why they should not be using social media tools as a way of making themselves seen and heard by their patrons. I just hope all other readings are this simple to read and convey the message.

AnnaLaura Brown’s blogs on top tools and trends for libraries on her Social Networking in Libraries blog , shows a the rise of Facebook fan book pages for libraries but my library does not have a presence there yet but my institute does have a Facebook page for marketing and promotions.

The trend of offering social networking classes is a wonderful idea and it is a great way to market the library and get patrons in the door. A food for thought for my library. As my project was based on using Delicious to create web resources to support my faculty I will be teaching Social bookmarking as part of Information literacy this term.

Library related widgets such as libguides widgets is becoming very popular and my library has just launched libguides that uses widgets such as RSS, Youtube videos and other widgets. Our library intends to develop a range of tutorials using online learning technologies including podcasting and screencasting.

With regard to ebooks and ebook readers the library is still exploring the best options that will support the current technology platform. With reduced budgets this makes it very difficult to juggle resource priorities at some libraries. The other reason is that there is not much course specific materials out there. And getting teaching staff to embrace ebooks is another challenge.

The library catalogue has a mobile interface so it can be accessed via mobile devices.

These trends provide a few options for me to explore further at my library but given the resources available to us I think we are making a good effort in participating in a range of social networking activities.

OLJ Activity : Building the Academic Library 2.0

The keynote presentation by Meredith Farkas (2007), ‘Building Academic Library 2.0‘ to Librarians Association Symposium at University of California, Berkeley Division captures the essence of Library 2.0 ethos and resonates a number of key points that I have read in the modules so far. She addresses Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Library 2.0. Building Library 2.0 and Organisation 2.0 and tries to define Library 2.0. For her in a Library 2.0 the focus is not on tools but services and patron needs.

There are many pieces of advise in the keynote and I have used five key advice to consider here:

  1. The world of Web 2.0 is wired, connected, interactive and evolutionary. Our users are no longer information consumers but they are contributors and co-creators of information. With available technologies anyone can contribute information so building trust and partnerships with our users is important. We are participants in information creation.
  2. Know your users – It is important to get to know your users and non users and examine any assumptions you may have. This is very important to work to meet changing user needs. In the connected world of Web 2.0 your users are the active participants and co-creators of your library service. Trust them as partners in your service. Their feedback and comments from your social media tools for example library blogs, provides a rich source of information to access your services. Give them a role to help define library services of the future.
  3. Go where you users are. Survey your users and find out what their research needs are and what they value. If your users are frequent users of social sites try embedding your library services in places where your users are such as creating portals or links from Institute Facebook page to the specific areas of your library website/catalogue so users can find the information they are looking for research. Users start their search on Google or Wikipedia and not the library catalogue so find ways of pushing your content out to your users in places they do their research.
  4. Build participation – get over the idea of being experts in your fields. Harness the collective intelligence of your users by sharing knowledge and resources through social bookmarking tools. Social book marking is a method of capitalizing on the collective intelligence of your users in projects or research work. The tags and annotated lists can be stored on permanent location such as a wiki and can be linked to catalogues or learning management systems. Here is an example of content collaboration – University of Pennsylvania’s Pentags. Use wikis and blogs to collect information from the diverse staff in your organisation so you can tap into them at the point of need. Create subject specific blogs or wiki but find out if that is what you or your users need. You cannot know everything so network and share knowledge.
  5. Build a learning culture in your organization by starting in-house programs on different aspects of Web 2.0 technologies that will help your library to enhance services. Work time must be devoted to this type of professional development where one has to work with new technology. Immersing oneself with others is the way to learn but do understand staff members’ needs and limitations as everyone learns differently. For library management is important to understand the learning styles of your staff and offer appropriate training experience. Learning emerging technologies should be part of people’s job descriptions and be valued by the organisation.

OLJ Activity Personal Learning Networks: Reflections

Based on Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption, identify which stage you currently see yourself experiencing and how this impacts on your personal and working lives. Also identify any ‘gaps’ in your existing PLN (ie. areas which you feel you would like to develop further/in the future). Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 400 words in your OLJ).


I think we all have a personal learning network (PLN). Whether we use it in our personal or professional lives, our PLN is the group of people or organisations that we trust to provide us with useful information, fresh ideas, inspiration or advice. I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you if I said Web 2.0 has radically changed how we interact in a socially connected world of ICT. Social networking has revolutionised how we interact with our PLNs.

My PLN grown from my work colleagues; cherished personal mentor or workplace champions; sporadic professional development opportunities; and professional contacts at conferences to the new social networking applications and tools of the Web 2.0. Using Web 2.0 I  can connect and collaborate using a range of social media such as blogs, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Skype, Secondlife, Podcasts, Delicious, wikis, ning …

Looking at Jeff Utecht’s PLN adoption stages I think I am between 2 and 3.

Stage 2 Evaluation: Evaluate your networks and start to focus in on which networks you really want to focus your time on. You begin feeling a sense of urgency and try to figure out a way to “Know it all.”

Stage 3 Know it all: Find that you are spending many hours trying to learn everything you can. Realize there is much you do not know and feel like you can’t disconnect. This usually comes with spending every waking minutes trying to be connected to the point that you give up sleep and contact with others around you to be connected to your networks of knowledge.

I am still exploring and finding the networks that will I want to focus my time on. I seem to find a new one every so often that I want to explore. Sometimes I think I should just jump to Stage 5 as I think you should learn when you need to and you don’t need to know right it all right now. There are few things especially for this course that I have any urgency to learn and use in my work. But some I think I can get by and hope to visit later as I need to find a balance between learning, working full-time and living. Knowing when to disconnect is an important attribute in this game. So me to keep abreast of technological changes PLN is a lifelong learning experience.

I want to focus on a few tools and get to know them well. I like to experiment with the blog as I see their value and social bookmarking tools especially Delicious. Having a presence and making a contribution on useful social networks is another thing I would like to focus on. The figure below summarises my interactions with my PLN’s.


Utecht, Jeff. (2008). Stages of PLN adoption, available at The Thinking Stick.

Module 3: OLJ Task Library 2.0 and participatory web

Write a critical evaluation on ASU Libraries’ use of these platforms to achieve the 4Cs of social media (in no more than 350 words).

ASU Libraries have made effective use of social media to connect with users by incorporating Web 2.0 tools into library services through the creation of ASU Library Channel. The library has made clever use of social software tools and applications to create highly effective ‘one minute’ video clips to inform patrons about new services, resources, tools and ‘how to guides’. Using these video clips they are able to communicate with their user community. The short video clips make creative use of visuals, text and music to engage with their users. The OCLC Report 2007 highlights the growth and the influence of social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook and ASU Libraries have effectively applied Web 2.0 principles of 4Cs. The use of the video clips on YouTube and Vimeo enables the community to provide feedback and comments allowing the opportunity for conversation and collaboration.

Besides the use of the video clips the library also maintains an active presence on some of the biggest and most popular social media platforms available today notably Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo and iTunes and uses Web 2.0 applications such as RSS to engage with new content and service updates.  By creating content for more than one device such ASU libraries has as a mobile catalogue, website, blog and varied social media presence shows it has embraced Library 2.0 ethos and invites participation from the community that the user can choose to participate in. The blog is an effective tool for pushing out news and stories on library services and here ASU libraries have effectively used it as websites to publish their full suite of Web 2.0 services.

Flickr is regularly updated and has a relevant collection of photos depicting services, collections, events and library activities which users can post comments to as it is available via the Facebook site. The Facebook page is actively used to update and inform users on various library related content. This is a useful platform to socially engage in conversations and collaboration with users. Input from end-users in the Facebook ‘comment’ field allow for user participation and contribution of ideas and content.

ASU libraries ‘the library one minute video titled “social connection” encourages patrons to “connect with us and join our conversation”. It claims that communication goes both ways. Apart from promoting it services and resources on Facebook it has also uses Twitter. For an academic library it is important to engage with students in their social spaces. ASU provides collaboration between their website and the Facebook and Twitter site to provide information for their patrons. Patrons have the ability to rank information provided as ‘liked’ and they can tweet the ‘ask a librarian’ service. This can be seen as a form of conversation and content creation.

By using a variety of social media the library is targeting a whole range of users to participate in its services. Go to where your clients are is the new mantra for libraries and ASU libraries is certainly achieving the 4Cs of social media.

The world is changing, the way we access information is changing, and libraries need to look at this positively, grab the opportunity to show their users just how relevant they still are. And ASU libraries have achieved this through the 4Cs of social media.


De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J, & Jenkins, L. (2007), Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC Membership, Dublin, Ohio: OCLC


Marcum, J. W. (2003). Visions: The academic library in 2012, D-Lib Magazine vol.9 no.5

Module 3 OLJ Task: Activity: A-Z of Social Networking for Libraries

READ the post A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (22 January, 2010) on the Social Networking for Libraries blog.Consider this advice in terms of a library and information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select advice from five (5) letters of this A-Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 350 words in your OLJ).

After reading A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries I have chosen advice from 5 letters from the list that I consider may be applied to XYZ Library to embrace a Library 2.0 ethos.  According to Casey and Savastinuk (2006) at its most basic level, the Library 2.0 model gives library users a participatory role in the services libraries … the model seeks to harness our customer’s knowledge to supplement and improve library services. Thus considering this view I have selected the following (5) advice from the list:

D-Direction: What are you planning to accomplish for your library with social networking?

H-Help: Relying on only one or two people to build your library’s social networking presence will not work. It needs to be a whole team effort on behalf of your entire library staff.

M-Mobile: More and more your library’s social networking needs to be able to be accessed via mobile devices. There are also more options than ever for making this a reality.

R-Reference: You may think that offering reference services via social networking is impossible but the reality is that so many of your patrons use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that you can offer the answers to frequently asked questions as a form of reference services on these sites.

Z-Zeal: Is your library staff exciting about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library? If not, you will struggle to make it work for you.

First and foremost I think the library staff as a whole must understand, acknowledge and accept social networking, Web 2.0 services and applications and the Library 2.0 model and be willing to adopt this service model. The world of libraries is changing. The learning habits of library users are also changing. A lot of their learning takes place in social spaces and this is where libraries should be pushing some of their services to. To enable staff to have a common understanding of Web 2.0 services and applications there should be some form of team professional development. Allow staff to play with these tools and technologies to become confident in their use. It requires a team effort and zeal on part of staff to effectively use social networking as a means to connect with users. For this to happen the library must plan carefully what services it will target for ensuring that the library uses this form of communication successfully and achieve its goals. Start with something simple like SMS for library overdue loans and expand gradually. Start a library news blog and add more features gradually. But do market these new services as well.

Mobile devices are used by majority of our library users as their main source of communication, Internet browsing and social networking so it is vital for any library to embrace Library 2.0 ethos to ensure that some library services can be accessed using mobile devices such as having a mobile interface of the library catalogue so services can be accessed remotely anytime anywhere. As majority of our users have mobile phones the library can use text messaging as a form of reminding users when library items are overdue.

By looking to offer some reference services via social networking sites, the library can connect with patrons on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube as many of our users are already familiar with these sites and spend a lot of time using them (OCLC Report, 2007). A library’s presence on any of these social networking sites as shown by ASU libraries is vital in this day and age. These social learning spaces will allow them to engage with us and participate in our services so we can offer assistance in an environment familiar to them.


Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September.


De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J, & Jenkins, L. (2007), Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC Membership, Dublin, Ohio: OCLC



Module 3 OLJ Task Essential knowledge, skills and attributes


Based on your reading in Modules 1, 2 and 3 so far, and your examination of Abram’s and Harvey’s definitions of Librarian 2.0 and the views presented in the above YouTube clips, define what you believe to be the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world.Write up your definition as a post (of no more than 350 words) in your OLJ.

Web 2.0 describes and defines the rapidly expanding suite of interactive technologies on the Internet. Web 2.0 technologies and tools are participative in nature so these are all about making connections, creating conversations, sharing learning experiences and ultimately about building communities to help end-users. Information professional have a vital role to play in this interactive environment as new tools become available and old ones fall by the wayside. For librarians and libraries to survive in a Web 2.0 world it important to keep exploring and expanding the suite of library skills and services to find the ‘right’ tools/applications that may better suit their services and support their clients. Understanding the information seeking behaviour of your users through these interactive technologies will help towards building a library service that is relevant and useful in the rapidly changing information landscape of today.

The essential knowledge, skills and attributes needed by information professionals to keep abreast of these rapid changes are many but the ability to continually evolve and adapt to these changes is vital keep your services moving forward. I note the following:

  • Recognise the world of information is changing fast and become an active participant by engaging with colleagues and educating yourself
  • Be willing to experiment and propose new services
  • Let go of previous services and take advantage of new tools and applications but be realistic with what can be achieved with new technologies
  • Join social networks and harness the knowledge of “collective intelligence”
  • Be selective with the technology choices, and select one that fulfils a particular need.
  • Be willing to go where you users are, both online and in the physical world to provide library services
  • Think about your services, your users and where you want to go with technology
  • Understand the power of Web 2.0, social media and social networking
  • User participation and feedback is important is creating or enhancing services
  • There is no ‘right technology’ as Web 2.0 is in a constant flux… so keep learning with new tools and experiment…