Reflections… ‘Which Social Media type most appealed to you’

This unit has been a necessary shove in a direction I had not felt compelled to go. I suppose that must be a little how libraries too have experienced the arrival of information technology and the social media explosion/invasion.

As we all seem to have concluded in our own way – libraries are of course all about information so it only seems fitting really that they should embrace all forms of it. Discovering how many different ways of communicating there are has been an eye opener and I’m still dubious it means people are communicating any better. The fact is people rely on electronic devices nowadays and so the currency and convenience of social networking and the net has come to be expected.

Information overload is surely one of the pitfalls of all this ‘communication’ but at the same time there is a lot of stimulating, educational and inspirational ‘stuff’ to be found out there via library websites (not that a good novel, reference book or artwork couldn’t have the same effect!).

Good on libraries for moving along with the times and reinventing themselves. There’s no likelihood of them dying now as how could anyone on social media miss them! Good for us who hope to work in a library and help attract and support  information seekers.

I have enjoyed the push into a world I’d only stepped around before.  Finding out what on earth all those weird symbols are that pop up everywhere has been a good. About time to demystify the wifi. (!?!)

The visual sites particularly interest me such as Flickr. I didn’t find many libraries using Instagram. I’ve had a curiosity about Pinterest for a while so have  joined up and with no shortage of images out there will now embark on gradually filling my empty board.

Issues with Social Media Tools

Potential issues with social media for libraries are privacy, bullying, inappropriate comments and material. Staff should only post official material,not their own opinions. Links need to be approved as appropriate and relevant to the library.

Here are a few links to library social media policies:

 

http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/167545/Social_Networking_Policy_v5.pdf

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about/policies/docs/social_media_policy_v1.0_2012-10-24.pdf

http://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/library/documents/facebook_guidelines_sunshine_coast_libraries.pdf

YouTube and Libraries

YouTube provides libraries with another tool for educational and social purposes. From a simple instructional video at the WSI Mt Druitt library to a myriad of entertaining and informative videos at sites such as the National Library.

The Mt Druitt WSI Library video is just over two minutes long but provides the viewer with all the information they need as an introduction to using the library. This is a good example of a library using YouTube as an educational tool, in this case a simple ‘virtual’ tour which is very helpful as a refresher or for those not able to attend a real tour.

Another great way libraries are utilising YouTube is for book reviews and talks that are relevant to the library or given at the library but not always an option to attend in person.

The National Library of Australia gives a window into a world of visual imagery  the library patron would never have dreamt of having access to in the past. There is SO much footage which would’ve gone dusty on the shelf in the past. It wouldn’t have been considered appropriate to play such footage in the actual library. Perhaps these kind of clips would’ve just been accessed occasionally by researchers or for use by documentary makers etc.

The National Archives of Australia YouTube site is another great example of this with really interesting historical footage as well as being an educational tool. The other great way libraries are utilising YouTube is for book reviews and talks that are relevant to the library or given at the library but not always an option to attend in person.

Could quite happily sit and watch all these gems in the same way as enjoying a good book. It’s great that libraries are able to share archival material like this for us to all enjoy!

 

Photosharing

The most beautiful and worthwhile example of a library with a photosharing link I can find is the National Archives of Australia Flickr page!

The photo’s are of course of the absolute highest standard as they are by the photographers featured in their exhibitions and collections.

First to appear are the photographs of the recent Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.  There are some humorous ones as well if you go into their ‘Album’ section you’ll find images from the Elvis Festival held in January at Parkes.

Check them out for yourself….with this link…fingers crossed it will actually work…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalportraitgallery/

What benefits could micro blogging sites such as Twitter have for a library?

Twitter links can be found on most library websites. Having a Twitter link can give a sense of what is being talked about within and around the topic of that particular library or conversations going on about libraries and related thoughts in general. It is up-to-the-minute feedback and interaction. Short and current.

For example currently being tweeted at the State Library tweet is comments on Vivid (Light show on in Sydney), Exhibtions at the Library Gallery, photojournalism and a list from the Guardian newspaper of the top 10 books for ‘bookworms’.

My local public library Blue mountains City Council has tweets about Online Safety Awareness Week this week. However in this case the twitter link is associated with the council in general and not specifically the library.

 

Benefits of using social networking sites such as Facebook for libraries.

Well it might be just as much about the disadvantage a library would feel these days without a Facebook account as the benefits of a library having one!

In this age of the internet and social networking a library needs to have a Facebook presence in order to be noticed. This is due to the shifting ways in which people now find information and use facilities such as a library. Facebook appears to have become a bit of a ‘one-stop-shop’ when it comes to looking such information up. Facebook for a library can be used in much the same way as a personal Facebook page – to inform of upcoming events, comment on interesting topics such as new book and so on, and display relevant photo’s. It provides a two-way interface for the patrons to feel involved and presents as a fun dynamic way of doing so.

Whether the users are able to go to the library physically or not viewing their Facebook page allows a sense of ‘real’ contact without actually going there. In fact there is probably more of a sense of the things goings on at a library and information about ‘what, when and who’ is happening there currently than would be obtained as easily in person.

This type of social networking certainly seems to be the future for libraries if not already the more active way of interacting or accessing them.