Howard, H. A. (2018). Academic Libraries on Social Media: Finding the Students and the Information They Want. Information Technology and Libraries, 37(1), 8–18. https://doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i1.10160
In his book Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters, Alfred Hermida states, “People are not hooked on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook but on each other. Tools and services come and go; what is constant is our human urge to share.”1 Libraries are places of connection, where people connect with information, technologies, ideas, and each other. As such, libraries look for ways to increase this connection through communication.
Academic libraries have been slow to accept social media as a venue for either promoting their services or academic purposes. A 2007 study of 126 academic librarians found that only 12 percent of those surveyed “identified academic potential or possible benefits” of Facebook while 54 percent saw absolutely no value in social media.2 However, the mission of academic libraries has shifted in the last decade from being a repository of knowledge to being a conduit for information literacy; new roles include being a catalyst for on-campus collaboration and a facilitator for scholarly publication within contemporary academic librarianship.3 Academic librarians have responded to this change, with many now believing that “social media, which empowers libraries to connect with and engage its diverse stakeholder groups, has a vital role to play in moving academic libraries beyond their traditional borders and helping them engage new stakeholder groups.”4
The project focused on three research questions: 1. What social media platforms are students using? 2. What social media platforms do students want the library to use? 3. What kind of content do students want from the library on each of these platforms?
survey using the web-based Qualtrics
The social media platforms included were Facebook, Flickr, G+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Qzone, Renren, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and Yik Yak
The second survey also lasted for three weeks starting in mid-April of the spring 2017 semester. As a participation incentive, students who completed the initial survey and the second survey had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card.
we intend to develop better communication channels, a clear social media presence, and a more cohesive message across the Purdue libraries. Under the direction of our new director of strategic communication, a social media committee was formed with representatives from each of the libraries to contribute content for social media. The committee will consider expanding the Purdue Libraries’ social media presence to communication channels where students have said they are and would like us to be.
Facebook: awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave Tweeter: a lot of us simply do notunderstand the point of Twitter. There is always a core group at every school that uses it very religiously to tweet and another group that uses it to simply watch or retweet, but besides that many don’t use it. Tumblr: is where you are your true self and surround yourself (through who you follow) with people who have similar interests. It’s often seen as a “judgment-free zone” where, due to the lack of identity on the site, you can really be who you want to be. Instagram:“Everything about the application makes it less commercialized and more focused on the content, meaning more teens are inclined to visit it. Twitter:“To be honest, a lot of us simply do not understand the point of Twitter.” Snapchat:“Snapchat has a lot less social pressure attached to it compared to every other popular social media network out there. Tumblr:“Tumblr is where you are your true self and surround yourself (through who you follow) with people who have similar interests. Yik Yak: People reference Yaks all the time with each other or send screenshots
LinkedIn — We have to get it, so we got it. Many wait until college to get this (as they probably should, it isn’t for this demographic anyways).
Pinterest—It’s mainly female-dominated and is for those who have an artsy/hipster focus. Not too many people talk about it.
Kik—It’s a messaging application that is mainly used for messaging people on Twitter I guess? I don’t know anyone who uses it. The only time I ever hear this application is for the joke, “Aye you got Kik?”, normally seen as someone trying to “spit game” to attract a partner. It’s really difficult for me to describe it here but it isn’t super relevant.
WhatsApp—You download it when you go abroad, you use it there for a bit before going back to iMessage and Facebook Messenger, then you delete it.
GroupMe—Byfarthe most used group messaging application in college.
Mammoth is a bookmarking tool that seems to offer the key aspects of Evernote mixed with Tumblr.
Mammoth could be used as a project management tool. To use it to manage projects create a board and share it privately with your collaborators. Then use the board to share notes and assign tasks to each other.
Applications for Education Mammoth could be a good tool for creating digital portfolios. Students could use Mammoth to showcase examples of their best work in a nice linear layout. Students can use Mammoth to share their portfolios publicly or share them only with you where you can give them feedback.
5 Creative Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog Posts
Promote Your Article Across a “Wider” Variety of Platforms
Here are some examples of smaller networks:
Quora.com—A question/answer-based website founded by two former Facebook employees. What makes Quora unique is that all content is created, edited and organized by its user community. The user base tends to be more business- and academic-oriented.
Tumblr—A microblogging site that recently made headlines when Yahoo! acquired it. Its user base tends to be younger and more “hip,” making it the perfect platform to share edgier, niche-based content.
Empire Avenue—Part social network, part social media marketing tool, Empire Avenue uses gamification to enable users to broadcast content across all of the other social networks. The primary members of EAv are small businesses, social media professionals and blogger
Grab Viewer Interest With Different Types of Media
promote your posts with images, audio and video.
#1: Use Dubbler to Give a Short Audio Introduction
#2: Create a 6-Second Preview of Your Post with Vine