By Naomi Bates, Teacher Librarian, Northwest High School, Justin, TX
In today’s world of academics and reading, libraries are integrating with new technologies through 21st century tools. This trend can be seen not only through eBooks and databases, but also through the unique personality a library can create through publicity and online branding. Savvy librarians are ensuring their virtual presence through curation sites, online posters, infographics, and social media, most of which are free resources.
Connecting to patrons, educators, and administrators through virtual branding increases traffic in both physical and virtual library spaces. This attention creates the visibility necessary to keep the library in the front row, instead of in the background as with older, traditional techniques that don’t incorporate technology.
Curation sites are becoming standard tools to help libraries create online collections, not only for patrons but also for colleagues and the wider campus community. While hard copy archives are very valuable parts of a library collection, digital curation sites take those collections to the next level by expanding their accessibility.
The same can be said for online posters and infographics. Most of the information that people process is digital and a library marquee is no longer good enough. Librarians have the ability to harness their creativity by sharing information about all types of programs, collections, and events on custom websites that use catchy images and words that can be shared through all digital communication mediums.
Sites like YouTube and Facebook are common social media tools that librarians have embraced, but there are many more tools they can use to stay in touch with their schools and communities. Pairing social media sites with curation tools and online posters creates a virtual outreach that will cement the huge potential impact that libraries, as well as the statistics and resources they provide, have on their patrons and communities.
Join us for Gale Geek’s interview with Naomi Bates, entitled Making Digital Connections with Patrons on Friday, May 2nd at 11:00 a.m. EST.
About the Author
Naomi Bates is a teacher librarian with a twist of technology at Northwest High School in Justin, TX. Her passion for both technology and the library has led her to learn about instructional technology and how collaboration and integration can make a difference. She has presented technology and library workshops throughout the nation to create awareness of the importance of school libraries in the 21st century. If she’s not online, you will find her behind the cover of a young adult book.