By Valerie Herman
Social media offers an opportunity that intersects beautifully with the librarian’s role; after all, curating information and disseminating it to the public is what we have always done, but now we can do it faster, better, and more extensively.
Several years ago, I recommended Somers Library start utilizing various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) to reach out, not only to our local community, but also to share information beyond to others worldwide. After 34,000 tweets, 12,300 pins (all of which are book-related), and countless Facebook entries, our efforts resulted in recognition of our library as a valued resource to follow. We use each channel a little differently.
Twitter = National & Worldwide— On Twitter, we have a much broader audience. Our posts are mainly links to useful information or book/author related.
Pinterest = All Readers — The library’s Pinterest boards have the largest amount of followers (over 31,000.) . Each board, nearly 200 in total, showcases books on a specific topic or genre. This is especially helpful for pinners who love to read!
Success in social media takes a lot of time and dedication. It’s not always feasible to post during working hours, so a good deal of posting and scheduling is done at home. It is essential to find a balance between job responsibilities, home life, and keeping up with social media. I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Social Media Management Tips
- Use a reader such as Feedly to follow blogs, book-related sites, newspapers, and other online resources that include content that you may want to share with others.
- When determining what to post, consider whether the item will be of interest to people who love to read, and don’t simply list events going on at the library.
- Post things that people will find interesting and/or useful – links to databases, archives, fun quotes, etc.
- Don’t just retweet – verify the source first.
- Stay positive! Don’t post negative articles, etc.
- Follow people who share the same kind of information you are interested in reading and would want to share with others.
- On Twitter, always thank people who retweet your posts, and retweet others often.
Our presence on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, expanded the Somers Library community and grew our reputation. The connections made and the positive comments we have received make it all worthwhile. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: [email protected]
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About the Author
Valerie is the Adult Reference Librarian at Somers Library in NY. Her professional interests include the use of social media in libraries and connecting readers with books. She enjoys ballroom dancing, reading, and spending time with her four grandchildren.