Libraries Reaching Out Online

I really feel like in these days and times where library budgets are being cut that libraries need to redefine themselves in a world of social media, online services and various electronic resources.

I almost feel like it’s a given that a library should have an interactive presence whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or some other avenue.  The key is to stay active and get the word out to its patrons that they are accessible in these formats.  There is no benefit to having a blog that no one visits or be on Twitter and no one know.

Andy Brukhardt makes some wonderful suggestions in his post, How To Grow Your Library’s Social Media Presence, about how to spread the word to library patrons.  One pointer I wish he had focused more on is you can’t just have a page up and hope people will come.  The library staff has to be actively engaged with those who visit their blog, Facebook page or who tweet about a library.  There’s nothing like rarely seeing new blog posts, tweets or status updates to bore patrons and have them stop visiting.  Once they stop visiting a library’s page it’s not long before they forget they are even accessible online.  I personally find that libraries who respond to comments I leave on their blog or who tweet or reply to my tweets are the ones that first come to mind when I think of great, helpful libraries.

In the end, the more a library holds a community’s attention as a value adding resource the more likely that community is to support the library.

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2 Responses to Libraries Reaching Out Online

  1. ntabisaura says:

    I agree! Libraries should better utilize social media. It’s free and has the potential to attract the right attention from our patrons. I only wish that libraries would use it better. Or at least my library. We’re still newbies in the social media arena. We have a blog, a twitter account, and a facebook page but most patrons don’t know about it yet. I tried tracking how often my library comes up. It’s sad how little people mention us. I share this information with our tech committee rep in hopes that our attempt at social media will be more interactive and therefore more successful. Great post. Thanks!

  2. dsuzuki says:

    I think this is true for a lot of libraries like I didn’t even know our county system had a Twitter account until they tweeted me. I think it’s a matter of actively going out and interacting with patrons on the various media platforms instead of waiting for them to find you. I have a feeling my library is probably on FB but I’ve never gone searching for them. :)

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