I personally love Twitter and use it all the time to keep up with book related news such as new releases, upcoming releases, what’s going on in the publishing arena, etc. I think libraries can also make great use out of them as well. With the growing number of people signing on to Twitter especially the younger generation who like to do pretty much everything online this is a great way for libraries to keep in touch with those people.
I know I personally have made more of an effort to go to a particular library since they answered a tweet I posted complaining about something. They were able to address my problem and now respond to comments, questions and requests I make to them on Twitter. It’s great for developing relationships with their patrons and finding out about problems they may not have previously known about. That makes for happier patrons, possibly an increase in usage of services and hopefully one day increased funding for the library.
Not only is Twitter helpful in monitoring satisfaction or problems with library services but it is also a good way to advertise upcoming events. I know I personally do not visit my library’s calendar daily and often forget about upcoming events. Library’s can use Twitter to remind patrons about events or to even stir up additional interest in an event.
Twitter can also be an additional resource for getting feedback on possible programs, what books are hot with different audiences or just about any other topic you can think of.
As with any other medium libraries need to keep in mind the limitations of Twitter such as the 140 character limitation, people’s tendency to reply quickly without always giving their reply much in depth thought and that those on Twitter tend to be more technologically savvy and may not represent the wider user of the library.