OLJ – Critical evaluation of ASUL achieving the 4c’s of social media

Arizona State University Libraries (ASUL) have created an interesting and informative page. Easy to navigate, I was motivated to explore the various services offered by this institution.The Library Minute YouTube collection and use of web 2.0 social tools certainly promoted and achieved the 4c’s of social media – Collaboration, Conversation, Community, and Content-Creation. Web 2.0 technologies utilised included Facebook, RSS Feed, Twitter, YouTube and also a presence on Instagram and iTunesU. The one minute videos highlighted various library services and resources such as location of academic articles and audio-visual materials. Further, clips also addressed library exhibits and media issues.

Conversation and community

Certainly an attempt at conversation via ASUL’s Facebook and Twitter pages was encouraged with regular posts and tweets.  Although Twitter as a community seems to be favoured by students with 2,547 followers as opposed to 594 likes on Facebook. A reason to explain such a difference may be that ASUL tweets contain useful and practical information such as links to the university’s feed and last minute changes whereas Facebook is more promotional, mentioning future events such as ‘Education Week’.

Collaboration

There was very little collaboration between library and users. Most Facebook posts had less than five likes and there was very rarely a comment. However, I do not feel the library is at fault, the option for suggestion, comment or feedback exists. Perhaps actually inviting opinions or comments may remedy this.

Content creation

The majority of content existing is created by ASUL staff and this may deter users from creating new content.  The promotion of Instagram may reduce feelings of vulnerability with users tagging images rather than having one’s name exposed such as on Facebook. The library’s Instagram account is successfully adding a human element in that the culture of is not perfect (Farkas, 2008) and constantly changing as shown with informal and fun photos. Pictures show librarians as Star Wars characters, cleaning up of big rubbish, working with students, big smiles and funny faces – all visually communicating that the library is alive, amongst the user community and working behind the scenes to improve.

Clips viewed:

The Library Minute: LIB 101 ASU Libraries Introduction. Retrieved 1st May 2014.

Important Library Minute: Mobile Security

The Library Minute: Interlibrary Loan Document

The Library Minute: Study Spaces Video

Access Week Continues!

Reference

Farkas, M.G. (2008). The essence of library 2.0. In Information Wants To Be Free. Retrieved from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2008/01/24/the-essence-of-library-20/

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OLJ – Developing a draft marketing strategy

Using the readings and concepts presented in Module 4 as a guide, a draft social marketing strategy (SMS) can be developed for a secondary school library in which I am visiting. The following points are considered:

* Establish goals for the SMS (weekly and yearly) and use these to define the process. Keeping a written record of these goals assists in maintaining focus. Goals will be specific, realistic and be in-line with the relevant policies of the school.

*Ensure adequate time is allocated during the initial stages of social media development and selection of tools. Ongoing attention is needed to maintain an adequate social presence. Time and responsibility needs to be negotiated with members of staff.

*Evaluate the target audience. Teachers, students and parents will all be engaging with the social network therefore it is these groups that will need to find the topics relevant and useful. Further, reading levels, maintaining interest and appealing to a variety of age groups would also need consideration.

* The library budget must meet the ongoing needs of maintaining a social media presence. Whilst the start-up software may not incur a cost, the ongoing maintenance in terms of staff time do need to be included in the strategy.

*Library management will then decide which social media sites to use and what services will be promoted. Most students utilise Facebook therefore this is where the library will reach the greatest number of student users. The library is also able to ensure ‘likes’ rather than ‘friends’, this way updates will reach students via newsfeeds and students do not fear school administration viewing their personal activities.

* Review and assessment is essential in maintaining an effective marketing tool that is responsive to needs and interests across the school. Listening to and engaging with the users will yield valuable feedback that can be utilised when reflecting and reviewing the SMS.

OLJ – del.icio.us critical evaluation

Arranged as a folksonomy (Allen, 2011), del.icio.us is an online tool used to save and organise web links. Classifying links using tags and subject stacks, a user can keep many links as well as view other public link lists.

Creating a del.icio.us account was relatively quick and easy. Instructions and functions of the site are clear. This was possible due to the simple lay out of the site and few advertisements or pop-ups. Before INF506 I had not experienced del.icio.us and had struggled with an impossibly huge favourites list. Keeping an online collection of bookmarked links seemed risky given many links were essential to research and assessment. However, it seemed users can access bookmarks regardless of online location.

Finding and tagging links proved to also be a simple process. I was able to record information about each link such as date linked, comments regarding nature of link and tags to categorise each link – something that was not possible with home bookmarking. From here, my links could be organised and I could search other lists held by members of this strong community.

Del.icio.us is an incredibly simple way for organisations such as libraries or universities to engage with users and develop an online collection of resources. Value is again given when such institutions have access to further lists from any other organisation. This arrangement or collaboration means professionals, educators and students have access to organised resources and are not having to re-research already discovered information about a particular topic. Lists or stacks of such extent would, however, need to be monitored for out of date or broken links to ensure all sources remain current.

Reference

Allen, A. (2011). Taxonomies and folksonomies. Retrieved from http://knowledgebird.com/taxonomies-and-folksonomies/

 

OLJ – Comparison of three libraries

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Why should libraries have a presence within social media?

With over 62 per cent (Australian Interactive Media Association, 2011: Foreword) of Australian Internet users accessing some sort of social media at least three times a week, it would seem wise that libraries tap into this audience. To name a few, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube all present a low budget and relatively easy avenue to immediately access users and maintain a constant presence. Extending from the points mentioned in the above comparative table specific reasons include:

  • Increase access and improve services

All three libraries provide ‘live help’ during business hours or maintain a social networking presence. This allows information professionals to respond promptly to inquiries, comments or criticisms. Charles Sturt University (2014) notes that by making their library services more accessible portrays that the University is committed to users and improving services.

  • Encouraging valuable conversation

Social networking sites allow direct engagement with users. From these conversations, libraries may glean valuable information such as collection feedback, improvements, praise, warnings or general comments that portray the library as maintaining a human element. Via their Facebook site, Clarence Valley Library (2014) posts regular updates regarding the re-location of the library. Users are invited to suggest ideas for the new library design and contribute information about the new site. Such participation means the library is seen as a part of the local community and all input is answered and valued.

  • Showing that the library is the information hub of the community

In addition to conversing with users, social media allows the library to extend resources beyond a physical collection. Sydney City Library tweets and posts to Facebook about community events such as  ‘Earth Hour’ or local protest marches. Such efforts ensure that new users are attracted to the library as a hub of information and the library maintains a relevant place within the local community.

Reference

Australian Interactive Media Industry. (2011). Sensis: Social media report. Retrieved from http://about.sensis.com.au/ignitionsuite/uploads/docs/sensis%20social%20media%20report.pdf