Reasons Why Libraries Should Be On Social Media

Boroondara Library Service Glenelg Libraries Frankston Library Service

  • Reading blog
  • Library News
  • Local interest places/people




Booksharing – Library Thing for Libraries

FacebookTwitter Blog

  • Library News
  • Events
  • Views
  • Competitions etc.




Booksharing – Library Thing for libraries

Ask a librarian – Meebo chat

Reader’s advisory serviceMarketing – promoting service, collections, events and programsCommunication Marketing – events, services and programsPromoting joy of reading Reader’s advisory serviceReference serviceMarketing – promoting service, collections, events and programsCommunication

Three libraries using social networking to support information service provision are tabled above with the how they appear to be using social networking based on my observation of their online presence.

There are many reasons why libraries should be on social media, some reasons are given below together with examples from the three libraries illustrating their use:-

  • Connect with people in the places in the sites of their choice (Cahill, 2011)
  • Enable better communication – can include internally communication too
    • For example: Advise library members when there are disruptions to library services.  Boroondara blog explains limited services available when impending library upgrade takes place, also storm which impacted services.
  • Marketing tools
    • Promote library resources
      • Glenelg promoting use of digital library resources (Facebook) – ask us how, member asks for instructions
      • Boroondara Bookends blog promotes Bolinda eAudio books with instructions
    • Promote library events & programs
      • Frankston library author’s talk
      • Frankston Family History Club, meeting fortnightly to discover family history, for learning in a social environment
  • Provide low cost way of getting library message out
    • Glenelg promoting reading to small children to aid development
  • Respond to feedback, listen to users so you can serve them better (Burkhardt, 2009)
    • Twitter comments from library users
  • Extend library services beyond physical library
  • Frankston provide reference services using chat
  • Reach a wider audience



Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four reasons why libraries should be on social media. Retrieved December 11, 2011, from

Cahill, K. (2011). Going social at Vancouver Public Library: what the virtual branch did next. Program: Electronic Library & Information Systems, 45(3), 259-278.

Posted in Reasons Why Libraries Should Be on Social Media

Personal Learning Network (PLN)

My Current Personal Learning Network

My Personal Learning Network

My Stage of Personal Learning Network Adoption

These thoughts are based on Jeff Utecht’s blog post The Thinking Stick | Stages of PLN Adoption suggesting the 5 stages of Personal Learning Network (PLN) adoption are:-

  • First:  Immersion
  • Second: Evaluation
  • Third:  Know it all
  • Fourth:  Perception
  • Fifth:  Balance

I would consider myself at the immersion stage as I am certainly immersing myself at the moment creating some new networks.  While I have had a PLN for many years this subject has help me to broaden my networks and find new sources of ideas and inspiration.  At the same time I would like to think of myself being at the balanced stage as I recognise I can’t learn everything I would like to but know I can come back to learning about some interests at a future time and it will still be attainable for me then.  Given that I am a student with prescribe learning to complete, in addition to working full time and having family responsibilities I have to be realistic about how much personal learning I can engage it at this stage.

My PLN helps me improve the quality of my work.  The SPUN (Spydus Users Network) has provides me with many solutions to library management system problems and inspiration to improve library services knowing what other libraries are doing how they are utilising the software to advantage.  By adding additional sources to my network I believe I will be able to maintain a big picture perspective of the library and information industry, keeping up to date with how new technologies are changing operations.  I now realise this has been a gap in my PLN and hope to improve this now and into the future as I evaluate the changes I am making to my network.  I also hope to improve my PLN by greater participation in online social networking.

My personal life is enhanced by my PLN as ideas and inspiration become topics of conversation within the household adding further perspective and debate.  Use of my personal time still needs to be balanced between my aforementioned responsibilities.  I look forward to the time when I can use my PLN to the best advantage.




Posted in Personal Learning Network

An Informational Professional in a Web 2.0 World

This is what I believe an information professional should be like in our Web 2.0 world.

Information professionals work in many environments and contexts which will vary the level skills and knowledge required but some attributes will be common to all.  I believe an information professional will desire to serve peoples needs (whoever they serve) but not just serve, but to provide excellent service, wanting people to succeed because they had the right information, the right skills, and the right tools at the right time.

I believe this desire to provide excellent service will spur an information professional to look for opportunities to improve service by effectively using Web 2.0 technologies.  They will possess a good understanding of systems and technologies, plus the skills to use them.  Information professionals will know who they are serving, what their needs are, how their needs are changing and will respond.

An information professional will be open minded, flexible, always learning, having an enquiring mind, prepared to experiment, and they understand the power of the Web.  They communicate and encourage communication whether in person, writing, phone, chat, Skype or whatever form the conversation/interaction is taking place.

Information professionals recognise the value and knowledge of others, they network and use their connections to learn, to keep informed, and they share and want to share what they know with co-workers and others.  They are not limited by their own environment or context but seek inspiration, ideas from outside, thinking about how they can be adapted to provide the best result.

Posted in An Information Professional in a Web 2.0 World

Library Website Design

Based on the readings by Matthews (2009), McBurnie (2007) and Lazaris (2009) the following criteria have been considered important for effective library website design.

  • Keep website interesting by regularly changing content, and using icons, photos, banners, videos to break up text and make visually appealing.
  • Place fresh interesting promotional information where people will see it – central and at the top of the page.
  • Place the services or functions people want to use in readily accessible places (easy navigation).
  • Use photos to convey library features and reduce website clutter.
  • Have a search box on every page.
  • Multiple ways or paths to services or website functions to aid navigation.
  • Make mobile device friendly or compatible.
  • Segment – provide web pages for different audiences such as children.  Important aspects of website design for younger children are:-
    •  use of colour, sound & video,
    •  easy navigation,
    •  providing interaction and play,
    •  promoting education,
    • carry out useability tests by children.

This criterion has been used to evaluate the Glenelg Libraries website at .  The website is visually interesting; it has used pictures, photos, icons to convey meaning breaking up the text.  Although photos drew attention to library items, none illustrated library features.  Promotional information is place in the prime spot catching attention, although some variations in display were noted using different web browsers.

The website clearly has been made mobile device friendly.  Most options had multiple ways to navigate to a function or service.  A search box is present on the home page but display problems stopped me from viewing full function and results did not appear to be displayed.

There was a “Kid’s Stuff” page but this wasn’t especially designed for children but it did provide links to educational and play activities for children and information for parents.  Improvements could be using the criteria to designing a page for children as the audience featuring the resources the library is providing just for them, separating the parent information.

Other improvements could be making common functions easier such as renew your books on the home page.  This was called “Login to your account” within the catalogue and on the home page reference was made to renewing, reserving or reviewing items but it was in the context of mobile devices.


Lazaris, L. (2009). Designing websites for kids: Trends and best practise. Smashing Magazine, (November 27). Retrieved from

Matthews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essential tips for any library site. Library Journal, (February 15). Retrieved from

McBurnie, J. (2007). Your online identity:  Key to marketing and being found. FUMSI, (October). Retrieved from

Posted in Library Website Design

Building Academic Library 2.0

This video captures the keynote speaker Meredith Farkas along with several other speakers at a conference at the University of California, Berkeley division.

The context for considering the advice was that of a public library that employs limited Web 2.0 tools and services.

The presentation was packed with good advice and selecting only 5 pieces of advice was not an easy task.

  • Start out simple and see how things go
  • Work to meet changing user needs
  • Understand staff member’s needs and limitations
  • Time must be devoted to all of this
  • Avoid technolust

Start out simple and see how thing go – this is a good reminder to not get involved in highly complex activities when you do not know how users will respond.  Better to start simple and see a response, then make an assessment of how it is going, are the expected results present?  This may help you to tailor services or approach to user’s needs and values.  It will also prevent a loss of resources by not investing time, energy and money into things that are not required or wanted.

Work to meet changing user needs – the environment is changing so rapidly that we need to be flexible and responsive to users needs.  Make sure we are listening when they tell us what they need and make the opportunities for them to express their needs.

Understand staff member’s needs and limitations – people learn in different ways, give them training, foster learning and development.  Don’t assume staff resistance is because they are not open to new ideas or technologies.

Time must be devoted to all of this – no library can successfully be transformed to a 2.0 Library without allocating staff time.  Staff cannot be expected to add this to their many duties or be forced to do it in their own time.

 Avoid technolust – this advice reminds us while there are many interesting and cool kinds of technologies available, we would not implement for these reasons.  We need to be meeting user’s needs, everything must have a purpose in serving our clients.

Posted in Building Academic Library 2.0

A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries

This list A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries provides an alphabetical list of advice for libraries.  The advice has been considered in the context of an employee at public library.  The public library is located in Colac and is a branch of the Corangamite Regional Library Corporation.  The library is currently not involved in social networking.

Advice was selected from the list assuming the library wants to become involved in social networking.

  • A: Active
  • C: Content
  • E: E-books
  • H: Help
  • J: Joomla

Active: Once a start has been made in social networking, it needs to be used regularly.  This will create a good impression with users, rather than giving the impression that the library is not really interested in being involved and does not think it’s worth applying resources to.

Content must be of value to library users.  Content should be relevant, worth reading and can be appreciated.

E-books:  The library has a large collection of E-Audio books that could be used more, getter exposure will help.  In 2012 an E-books collection will be started and this is a good way to help make sure people know that they are available.

Help – Getting the whole team involved and providing ideas for content will be far more effective than relying on one or two people.  Also it will alleviate dependence that causes problems when staff are on leave.

Joomla: Having the libraries website based on this open source software will make it easier to edit and link to social networking features.  One public library found that their Facebook fans were coming from their website using the links embedded rather than through Facebook itself (Gosling, Harper, & McLean, 2009).  The library website will soon be based on Joomla.


Gosling, M., Harper, G., & McLean, M. (2009). Public library 2.0: Some Australian experiences. Electronic Library, 5, 846-855.

Posted in A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries

ASU Libraries

The ASU Libraries (Arizona State University) use a variety of Web 2.0 tools,  The Library Minute videos available are one example.  The videos are informative, fun and provide an easy way to learn about the libraries services using a popular social media site.  Clearly some effort has been made to make the videos engaging and interesting, with clips from well known movies, music and similar being added.  The videos are short as their name suggests, making them accessible due to the small commitment of time required by busy students.  While it is not clear if students participate in making the videos, comments can be made on them.

Other Web 2.0 tools ASU libraries are using include Twitter and Facebook.  Both are being used to converse with library users.  In the Twitter feed, two way conversations are clearly discernible as responses to question or issues raised by users are addressed.  Likewise Facebook actively encourages feedback from users, together with information regarding changes to services, events and announcements.

Subject librarians are introduced with a photo, their subjects, the campus they are located at and their email address so they can be contacted and this helps to create a sense of community, putting a real person into a virtual environment.

The 4Cs of social media are collaboration, conversation, community and content creation.  Are the ASU libraries achieving the 4Cs through their use of these Web 2.0 tools?  The students using the ASU libraries together with staff form a community.  The libraries engage in two way communication and create content.  The ASU libraries are working to meet the needs of their users and encourage participation in directing the services offered so that the ASU Libraries reaches their goal, “we want to be Your Library” (Arizona State University Libraries, 2011).  In this way library users and the library collaborate to provide the services that are needed or desired by the users, thereby remaining responsive and relevant.

The ASU Libraries are successfully using social media demonstrating some of the concepts of Library 2.0 based on collaboration, conversation, community and content creation and as such, provide a good example of participatory library service.


Arizona State University Libraries (2011). The library minute: The social connection. Video retrieved December 11, 2011, from

Posted in Assignment 3, ASU Libraries