Effective Use of Social Media in the Public Library

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Introduction In the age of technology and the notion that information has to be obtained at a lightening speed, libraries have come to the realization that they need to apply social media applications to enhance to overall experience for the community in the public library sector. Gone are the days of the librarian hiding behind the service desk or shuffling around with a book cart. To get funding, the public involved and perhaps a new sustaining donor, librarians are now tasked with developing, creating and monitoring various forms of social media. These outlets could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. Anyone can create one of these accounts but it takes planning, performance, and consistent monitoring to effectively utilize these methods in an appropriate and well thought out manner. A study conducted in 2010 by the Pew Research Center concluded that over 85% of adults owned a cellphone and that desktop computers were most popular in the age ranges between 35-65 Abram, S. (2014). This is significant because libraries need to develop exciting and innovative strategies to gain patrons of all ages to use their social media outlets. A trend, I have observed over the past few months in my area of residence were the library hours getting cut and closed on Sundays. Due to this, my local branch designed an interactive menu for the patrons, which included “Ask the Librarian”. This tab can be utilized both during open and closed business hours with a 24 response time. I found this both exciting and forward thinking on the part of the library. It demonstrates that even when librarians are asked to do more with less, by creating a simple yet useful social media tool has opened a new form communication for the communit... ... middle of paper ... ... Digital Branch. Library Technology Reports, 48(6), 12-15 Silverman, K. (2013). Connecting Authors To Readers Through The School Library. Knowledge Quest, 41(5), 26-29 Ahmed, N, Edwards Johnson, A., Antell and & Strothmann, M. (2013) Should Librarians Friend Their Patrons? Reference & User Services Quarterly, 53(1), 9-12 Enders, N., & Wineland, H. (2012). Writing a Social Media Policy for Your Library. Kentucky Libraries, 76(1), 16-19. Dowd, N. (2013, May 7). Social Media: Libraries Are Posting, but Is Anyone Listening? Library Journal. Retrieved October 19, 2013, from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/05/marketing/social-media-libraries-are-posting-but-is-anyone-listening/ Abram, S. (2014). Pew: Generations and their Gadgets. New – Stephen's Lighthouse. Retrieved December 6, 2013, from http://stephenslighthouse.com/2011/02/07/pew-generations-and-their-gadgets/

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