Twitter and Facebook in the library

Delivering services through the tools used by our information customers is important. As internet access through mobile phones becomes more widespread we now have the opportunity to keep faculty, students, or the general public better informed.

Bear in mind that Facebook allows longer messages and pictures; Twitter is limited to 140 characters (you can add a picture). But you need to know how many of your potential customers are ‘tweeters’. On the other hand it can alert people to your library Facebook page, Blog or Website.

A recent discussion on Linked-In came up with the following uses:

  • Both can be used as Marketing tools – singly or together. Promoting library events, training sessions, new materials, updates on resources, description of useful websites
  • Both can be used for News. Alterations to opening hours (useful when we had heavy snow here in the UK), prolonged disconnection from the internet, what is working what is not, what is being said in local newspapers.
  • As a written response to more complex queries from customers who have an account with Facebook.

Most of you will need to comply with the institution’s policy on using social networking tools. It is very important that information professionals influence this policy. To see examples (some are free).

Jean Shaw, Partnerships in Health Information

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About jgreigshaw

I work with Partnerships in Health Information which promotes partnership between libraries in Africa and the UK with an emphasis in African leadership. I have visited Kenya, Mali, Uganda and Zambia though Phi has contacts in many more African countries.
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