7" x 10"
Year Published: 2014
AP Categories: A, B, C, D, Z
Read a sample of the book now!
Most commentaries to date on library use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have focused on a handful of well-funded public libraries with high-profile employees. Now Crawford’s Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries fills in the rest of the picture, offering for the first time an in-depth look at how a large variety of public libraries are using social networks. Examining nearly 6,000 libraries across the US, Crawford
Based on broad research, Crawford draws a vivid portrait that shows how a wide range of public libraries is conducting digital outreach and marketing through social networking.
- Analyzes social network usage by libraries of many different sizes and funding levels, showing how many of them are active and effective in quite different ways
- Offers many examples that will help other libraries establish or refine their own social networking activities
- Lays out several key questions that libraries should ask themselves, such as “Who do we want to reach?” and “What’s the best way to interact with communities?”
- Gives libraries guidelines for setting social networking goals and conducting ongoing evaluation
- Includes illuminating comments from numerous librarians on the front lines of communication
Table of Contents
Social Networking in Public Libraries
What Constitutes Success in Your Library?
The Big Picture and the Smaller Picture
Facebook Success and Strategies
Twitter and Two-Network Success and Strategies
Finding the Libraries and Other Issues of the Survey
The Changing Picture and Closing Thoughts
Appendix: Surveying the Libraries
About the Author
Walt Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media. Author of numerous books, articles, and columns, Crawford is also the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random. He received the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science in 1995, the ALCTS/Blackwell Scholarship Award in 1997, and the Gale Group Online Excellence in Information Authorship Award in 1998.
" Libraries every day are challenged to prove their worth to their communities if they want to keep their doors opened. Marketing has become pivotal to success, and social networking can be argued as one of the most cost-effective ways to promote and market a library’s offerings. Although there are several social-networking sites available, Crawford focuses on Facebook and Twitter and how public libraries can use them effectively to reach out to their communities. Eight chapters cover looking at the big picture (as well as the small picture), figuring out strategies and using surveys to gauge results, as well as reviewing state-by-state snapshots of what other libraries are doing in the realm of social media. Though staff in libraries with an active social-media presence may not find much new here, those who are looking to improve upon their social-networking status or start from scratch will find much of use here. With 38 states represented and libraries of all sizes examined, the information and examples found here make a useful resource on libraries and social media."
—Stephanie Charlefour, Booklist
Crawford set out in early 2011 to discover how prevalent social media use is among public libraries and whether or not it is successful. He states that success in this venture does not look like success elsewhere. Huge numbers of Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers” are not his benchmarks. Rather, he writes: “...public libraries are not businesses. They’re community institutions, and effectiveness must be measured against the needs and desires of the community.” He encourages libraries to look carefully at their social media postings and note, for example, if they are getting more donations to book sales, or a slight increase at programs. Those small gains may be enough to call your library’s social media presence a success. Each library is encouraged to define success on its own terms.
That being said, Crawford acknowledges that most libraries’ social networking practices could be better, and he offers suggestions for conducting a social media audit on your library, as well as ideas for libraries to make better use of their Facebook and Twitter accounts. For readers who like to chew on data, there are many charts and tables. There are also samples of Facebook and Twitter posts from libraries across the country. These serve both to explain the ideas Crawford puts forth, and to give examples of good (and bad) ways to use social media. While a printed book on social networking is bound to be out-of-date almost as soon as it is published, a fact the author acknowledges, this may still be a useful reference tool for smaller libraries looking for easy-to-implement social media guidance.
—Geri Diorio, VOYA, February 2014.