Libraries and Twitter…is microblogging the way to go?


It seems as if Twitter is in the news constantly these days…not just because of its most famous user at the moment, though he certainly plays a big role in that. I’ve set up at Twitter account for our library already, but have been hesitant to use it much, not really knowing the best way to go about it. It seems all too easy to miss things in its 140-character, there-and-gone format–one’s Twitter feed is constantly updating; by the time you’ve read the first three posts, chances are you’ve got a message at the top telling you that there’s been 5, 10, even 30 new Tweets in the meantime!

It’s enough to make you feel kind of feel like this:


…just substitute “Stephen King” with “the Twitterverse” and “tweets” for “page novel” and you’ve pretty much got it. If you want really to blow your mind, sign up for Tweetdeck and make a column for something that’s currently trending, like, say, #Oscars during this year’s live broadcast–you won’t be able to read a single post before it’s replaced by (literally) dozens of new ones.

So, yeah. I want to use Twitter, but I want to make sure it’s working for my library.

We had some readings on Twitter for class–the “Twitter and the Paradox of Following and Trending” chapter from Jose van Dijck’s book The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media, but I wanted to find something a little less cerebral and a bit more how-to to keep in my everyday toolbox of ideas.

A quick Google search gave me some good ideas: Library Journal’s website offered “10 golden rules to take your library’s Twitter account to the next level” that had some great tips. Their suggestion that “if something is important, tweet about it four times” spoke directly to my concern about missing users who aren’t online when your tweet hits the top of their feed. (And Tweetdeck will allow you to schedule tweets to be posted at a future date and time, though it won’t let you immediately set up a second tweet identical to the one you just did. You can get around this by slightly changing up what you’ve said, and get your message out at different times twice a day, over two days as they suggest.)

If you’re someone who likes to watch what others do to learn from them (or you’re just looking for some cool librarians to add to your “follow” list), Library Science List has “75 of the coolest librarians to follow on Twitter” for you. The list is from 2013, but all of the ones I checked (no, not all 75…yet) were still active and doing fun things on the platform.

If you need a “Twitter for Dummies”-type article, the Georgia State University Library has put together a PDF just for you here. Their “Twitter as a Marketing Tool for Libraries” is 22 pages long, but there’s tons of screenshots included in that page count, and really, it’s a very thorough, basic resource.

Finally, the American Library Association gives you another viewpoint with their 2015 “Libraries Using Twitter Better: Insights on Engagement from Food Trucks” (which might just appeal to me because I have yet to grab lunch yet). It’s a more scientific approach than the other resources, but uses solid data to back up its mantra of create a community of users through mentions, retweets, and hashtags.

What about you? Any out there have any advice to offer on using Twitter to engage with your patrons?


Different platforms for different patrons?


Some of our class discussions this past week have been about the need to use different social media platforms in order to reach different groups of patrons. A talk we listened to during week 2 (Danah Boyd, author of It’s Complicated: the Social Lives of Networked Teens) mentioned (a comment that I have heard many times in the past elsewhere) that once their parents started using Facebook–and especially, once they started “friending” them–that teens migrated elsewhere. I know that personally, only one of my two children has an account, and that was because he had to create one for one of his classes. He hardly ever uses it, and most of his contacts on it are either family members or people from his elementary school graduating class who one of his friends put him into contact with (the class he created the account for was during his freshman year, and he went to a different high school than everyone else in his class, so at least it was a way to stay in touch for a while).

Mini Moe #2, though, doesn’t have a Facebook account and is perfectly happy without it. Instead, she’s on Tumblr and Instagram all the time–Tumblr a bit more than Instagram, I think, but those two are definitely “it” for her. I have accounts on both of those platforms myself, but rarely ever use them, and haven’t even attempted to do so for work…yet. Right now we have a library Facebook account, which I try to post on at least once a day when we’re open, and a Twitter account, that I’ve barely even touched so far. I know that (some) patrons see our Facebook posts–I can see from the “people reached” numbers and the “likes”, plus, a few patrons have mentioned that they saw something on the page that prompted them to come in (okay, one patron does that so far. But she’s mentioned it more than once). I’d guess it’s pretty safe to say that the patrons I’m reaching that way are probably exclusively adults.

I definitely want to bring more tween/teens into the library, though–right now, my clerk and I are working on setting up a young adult space in the library, and it would be great to see it get used once it’s done. (I’d also like to get some YA input for what it’s going to look like in the end, but that’s a whole other blog post!) So I’m definitely thinking about branching out to other social media platforms somewhere along the line. Should I go with Instagram? Tumblr? Snapchat? Something else? How many social media sites are enough? How many are too many? It’s really just going to be me doing all of the library’s social media-ing, and that’s in addition to the rest of my work (and, right now, schoolwork) so I really don’t think managing four or five social media platforms is feasible. I’d like to get the most bang for my buck, as it were, and use platforms and have posts that really matter.

So that’s a big goal for this semester–figure out which platforms to use to connect with which patrons and how best to go about doing it. It’s a work in progress, and I’m open to suggestions!

(Below is the Danah Boyd talk, if you’re interested. She had some thought-provoking things to say about teens who are “always” on their devices that actually made me look at the subject differently.)

Creating Content: Fun Video Promotion

My teens, Mini Moes #1 and 2, both found this video in their social media feeds the past Sunday. Even though it makes me sad to see it now (why, oh why does EVERY team I root for lose the Superbowl each and every year???) It’s still a really clever idea:

An concept like this one could lend itself to all kinds of possibilities. Libraries could celebrate major teams and big events, as the Georgia Aquarium does here (though if you live in the Western New York area, those types of events have been pretty scarce for oh, say, the last decade…or two…) or to celebrate smaller ones, like high school or college teams who have big games, favorite rivalries, or season openers. Non-sports local events and groups could also be celebrated, such as an annual town festival or a local historical society. This would be a great idea to get teens involved too–have your youth group and/or junior friends members come up with the concept, act in, and produce the film. A library could also team up with the group or team it is supporting to create the video–have members do cameos! When gearing up for a rivalry game, how about a friendly competition with the library that serves the rival’s city or town? Each can produce their own video, promote it on their Facebook pages, and go head to head in a contest for the most “likes”!

Another idea combining videos and teens is to use a project like this to promote your own library, rather than an outside organization or team. In New York, for example, Summer Reading at New York Libraries and the Collaborative Summer Reading Program sponsor a Teen Video Challenge every year, and videos like this one might give teens inspiration for how to create their own winning entry.


Here is a link to the Teen Video Challenge page for 2017. Alternatively, creating library videos with teens would be a great programming idea during YALSA’s annual Teen Tech Week. A video project would also be a great idea for an outreach program to local schools–children’s or teen librarians could collaborate with classrooms and school media centers to make videos promoting their school, library, hometown–or all three.

Enlisting teens for projects like this can also have an added benefit for librarians and library workers who may not be as comfortable or proficient with video production, social media video sharing, and/or uploading media to the internet–tech savvy teens have much to teach older generations, as blog posts like this one can attest. If the employees at your library are lacking in the technical competencies area of the three-part (the other two being affective and cognitive competencies) conceptual framework for social media literacy discussed by Vanwynsberghe et al. (Vanwynsberghe et al., 2015), this would be one  inexpensive and (hopefully) fairly painless way to start to remedy that.

So, how about you? Does the Georgia Aquarium’s video give you any ideas about content you can generate for your library? Have you tried creating and uploading your own videos as part of your social media strategy? If so, how did it go? Any suggestions or words of wisdom for the rest of us?


Vanwynsberghe, H., Vanderlinde, R., Georges, A., &  Verdegem, P. (2015). The librarian 2.0: Identifying a typology of librarians’ social media literacy. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47(4), 283-293. doi:10.1177/0961000613520027

How often should we post?

One of the students in class found this “rule of thumb”-style guide online and posted it to our class discussion board, so I thought I’d share it here so I’d have it for future reference.


I’m pleased with the Facebook minimum/maximum listed on the graphic–that’s what I’ve been shooting for at work already, and for the most part it’s pretty doable with the rest of my work. I do want to focus more on content–right now I share a lot of articles about books that may be topical to the day/time/current events, etc. but don’t necessarily connect to our library. I have been posting more often about library programming these last few weeks, though–instead of just posting an event once, I’ll mention it again a few days before and the day of, just to keep it fresh in people’s minds and it seems to be working well. I know I can do more, though, which is one of my big goals in this class.

Twitter and Pinterest, though–I’m not sure. 5/day minimum? I’ll have to think about those. Perhaps if I did a Pinterest board with “new to our library” materials, I might have a few–probably not 5 every day, but some days–pics to post on a daily basis. I suppose I could Tweet those as well, and reminders about the programs like I do on Facebook. I’ll have to think some more on this, and reflect on it while I continue working through the course materials and class discussions.

I am not sure about Google+ and LinkedIn for my library–I’ll need to do more research. The way I personally use LinkedIn now is really just for job-related networking, and I don’t see how I could really use it as a connect-with-my-patrons kind of tool. I personally am on Google+ as well, but don’t use it much–I’d need to look more into how much of an impact it really has before investing too much time and effort into it. Granted 5/week isn’t a lot of posts, but as I’m really the only person at work who handles the social media accounts and that’s in addition to everything else I do, I will definitely have to consider the time and effort spent vs. actual impact on the library when I decide on my social media plan of attack.



LIS 503 Class Blog

It’s been awhile since I posted on this site–Becky on Books…and Quilts moved to in August 2013. When I found out that my LIS 503 (Special Topics: Social Media for Information Professionals) class was going to require an active blog site, it seemed like an opportunity to revive my old site.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle, right? 😉

So…I’ll be posting here regularly this semester, talking about what we’re doing in class and fulfilling course requirements. If you’re in my class with Dr. Sun in UB’s MLIS program, then you’re in the right place! If you’re looking for my book blog, then head on over here instead. 🙂

Either way, thanks for visiting!


Books on Sale and a Contest! Back to Reading with Tiffany Truitt

Entangled Teen and author/teacher Tiffany Truitt are sponsoring a “Back to Reading” (and back to school…sigh) contest and book sale for YA readers—and readers who love YA! I was thrilled to help out, since 1) she’s a teacher too 2) she’s also crazy enough to participate in NaNoWriMo and 3) just look at all those books! The classroom library—as well as Mini Moe #2 and yours truly—would love to get our hands on those! We’ll be taking advantage of the sale too; check out those gorgeous covers! Read on for all the details…

From the Desk of Author Tiffany Truitt:

I am so excited to be stopping by today to announce my “Back to Reading,” contest. Like millions of teachers and students, I will be returning back to the classroom, and I thought this needed to be celebrated with a MAJOR book giveaway….and other fun goodies for all my fellow fans of Young Adult Literature.

What Do You Win: One lucky winner will receive copies of the following books (US residents only, please)

How Do You Win: Simply stop by my website between Aug 23-26 to enter.

More Goodies: And that’s not all. Entangled Publishing and I are excited to announce that from August 23-26 books 1-2 of The Lost Souls Series (Chosen Ones and The Naturals) will be available for Kindle, Nook, and Apple for only 99 cents. That’s right. For less than a dollar, you can join the world of Tess and James before the final book in the trilogy hits store in April 2014.


Need more enticement? Below you will find an excerpt from book three, The Creators.

            Somewhere, James was just as trapped as I was.

            I thought of the morning when we lay with each other, curled against one another, never beginning and never ending. How we’d stayed like that till the sun began to rise.

            James had reached down and pulled me off the ground. He wore a satisfied grin on his face. “Someone is mighty proud of himself,” I teased.

            He laughed. It bounced through the forest, calling it awake. Readying it for the day. “I’m just insanely happy.”

            I stood on the tips of my toes and kissed him gently on his scar. “I’m insanely happy too,” I whispered.

            James looked down at me, and I was lost all over again. I would never tire of looking into those mismatched eyes. They didn’t make him different. They made him him. He chuckled as he reached over and pulled a leaf from my tangled hair. “They’ll know just by looking at you that we’ve been up to no good.”

            “No good?” I purred. “I thought it was very, very good.”

            James growled and lifted me into the air. I wrapped my legs around his waist as he pressed his lips hungrily against mine. I moved my hands to his hair, curling my
fingers into it, attaching myself to him. I never wanted to let go. Every part of me ached to be touched by him, and every part of me ached to touch him right back.

            “Do you know how much I love you?” he breathed into the base of my neck. His lips fluttered against my skin.

            I nodded, kissing the top of his head. “As much as I love you.”

            James slowly put my feet back on the ground. He cradled my face in his hands. “That will never change. No matter what.”

            I looked deep into his eyes. “I know.” Because I did. It was one of life’s few assurances. I would always love James.

            I pressed my lips once again to his scar. “I adore this scar,” I whispered, unable to hide the smile that seemed etched on my face all morning.

            “You’re enough to drive a man crazy,” he said The tremble of his voice caused my toes to curl. I wanted him again. And again. And again.

            My fingers traced the waist of his pants. “Tonight?” I said, knowing full well it was a promise that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep.

            James grabbed my hand and brought it to his lips. “Tonight,” he echoed.

            As the sun climb higher into the sky, I knew our moment was coming to an end. James reached down and placed his hand over my heart. “Thank you,” he said.

            “For what?” I asked, my voice choked with emotion.

            “For everything.”

            As the memory slipped away, I looked back up at the night sky. Praying and hoping that James knew how much I wanted to thank him too.

            For everything.

❤     ❤     ❤     ❤     ❤    ❤     ❤     ❤     ❤

Sound good? The first two books in The Lost Souls series are on sale now for 99 cents each, and Creators will be released next April–plenty of time to get caught up!

Love in the Digital Age: Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros (Book Review and Book Club pick)

Title: Goodnight, Tweetheart
Author: Teresa Medeiros
Genre: contemporary romance
Published: 2010
Format read: ebook
Rating: B+

Goodnight Tweetheart is a short, sweet, fun romance that definitely takes full advantage of the digital age we live in. The hero and heroine, Abby Donovan and Mark Baynard, “meet” in the Twitterverse. In fact, they don’t meet in person until the very last page of the original story! (Apparently Teresa’s fans asked for an epilogue so much she eventually added one. It’s cute and definitely worth reading, but I kind of like the open-endedness of the old ending. Especially when coupled with the last question in the “Readers Group Guide” at the end—If you were writing the ending of Mark and Abby’s story, what would it be? That could just be the English teacher in me, though, resurfacing again after a not-long-enough summer break.)

Abby Donovan is, by her own admission, a “semi-agoraphobic washed-up writer.” Four years earlier, she wrote a best-selling novel that was an Oprah’s book club pick. Now, she can’t get through chapter five of her newest novel—even though it was due to her publisher ages ago. After a disastrous appearance at a local book store, her agent signs her up for a Twitter account to get her “in front of the public”.

On her first foray into the Twitterverse, Abby meets Mark, an English professor on sabbatical.

“R U a virgin?”

Taken aback, Abby studied the cheery little profile pic of a plump bluebird that appeared to belong to one MarkBaynard for a long moment before cautiously typing, “That depends. Are you auditioning for TO CATCH A PREDATOR?” and hitting the Update button.

MarkBaynard’s response was almost immediate: “Glad to see you have such highbrow taste in entertainment.”

A reluctant grin curved her lips as she typed, “What can I say? ROCK OF LOVE: TOUR BUS reruns can’t be on every night.”

“Yeah & who hasn’t dreamed of marching up to some pedophile & saying ‘My name is Chris Hansen from DATELINE NBC & your sorry a** is toast’?”

“Ha!” Abby typed, hitting the exclamation mark with a triumphant flourish. “So you HAVE watched TO CATCH A PREDATOR!”

“Only when PBS is having a pledge drive. But I digress—R U a Twitter virgin?”

“This is my first time,” Abby confessed. “But you’re not being very gentle with me.”

“What can I say? I like it rough.”

…and their relationship begins.

When I first read this book (just last year!), I had heard of Twitter but that was about it. I tried to follow along with Mark’s tutorage of Abby, but we were in a cabin in the middle of the woods with—insert gasp here—NO INTERNET ACCESS. (I know. I didn’t think places like that still existed. We didn’t even have cell coverage until we drove out of the cabin area. I’m still not sure how either of the Mini Moes survived…or how Grandma survived for that matter, as she was the one with them all week long.) Even not really “getting” what he was talking about logistically, I found their digital courtship entertaining. Re-reading it again as a Twitter novice was even more fun.

I don’t want to say too much more about the story, because there’s a big secret involved that really shouldn’t be spoiled. I’ll just say it’s a fast read that always leaves me vaguely feeling as if I should have watched more Nick at Nite than I apparently did, because there are a lot of older pop culture references in here that sailed right over my head—but they do a nice job of showing how Mark and Abby’s characters both have spent way too many sleepless nights in their lifetime. Plus, they provide a really cute way f0r the two of them to sign off of their Twitter meetings:

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Principal Snyder

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Darla

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Oz

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Tara

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Xander

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Drucilla

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Spike

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Buffy

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Angel

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Tweetheart…

That was one I “got” by the way. At least I’ve seen Buffy! J

In keeping with the digital theme of Abby and Mark’s romance, publishers Simon & Shuster have given the novel its own page with lots of fun stuff that you can find here. The home page has an interactive map of NYC (Abby’s home base), the official Goodnight Tweetheart playlist, and a video of Teresa Medeiros touring NYC, among other things. The really good stuff is filed under “Free Fun Stuff“, though. There you can see all the “tweetheart pics” that Mark and Abby send to each other and read a “deleted tweet” between the two. It’s a lot of fun, and nicely coincides with the digital age-dependent aspect of the novel.

I re-read Goodnight Tweetheart in order to prepare for Harlequin Junkie’s HEA Book Club chat tonight. (It’s way more fun than the old book club I was in, by the way. Not a single depressing book in our TBR list!) If you’ve read the novel, or are thinking about reading it, or if you just want to have a good time talking about HEAs with a group of like-minded individuals, come and join us! The live chat starts at 9 PM EST, and the author herself will join us sometime in the first hour. I’ll probably be in and out, depending on the rest of the family—you know, the pesky “family” part of a family vacation—but hope to catch at least some of it. Come and join us!