LS590 Analysis: Social Media & Academic Librarians

Download the analysis: Analysis project (4 pages)

Brief Synopsis:

A social media tool that I would use as an academic librarian would be Facebook. It would be the foundation while used in conjunction with other social media tools. With fad social media tools that come and go within five years, Facebook has stood the test of time as an communication avenue between users and businesses and isn’t going anywhere with its public offerings per share gaining per day (Fiegerman, 2017). For informatics, Facebook has a great database to store data (photos, text) to user profiles and then spread these stored items to anyone subscribed to the user’s profile.  Strengths of using Facebook include access to millions of people, no-cost tools to vary the method of communication, and an instant messenger to speak with potential patrons at any given time. Cons include marketing not targeted to strictly academics (students or faculty) unless paying for tools for targeting those with our specifications in their profile.


LS590 Information Service Prototype

View Prototype.

Situation: Academic librarian wants to promote the library but wants to see which topics would draw more new users.

Three RSS feeds are created:

  • General feed
    1. Target audience: Citizens of local county
    2. Content: Event announcements not specific to college credit, new works entered into the catalog, new magazine subscriptions
  • Academic course feed
    1. Target audience: Students at home university
    2. Content: Updates to course-related LibGuides, schedules of tutors, student work and intern opportunities
  • Faculty course feed
    1. Target audience: Faculty at home university
    2. Content: RFPs from the university grant office, announcements of published work by faculty, new research published (not home university) related to degree programs at home university

These feeds can be made by a pay service such as or better yet, could create a feed for free if my library is using WordPress. A pay service would run analytics on the feed. If we use a free feed, we could run analytics for free through Google Analytics on the six separate landing pages to correspond with each fee (hits, unique visitors, referring sites, where visitor clicks next, etc.).

Six organizations agree to place an RSS feed on their webpage.

Place general feed on:

  • Local high school library page
  • Home county’s public library main webpage
  • An adjacent county’s public library main webpage

Place academic feed on:

  • Home university’s graduate program webpage
  • Home university’s main webpage

Place faculty feed on:

  • Home university’s college’s research final reports webpage

Goal: to raise awareness of the great resource the home university has in its library and the relevant information it spreads freely to its employees and students. This would ultimately draw interest of potential new students as well as potential new faculty. This would also encourage collaboration between departments as research outcomes and ideas would be spread in the same feed.

Six landing pages would be created for these six combinations of feed/placement; each with the same look and feel of the main library page but with the feed as the body of the page. Analytics measuring the hits to the page of new visitors from the referring placement, as well as where the visitor clicks to from the feed landing page. Could write script to have items in the library catalog that have similar tag be in the space around the RSS feed.

Landing pages with the most new visitors who also maneuvered further into the library page would be marked to find other similar combinations to introduce others to the wellspring that is their local library. Landing pages with minimal hits would have their corresponding RSS feed relocated.

Blog Post 5: How has your view of social media changed over the time of this course?

Things I have learned:

  • tagging uses very uncontrolled tagging thus isn’t all that useful because we’re missing out on lots of related items that aren’t tagged with exactly the same word. I knew that, but this course reinforced it. Most folks aren’t going to use the OCLC tags.
  • RSS feeds are awesome. I use them for work (Google news deliveries – non-library related job right now) but didn’t think to use them for pulling library-related items for school. It seems to be limited on sources it pulls from but perhaps its a matter of me working with the settings.
  • I’ll bet if there was a librarian on the Facebook chat feature they’d get more chat time than just on the library chat function.
  • With all the makerspaces, I wonder if the expert-area librarians could do more do-it-yourself videos to go along with the live sessions.
  • My local county library has been starting to post pictures of books she is reading. Makes folks want to read it too. I would encourage librarians to be more social on the social networks.
  • Would have liked more case studies in this class of librarians using social media to their advantage. I’m still not sure of all the ways librarians could be using it. Social media is what we make of it. So what can we make of it.
  • Using social media plus an ILS with a similar book listing feature would make for dy-no-mite.

#endlesspossibilities #rssreaders #rssfeed #librarychat