Tag Archives: Twitter

National Libraries Day in Dundee

11 Mar

Kevin McGinley, Library Information Worker and Social Media Admin for Leisure and Culture Dundee Libraries, has written this guest post on how @dundeelibraries created their contribution to our National Libraries Day Storify.

My first library cardImage used with permission of @dundeelibraries

My first library card
Image used with permission of @dundeelibraries

National Libraries Day on 9 February 2013 was a culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK. Our involvement began when we were asked by Anabel Marsh of Glasgow Library Tweetups if we would like to take part in a Libraries takeover on Twitter. It seemed a great concept and we quickly decided to take up the challenge. We were inspired by the fantastic faceBOOK project by photographer Keith Pattison and decided to use this as the inspiration to tweet similar photos throughout the day. We have to say we were a bit nervous about how our customers would react to having their photos broadcast all over the world, but we need not have worried as almost everyone we spoke to was keen to take part.

After a bit of planning and admin (gaining permission via photo consent forms etc) we soon set about snapping customers as they visited our libraries, asking them what they loved and why they were visiting their library. We tried to get a broad spectrum of activities photographed and hopefully we managed to give a nice flavour of what we offer in terms of Library services. Yes, books and reading are core but it doesn’t do any harm to show that libraries are involved in wide range of activities from Pram Pushing Groups to Video Games Coding Workshops for young people.

We decided to schedule some of our tweets in advance via Hootsuite, just in case we were overwhelmed on the day. This worked well as we scheduled tweets every 30 mins and mixed them in with live tweets. We had retweets and replies from all over the UK and it was brilliant to see #nld13 as the top trending topic on Twitter. What was also great was the feel-good factor it created in our own libraries as lots of staff got involved in the lead up, snapping photos on their mobile phone as the chance arose. Special thanks go to Jacque, one of our Library and Information Assistants who, as Tinned Tomatoes, doubles as a very successful food writer and blogger in her spare time. Jacque took photos, and also helped tweet on the day ensuring the success of the project.

If anyone is thinking of trying this type of project in their Libraries, the best advice we can give is just go for it. It’s great fun! You can view the full set of photos we used on the day on our Facebook page.

National Libraries Day in Scotland

11 Feb

Instead of having an event for National Libraries Day this year, GLTU decided to create a Twitter snapshot of Scottish libraries – what people use them for and why they value them. After much tweeting and retweeting, we got a great response. It’s obviously not comprehensive, but we have a geographical spread from Orkney down to Dumfries and Galloway and representatives of public, academic, school and special libraries, so there’s pretty broad coverage. There are cute kids, a dog, a cat (cheated a bit on that one) and cake – what’s not to love? Head off to the Storify to see the full results – it’s too long to embed, but here’s Strathclyde’s NLD cake as a taster. (Too late to taste literally, I fear).


Tweeting for National Libraries Day

29 Jan

NLD_FBplusStrap-98x100National Libraries Day, Saturday 09/02/13

What do you use your library for? What does your library mean to you? Help GLTU to create an online snapshot of what goes on in Scotland’s libraries by tweeting the answers to these questions on National Libraries Day, or in the week running up to it. All sorts of libraries count (e.g. public, academic, special) and, if you are at work in a library on the day, or are self-employed, join in by tweeting about what you have done to help your users.

Please use the hashtag #nldScot so that we can gather the tweets together (in full or, if too many, as edited highlights) in an online document, probably Storify, which we hope will be the start of a larger project celebrating Scottish libraries. The official hashtag for the day is #nld13 so it would be useful to include this as well – if that makes your tweet too long, consider tweeting twice. It would be good to get both trending. Make sure you mention the word library or libraries and consider adding a picture to make your tweet even better – though if you include anyone else in it, you must have their permission. If you don’t want your photograph online, you could, for example, take a picture of your hand holding the books you have borrowed or a card saying what you did in the library, e.g. “I used the computers to search for information.” (For ideas, see Keith Pattinson’s photographs.)

For this to work, we need to spread the message as far as possible so please share the request with family, friends and colleagues and ask them to help too. They don’t have to be on Twitter – they could put information on blog posts, Instagram, Flickr etc and leave the links in the comments to this post. For those without any of those things, a simple comment below will do and this can be tweeted on their behalf.

Can’t wait to read what everyone gets up to – happy tweeting!

When @OrkneyLibrary came to Glasgow

1 May

Tweeters in the library world and beyond are in awe of the humorously outrageous online presence that is @OrkneyLibrary, aka Stewart Bain. MmMITS (Multi-media, Information and Technology Scotland) scored something of a coup by securing him to speak at their AGM in Glasgow on 24th April. Stewart recently received two Golden Twit Awards for his work in using Twitter to engage with and inform the public about library services, so there was a good turnout to hear how he does it.

Stewart began by saying that his organisation was very supportive of innovation and new ways of reaching people, such as social media. Orkney Library started with Twitter in 2009, then added a blog for the Archive, Facebook, Foursquare and Google+. He had no knowledge of Twitter when he started out and at first his tweets were relatively serious. He now has 5000 followers and these are increasingly local – in fact it could be that Twitter is taking off on Orkney because of @OrkneyLibrary. Other followers come from far and wide, including ex-pat Scots, and Stewart hopes that interaction with them will encourage use of their own public library service. Obviously @OrkneyLibrary has a very specific voice, and feedback to the style is usually positive. This may not work for all organisations, and Stewart feels it would be preferable to use a team of people – he is very much a one-man band.

Advantages of the use of social media to Orkney library and Archives have included:

  • Co-operation e.g. Orkney Radio mentions them and vice versa.
  • Awareness raising and stimulating interest – featuring books or archive materials which haven’t been used in a long time gives them a new lease of life. A blog post on shipwrecks was so popular that it was quickly followed by a display. This sort of instant reaction would not be possible without social media.
  • Creating a feeling of one service – as well as the Twitter feed and Archives blog, the branch library now blogs keeping everyone in the loop.
  • Engaging hard-to-reach groups such as young male readers who have been drawn into the library via Facebook.
  • Reacting to emergencies, e.g. reporting when the libraries are closed because of bad weather. Other than this, Stewart tries to avoid dull tweets about opening hours.
  • Increasing attendance at events, (and the flow of cake into the library).
  • Changing people’s perceptions of libraries and making them more approachable. Often, insignificant things get the best response. People comment on jokey items.
  • Increasing use of the library website and online subscriptions – from c 14000 in 2008 to c 26000  in 2010. Stewart reminds people about these at quiet times.
  • Dealing with geographical spread, e.g. an online reading group.
  • Generating interest in national events such as World Book Night and National Libraries Day. For the former, they created “Cold cases” – bags of crime fiction which hadn’t been borrowed in 10 years. Such initiatives had been tried before and didn’t work, but they did after tweeting.  For the latter, they live-tweeted The body in the library by Agatha Christie – cunningly cutting the story off before the end so that people had to join the library to borrow the book to read the ending!

While not all the tips would work in every library, the main message, it seemed to me, was to strike an informal tone, find an appropriate voice for your own library and stick to it. I was half way through this post last week when two others popped up so for other views on the event see the official MmITS write-up and Cathy’s report for Scottish Libraries.

PS now also on the MmITS blog, with added photos!

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