Module 4 : Social media and libraries today

Facebook / Twitter State Library NSW State Library Victoria University of Sydney Library
Service provision *Service disruption notifications

*New resources

*Internal and external exhibitions

*Author talks

*Special events


*Service disruption notifications

*New resources

*Internal and external exhibitions

*Special events

*Service disruption notifications

*New resources

*Online book renewals

*Internal and external exhibitions

Educational programs *Reading groups

*Links with exhibitions at museums and art galleries

*Interesting facts

*School holiday activities

*Reading groups for all ages

*Links to other faculty libraries

*Study advice

*Student discussions around the globe

Interface *Flash images *Vibrant graphics

*Flash images

*Vibrant graphics

*Same profile picture used for both Facebook & Twitter

Mobile Service *Use of http://mobile *Use of http://mobile *Not automatically formatted to mobiles
Positioning of links *Small and poor positioning at bottom of page *Small but better positioning at top of page *Excellent positioning and bold font.

The enormous growth of social networking sites around the globe in recent years is indicative of how people of all ages wish to communicate, maintain relationships and source information. According to recent statistics, over 800 million people use Facebook and Twitter’s popularity continues to rise with a 34% increase in the past year (Nelms, 2011). Mobile devices enable social media advocates to add posts anywhere and anytime. The implications for libraries are obvious. If they want to attract and inform their customers, it is imperative that they do so via the social networks that are so popularly and widely used today (Reed & Evely, 2011). The State Library of NSW, The State Library of Victoria and the University of Sydney Library have excellent Facebook and Twitter sites where users are presented with  vibrant and appealing interfaces (Burkhardt,2009) , clearly highlighting their services and technologies and subsequently inviting interaction and popular use.

The State Library of NSW and the State Library of Victoria are mobile compatible and use http://mobile which automatically adapts the interface to the size of a mobile screen. The added bonus of being mobile compatible enables library customers to access information and post questions and comments at any time. The future is mobile (Dadwal, 2011; Digital World, 2012) so The University of Sydney Library would benefit from automatically formatting their FaceBook and Twitter sites to assist mobile use.

Twitter, has the advantage of being a microblogging medium which encourages brief comments and quick questions, resulting in more interaction between library users and library staff. Today librarians and educators can see the benefits across all areas of learning and information gathering (Hricko, 2010;Reed & Evely, 2011) as questions and requests can be instantly posed and answered. Of critical importance is that the social network sites are monitored regularly so that queries can be attended to as soon as possible (Bradley, 2011).

All three libraries endeavour to keep their patrons informed of the latest technologies and resources through their Facebook and Twitter sites. They also provide learning opportunities (Brown, 2010) such as reading groups, exam advice and tutorials to assist research skills. The links to exhibitions in other libraries and museums, broaden their services (Burkhardt,2009) and extend their resources outside the walls of their own institution.


Bradley, P. (2011). Which Social Network should I use as a Librarian?  Making the net easier. Retrieved from

Brown, A. (2010). Social Media and Library Trends for 2011. Social networking Librarian. Exploring Social Networking and Technologies in Libraries. Retrieved from

Burkhardt, A. (2009). Four reasons libraries should be on social media. Information Tyrannosaur-Top of the Information Food Chain. Retrieved from

Dadwal,R. (2011). An ever-changing field: developments in mobile marketing. Marketing Retrieved from

Digital World (2012). In Technology Explained (2012). Retrieved from

Hricko, M. (2010). Using Microblogging Tools for Library Services. Journal of Library Administration, 50, 684-692. doi: 10.1080/01930826.2010.488951

Nelms, D. (2011).Social Networking Growth Stats and Patterns. Social media today. Retrieved from

Reed, M., & Evely, A. ( 2011). Top Twitter Tips for Academics. Living With Environmental Change. Retrieved from

State Library of NSW.

State Library of Victoria.

The University of Sydney library.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: