The Arizona State University Libraries has endeavoured to establish an interactive relationship with its’ patrons by promoting the library and its’ services through their one minute videos, and the social network sites, Facebook and Twitter. A series of short videos are used effectively to explain the physical areas in which to study in the library, ways in which the students can communicate with the library and staff, the availability of online resources, new services such as the mobile website and the links on the ASU home page.
There is a repetitive slogan throughout the videos reminding users to “Ask the librarian” which reinforces the library’s desire to encourage open conversation with the users (Mathews, 2009). The videos are a means of connecting with patrons as well as explaining and communicating the library’s services and resources (Miller, 2005). The ‘Social Connection’ video reiterates that unless the students communicate with the library and state their expectations from the library and staff, then the library will be unable to fulfil their needs (Mathews. 2009). By collaborating with library staff via suggestion boxes or online surveys, patrons are taking on a participatory role in designing the library to suit their requirements (Casey & Savastinuk, 2006). The ASU library creates these short videos to share content and keep patrons up to date with the latest technologies and services (Miller, 2005).
The ASU libraries use Facebook and Twitter to inform and interact with students via a mode of communication that is globally widespread. These social networks support student communities by sharing resources, encouraging conversation and feedback and fostering collaborative collecting of knowledge (Uden & Eardley, 2010). Posts on both sites are current, advising patrons of new resources, interruptions to web services, library hours and even job opportunities (http://lib.asu.edu/librarychannel/). The Twitter site provides prompt assistance from an online librarian in response to urgent enquiries, facilitating community and trust (Miller, 2005). In the long term, a library’s fostering of an open and communicative relationship with its patrons will benefit the whole community.
Mathews, B. (2009). Web design matters: Ten essentials for any library site. Library Journal, (15 February). Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6634712.html?industryid=47126
Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library, Ariadne, 45, 30 October. Retrieved from http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller
Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6365200.html
Uden, L., & Eardley, A. (2010). The Usabilityof Social Software. In T. Dumova, & Fiordo (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends (pp. 574-584). Doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-368-5.ch050