Libraries and Facebook

Yesterday I attended a WESlink event which was looking at the changing roles of library assistants. Representatives from local universities talked about what changes are being made in their library and what impact this is having on the skills, knowledge and experience of a library assistant. One area discussed was the use of social media, in particular Facebook. The general consensus was that people were uncertain about how useful Facebook was as a tool for libraries to use with someone describing it as ‘when your parents turn up to a party you’re at uninvited’. Cut to this morning and catching up on meeting minutes I learn that our library is interested in having a Facebook presence. So I wondered what other university experiences were & posted a question on twitter “Calling academic librarians: does your library have a facebook page? how has it been rec’d by students? Thank you”. Lots of people asked for a collation of responses so here it is and if I get anymore I will be sure to add them.

University & response

  • University of Brighton

No, difficult being split site. Do we have one for each library or for the service. Something for our comms strat!

  • University of Wolverhampton

Yes have FB page

  • University of Sheffield

Yes have FB page, work in progress, used for basic information but had a number of check-ins so looking at developing the page

  • Specialist library

Not yet, We’re multi-site with v different users + seeing if fb or tumblr would work better.

  • Bodleian social science library

Yes have FB page, no of ‘fans’ has been slow but steady, not much interaction from them, a few likes/comments.

  • Montana Tech

Yes have FB page, Lukewarm so far. Wonder if it’s not cool in our institution’s culture to “like” the lib page? Working on promo ideas.

  • Swansea Met

Yes, set up in the last week and have 36 followers so far, a good proportion of those are students

Thank you to those people who responded and the retweets.

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4 thoughts on “Libraries and Facebook

  1. Cranfield Univeristy has the same issue as the University of Brighton, we have a split site. One site has created a facebook presence with 347 follower. The site I’m working at is currently running a poll with our students to see if they want us on facebook, twitter etc. Happy to share the questions/results with anyone.

    Selena.
    s.a.killick@cranfield.ac.uk

  2. I tend to agree with the ‘scattergun’ approach – get the library message everywhere we can, even though I also think its a bit like invading student space. If we have a Facebook presence it needs to be low-maintenance, (unless we have suddenly acquired a Marketing dept to run it :-)& we wouldn’t want to overcrowd it (avoid a Farmville effect). I remember BCU Facebook page got a lot of activity around fresher-time so that would be a good place to announce it,also good wins might be to have simple links back to our services or points of contact.

  3. Speaking to Jo at Evidence Base (she set up the FB page at Wolverhampton) she advised that having a FB page is relatively low maintenance and low commitment as you’re linking to already existing content. She also suggested a few dos and don’ts: focus on the wall & its interactivity; keep up-to-date with FBs T&Cs as these are ever changing; try not to plan too much content; avoid friending people.

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