Blog Post 2: Hyperlinked Communities

This week we read about some interesting hyperlinked communities and fostering them within the library. I was particularly interested in the Minecraft Community of Fairfield County, CT (coincidently, where I grew up!) because of the popularity of Minecraft at our library. I would say at our location, about 50-75% of the children using the computers after school are using it to play Minecraft! I don’t know much about the game itself, and I never would of thought of making a library specific server for our patrons. It sounds like a large time commitment (I’m assuming a lengthy setup, continuing maintence and monitoring the chat board), but if that much of your community is engaging in something the library can tap into, it sounds like it could be a good investment.

Additionally, I also enjoyed the Instagram article and ways libraries can utilize social media. San Jose Public Library (SJPL) promotes and encourages “shelfies” which are people posing with one of their favorite book, and the “book face” posts where people complete images on book covers, often with their own face.

However, I will say that there is a disconnect in the article between posting content and making sure your patrons see it. SJPL has been trying to improve its branding and marketing over the years (it has its own small department, about 4 people) and has been trying to up its social media game for a while now, posting about all the suggestions made in the article, with a minimal following. All the SJPL posts I do see are primarily “liked” by other library staff members, while not so many patrons. Part of the issue is not having a lot of followers to begin with. One way to potentially solve this and gain a larger social media base would be having a contest about liking and sharing SJPL posts. By having patrons follow the page or share a post with the chance of winning a prize as a reward (such as a book, SJPL merchandise or tickets to a local show) the subscription base would get bigger and then more patrons will see the posts about special and regular events.

3 thoughts on “Blog Post 2: Hyperlinked Communities

  1. I’m a little bit conflicted about use of social media like this. On the one hand, I understand how important it is for libraries to adopt an online presence. On the other hand, I really really really hate how corporations have utilized social media to sell their products and develop their brand image. I constantly see packaging promoting taking a selfie (with an Oreo! with a bottle of ketchup!) and posting it to social media. It’s hard for me to disentangle what is being promoted from how it’s being promoted. I’m trying not to equivocate a library with a bottle of ketchup, but it’s a bit murky when both are using the same advertising strategy.

  2. @jnovak Social media reach is one of the most difficult aspects of jumping into this are. The same has been said about blogs, etc. I think it does take time to build up followers who are actually engaged but it might also be finding where the strongest base of constituents happen to be and highlighting them. I really appreciate the Dokk1 Library Instagram because of the personal stories and BW images they share of real library users:

    Looking quickly at they 6000 followers, I see some library accounts but also folks in Denmark and beyond.

    The Hunt Library initiative asking students to share their own photos also comes to mind as a way to build presence. This is such an important piece to think about. It might be that libraries should simply disconnect from social sites that do not offer the needed engagement.

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