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.