A fun DIY craft brewing how-to session, in conjunction with a small cooking demo that includes some appealing appetizers.
A graphic novel contest, where winners are announced from the audience.
A discussion on estate wills and planning, or tax preparation tips.
A battle of the Band day, where local tween and teens compete for SJPL’s best new band contest.
Storytime that features readings by children’s authors.
All the above events are streamed live, on San Jose Public Library’s (SJPL) Facebook page; patrons are allowed to weigh in, ask questions, engage with us, but most of all, it is our hope that they will MARK THEIR CALENDARS for the next big event.
Action Brief Statement:
Convince San Jose Public Library’s patrons that by engaging with us in virtual space, they will be more inclined to visit our physical place, which in turn, will strength community bonds, because the library is SO MUCH MORE THAN BOOKS! It’s a fun, and engaging place where patrons can learn, share, or just hang out.
Plan: Facebook Live Streaming from San Jose Public Library
Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:
The goal is for San Jose Public Library to use the video live feature on Facebook to broadcast events as a way to connect with its patrons. Live streaming events will serve to engage community members by promoting awareness of library events and services. Aside from spreading awareness, another benefit of the service is to offer patrons a “behind the scenes” look at libraries in action, and this provides a human touch. As San Jose State University Professor Stephens points out, it’s crucial for the public to see the “human face” behind the library (Stephens, n.d.). It also adds a dimension of transparency and authenticity. One librarian, who regularly uses Facebook live, explains: “it’s staged but not scripted, and feels authentic because it is” (2017, Koerber). Moreover, the public will see the library as so much more than “books” (Stephens, n.d.). Using the idea expounded by the Denmark director at the Dokk1 library, libraries are “designed” for “people, not books” (Stephens, n.d.)And.… space is changing and virtual space changing and we’re welcoming everyone in” (Stephens, n.d.).
Another goal is to establish ongoing dialogue—and it cannot be stated enough. Communication should be two-way, not merely broadcasting, one-way. SJPL should take great aims to answer patrons’ inquiries and listen to feedback on Facebook or any other platform. Patrons can provide valuable input on events or other types of planning aspects of the library. As Casey (2011) asks: “…how are you involving those Facebook fans in your library’s planning process? Are you asking them to participate?”
Lastly, Facebook streaming live is a way to reach NEW patrons. The ones that have yet to set foot in a San Jose library.
Description of Community: San Jose Public Library customers
San Jose Public Library patrons are a diverse group with varied interests. The plan is to offer a broad array of events and/or services that appeal to different demographics. For instance, storytimes geared for children, author talks and book clubs for adults, teens, and tweens, how-to sessions for technology, health and gardening—any special interest the library feels would appeal to its patrons. Better yet, patrons can tell the library what they’d like to see. In the first “live” event we’ll hold a community meeting and patrons can provide ideas on programming.
Appealing to diverse communities is another goal. Offering bilingual storytime would be a huge draw, primarily as a way to engage bilingual populations, but additionally, parents who want to expose their children to another language/culture wouldn’t have to travel for their youngsters to see it. Another bonus is that if busy parents cannot attend, they can just view the event later on the library’s Facebook page.
With the idea of tapping into San Jose Public Library’s diverse customer base, each of the 24 branches can hone the Facebook live feature to suit their community. For instance, Bibliotheca may have staff members who speak Spanish reach out to their patrons in that language.
Mission Statement: San Jose Public Library believes in fostering community two-way engagement, within its organization and in the community it serves, through outreach, both virtual and physical, to share ideas, play, and learn.
Guidelines/Policy: Policies can include stipulations about patron privacy and guidelines for staff on how to operate in “social media” mode. It’ll be mandatory for staff to thoroughly read the library’s social media guidelines, and other appropriate considerations such as patron privacy. For instance, prior to live streaming an event, staff can make an announcement indicating that filming and/or photography will be occurring. Perhaps staff can ask patrons if they can sign a photo waiver after the event. Jackson County Library, although a bit restrictive on employee social media usage guidelines, has some good ideas on their social media policy.
Special note: SJPL can do a better job of making their social media policy more transparent to its patrons as it is not easily accessible via a Google search or on the library’s website.
Funding Considerations for Facebook Live:
Existing staff members will be used, and no outside personnel will be needed. All branches have iPads, laptops, Android tablet devices, ipods, etc., therefore not a lot of extra money will be spent on technology. However, minimal cost may include webcams, which can be purchased inexpensively (Webcams can be purchased for around $50.) Each of the 24 branches has a surplus fund (generally within $100 to $200), or a “wish list” they can ask Friends of the Library for, as result of extra funds made from booksales. So, an option would be to use the “wish list” fund to purchase one, at the branch’s discretion.
The state of California does have annual grants through the California State Library Services and Technology Act, so another possibility would be for the library to apply for the LSTA grant. http://www.library.ca.gov/grants/lsta/docs/17-18/1718LSTASampApp.pdf ).
Action Steps & Timeline:
Live streaming via Facebook really takes little preparation, but staff can take a week or two to get ramped up, and ensure staff members are familarized with the social media policy and guidelines. Fortunately, branches have some leeway in social media use, and they are encouraged to use new tools–posting photos on Instagram and blogging on the company website are some examples–therefore, getting upper management buy-in shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If there is resistance however, it can be suggested that the library do a few “practice” sessions, and then evaluate its success.
Week one: Have IT staff (or ask library staff for volunteers) to set up webcams.
Week two: Train employees at the 24 branches. Ask staff at each branch for volunteers. Training will involve SJPL’s mission, as well as social media guidelines to ensure all staff members are on board. Also, a webinar on Facebook living streaming will be used.
Week three: Test run: have staff devote a few hours during the week to practice live streaming a “pretend” event. (Staff can set privacy settings to allow only themselves to view the event.) Luckily, Facebook live is pretty quick to learn.
Week four: Each branch decides on what event/s they would like to feature for that week.
Week five: Promotion. Each location will decide how they would like to promote the event. Perhaps by posting flyers, spreading the word on social media like Instagram, Facebook, and on the blog.
Minimal manpower will be used since webcams require very little attention (once they are set-up). However, it may take a little bit of time for staff members to set up webcams. It’s recommended that IT install them; although install time shouldn’t take too long.
A few of the library staff members can put together a quick tutorial on social media guidelines and how to operate Facebook Live. There are already employees who actively blog and use social media platforms for SJPL; therefore, those persons would be ideal to help with employee training. One library professional who regularly uses Facebook live offers a suggesion on how she learned to use the platform: “To get up the courage to try Live, I first shot some video of my dog at home using the ‘only me’ privacy setting. Once I saw how easy it was, I was all in” (2017, Koerber).
Promotion & Marketing
One thing that is highly recommended is to announce the Facebook live event a few weeks in advance. This would be done across all social media channels. Promotion would entail pinning the event on the Twitter feed and, also on the Facebook page. With that said, it is not the intention to over-broadcast events. Posts should be evenly spaced out by at least a few days. Also, it may be worth exploring to pay for advertising on Facebook. Also, promoting the event on twitter with the following hashtag: #sjsplive is another way to drum up interest. Another idea is to post a few photos and live videos on Instagram, simultaneously with the same hashtag. Posting flyers in nearby community centers, schools, and coffee shops can generate interest, as well as posting on community online bulletin boards like Nextdoor.
Any new platform takes patience and time; by the end of the first month metrics will be analyzed. How many views did the live events generate? Was there any traction? What events were popular? What times/days worked the best for generating traffic? Any patterns? Or, were the popular events all over the place as far as time/day? Do the library gain a lot more followers? Foot traffic should be measured at the events as well.
Streaming media is a logical way for San Jose Public Library to enage its audience and spread awareness of SJPL and its resources. Nowadays streaming service is ubiquitous, and the medium allows us to consume “different landscapes of media consumption” (Stephens, n.d.). Minimal cost and staff time is required, so what does the library have to lose? Quite possibly, outside volunteers can be used for helping coordinate events and help with the intial start-up. Holding Facebook live sessions is easy to do, and it’s is a fun way to connect the library and staff with its community.
Casey, M. (2011). Revisiting Participatory Service in Trying Times – a TTW Guest Post. Tame the Web. http://tametheweb.com/2011/10/20/revisiting-participatory-service-in-trying-times-a-ttw-guest-post-by-michael-casey/
Jackson County Library Social Media Policy http://www.plumcreeklibrary.org/jackson/Docs/social%20media%20policy.pdf
Live from the Library http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/04/marketing/live-from-the-library/#_
Stephens, Michael. The Hyperlinked Library: New Models. https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=b3a2bd49-7d59-4c89-afca-9a6ee1ac541b
Virtual Author Talks @ the Library! San Rafael Public Library. https://srpubliclibrary.org/2015/11/05/virtual-author-talks-the-library/
Casey, M. (2011). Revisiting Participatory Service in Trying Times – a TTW Guest Post. Tame the Web. [Blog]. Retrieved from http://tametheweb.com/2011/10/20/revisiting-participatory-service-in-trying-times-a-ttw-guest-post-by-michael-casey/
Jackson County Library Social Media Policy. Policy number 232. (2014, May 19). [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.plumcreeklibrary.org/jackson/Docs/social%20media%20policy.pdf
Koerber, J. (2017, April 10). Live at the Library. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2017/04/marketing/live-from-the-library/#_
Periscope top tips for using twitters latest app. (2015, July 20). Retrieved from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/sites/default/files/periscope.jpg
Stephens, M. (n.d.). The Hyperlinked library: exploring the model. [Panopto lecture]. Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2d0f28cc-2337-4aaf-ae88-4f133c509f67
Stephens, M. (n.d.). The hyperlinked library and emerging technologies. [Panopto lecture]. Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=045fa418-fca1-4af1-81a6-1115e7533b39
Stephens, M. (n.d.). The Hyperlinked Library: New Models. Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=b3a2bd49-7d59-4c89-afca-9a6ee1ac541b
Virtual Author Talks @ the Library! (2015). San Rafael Public Library. [Website]. Retrieved from https://srpubliclibrary.org/2015/11/05/virtual-author-talks-the-library/