The Wilson Library is a small academic library that can improve its communication and engagement with the university community. It seems that many of the community members, especially students, are oblivious to services the library offers that are communicated by email or flyers. Hopefully implementing a popular social media platform will not only encourage engagement with the library but bring awareness of the various services the library has to offer faculty and staff who are on the main campus, satellite campus or online distance learners.
Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:
The major goal for the use of Snapchat is to increase the library’s publicity, engagement, and communication within the university community, especially to traditional-age students and online students.
Description of Community you wish to engage:
This will enable the library to engage with the university community which includes:
- Students: undergraduates, graduates (both on-campus and online)
Action Brief Statement:
Convince Wilson Library that by implementing the photo/video sharing app Snapchat, it will enable the library to connect with traditional and online students on a different level. Which will encourage user participation and it enables the library to reach a specific demographic because these students in particular may not know about the services the library offers through traditional outreach methods such as emails and flyers.
Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:
Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:
The Mission of the Wilson Library is to provide a safe learning environment both physically and virtually. The library will provide accurate information to the best of their ability to those seeking information.
The person or group managing the Snapchat account should meet with the library’s administrator along with other staff members to create a guidelines and policies in regards to what is acceptable to post. All post will be respectful and civil. Oregon State University’s library demonstrates a conscious outlook for its social media policy and guidelines and the Wilson Library can use this as an example when compiling their own.
Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:
The library will not need to acquire additional funding because:
- The Snapchat app is offered for free in the iTunes and Google Play
- Additional funds for staff management of Snapchat will not be necessary because it will be considered as part of the staff members duties
Action Steps & Timeline:
The time it will take to set up Snapchat and train staff members can be completed within 2 weeks, depending on staff member’s schedule. Below are the tentative steps to completing the initiation of the project:
- Discuss implementation with administrator
- Decide who will manage the Snapchat account
- Research how other academic libraries are using Snapchat
- Create Snapchat account
- Train staff members
- Initiate service
Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:
The person or team who manages existing social media accounts will be ideal candidates. This would not require additional staff hours because it is part of their current job duties. To diversify the content that is posted it would be best for a group of people from different areas in the library to meet regularly to contribute ideas for all postings. It would also be a good idea for student workers to “takeover” Snapchat occasionally to provide a different perspective of the library as they can easily relate to the other students’ informational needs.
Training for this Technology or Service:
The main person or team who will be managing Snapchat will provide an in depth train. Training should be scheduled the library’s slower hours or as time permits. All staff members should be encouraged to learn the ins-and-outs of Snapchat. Training is as simple as using a smartphone to take photos or videos with the free app. The trainers will demonstrate the different aspects of Snapchat such as:
- Sending and receiving chats
If the managing person or team is unable to train, staff members can watch tutorials or look at articles online, such as:
Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:
Snapchat is already popular and widely used by traditional undergraduates. To make the university community aware of the library’s presence in Snapchat the library can befriend other departments within the university who are using Snapchat like Undergraduate Admissions, clubs, Greek organizations, etc.) Each user is assigned a Snapchat QR Code, called a Snapcode, the library will use the Snapcode within: newsletters, established social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), blog, digital display, and signs posted throughout the library.
According to Hootsuite, the library can evaluate how well it is engaging with the university community by:
- the amount of followers
- amount of views each post receives
- screenshot figures
- completion rates
- fall-off figures
- time of day activity
Since the posts only last for 24 hours in the “story” mode, staff members will need to analyze the posts daily and create a spreadsheet to monitor the results.