I was immediately inspired when I saw the Invercargill Library of New Zealand’s meme titled “Keeping Up with the Librarian’s”. Invercargill Library has succeeded in exploiting social media to bring patrons to the library social media site. I love the idea of leaning into social media in this way and using pop culture to relate to patrons and for outreach. I looked at the Invercargill’s presentation on how to set up a true social media strategy and I really wanted to be sitting in the audience hearing how this library harnessed social media. The Invercargill Library embraced social media, used data to drive future decisions, and developed a whole range of media skills that opens up new relevant programming opportunities.
Embrace change in a way that makes sense for the library. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, peardeck, google classroom – the list of new technologies can be frankly overwhelming and it is easy to feel pressure to learn all of these new technologies. But, what is so important is to take a step back and identify where new technologies can be used to further the library’s mission.
Start with strategy. Libraries are just like any other business in that the library should have clear business goals and be working strategically to meet those goals. The Invercargill presentation showed how they used creative postings along with the metrics from those postings to drive their decisions. The librarians were not just throwing things out into the dark of social media but instead used the data on how many patrons their post had reached to alter their choices over time.
A side benefit I envision the Invercargill Library achieved was that in actively using social media, encountering problems, and working to find solutions the staff learned a whole new set of media related skills. These are skills that the patrons of the library would find super relevant and the staff now have an entirely new programming opportunity.
All images from the Invercargill Library presentation.