The blog of a Lib Studies student


Time to reflect. We are at the end of the ‘Use social media tools for collaboration and engagement’ unit of the Library and information Studies course. At the start of the unit I really didn’t understand what  libraries and social media had in common. But as I have learnt social media is all about sharing information. So social media is a great fit for libraries who are also about sharing information.

I would say if I had a favourite type of social media it would be microblogging (Twitter and Tumblr being the best). Being a working, studying mum of primary school children, I really like the short and sweet aspect of microblogging. I really don’t have the time for more than that.

So now that I know more about social media I am not surprised that libraries are using it. I would be more suprised by libraries that do not use it. After all libraries need to stay up to date and relevant.


The Issues

As with everything, social media has good points and bad ones. I’ve looked at the benefits, so now I’ll look at the issues.

Copyright – digital media (photos, videos etc) belong to the creator, but social media makes digital media accessible for anyone to copy, modify and repost.

Privacy – it is not always easy to control who sees personal information.

Security -care needs to be taken to prevent unauthorised people gaining access to account details

In a nutshell, whatever you put out on the net is out there forever and you never know what someone might do with it, so BE CAREFUL.

Video Sharing

Who hasn’t heard of You Tube? There are probably a few, but even I, a person who doesn’t use social media, have heard of You Tube. 

So there must be benefits for a library using You Tube. Like other forms of social media it is free to post video. Always a benefit when operating on a budget. You Tube will appeal to people that don’t use other forms of social media, so it enables the library to reach a whole new group of people.

Libraries could post informational videos, book trailors, behind the scenes looks, staff introductions and plenty more.

You Tube describes itself as ‘a forum for people to connect, inform and inspire others’, and isn’t that what libraries are also about?


As with all the forms of social media we have been looking at, photosharing sites can also be a benefit to libraries. With the popularity of digital cameras on all our mobile devices, sites like Instagram and Flickr have taken off. It seems that if there is something worth (and sometimes not worth) taking a photo of, someone will be there to take it.

So how can a library benefit from photo sharing? Photosharing gives a library a FREE way to share the photos in their collections with the public. Photos that may otherwise be stored away and hardly seen by anyone. As the goal of The Commons – Flickr states “to show your hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives”.

The other thing that seems to be common with social media sites is that they allow the library to interact with the clients.

Photosharing can also be used by a library to promote events, library services and new books.

So library workers, get snapping 🙂


Micro blogging is something that would certainly benefit a library. Micro blogging is short and sweet, so in people’s busy lives something that is micro blogged is more likely to be read than a blog (macro blog?). Micro blogging is also portable also making micro blogs more likely to be read.

So a library can use a micro blogging site to let people know about upcoming events, good books to read, interesting things in their collection and anything else they think would interest people.

Social Networking

Hello All (well whoever may look at this post)

What benefits could using social networking sites such as Facebook have for a library?

I would not have thought there would be many but there are quite a few:
Using social media a library can connect with thousands more people it would not normally connect with.
Using social media allow the library to connect with people who would not physically come into a library.
Using social media is FREE advertising.
Social media is a quick way to get information to lots of people at once.
Social media is a good way for the library to get feedback.

There are more I’m sure. These benefits are great benefits for a library where our jobs depend on people using the library services.

Getting Started

This is it. I have officially started my blogging assessment. It has taken me 15 minutes to get to here. I feel technically challenged and old.

So, what is my understanding of the term ‘social media’? Well three weeks into this course I now understand the term ‘social media’ to mean the way individuals and groups of people interact with each other and share information using the online world. One of the characteristics of social media is that anyone can use social media to share information. Now anyone who choses can give and receive information. We can be content creators. Another characteristic is that social media allows people to make connections with all sorts of people all over the world. Connections that would be impossible in the real world.

Actually I didn’t realise how big social media was and I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

I forgot to put this in my original post, but if you get a chance check out the following youtube clip:

I am definetly not an internet baby!

Wrong Hands

Cartoons by John Atkinson. ©John Atkinson, Wrong Hands

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Lesley Dillon

The blog of a Lib Studies student