Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large
ISSN 1534-0937
Libraries · Policy · Technology · Media

Selection from Cites & Insights 11, Number 8: September 2011

Bibs & Blather

Does Your Library Use Twitter or Facebook?

If so, and if it’s a public library or library system, I could use your help.

I’m working on a book on public library use of social networks (to be published by ALA Editions in 2012. If you’ve already responded to my post on Walt at Random, feel free to ignore this section. Otherwise, I could use responses to the following—sent to by September 14, 2011 if possible.

Basic Information

Library/district official name; State, province or country; Service area population; Your name, title and email address; Whether you’re willing to have your comments used as direct quotations or only as background.

Comments on Twitter or Facebook (or both—indicate which):

Whatever you feel is worth saying about how your library uses the social network, how much time is spent preparing items and responding to items (if you do that), whether one person or many post, the feedback you’ve gotten from your patrons, whether it seems worthwhile—and whatever else you think is worth mentioning.

Comments on the relationship between the two (if you use both):

Do you use them for different purposes, or are Facebook statuses basically longer versions of tweets (or maybe the same)? Other comments on the differences and similarities as your library has used them?


I can’t guarantee your comments will be used—I’d expect that no more than 2,000-3,000 words of the book will be comments from these emails. I will list you in the acknowledgments (unless you ask me not to do so) and your comments will definitely help as I prepare the subjective portions of the book.

I’ll look up your library’s home page and go to your Twitter and Facebook pages, to pick up basic numbers (followers, following, tweets, likes, visits) and five recent items from each service as examples of trends and practices—unless you’re in one of the states for which I’m doing full sweeps, in which case I’d do that anyway.

(The original post said “six or eleven states.” That’s now at least 16 and quite possibly as many as 24 states.)

And If You’ve Stopped Using Twitter or Facebook…

There may not be any such libraries, but just in case:

If your public library/library district has used Facebook, Twitter or both, and has stopped using one or both, I’d love to get some feedback, to help me prepare that book.

Same basic info, plus why you stopped using the social network and any other comments.

I’m not assuming that there are any “failure stories.” It won’t surprise me at all if I don’t get any responses to this negative query. On the other hand, while I can see the Facebook and Twitter accounts in the states I’m studying in depth, I have no way of knowing about former accounts that have closed—unless people tell me.

More Tweaks

Another tweak to Cites & Insights in PDF form begins with this issue. It may be more visible than the tweak introduced some time back—a tweak nobody has yet identified. It could be thought of as a reversion, but that’s not quite true. No prize for guessing either or both tweaks, but I’d love to hear from you if you believe you know what they are.

Meanwhile, this is another single-month (but also single-essay) issue, so I do expect to be back within the next four to six weeks.

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, Volume 11, Number 8, Whole # 143, ISSN 1534-0937, a journal of libraries, policy, technology and media, is written and produced by Walt Crawford.

Comments should be sent to Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large is copyright © 2011 by Walt Crawford: Some rights reserved.

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