A year ago, we began an experiment in social media. Using Twitter, we invited librarians to come together once a month to talk about the galleys they’ve been reading. Called GalleyChat, it gets more interesting each month and has become a useful RA and ordering tool.
There’s one small snag, however; some librarians can’t join because they are not allowed to use Twitter or other social media at work.
It’s painful to hear that librarian creativity is being limited by shortsighted policies. In more enlightened areas, social media is used as another tool for reaching out to the community. The Kansas City Public Library, for instance, has an active Facebook page. During National Library Week, they posted this:
Looking for a great read? Just post the titles of the last 3 books you enjoyed on our Wall, and our readers’ advisory experts will suggest your next favorite book.
The community enjoyed challenging the staff and, as Kaite Stover attests on Booklist‘s “Book Group Buzz,” the librarians learned a lot.
Even library schools see the value of social media. As the Boston Globe recently reported last month, at Simmons GLIS, “Every student must create a website and wiki page within the first six weeks.” Unfortunately, those students may be in for a rude awakening once they land jobs.
Help us build the case for social media in the library; let us know in the comments section how you are using it and how you have fought off threatened bans.