Monthly Archives: October 2011

Monday Mid-Afternoon Breakthrough (sort of).

Ask and ye shall receive. Anybody else who’s thought that to be a bit of a grand statement? Well, I’ve got to tell you that I have just proven that in some cases, it really is that simple.

I’ve been struggling with my library’s Facebook presence. Currently, it is a page with over 180 “like”-ers, that goes totally unnoticed.

So I dropped in on a library committee meeting that included some of our students, and all it took were a few sweeping questions about social media and Facebook traffic to get them throwing suggestions at me! The top few include an articulation of not wanting to be “bombarded” by an organization on FB (bombardment on Twitter is still  fair game), an urge to reach out to new incoming students who are unaware of the value of their voice for the library, and a reminder to, above all else, remain human (sound human, not corporate).

Which brings us to our shining contribution. I raised the question of students having difficulty being “friends” with an organization (currently, we can only be “liked” as a page, not friended, because we are not Facebook PEOPLE, but a Facebook THING). On the flip side, when suggesting to librarians that they should create dedicated FB profiles to communicate with students, both the librarians AND the students seem to pull back from this type of relationship. So now what?

Well, one student suggested an idea that I had previously disregarded as a silly marketing tactic…Cartoons! She suggested creating a fictional character to represent the library on Facebook, and was joined with nods and “oh yeah”s all around!

Upon some very light reflection, I’ve decided that this might just be the treasured compromise between interacting with “someone”, without having to put much thought in to the relationship you (the student) are forging with a perceived authority figure (me, the librarian–hah!).

So I ran off and created my first attempt at a fictional “librarian-type” FB character. I wonder if she’ll have better luck with her “friends” out in the Facebook world. All you got to do is ask, right?

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the story so far.

Alright, so before I can proceed in using this space as my gratuitous virtual thought process/scratch pad, I feel obligated to take an abridged walk down memory lane to contextualize the musings & ruminations that will inevitably consume this blog.

So what have I done so far and where have I gotten, in 200 words or less. This should be fun relatively painless.

Pre-me, the library already had a social media presence via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. My goal was/is to analyze the state of that presence, its effectiveness, its purpose and its future. Since I am now in the last 1/3rd of that process, this is where the fun experimentation begins.

So far, Twitter trumps Facebook and YouTube is a different beast all together (more on that in another post). Through various hash-tag experimentations and changing the “tone” of our twitter voice down to a casual banter, I’ve been semi-successful in establishing {a}. a quicker growing following and {b.} a more open and dynamic rapport with students/users. This is fantastic. the challenge here is and will continue to be staying interesting, engaging, and relevant while continuing to push new strategies of information sharing and receiving.

(From here on out, that point is critical : it’s not information broadcasting that I’m after, that’s what the official website is for. Social media is about taking and receiving, hearing and being heard, having your network speak to you and speak for you.)

Facebook. aaah Facebook. To put it politely (and briefly), Facebook isn’t working for the library. This is disappointing for me personally because FB also happens to be my favourite social networking site, permanently ingrained into the daily workings and happenings of my day. But to have the library on Facebook seems to provide no value to users, and this has been the site of many a trip-up in my planning phases. I’ve tried broad status statements. I’ve tried direct questioning. I’ve tried verbally soliciting feedback of ANY kind, and in return, I’ve received crickets (well, cricket chirps, really. So not even whole crickets, not a-one. Perhaps a tumbleweed…but even that would imply some effort to actually present itself to illustrate my feeble failure at communication, which may be figuratively suggesting too much.).

So there, a kind-of-sort-of where I am in terms of social-media experimentation so far. Preliminary thoughts are eagerly welcomed.

Stayed tuned for my *formal* (ahem) Facebook makeover plan. WITH a potential promise of nifty multimedia footage (if you’re nice).

Oh, and my apologies that this most definitely was not done in 200 words or less (please don’t take off a letter grade).

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So here it is…

Right. First blog post. Although it seems a bit silly to be writing to what I can only assume is an audience of zero, I’m doing it anyway because I have committed myself to this blogging experiment. And by committed myself, I really mean convinced myself during my arduous morning commute that I need a new and constructive way to express my ideas and observations of my work (mostly because my husband and best friend are sick of witnessing my out loud idea negotiations).

And by blogging experiment, I really mean my spontaneous attempt to better-organize-my-thoughts-while-also-documenting-the-behind-the-scenes-moments-of-my-first-real-career-job-all-while-also-maybe-creating-a-place-where-similairly-interested-librarians-can-turn-for-affirmation-that-they-are-not-the-only-ones-making-it-up-as-they-go-along.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. No promises or expectations here, just me thinking [read: struggling] out loud. [And yes, that means I get to create extremely inappropriately lengthy hyphenated sentences and overuse adjectives as I wish]. So hah.

…please don’t take the “so hah” personally. If you’ve stuck around ’till the end of my first post, please be a doll and come back for more. It will be riveting, or your money back! (Damn, there I go with promises again…)

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