Welcome to Library Apps

Welcome to LIBRARY APPS! THE NEW FRONT DOOR! (Baker, 2007) An "app" is an application software designed to help the user perform singular or multiple related specific tasks. Wikipedia (2010) We hope this blog will be a useful tool for a snapshot look at library blogs, reviews, and web tool developments within Library 2.0.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How three libraries use social networking to meet their goals.

Module 4 activity

Select three (3) libraries of your choice that use social networking to meet their goals.

Develop a comparative table which documents how each of the libraries use social networking tools to support information service provision, educational programs, conduct business etc.

Based on this comparison (and in no more than 350 words) develop your own list of “Reasons why libraries should be on social media”, and draw upon aspects of these three libraries to illustrate each point


State Library of NSW
Historypin – Users can explore, add to or curate photographs from the collection. From the earliest surviving photograph taken in Australia – in January 1845 – through to digital photographs taken last month.
This is a form of volunteering information from the public to an important and understaff/funded service.
Partnered with Google – must have a Google account.
Has the ability to bookmark and share with onto your preferred social media site.

·         Historypin “Repeats” Idea – modern photos are taken by users, comparing them to the original digitised by the library.

·         Story Feed - Stories added to your photos by you or by other people.

·         Enables schools to build a link with the community.

·         Engages students in local history and geography

·         Promotes archiving skills

  • Case studies, popular stories, resources for schools.
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Foursquare blogging service. Students share and save their experiences and get personalised recommendations from friends for where to go.
Offers an online tour guide of all the MIT libraries and their services and resources for students.
A conversational introduction by a staff member from each resource centre provides a very real communication link.
Users can log-in to provide tips therefore enhancing the service.
State Library Queensland
Twitter, Facebook, Flickr Commons, Vimeo, Wikimedia Commons, Historypin
“Engage with the State library through social media.”
Showcasing the social history of Queensland via visual photographic creative common websites.  This enhances the creation and engaging of conversation as an important theme of the library.  Promoted by enlarging the social media icons within the main page of their website.


The above three libraries highlight how social media can instantly create feedback and engagement using Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and this author’s newly discovered media Historypin. Both the State Libraries of Queensland and NSW host Historypin, an application that allows users to post additional information (tagging) to photographic resources.  Due to the amount of historic photos and ephemera held by state libraries, and the time and cost in digitising and labelling photos with their history, libraries are now allowing volunteers to provide their knowledge to the collection.  Historypin and Flickr Commons (utilised at SLQ) promotes involvement and builds a positive link from the local community.  Volunteers both retired and in the workplace are the new archivists for these institutions, linking and sharing important stories, perspectives and general information that potentially could have been lost and forgotten.

Schools also benefit from these sites, engaging them in subjects on history and geography, improving their communication using technology and knowledge of their local community via an interesting visual application.

Those that have missed certain events hosted by the two state libraries can also utilise the YouTube and Vimeo social media applications to catch up videos, digital stories and oral histories in their own time.

Another example of how social media enhances conversation is the American university MIT, allowing students at any time of day to walk through and experience a tour of MIT’s many libraries via foursquare.  This is both a time and resource saving device in promoting the library experience to new students and then welcoming them to liaise with the particular library staff members if required.  The welcoming issue is key because accompanying the tour are blogs by librarians written in a conversational manner and not in eye glazing organisational ‘info-speak’.  Rather than the university librarians waiting for the students to come to them, they are promoting the varied services and resources available to the current generation of resource independent and savvy university students.

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