Articles- Twitter for Librarians

twitter for librarians


OLJ Task- Shifting Trends

From a school library perspective, many of these trends or shifts in technology use outlined back in 2009 have a huge impact on what an information policy for the school might need to include.

1. 1 000 000 books published worldwide every year/ 1000 pages digitised every hour through Google Book search scanner

There is a real shift for connecting with the written word through digital avenues. It is immediate, timely and relevant, especially using Google Books search tool. Books can be accessed 24/7 and not just when the library or book store is open. What if the text needs to be shipped from overseas? This takes a long time. Digital access provides immediate connection, just when you are inspired and when your interest is piqued. School libraries need to seriously consider a shift towards digital access. This way texts can be ‘borrowed out’ to multiple readers simultaneously, not one at a time.

2. Newspapers- printed circulation down 7 million over last 25 years; Online circulation is up 30 million in last 5 years

Clearly, what we have known for some time about the importance of immediate connection when dealing with news influences this trend. News happens and social media platforms alert the world. When people want to find out more, traditional printing of newspapers isn’t fast enough in this social media world. School libraries should connect users to digital online news rather than continue to subscribe to dated hard copies of newspapers.

3. Traditional advertising declining; Digital advertising is growing rapidly

Because traditional publications are declining, it would seem logical that advertising in those arenas would also decline. As school libraries try to brand their image, consideration needs to be made to a digital approach to inform users of programs and news. Social media is the most immediate connector, whereas once newsletters , emails and telephone calls were the norm.

4. 10 million unique visitors to 3 large tv networks every month/ 250 million unique visitors to 3 large social networking platforms every month, which didn’t exist 6 years before.

This trend highlights the senselessness in holding on to more traditional methods of communication and connection. School libraries need to embrace digital trends. The fact that such companies that didn’t exist 6 years previously could pull such a high impact speaks volumes regarding the fluidity of social media. What is popular now may not be in a few short years. That is why school librarians need to stay informed about changes and trends in social media. Tools such as current social media infographics are important for continuing professional understanding for all teacher librarians.

5. The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the internet in 2020.

Progressively technology is becoming more powerful and smaller in size. Of particular interest was the point made that the most powerful computer in 1965, which was housed in a building, is nothing compared to what we now carry around in our pockets. This amazing trend highlights how much we have the world at our fingertips. How much the world needs to catch up in terms of providing access to what this technology can do. School libraries need to include in their policies clear guidance regarding mobile technology and ‘bring your own devices’. Clear policy about how these devices are used, access provided by the school and security of information should be included in such policy writing.

OLJ Task- Libraries using Social Media comparison

This task asks for a comparison of how three libraries use social media to support their goals.

I have chosen 3 diverse libraries which all use social media to meet the needs of their clients or users:

1. School library- Scotch College

2. Public council library- Brisbane City Council Libraries

3. University library- CSU

Scotch College library

Brisbane City Council Libraries

CSU Library


Uses blog to publish news and opinions about literature Blog used for announcements. literature reviews and interesting articles


Twitter used for announcements, links to interesting websites and poses literary questions Twitter for announcements, links and interesting articles links


Facebook page for Scotch College Breakfast series. Provides notifications and announcements as well as forum for feedback Facebook page to provide notifications of events and issue related links Facebook page for announcements, events and interesting links. Includes archival photos of CSU events.

RSS Feeds


Embeds youtube clips for book trailers in blog YouTube clips in Twitter

1. School library- Scotch College

scotch college blogscotch college FB

2. Public council library- Brisbane City Council Libraries

BCC library 2 BCC library 1

3. University library- CSU

CSU library

Reflection- Reasons why Libraries should be on social media

While it must be remembered that each of these libraries focuses on diverse user groups, each one has utilised some applications in social media. Social media can be used effectively to support services and inspire learning and reading, especially in a school library setting.

1. Timely announcements- using Twitter and Facebook to announce and promote events, book releases, service disruptions, change in opening hours etc.

2. Promoting reading- Blogs can be used effectively as a community to post ideas, questions, feedbacks, opinions, articles and podcasts about literature. Blogs become a collection point for many areas. Similarly, Facebook and Twitter can do the same. It is important to know your user base and provide access to whatever social media platform works best for them. Be aware what suits the purpose or function and be aware of what most people use.

3. Interesting related links- Blogs, Facebook and Twitter can all be used effectively to provide links top other social media and websites that relate to libraries, learning, research, skill development etc.

4. Feedback- social media provides an opportunity to get feedback from users. Libraries need to provide an effective service that promotes further library use. Social media provides that forum.


Scotch College-

Scotch Library and Information Centre. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The Portal. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Scotch College Breakfast series. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Brisbane City Council Libraries-

Brisbane City Council Libraries. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Charles Sturt University Library-

Charles Sturt University: Division of Library Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Second Life

An interesting article Second Life: A Virtual World. Why are Librarians there?, in First Monday, 13(8) by Ilene Frank (4 August, 2008).

It provided many examples of how Second Life could add an extra dimension to educational and library programs. However, I do wonder about the age of this article and some predictions that it made back in 2008.

The Gartner Group (2008) estimated that 80 percent of active Internet users will be using virtual worlds by the end of 2011.

One issue is the computing power necessary for running virtual worlds. Running Second Life and other virtual worlds requires a LAN or broadband connection and a fairly high–end computer with an appropriate graphics card.

I don’t think that 80% of internet users are using virtual worlds now, despite that prediction. The requirements to run such programs are a deterrent. I am not a fan of Second Life, partly because my computer couldn’t cope and I was left with pink screen and difficulty in controlling my avatar due to a delay time. Perhaps the virtual world suits some people more and I am having difficulty appreciating this diversity. I would rather spend the time reading the text and looking at media on Facebook, blogs, websites than spending the time moving my avatar to virtual environments to communicate with other people.

If virtual worlds were to be successfully used in library programs, they would need to convince many people of a need that cannot be successfully administered with another social media tool.


After reading these articles:

Redefining RA: The Ideal Tool

Libraries and Crowdsourcing

, I was struck by the similarities between tagging and what I learned about subject headings in ETL505 Bibliographic Standards. During this subject, the importance of selecting appropriate subject headings for cataloging was highlighted. For librarians need to think like users when cataloging to ensure searches for articles in OPACs are successful.

The projects outlined in the above articles could provide a user friendly tagging approach to cataloging that will ensure a more rounded success to OPAC searching.

When tagging first emerged, the assumed lack of formal structure worried many. Everyone has different perceptions of what they are reading. Therefore, there is a concern about the lack of precision. Conversely, some new topics don’t fit the existing structured taxonomies.

Tag clouds and folksonomies automatically help create communities as users with similar interests gravitate toward similar, searchable word tags. Tagged content increases the amount of usable retrievals by providing more than one place you can look for information on the same topic.

Fernandez, B. (2009). Advantages and challenges of tagging and folksonomy. In Educational technology resources and tips. Retrieved from

The idea of breaking open the traditional and structured subject headings or tags takes a leap into web 2.0 and even beyond into the semantic web.

While I haven’t had much to do with tagging platforms such as Delicious and Pinterest, I have opened accounts and started to tag interesting topics. This speaks to my need to organise and I can see a real purpose in using such social tools to navigate and collect a small amount of what is on offer. I will be investigating these accounts further after my studies to fully investigate the varied ways they can make a TLs role effective.

What are contemporary school libraries?

Contemporary School Libraries

I think this Prezi by Fran Hughes summarises most aspects of contemporary school libraries so I have shared it here in this blog.

One comment to note:

Reading as a social experience will be second nature to our kids. Reading that is connected to other readers will seem natural.

Social media has even turned a traditionally lone activity on its head. Those who were once known as ‘book worms’ can be seen in a whole new light.