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New innovative uses of Twitter

Posted by lindyjb on January 10, 2009

I’m pretty psyched in that my Twittering Libraries web 2.0 article from LIS 5313 is receiving some notice. The Shifted Librarian mentioned it in her post An open letter to [libraries] on Twitter and the ACRL mentioned it in their post Proselytizing for Twitter.

I’m not writing here to publicize myself; rather, I wanted to briefly highlight a few comments that were shared from the Shifted Librarian and ACRL blog posts.

The first comment was from Jenn who works at the College of DuPage Library. They have a Library Secrets Twitter account they use not only to promote the Library Secrets program but to promote online tools and applications that their patrons (students, faculty and community members) might find useful. I checked out the Library Secrets program and it looks really cool!

The second comment was from the ACRL blog. Brian Matthews, a User Experience Librarian at Georgia Tech, shared a paper he wrote for the Journal of Web Librarianship titled Twitter and the Library: Thoughts on the Syndicated Lifestyle. After reading his article, my head was spinning with ideas and thoughts because he provided so many practical uses for libraries using Twitter: it is a great tool for not only communication and collaboration (which many libraries are doing), but for assessment.

I thought I had most ideas for Twitter covered in my lil‘ article, but that truly isn’t the case. Doh! Because of the rapid growth of Twitter (it grew 752% with 4.43 million users in December 2008!), the chance for innovation is immense.

I love learning about how others are doing things!

If you have any ideas or thoughts to share or innovative ways libraries and librarians can use Twitter, please share!

Posted in libraries, twitter, web2.0 article | 4 Comments »

My experience with Twitter and Delta Airlines’ customer service

Posted by lindyjb on January 5, 2009

Much is written in the blogosphere about companies using Twitter for customer service (i.e., Comcast, JetBlue, Zappos.com). I even briefly discussed it in my Twittering Libraries article.

It’s one thing to read about others’ experiences, but recently I experienced my own encounter of customer service and Twitter.

I wrote about this earlier, but long story short: Over the holidays, I attended a wedding in Richmond, VA. At the time of the wedding ending, Portland was having one of its worst snowstorms ever. As a result of mechanical difficulties and then the impending craziness of canceled flights to Portland, I was stuck in Washington, DC while my luggage was visiting places like JFK (NY), Dulles (DC), Richmond (VA) and then Eugene (OR).

In my frustration of several hours of phone calls, waiting on hold, several calculations where my luggage was (but really wasn’t) and seven days of absence, I got the idea to see if Delta Airlines had a twitter account. I discovered they did. So what the heck, I decided to try it. Alas, I’ll let my tweets tell the rest of the story…

The End.

Posted in customer service, deltaairlines, missing luggage, my experience, twitter | 1 Comment »

Kansas City Public Library’s Twitter Trivia Contest

Posted by lindyjb on January 3, 2009

How cool is this?

The KC Public Library is having a trivia contest and they’re using Twitter as the forum for folks to submit answers. What a great idea for getting more people involved and connected to the library! Follow their stream at KCPubLib.

Posted in innovation, libraries, twitter | Leave a Comment »

Twittering Libraries Article (on LIS 5313 wiki)

Posted by lindyjb on December 31, 2008

Finally done fine-tuning! Check it out on the LIS 5313 wiki: Twittering Libraries.

I also created a page on this blog and posted the same article there (ya know, just in case the wiki disappears — I don’t own the wiki, after all).

Posted in 3rd party applications, case studies, cons, librarians, libraries, pros, twitter, uses in libraries | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter updated search function: Search for People

Posted by lindyjb on December 24, 2008

Short and sweet post… Check out Twitter’s new search for people: http://twitter.com/search/

Posted in search, tools, twitter | Leave a Comment »

Twitter survey, Q5: Who organizes/runs the Twitter account for your library?

Posted by lindyjb on December 15, 2008

fiveNote: This is the fifth question of a 15-part questionnaire I sent out to over 90 libraries with Twitter accounts. 65 libraries responded. I used this information for a web 2.0 article for my LIS5313 class at Florida State University. Once the article is finished, I will share it on the blog. In the meantime, I am sharing data collected of the responses for each question.

Question five asked who organizes/runs the Twitter account for the library. I wanted to see if there was a pattern of who coordinated library Twitter accounts. If a specific title was mentioned more than once, I put a “X+number” to mean the number of times it was mentioned.  Otherwise, I simply listed the specific title mentioned by those surveyed. Some did not answer this question or provide their title.

(I know different titles can mean the same area of expertise and/or responsibilities so I put similar titles together).

Who’s running the Library’s Twitter account:

  • Assistant Reference Librarian
  • Reference Manager
  • Research Manager
  • Research Librarian
  • Reference Librarian (X4)
  • Reference/Technology Librarian
  • Reference & Instruction Librarian
  • Library webmaster
  • Web Design Specialist
  • Web Librarian
  • Library Webmaster
  • Systems Librarian
  • Information Technology Manager
  • Information Literacy Librarian
  • Divisional Librarian, Tech Services (head of Tech services and head Cataloger)
  • Information Services Director
  • Manager of Marketing & Communications
  • Public Programming Librarian
  • Public Relations Coordinator
  • Library Manager (X2)
  • Library Director (X4)
  • Head Cataloger (X2)
  • Youth Services Librarian
  • Youth Services Coordinator
  • Paraprofessional
  • Volunteer

Those who specifically mentioned a collaborative effort with others:

  • Computer Specialist, along with the Director, Head of Reference Dept and ILL Librarian. (This library asks others from other departments to contribute and they do).
  • Information Services Librarian + one other librarian (no title mentioned)
  • Reference Librarian plus help from Youth Services Librarian. (Director expressed interest also).
  • Web Specialist, but head of Electronic Services and Director of Technology have access.
  • Director formally runs it with the help of the Library Technology Assistant. Twitter posts are spread across all librarians.
  • Public Relations Coordinator runs it; Youth Services Coordinator posts.
  • Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering Librarian (though it is noted anyone from the staff can post)

Posted in Classes, LIS5313, twitter | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter survey, Q5: Who organizes/runs the Twitter account for your library?

Posted by lindyjb on December 15, 2008

Note: This is the fifth question of a 15-part questionnaire I sent out to over 90 libraries with Twitter accounts. 65 libraries responded. I used this information for a web 2.0 article for my LIS5313 class at Florida State University. Once the article is finished, I will share it on the blog. In the meantime, I am sharing data collected of the responses for each question.

Question five asked who organizes/runs the Twitter account for the library. I wanted to see if there was a pattern of who coordinated library Twitter accounts. If a specific title was mentioned more than once, I put a “X+number” to mean the number of times it was mentioned. Otherwise, I simply listed the specific title mentioned by those surveyed. Some did not answer this question or provide their title.

(I know different titles can mean the same area of expertise and/or responsibilities so I put similar titles together).

Who’s running the Library’s Twitter account:

Assistant Reference Librarian
Reference Manager
Research Manager
Research Librarian
Reference Librarian (X4)
Reference/Technology Librarian
Reference & Instruction Librarian

Library webmaster
Web Design Specialist
Web Librarian
Library Webmaster
Systems Librarian

Information Technology Manager
Information Literacy Librarian
Divisional Librarian, Tech Services (head of Tech services and head Cataloger)
Information Services Director

Manager of Marketing & Communications
Public Programming Librarian
Public Relations Coordinator

Library Manager (X2)
Library Director (X4)

Head Cataloger (X2)

Youth Services Librarian
Youth Services Coordinator

Paraprofessional
Volunteer

Those who specifically mentioned a collaborative effort with others:

  • Computer Specialist, along with the Director, Head of Reference Dept and ILL Librarian. (This library asks others from other departments to contribute and they do).
  • Information Services Librarian + one other librarian (no title mentioned)
  • Reference Librarian plus help from Youth Services Librarian. (Director expressed interest also).
  • Web Specialist, but head of Electronic Services and Director of Technology have access.
  • Director formally runs it with the help of the Library Technology Assistant. Twitter posts are spread across all librarians.
  • Public Relations Coordinator runs it; Youth Services Coordinator posts.
  • Biomedical & Mechanical Engineering Librarian (though it is noted anyone from the staff can post)
Photo credit: 5 from flickr user Leo Reynolds
This photo is licensed with a creative commons attribution non-commerical share alike 2.0 generic

Posted in LIS5313, twitter, web2.0 article | Leave a Comment »

Twitter survey, Q4: Are there any 3rd party apps you use to enhance your Twitter experience?

Posted by lindyjb on December 15, 2008

Note: This is the fourth question of a 15-part questionnaire I sent out to over 90 libraries with Twitter accounts. 65 libraries responded. I used this information for a web 2.0 article for my LIS5313 class at Florida State University. Once the article is finished, I will share it on the blog. In the meantime, I am sharing data collected of the responses for each question.

The fourth question on my survey asked the twittering libraries if they used any third party applications to enhance their Twitter experience. I actually answered this in an earlier post on my blog. Check out this post to see what the top 10 applications are that these twittering libraries are using.

Every day new applications are sprouting up. I suggest bookmarking Darren Rowse’s blog, Twitip, or following him on Twitter. He is constantly updating posts with interesting news about Twitter. In fact, he posted an informative snippet on his blog of the 5 applications and tools that made him a better Twitter user in 2008.

Photo credit: door number 4 from flickr user Leo Reynolds
This photo is licensed with a creative commons attribution non-commerical share alike 2.0 generic

Posted in 3rd party app, LIS5313, twitter, web2.0 article | Leave a Comment »

Twitter survey, Q3: What has been your experience using Twitter?

Posted by lindyjb on December 14, 2008

threeNOTE:  This is the third question of a 15-part questionnaire I sent out to over 90 libraries with Twitter accounts. 65 libraries responded. I used this information for a web 2.0 article for my LIS 5313 class at Florida State University. Once the article is finished, I will share it on the blog. In the meantime, I am sharing data collected of the responses from each question.

I asked librarians to describe what has been their experience with Twitter. While using Twitter for the library was a new experience for a handful of librarians, overall, the responses were positive regarding their experience with the service thus far. I informally divided answers by themes I saw throughout. Some of the comments:

GOOD/EASY

“I’ve really enjoyed it and I hope to continue it indefinitely. The library culture [at my library] is very laid-back, casual, and that’s allowed me to be myself in my updates. I like being able to try new things… like the reference live-blogging and seeing how our followers react to it. I’ve had no complaints from either library staff or other tweeters.””

“For library – pretty much out of sight – almost everything that is posted to Twitter is automated, so it gets updated and kept fresh without much input from staff.”

“I don’t have feedback about whether our patrons are making use of our Twitter account, however it requires almost no staff time to maintain (our twits are automated with the Twitterfeed application). It’s easy to provide this service even if the usage is uncertain.”

“Beyond the reliability issues and some brief problems with our RSS feed, the experience has been positive.”

“Great! We tweet to tell people about programs, to ask for input and to direct them to our site and other 2.0 outlets, like our blog and Facebook pages.”

“Overall, our experience with Twitter has been good. Most of the experiment is automated. I dump the RSS feed of new books and movies into Twitter. It has created an increased interest in our new items.”

“It is a fun, fast way to communicate, to see what others are doing”

“I post at least one tweet per day that refers followers back to other online resources, like flickr, our blog, our website, MySpace page, etc. I tweet about library and community events.”

“It’s easy since it’s all automated (twitterfeed.com pulls the RSS form the library’s blog and flickr stream).”

“Positive, especially in the last 6 months since they have resolved many of their outage issues.”

“It’s been positive, overall. Generally speaking, when we can increase the number of communication media we use to reach various groups, it benefits everyone. You just have to be selective and back the right horse from the beginning. For example, Orkut and Friendster didn’t really get much traction in the social networking arena as compared to MySpace and Facebook. It would have been troubling to have put all of your resources into building a presence on one of those neglected sites.”

“Personally – a lot of fun and helpful. If I have questions about something or want opinions I can post them on Twitter and usually get an answer pretty quickly. It’s also great for keeping in touch with library friends I’ve met.”

“Very positive. It’s so easy that a few of our librarians, who aren’t comfortable with web2.0/library 2.0, pick up the Twitter interface in no time.”

“Simple and easy to use. Occasional service outages, but they don’t last very long. There have been times when I’ve tried to post a tweet and the Twitter servers are overloaded and I receive an error, but I just wait a minute or two and then I’m able to post the tweet without problems.”

“Generally positive, we have over 100 followers, now including the local newspaper.”

“It is easy to set up, quick to maintain and looks good for the library.”

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/CONFERENCES/NETWORKING

“Especially like it for conferences – way to virtually attend a conference as people send tweets.”

“Way to “meet” a lot of people at my University; learned a lot about what they do and about new work-related items and issues.”

“Incredibly helpful in keeping in contact with other librarians around the world and keeping tabs on cool things that they’re doing.”

“We get to see how other libraries are using Web 2.0 – gives us wider peer-to-peer network than our local consortia offers.”

“I personally love Twitter. Professionally, I get a lot of tech support on Twitter that I don’t get at my library. There’s only one cataloger and we don’t have a programmer on staff, so when I work on some projects it’s good to have the help of my tweeps.”

FOR MARKETING

“We use the account for marketing purposes.”

“We mainly use for publicity/marketing.”

“Most of our postings promote imminent events (like library programs) or comment from those events.”

“One more way to get the updates out. Savvy users know how to get tweets on their phones, so I hope that followers will turn on that feature.”

FOLLOWERS

“As far as the library’s Twitter page goes, we have a lot of followers, but I don’t know how many follow through and go to the links we send out.”

“It is so encouraging to read from our follower’s responses after they discovered that we were Twittering.”

“We are getting a lot of followers so must be interesting to some folks.”

“Most following us are libraries, but we have also followed them back.”

“We have a bunch of followers (many libraries from around the country, but also some local organizations, radio stations, etc).”

“So far, we’re not being followed by a lot of our users. Most of the other people following our Tweets are other librarians, other libraries, etc.”

“The library is seen as hip and cool by keeping up with the latest technology. Local bloggers use our tweets to blog about happenings at the library.”

“I Started with a personal account… then I set up [our library] account with the intent of broadcasting updates the community about our struggling library. It turns out most of our followers are library professionals around the country and around the world, plus some [sic] who are not necessarily (a) in our neighborhood or (b) into libraries. We’ve become Twitter pals with numerous library people and local people who often offer advice and encouragement. One of our most interesting episodes in our Twitter life was Hurricane Gustav, when we gave and received pertinent updates via Twitter before, during and after the storm.”

“We try to follow everyone who follows us, but some of the tweets aren’t appropriate for a publicly-funded library.”

“It was slow going to get people to add us – we now have 103 followers which is interesting.”

OTHER

“Wish length of text could be more than 140 characters.”

“I have enjoyed using Twitter, but I’ve been frustrated with the lack of tech support or response to user suggestions and complaints, especially regarding the search function.”

“Seems to be a somewhat different kind of communication than anything else: not quite like email, IM, or blogs.”

“Over the past several months I’ve created three different accounts – one for our library, one for me and one for our new building project.”

“Not many staff members help change the content.”

“Initial use – keep in contact with coworkers in far away locations; now use personal account to stay up-to-date during conferences; use library account for promotional purposes.”

“First use was to use as a private notice board for reference desk news (making our tweets private and only allowing library staff to follow). When we found out that there was interest in following from the public, we decided to revamp our account and use it to publicize library workshops, collections, service, and events.”

“Original use was to provide an off-site mechanism for our administrative staff to alert the public (and staff) of Library weather related closings or emergencies. Unfortunately because of delayed lapses in posting, we have moved to another reliable service.”

“We stopped using it on our blog. If we served a very wired population, we would have continued.”

“Our library recently set up its Twitter account and we have yet to fully integrate it into our reference services. We really do not have information to share about using the tool with patrons. We are still determining who in our system will work with this.”

“Experience limited to only the library’s Twitter account.   We don’t use it the way it was intended – as real-time “what’s happening” or as a collaborative tool for work groups – but we seem to be reaching some people out there.”

“No experience outside of our library account … opening a Twitter account seemed like the next step (after creating a MySpace and Facebook account for the library).”

Posted in Classes, LIS5313, twitter | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter survey, Q3: What has been your experience using Twitter?

Posted by lindyjb on December 14, 2008

NOTE: This is the third question of a 15-part questionnaire I sent out to over 90 libraries with Twitter accounts. 65 libraries responded. I used this information for a web 2.0 article for my LIS 5313 class at Florida State University. Once the article is finished, I will share it on the blog. In the meantime, I am sharing data collected of the responses from each question.

I asked librarians to describe what has been their experience with Twitter. While using Twitter for the library was a new experience for a handful of librarians, overall, the responses were positive regarding their experience with the service thus far. I informally divided answers by themes I saw throughout. Some of the comments:

GOOD/EASY

“I’ve really enjoyed it and I hope to continue it indefinitely. The library culture [at my library] is very laid-back, casual, and that’s allowed me to be myself in my updates. I like being able to try new things… like the reference live-blogging and seeing how our followers react to it. I’ve had no complaints from either library staff or other tweeters.”” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in LIS5313, twitter, web2.0 article | Leave a Comment »

 
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