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Social Media: What is it and what’s in it for my library? Presentation to Vermont Trustees and Friends

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT’S IN IT FOR MY LIBRARY? Presentation to Vermont Trustees and Friends Annual statewide conference for Trustees and Librarians sponsored by Vermont Department of Libraries (VTLIB) and the Trustees Section of the Vermont Library Association (VLA) Saturday November 2, 2013 9:00 am-3:00 pm Vermont Statehouse
  2. VERMONT DIGITAL ECONOMY PROJECT Created by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, with the goal of constructing more resilient communities after the 2011 floods, the Vermont Digital Economy Project is a continuation and expansion of the work performed by eVermont. This Project will offer free support that will speed flood recovery, spur economic development and job growth, and improve community resilience to disasters. • Nonprofits Advising • Small Business Workshops • Farm and Forest Workshops • Downtown Wi-Fi Zones • Town Websites • Library interns • Community Forum and Calendar Funding and support: VDEP is funded by a grant from the federal Economic Development Administration, with substantial in-kind support from IBM, Microsoft and each of the partners.
  3. ABOUT US • Rob Fish has over fifteen years of community outreach experience with various community development and advocacy projects in Maine, Vermont, and Michigan. He has also managed the web and social media presence for several groups and taught digital literacy in a small village in western Ghana. Rob has a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Vermont. Rob now advises nonprofits in the effective use of online tools on behalf of the Vermont Digital Economy Project. In his capacity as Non Profit Advisor, he has worked with historical societies and museums in Bethel, Plymouth, Rochester, Bridgewater and Ludlow. • Rob Fish, Non Profit Advisor Vermont Digital Economy Project 802-488-5143
  4. WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. BUT, Social Media is JUST a tool Success comes from integrating social media into an advocacy strategy. Use it as another means to tell your story ―Sitting at home and just following us on news or Facebook leads to our humiliation, if you have honor and dignity as a man, come. Go down to the street, send SMS’s, post it on the net, make people aware. You know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends, tell them to come with us.‖ –Asmaa Mahfouz
  5. WHY INVEST IN SOCIAL MEDIA? • Are you a building or a resource? • Does your community know what your library has to offer? Do people take the library for granted? How often do they interact with the library? • Who funds the library? How do you currently cultivate a relationship with your funders? • Where do your patrons spend time online? "Social networking is used to publicize library events such as gaming nights; to alert users to additions to collections; to provide links to articles, videos, or Web content that might prove relevant or helpful to patrons; and to provide a conduit for community information. Social media also play an important role in fostering relationships with the community by allowing patrons to ask questions or provide feedback about library services.“ – American Library Association.
  6. Adults Visiting the Library Sixty-five percent of those polled said they had visited the library in the past year. (Harris Interactive Poll, January 2011) Adults Using Social Media February 2005, just 8% of internet users—or 5% of all adults May 2013, 72% of online adults use social networking sites. (Source: Pew Research, 2013) )
  8. COMPONENTS OF A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY Planning is the key to success Don’t try to do everything • IDENTITY: Define who you are, what you stand for, and what you do best. • VALUES and MISSION: Communicate your values in a way that is meaningful and relevant to your audience. • AUDIENCE: Identify your audience(s). • SOCIAL MEDIA OBJECTIVES: What do they gain from engaging with you? What do you have to gain from engaging with them? • CONTENT and PLATFORMS: Choose the content and the platform best suited to reach your audience(s) and achieve your goal(s).
  9. CONTENT • Remember it is not all about you. • How does your audience benefit from engaging with you on social media? • Entertained. • Educated, informed or alerted. • Become a part of something bigger • A change to have their voice heard. • Offline how do you make friends? Stories! • Social media isn’t a bulletin board – You are talking with not talking at your patrons. • With permission, share examples of how patrons are using the library. • How has the library helped someone over a challenge? Why is it important to the community? • Humor! Heart-felt stories! Become a trusted source! Find your voice.
  10. IDEAS FOR CAMPAIGNS? SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT? • Banned books week • New additions to the library’s collection • Promote Events • Contests – ―name that quote‖ WHAT ELSE? • Testimonials • Public Issues/Controversies – Privacy • Book reviews • History of the library • Interaction – ―Libraries are important because ____________.‖ • Ask a librarian – Interaction is key
  11. Facebook Events Crowdsourcing information Share info from other sources
  12. Funny and Thematic Schedule Posts
  13. Twitter is a Micro-Blogging Platform messages limited to 140 characters Why they did it : Over 375 libraries in the UK threatened with closure due to budget cuts
  14. “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” • • • • • A new audience User generated content and increased engagement A hobby! Share books and make collections Links with Facebook and your website
  15. 20-WAYS-LIBRARIES-ARE-USINGPINTEREST 1. Pinning book covers 2. Showcasing historic archives. 3. Creating reading lists. 4. Sharing new acquisitions 5. Promoting library activities. 6. Research. 7. Learning-related infographics 8. Encouraging kids and teens to read 9. Collecting ideas for library displays 10. Getting inspired for library programs 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Collecting learning materials for parents. Highlighting library staff members. Offering up access to digital collections. Running reading programs. Showing off things in the local community Showing pictures of the library. Sharing craft projects. Helping patrons start book clubs. Building a community of libraries online. Creating collaborative boards with patrons.
  18. Think of it as a visual bookmarking system. HOW ITEach "pin" or image is linked to the site in which it was WORKS pinned from This drives content to your site Integrating Pinterest invites and reminds people to share the image -- more online attention and reaches more people TIP: Create Very Specific Boards. Creating a too general of a pinboard, like "Genealogy" will quickly fill up and become unmanageable to search and locate specific pins. Sample Ideas: Genealogy Toolkit, Plymouth Vermont Families, Bennington Battle, Tropical Storm Irene – Wilmington
  19. Inspired by the 1978 disco hit "I Will Survive", the lyrics were rewritten to proclaim support for libraries, particularly under the stress of tight budgets.
  20. The Poultney Public Library in Poultney, VT is proposing an expansion to their 1,660 square foot building. (
  21. • Contact information • Hours • Signup Forms • Donate Button • Keep navigation simple • Social Media • Images • Responsive – works on smartphones and desktop web browsers • Be able to manage it yourself WEBSITE ESSENTIALS
  22. QUESTIONS? Rob Fish, Non Profit Advisor Vermont Digital Economy Project 802-488-5143