Researching the Trends of Social Media in 2013: First Look

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When beginning the research to determine the scope of the future Library Currents blog and the needs of the LIS community, it was hard to decide where to start. The Hyperlinked Library white papers definitely set a firm foundation for social media technologies and their past usage, and I also wanted to see what was happening in 2013, while moving into 2014.

Determining the usage of social media in libraries for 2013 is easy when you have access to online databases with LIS content! Using SJSU’s available databases ABI/INFORM Complete, Emerald Management Xtra, Library Literature & Information Science Full Text, and Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text, I conduct a cursory search using the term “libraries social media.” A few interesting articles resulted, and some examples include:

  1. Abbott, W., Donaghey, J., Hare, J., & Hopkins, P. (2013). An Instagram is worth a thousand words: an industry panel and audience Q&A. Library Hi Tech News, 30(7), 1-6.
  2. Accart, J. (2013). Branding your library through social media. Library Hi Tech News, 30(5).
  3. Bernsmann, S., & Croll, J. (2013). Lowering the threshold to libraries with social media: The approach of “Digital Literacy 2.0”, a project funded in the EU Lifelong Learning Programme. Library Review, 62(1/2), 53-5.
  4. Del Bosque, D., Leif, S., & Skarl, S. (2012). Libraries atwitter: trends in academic library tweeting. Reference Services Review, 40(2), 199-213.
  5. Tay, A., Glass, G., & Chew, S. (2013). Using Foursquare: Check-ins are not just for books! Library Management, 34(6/7), 433-447.

This weekend I will conduct a more thorough search. I also plan to investigate Pew Internet Research to see if there are some new studies regarding libraries and social media technologies. I will cover much of the research in the literature in several posts beginning next week.

My hope with the literature research is to ensure that the scope of the future Library Currents website (libraries and social media innovations) isn’t too narrow on the outset. There seems to be many directions that one can go as far as innovation is concerned, which can not only help the librarian’s job providing service become easier, but make the library more participatory for users as well.

With the rise of Learning 2.0 and 23 Things worldwide and other social media projects, many of which are free to implement, a site dedicated to libraries and social media will be immediately helpful to the vast majority of information organizations out there. This research will help determine the need of librarians for creating conversations and participation in libraries today and for the long-term.

This research will also be identifying what other types of blogs and websites are already out there as LIS resources. A list of websites, blogs, wikis and directories will be created to get a bird’s eye view of what resources are already out there on the LIS web. If there are multiple blogs covering the most important and latest trends in social media for libraries, perhaps the scope of Library Currents will need to expand. Additionally, there are innovations outside of social media (augmented reality, maker spaces, etc.) that make a library participatory, but do not fit into the social media category: Will Library Currents cover these areas?

What do you think? Is there a comment you could add to the conversation? Kindly leave a response below.

Next up: First look at the Library Currents listening post … and what it’s saying!
Related post: Creating a Listening Post for Your Blog (Part 1: RSS)

Series NavigationDiving into the first week of RSS articles in the Library Currents listening post >>

Mickel is an MLIS and the creator of Library Currents. His inspiration for the blog was the SJSU course "The Hyperlinked Library" taught by Dr. Michael Stephens, a course that is also a worldwide MOOC. If you wish to contact him, feel free to write to Mickel Paris at


  1. michael

    September 15, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Nice sampling of articles. You ask some good questions at the end. I wonder if your project focus may become clearer when you look at this: “Additionally, there are innovations outside of social media (augmented reality, maker spaces, etc.) that make a library participatory, but do not fit into the social media category: Will Library Currents cover these areas?” Those seem like very interesting areas.

    • Library Currents (Mickel Paris)

      September 16, 2013 at 12:03 am

      The focus is definitely something I am battling with, as I think I could do a great job focusing on social media and how they make libraries participatory. On the other hand, it is hard to ignore the many other innovations that also work to get patrons involved. As I delve deeper into what other resources (websites and blogs) that libraries have on these subjects to fulfill their information needs, I think I’ll become more clear!

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