Library Social Media Currents and a few images from Banned Books Week!

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An advertisement for Banned Books Week. Image by ALA.

This week, I took a look at a few of the status updates in the social media feeds of my Library Currents Facebook and Twitter accounts to get an idea about the types of library innovations that people are talking about today, in real-time. Okay, so I looked at more than just a few … more like several hundred in each account just to pull six good ones. The big topic of conversation this week is “Banned Books Week,” an annual event that celebrates banned books of the past, as well as our First Amendment rights and our right to read. The above graphic is one of those images that could go viral on social media, since it is a powerful image of censorship. I am reminded how fragile our freedoms are, no less on social media, which is as libertarian as you can get when it comes to posts about banned books, political beliefs, and what I had for breakfast (accompanied by a picture, of course).

As libraries across the country celebrate our honored banned books of history, there are still other discussions surrounding new technologies. Some are pretty exciting. This review will take a look at three Facebook status updates and three Twitter tweets that caught my attention as I scrolled through the enormous lists of posts.

Facebook Status Updates beauty of status updates are that sometimes it can contain all the information you really need. In this update, SCLC informs its fans that Sierra Madre has two new Digital Storyboards for creating new conversations in the library. Investments like this allow the library to get patrons involved and participating, where users can help to create the library’s content. this status update, we are teased by the inherent competition between Google+ and Facebook. The actual article goes into depth of 11 other social media facts for 2013, which is information that represents new trends … information that librarians can definitely capitalize upon.

LOCThe Library of Congress is giving a shout out to the world about its new app that increases accessibility for those with visual impairments. Accessibility apps are a part of new innovation in libraries. Accessibility is also important when creating websites, so that those who have visual or hearing impairments can still access needed resources. Our new technological world can increase accessibility across the board, and helps include those with handicaps into the Participatory Library paradigm.

Twitter Posts

ALATechSourceFacebook is providing excellent guides to educate users on social media and how to use it responsibly. This Twitter post shares an article about the new Facebook guide to educate teens, as cyberbullying and harassment is on the rise. This guide comes after guides about suicide prevention and domestic abuse. Libraries should definitely have these guides on hand, or the links bookmarked to give to patrons.

socialfreshThis Twitter update really caught my attention, since it gives us a taste of marketing with our social media. I’m a big fan of Facebook ads, as it can be a cheap and non-obtrusive way for libraries to market their Facebook page and library services. Promoted Pinterest Pins can reach our visual users, and pictures or images of library products and services can be pinned to let users know where they can find them! Although word-of-mouth and good service is the best way to keep the conversation going, Facebook and Pinterest marketing can be a great way to start conversation about a new service.

humptydtlaThis post jumps into this summer’s buzz and conversation about L.A. Library’s new movie streaming service. Many of the movies and shows are older or obscure, but the ability to stream 10,000 videos and 250,000 music albums to a Windows computer makes the free service quite amazing. Expect streaming of movies and music a staple of library services in the future.

The Social Media Librarian

The social media feeds of the Library Currents Facebook and Twitter accounts have excellent potential for finding quality services and content to blog about regarding library innovation and social media. I would have to say that the strength of using social media feeds is that the information is “hot-off-the-press” or current… REALLY current. Real-time. Trend-making. These are strengths that can make a librarian a trendspotter for new innovations.

But with that said, the major weakness for consulting these feeds is the wealth of information and data to comb through to find the diamonds in the rough. As social media feeds are written by real people in the moment, there are huge swaths of superfluous and regurgitated data. Combing backwards through hundreds of updates covering just a few days is not a very efficient strategy, especially when compared to the focus and relevancy of RSS feeds.

The final strategy, therefore, is for the librarian to be immersed in social media as a matter of course. As new information is posted, the most exciting innovations will always stand out. But the librarian has to be on social media in the first place, daily, always watching, always a trendspotter. There is no need to comb infinite pages of status updates if the habit of visiting Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites becomes routine practice for the social media librarian.

And now, a blast from the past!

Nothing says innovation than Banned Books Week on Second Life! From 2009. Image Credit: sjsualasc @ Flickr
Series Navigation<< Who uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram? Looking at the Pew Research Center polls.Library Innovations and Social Media >>

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

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