Library Innovations and Social Media

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As September comes to a close, the planning and research phase of the Library Currents website will culminate in a concept called a Social Media Plan. The first social media plan I wrote was for my LIBR 287 Graduate course called “The Hyperlinked Library,” taught by Michael Stephens. The Social Media Plan is written for the purpose of determining how a new library social tool is used to ensure the benefit and safety of patrons. The plan starts with a simple mission statement and expands from there!

Over the last month I have concentrated on content needs of libraries to determine if the scope of Library Currents should be solely on social media or on innovation in general. To facilitate my research, I created listening posts using RSS feeds of major blogs and websites, focusing on library and business technologies. I also created social media feeds in Facebook, Twitter and others by following other users. Creating these listening posts turned out to be an excellent way to spot trends, which will be essential once the official Library Currents website goes live in November 2013.

What I realized when reading the dozens of blogs and websites out there, along with the recent LIS literature, was that social media was not an island, but rather the fabric that many other innovations integrate with. Sometimes you can’t talk about geo-location services without really speaking about social media, as in the case with Foursquare. Smartphones are an innovative technology, but many of its apps are social computing software. Hardware is going social, with Google Glasses augmenting reality and allowing socially sharable information in the future. The main take-away is that to focus on just social media would be to ignore the bigger picture: that the world is going social, and technology is just a tool for the greater conversation.

Another lesson learned this month was that social media and innovative technologies has so many varied uses. Libraries are using social media platforms to not only market services, but deliver them to users wherever they are, many times in unique and innovative ways. Librarians are using social media for professional development, whether it is 23 Things implementation or other useful Web 2.0 tools. Users are also using social media in different ways: they are literally creating their own libraries of e-books online and sharing them with their friends… not e-books, but libraries of them! Libraries are scaling their content too into magnificent proportions by becoming publishers of their own troves of research and placing it online for free. All at the click of a mouse.

Social media is leading to social intelligence, and libraries will need to keep up in the future with this new concept. Social intelligence is all about data-mining, and listening to what everyday people like you and me are saying on social media about products, services and trends. Libraries have a stake in social intelligence to remain relevant to their audience.

So here we are. Library Currents first started as an idea, summed up in the slogan:

Libraries and Social Media

But after researching and listening to all the conversations on the social web, that slogan could be fine-tuned to:

Library Innovations and Social Media

What do you think?

Next up: The Social Media Plan for Library Currents

Series Navigation<< Library Social Media Currents and a few images from Banned Books Week!The Official Social Media Plan for Library Currents >>

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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