Monday, 9 November 2015

My Social Media Profiles





Libraries using! is a social media tool which was completely off my radar before I began the Social Media unit of the Library, Information and Cultural services course at Victoria University.

In this modern world, is such a great curatorial tool for libraries. The whole world has gone digital and everyone’s attention is online. Now days if you want to do research or learn something new, you rarely turn to a book but hit google instead. is a great way for libraries to remain relevant to their internet savvy users. If anything it is just another way of catering to patrons needs for information and knowledge.

With you can collect and categorise articles from all over the web. It is kind of like Pinterest, only you can read the full article from and the focus is on the information not on the image.

None of the libraries I use have a account, and now that I am aware of the existence of I kind of wish they did. I would be very interested to see what they would share, considering the interesting things they post through their current social media accounts.

Thing 14:Curating with Pinterest, Tumblr, and provides some interesting insights into the different social media curating tools used by libraries:

 “Curatorial tools give users easy ways in which to gather their favourite interests across the internet and host all the pictures, recipes, conversations, news articles, links, videos in one place.

Scoop.It is a ‘create your own magazine’ service which allows you to ‘clip’ from websites, Twitter, RSS feeds, YouTube, Slideshare, Facebook, and custom Google searches. It allows you to enter sources and it then provides suggestions for you to Scoop It and add commentary for customizable topics based magazines.

The Daring Librarian also provides an interesting blog post about curating using called DigitalCuration & Sweet Scoopage

Libraries using Instagram

I am relatively new to the world of Instagram. As it requires the use of a smart phone and I only bought my first smart phone a couple of months ago, I missed out on Instagram’s first few years of existence. Now however I am definitely making up for lost time and it has now beaten Facebook on my ladder of favourite social media platforms. 

As an avid amateur photographer and lover of witty one liners I am really enjoying gaining a following through sharing my happy snaps. I learned very quickly the importance of hash-tagging. Originally I despised hashtags – they don’t do a whole lot on Facebook and I’m not really a fan of twitter. But on Instagram if you want people to see what you post, then hashtags are the way to go.

My favourite library, the State Library of Victoria (such an amazing historical building and such a rich supply of resources) has an amazing Instagram account

The state library has a great collection of historical images – both old photographs and digitised art – which can be viewed on Instagram. This is such a great way to view these images from the comfort of your home or anywhere from your smart phone. These images can also be viewed on their Flickr account.

Instagram can be a great way to promote special events, as well as new collection items. All images can be captioned and hashtags make it easy to find your image when they search for one of the keywords. 

Libraries using Pinterest

With Pinterest, libraries can promote books and authors, and categorise these by genre or any variety of category they choose.

Pinterest is probably my most favourite social media platform. It is such a great way to gather links and images in a visually pleasing and easy to organise way.

My local library network has a great Pinterest account. My two favourite pin boards of theirs are the “Library Fun” (I think the librarians who pin to this board enjoy it as much as their followers do) and the “For Writers” board, as a writer I really love that my local library network supports local and upcoming writers, and provides inspiration through their Pinterest board.

They also have a few boards dedicated to “Reading Inspiration” which are categorised into children, youth and general.

Other great pin boards include, fun ideas for book week, recommended reading, history and genealogy, fun ideas for children, and GRLC library spaces (promoting the various Geelong Region libraries).

Check out Geelong Regional Libraries on Pinterest, and be sure to have a laugh at their Library Fun board!

Libraries using Twitter

Similar to Facebook, Twitter is great for building relationships with library patrons and is not reliant on face to face interaction. It is also great for monitoring and responding to feedback and enquiries.

Although I personally do not use twitter, as Facebook is my preference, it is very easy to see how effectively libraries can connect with their patrons using Twitter.

With a 140 character word limit (nowhere near enough for what I like to write) libraries can shoot off quick snippets of information to their followers tweet feed. Also it is generally much more acceptable to post multiple tweets in  a day, where on Facebook, people tend to get annoyed if you post more than a couple.

Twitter is great for communicating opening hours, special closures, and upcoming events.

Twitter can be used well for promoting new books, authors and spreading news about important library related events such as Cooking for Copyright.

Libraries can easily post photos and videos, provide links, and promote new items in their collection.

My local library network, the Geelong Regional Libraries, have tweeted many updates on the new Geelong Library. I am very much looking forward to the opening in a couple of weeks.

Libraries using Facebook

Facebook is very popular with libraries. Facebook is great for communicating with patrons, and for organising and maintaining contacts.

Facebook is ideal for connecting with the local community. Libraries can promote programs as well as post links to interesting articles for followers to read.

With Facebook we are able to get in touch with people from all over the world, including people we have known in the past and would have great difficulty ever being able to contact again.

Through Facebook I am able to get a glimpse of what is happening back in the small town school library where I grew up. A couple of months ago, I discovered that one of the teacher librarians I knew from the school library is now a bestselling author. As a writer, I have gained a huge amount of encouragement and inspiration from this knowledge, and all because I have access to Facebook.

Facebook is really great for displaying information such as the location of the library – with a map and address in the “about” section of the profile. Also in the “about” section, libraries often display their opening hours, a link to their website, membership information and a brief description of the services available. They may even include a phone number, and some agree to respond to Facebook private messages within a reasonable amount of time.

For those already familiar with Facebook, a library’s Facebook profile may be easier to navigate than their website. Particularly if you only need basic information such as opening times or a contact number.

Library Facebook pages often post interesting status updates, from upcoming events to new book titles and motivational messages relating to the enjoyment of reading.

If the library is having a special closure day, any library patrons who follow the library’s Facebook page will receive a notification directly to their news feed.

It is of course very important for libraries to not post too many Facebook statuses in a short time period, or they may find themselves losing followers. No one likes having their Facebook news feed flooded.

Have a look at Moonta Community LIbrary's Facebook page for some inspiration from a small town library which really is the heart of the community.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Libraries using Social Media

Social media is a great way for libraries to connect with their patrons, as they can post updates on a regular basis, and interact with people on a more personal level. It is very easy to post something in social media and get patrons attention to information delivered right to their news feed. Social media also offers a great place for discussion and for promotion of library services – especially upcoming events.

National Library of Australia

The NLA uses the following social media platforms to engage with their users:

Twitter: for notifying users about news, collection items, and upcoming events.

Facebook: for notifying users about major events, activities and new collection items. Information about the library is also posted through photos videos and resource links.

Instagram: for sharing photos of collection highlights, as well as promoting special events, exhibitions and other interesting activities.

Flickr: The national library is a member of The Commons on Flickr.

Geelong Regional Libraries 

GRLC uses social media in the following ways:

Facebook: they use fun content to engage with their users on a regular basis, and occasionally posts reminders of library news and events.

Pinterest: they share new collection items, promote their library spaces (particularly the new Geelong Library), and offer staff picks for the savvy reader.

Twitter: they offer short bursts of information relating to news, events and new collection items. Occasionally they will ask for feedback from their followers.

Instagram: they share photos of library activities and compete in photography competitions.

Flickr: they use this similarly to their Instagram account.

Google+: they occasionally post images from their Picassa account.

Youtube: they upload videos from special events and author talks, as well as instructional videos.

State Library of Victoria

The SLV is probably my favourite library, and as I only rarely get a chance to visit, it is great to have access to their social media profiles online.

Facebook: their news feed is usually full of digitised images of local historial art, photography and newspaper clippings. They also use facebook to notify their followers of current and upcoming events, and enable people an easy way to contact them.
Twitter: mostly the same content as their Facebook feed, they also use it to promote current and upcoming events, and remind patrons of information such as the library opening hours.

Youtube: The State Library has a long list of videos covering many topics. These topics include: 100 Readers, Discover the Library, Library Life, and Visitors to the Library among others.

Instagram: With simlar content to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, Instagram focuses more on the images. The State library has a great collection of historical images – both digitised art work and old photography. Instagram is a great way to see some of their collection in an easy to navigate online environment.
Flickr: their flickr account has a similar purpose as their Instagram account, and is a great place to see their collection of historical photography.
Blog: The State library even has a blog which is located on their website. The blog covers many different library related topics and has an archive going back 5 years.

Social Media Copyright Issues

Just like with privacy issues, copyright on social media is another issue that most of us tend to ignore.

It is very easy to share, post or upload material to social media platforms whether or not we are the owners of the copyright. Most of us are unaware of the laws in regards to this issue. With Pinterest we will can collect images from all over the web, and on Facebook we can share any post we come across. The line seems to be hazy between sharing things which give credit to the creator, and things that give no credit to anyone at all – also merely giving credit isn’t the same as gaining permission. We usually don’t even think about copyright implications and simply post away.

As it is so difficult to govern anything on the internet, it makes it very easy for us to breach copyright laws, often without realising we are doing anything wrong. Even though we really want to uphold copyright laws, we are often very confused about what is legal and what could get us in trouble.

When using social media for professional purposes, it is very important that we understand what is acceptable in regards to using copyrighted material in our social media accounts. Not only is the individual accountable, but the organisation will also be held responsible as well.

It is important to gain written consent from individuals if you wish to upload their personal content on your social media platform.

If you wish to use a song in a video you are posting, you need to get the copyright holders permission. Never assume that promoting their work equals fair use – people get sued for doing such things.

“Social media users should not assume that providing credit for a work or perhaps a link to a webpage avoids copyright infringement. This is not true. The holder of a copyright has exclusive rights to publish his or her work. Simply giving credit will not immunize a secondary user from a possible infringement claim. 
Renee Hykel Cuddy, Esq. Attorney, Hykel Law in Copyright Issues for Social Media
While we are innocently posting, pinning and sharing all over our social media accounts, we may be unaware that most social media sites have a term of use similar to the following: users agree to not infringe, violate or in any way misuse the copyright or trademark of another party. Users are liable for any costs and fees connected with a legal claim.

To use copyrighted material without infringing copyright laws, you must ensure that you comply with the policy of ‘fair use’. However sometimes our ‘fair use’ can be deemed ‘miss use’ – see here for a good example about this issue:

The following site discusses the difference between fair use and infringement when sharing copyrighted content on social media. It is an essential read for anyone wanting to post or share copyrighted material on social media. Along with many other important points to consider, the article states the following essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Check the original source of content for copyright notices or information about how the content may be used. When in doubt, obtain a license from the copyright holder.
  • If copyrighted content is posted by other social media users, check the social media network's terms and conditions for authorization to re-post the content. For example, under Pinterest's Terms of Service, a user who posts content on Pinterest provides all other users a license to use that content on Pinterest.
  • Instead of posting copyrighted content directly on your social media page, post a link to the original source containing the content. While giving attribution to the original source is not a defense to infringement, it may help reduce the likelihood of receiving a complaint and supports a fair use defense.
By Holland & Hart LLP in Sharing copyrighted content on social media – fair use or infringement?

Another great article about Fair Use laws:

“With the popularity of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, many people may assume that pictures, videos and other online content are free for the taking. After all, social networking is all about sharing, isn’t it?However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are numerous legal implications, especially with regard to ownership and infringement.
From Avoid Interfering with Fair Use Laws When Using Photos in Social Media by Serban Enache

This link is specifically for how businesses can use Pinterest without infringing copyright laws:

This is important to read for any social media user, personal or professional:

Social Media Etiquette in a Professional Setting

So let’s start with the absolute basics…

With social media it is very easy to overlook the importance of etiquette and normal acceptable social behaviour. Because we cannot see the people and are not immediately affected by their displeasure, we can go too far with inappropriate online behaviour. 

Simply posting too many status updates on Facebook – no matter how interesting you think they may be – can have you losing friends very quickly. Being too friendly with someone you barely know can lead to you being blocked. The meaning of our words can be misinterpreted as there is no way to include our tone of voice in writing. An argument can get out of hand when differing opinions collide. Anything can and will happen in cyber space and we need to ensure we stay on the right side of the line.

Sometimes we over-share information, forgetting that social media is not our own personal journal, and people are not interested in knowing so much about our private and personal lives.
“If you suspect you’re over-sharing, then you probably are -- this is NOT your personal diary, even when it feels like it… As a general rule of thumb, if you wouldn't say it to your boss or hiring manager, please don't post it...” 
Tania YukiFounder and CEO of Shareablee in her post 5 Tips for Professionals Navigating Social Media

We need to remember that what we post is not for ourselves, but for others. We need to think about what they would like to read and hold back the things that are purely for our own interest.

Think about the annoying social media habits that you have experienced others use, and consider whether you are guilty of doing something similar.

So while all of this is important in a personal social media account, it is even more important to follow social media etiquette rules when using social media for professional purposes.

For a start it is very important to keep your professional and personal social media accounts separate. It is also essential to remember that the professional social media account represents the business/organisation you are working for, not the individuals who are contributing to the content.

Some good key points to consider:

  • Keep a regular online presence, provide interesting posts regularly – not just advertising your business/organisations services.
  • Do not overly exhaust your readers with too much content. Keep it simple, straightforward and to the point.
  • Choose your hashtags wisely, keep them simple and to the point. Do not overuse hashtags. Use most relevant key words only.
  • Avoid automatic messages, they are rarely received positively and most users will report an automatic message as spam.

Further resources:

This is a very good article about social media etiquette for businesses:

This article has some good general tips as well as good points specifically related to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest:

This site provides a simple list of 12 key points:

Another simple 12 key point list specifically for professional social media accounts:

Privacy Issues with Social Media

When using social media, it is very important to keep in mind that nothing you post will ever remain completely private. Once something is in cyberspace, it is in cyberspace forever. We need to be careful about the content we share, because we do not know who will see it or how it may be used against us. These days our location can be shown in a number of social media posts, which along with photos which show our appearance and other information which we may allow to be available to the public eye, we potentially put ourselves in danger.

As there are currently no standardised privacy guidelines for social media websites to follow, users will find that privacy policies differ greatly between social media platforms.

Do not assume that there are strict laws protecting your online privacy, because at this current stage there is not much to protect you at all. It is the users responsibility to be vigilant about protecting their own privacy, which means we must be careful about how we use social media. From what we post, to what we share in our account information. Once it is online, it is there for ever, and not everyone in cyberspace is ethical or respectful of the rights of others.

In my personal life I tend to be a bit lax when it comes to protecting my online privacy. I of course know to avoid the obvious scams – stay away from those advertisement banners people, they will only do your computer harm. But with Facebook and similar sites I tend to be not too bothered. With my new phone, my calendar automatically displays events and birthdays from my Facebook account. I didn’t set this up, it’s just how my phone works. While it can be useful in some cases, it does make me wonder what else can be accessed that I may not know about. Something I should probably check out for sure.

In our aim for efficiency we are more than happy to streamline everything. Which can lead to privacy concerns we may never investigate. In our impatience to use an app or gain access to a new social media site, we skip through the privacy policy information and just click ‘yes’ without reading the terms and conditions. In order to save ourselves some trouble later on, maybe we should all slow down and apply a little caution to our dealings online.

Potential dangers

  • Identity theft
  • Sexual predators
  • Stalking
  • Unintentional fame
  • Difficulty gaining employment
  • Online Victimization (cyber bullying)
  • Surveillance (sites sharing personal details of users to advertisers and internet tracking companies).

Further resources