Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!

This is a follow-up post to my original post, Foursquare and Libraries – Anything There?

Lots of you left some great ideas in the comments, so I thought I’d do a little copy/paste and highlight some of them … because they’re really very cool ideas!

So – here are what some of YOU are doing with Foursquare:

  • Colleen Greene: Pollak Library (at Cal State Fullerton) is using it in beta mode, adding in a bunch of To Do items and Tips for students (i.e., get a Titan Card, set up their borrowing privileges, check their circulation record, use one of our AV or Group study rooms, visit the latest exhibit, etc.). our Social Media Team is exploring the idea of prizes. I am also teaching our campus social media working group how to use it and incorporate it into a campus culture.
  • Jason Clark: Saw this in a tweet from NYPL which talks about the kernel of an idea – summer reading meets foursquare . A friendly reading competition in the mobile space? Job description provides some more detail. While this isn’t true foursquare integration, it points to how foursquare could lead to/inspire new library apps and services.
  • Brad Czerniak: Canton Public Library offers a weekly prize to their Mayor. Just a concept. This week it’s a #totebag
  • libmario: Harvard and UNC recently teamed up with Foursquare to encourage social engagement with the campus community ,including faculty. Innovative way to encourage learning and connections that could be extended to libraries. –

And one interesting sidenote. Sometimes, people can be a bit negative about our libraries while adding tips to Foursquare. For example, Stephen Francoeur said “Saddened to see that one tag already added to my library: shitty wifi. Hope to find a way to turn that perception around.”

We’ve had one of those, too. Jason D. added this To Do list item to my library’s entry: “Late fees are being enforced, so to help you remember to take your books in, sign up for email reminders via” Not sure that’s really a negative comment, but it makes us sound a bit like “enforcers of the evil late fee” or something…

Anyway, yet another use for Foursquare – see what customers say about you in the Tips and To Do lists sections (then see if you can improve or fix those things).

Feel free to friend me in Foursquare!

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  • andywoodworth

    I'm trying it out for my library, but I'm curious to see how other people are tagging theirs, making their 'to do' list, and what tips they are offering.

    Bordentown Library

  • Niamh

    This sounds great, but unfortunately an xml parsing error won't let me check it out :(

  • Jenica

    I'm currently jockeying with a student for Mayor of my library… if Foursquare is what makes it fun to be in the library, so be it. I'll take it. We'll woo him with services and resources once he's in the building. :)

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  • colleengreene

    I'm curious to hear Foursquare-using librarians' thoughts about patrons checking-in to the physical library vs. the virtual library. Foursquare is definitely focusing on physical locations. And the idea is to get people out, visiting venues. But, many of our patrons just visit our virtual library: accessing remote databases, using chat reference, checking out e-reserves, reading e-books, etc.

    I've added virtual tasks (such as the above) to Pollak Library's venue profile: because I do see those as part of our library.

    Thanks for the mention!

  • Brandon_Sheley

    I enjoy foursquare but haven't been using it much lately. I think it's because I was just tagging when I go to work and home. If I go to someplace new, I'm more incline to tag it.

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    Electirc libraries is better.

  • Matt Cole

    Do you know if there's any way for libraries to set up foursquare to recognize each branch of a library system as separate locations, but still be categorized under the umbrella of the library system as a whole?

  • davidleeking

    Matt – I don't think so… I think you'd need to set up each location separately. But they'd all come up in a search, since they'd have similar language in the name of the place.

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