Managing your Library’s Social Media Channels

Just an FYI – my new Library Technology Report is out! It’s titled Managing your Library’s Social Media Channels. What’s it about? From the introduction:

“The process of implementing, managing, and measuring social media channels in a library setting will be discussed. Tips include:

  • creating strategy and goals for social media channels
  • creating teams to run the library’s social media channels
  • connecting and communicating with customers using social media
  • tracking usage and engagement levels using analytics and insights”

Here’s a brief summary of each chapter:

  • Chapter 1 – why use social media. Yes, you still need to explain this to people.
  • Chapter 2 – the “landscape” of social media in libraries. It outlines what social media tools are being used and why, with some examples of stellar social media use in libraries.
  • Chapter 3 – How to connect & communicate with customers. I wrote a whole book on that, if you’re interested :-)
  • Chapter 4 – Social media teams. How to manage the work of a social media team. What they should post, how they should post, and how to deal with problems.
  • Chapter 5 – Analytics, Goals, and Strategy for Social Media. What to track and why, and how to connect social media to those large, multi-year library strategic plans.
  • Chapter 6 – What to do from start to finish. Pretend there’s a new, hot social media tool that appears next week. This chapter provides an organizational approach to incorporating that new tool into your library’s workflow.

There you have it! Get it at the ALA Store.

My Trend (with Stats) from the #alaac14 Top Tech Trends Panel

I was recently on the Top Tech Trends panel at the American Library Association’s annual conference (and have finally recuperated – whew!).

Someone asked me for references to the stats I quoted. Here they are, with a version of what I said (quasi-outline form).

My trend was Mobile First technology:

Some stats (with links!):

What’s going on here?

  • Mobile revolution. Smartphones and tablets.
  • wifi & cell connectivity pretty much anywhere. Except in my hotel.
  • This allows people to connect whenever.

And this is HUGE.

My trend is Mobile First technology. This is the idea that websites should be designed for mobile devices first, and then expand out. Desktops get an enhanced site experience (bigger buttons, full logo) rather than mobiles getting a pared down one.

You can also apply this philosophy to a larger library setting, there are some pretty big ramifications for how we work:

  • mobile on website – Build for mobile first. Write for mobile (there’s a way to do it to make it look “right” on mobile devices). If it doesn’t work on a mobile device … maybe you don’t need it anywhere.
  • mobile in building – Huge untapped user base here. wifi, power. Power cables and charging stations to check out. Comfy chairs. Text messaging in catalog. Simple things like signage – “we have wifi” or “we have ebooks.”
  • mobile in community – Wifi in 9 blocks. Jason’s LibraryBoxes in the park or at the farmer’s market. Mifi hotspot at the farmer’s market. Ebooks in the mall. Etc.
  • mobile for staff – who uses a smartphone for work-related activities? And does your library pay for it, or subsidize it? Maybe they should. Wifi for staff. Tablets for reference staff.

Final thought – Mobile has been a trend for awhile now. But I don’t think libraries have a mobile first philosophy yet. We don’t have some simple “mobile first” things yet, like a truly responsive mobile-friendly website, let alone great mobile access and services in the building or our community.

So let’s start working on mobile first NOW.

Pic by Karlis Dambrans

Headed to ALA and Top Tech Trends!

So, I have to go spend a week in Las Vegas starting tomorrow… for the American Library Association’s annual conference!

My time there will be filled with committee work for LITA, A couple of sessions here and there, and much time in the exhibit hall, hunting down vendors new and old. OK, and “networking” too. Gotta have that!

On Sunday, I’ll be one of the panelists in the popular Top Tech Trends session – 1-2:30pm in the convention center. Come participate and say hi!

If you can’t make it, you can definitely follow along on Twitter – watch the #alattt hashtag. Or just follow the whole huge conference with the #alaac14 hashtag.

Hope to see you there!

ALA President’s Open Letter on Ebooks and Publishers doesn’t get us very far

Maureen Sullivan, ALA president, just posted an Open Letter to America’s Publishers. Go read it, then come back and discuss.

On the one hand, it’s a fine letter, addressing all the appropriate stuff. On the other hand … I think I’m confused. Here’s why:

The letter doesn’t really seem to be addressed to America’s Publishers. Instead, it seems to be addressed to libraries and librarians. Most of the letter gives the normal “aren’t libraries awesome” stuff.

And then, in the last two paragraphs, that’s when the letter actually gets to the point. Here’s our big call to action:

“We librarians cannot stand by and do nothing while some publishers deepen the digital divide. We cannot wait passively while some publishers deny access to our cultural record. We must speak out on behalf of today’s — and tomorrow’s — readers.The library community demands meaningful change and creative solutions that serve libraries and our readers who rightfully expect the same access to e-books as they have to printed books.”

“So, which side will you be on? Will you join us in a future of liberating literature for all? Libraries stand with readers, thinkers, writers, dreamers and inventors. Books and knowledge — in all their forms — are essential. Access to them must not be denied.”

Did I miss something? Our big directive from ALA is this:

  • Librarians cannot stand by and do nothing
  • We can’t wait passively
  • We must speak out
  • Library community demands change

??? All Maureen/ALA is asking libraries to do is to … “speak out???” Nothing about the issues, nothing about results, nothing about concerted efforts…

So really – I’m glad maureen is ALA president, and I’m glad ALA is starting to do something about ebooks. But I’m not sure that simply asking libraries to randomly “speak out” about the issue is useful.

Why not something more concrete, like “everyone call Penguin on October 1 at 2pm, and ask for the same thing”? And then provide some some talking points to use during the phone call?

How about something more specific saying what ALA is doing about the issue, and giving us something to take back to our library boards?

Help me out here – what could we as libraries and librarians do that is more than just “speaking out?” Let’s create some better, more specific next steps for ALA. I think we can do better than this!