Another Twittering Library

From my comments on this post… try this on for a cool way to use Twitter. Here’s what the library is doing, to the best of my knowledge (Julie, correct me if I get it wrong, please!):

  • posting real-time reference questions to twitter.com/askusnow
  • using the Twitter feed to update “the ‘currently being asked’ section of our internal AskUsNow! staff website.”

Is that a cool use of twitter, or what? Going just a little further out from that, why not post those questions on the public website? They’d be anonymous, so that shouldn’t be an issue. But I’m thinking posting real-time questions in your library’s digital space is a great way to show real live conversations taking place. Those tweets might just start more conversation, etc etc.

Cool service – thanks Julie for mentioning it!

Fun Way to Market IM Reference

From the Library Marketing blog – UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries is marketing their IM reference service in a fun way. They have created stickers with the library’s IM name that are passed out to students during new student orientations and instruction sessions.

Thay are seeing students stick these stickers on their notebooks and laptops – how cool is that? Thought I’d pass on an excellent idea!

walking paper: some problems with virtual reference

Aaron Schmidt at Walking Paper just posted some great points about Virtual Reference – go read it.

One point the Bailey-Hainer article Aaron mentions should be highlighted: marketing, marketing, marketing! I have seen libraries with dismal usage statistics… but they also claim to have not really marketed the service (even on a bookmark), have part-time hours for the service, etc. If you don’t tell anyone about it, no one will come. Period.

One other point. Aaron states “We need to be connecting to our patrons online.” And I agree completely… but I’m going to remove one word from his statement. It should read: “We need to be connecting to our patrons.” No matter where those patrons are – cell phone, SMS, IM, email, web-based chat, snail mail, live-in-person, at home, at school, at their job (outreach services), etc.