Community Engagement: Tools & Tips

Rudy Leon and I gave a pre conference workshop at Internet Librarian 2014 on Community Engagement. The session went well! Attendees wanted our slides and outline, so here it is.

Introductions: we started things off by asking about each person’s communities their library interacts with – who they are and how they are already working on engaging with those communities.

Next, we discussed the communities Rudy and I work with. I have a public library background, so I went over all the physical and digital communities my library focuses on. Rudy’s background is in academic libraries, so she talked about subject liaisons to faculty and students, and the different types of communities in Reno and in a university setting.

Then we gave some tips on discovering communities by using listening techniques. I focused on digital listening techniques, and Rudy introduced the idea of listening as iterative behavior: hear, respond, implement, close the loop. Then she gave some examples of doing that in Reno.

After that, we gave some tips from our own experience on developing strategies to build relationships with communities. I focused on digital communities, and Rudy focused on connecting with academics.

Finally, I gave a couple of quick tips on measuring success with engagement, and we had a great Q&A time full of pretty active discussion.

Fun time!

#followalibrary Day is Oct 1

October 1st is Follow A Library Day on Twitter!

It’s an easy enough thing to participate in. The Follow a Library website suggests this: “Participating is very simple: tweet on October 1st what your favorite twittering library (or libraries) is (or are). Use in your tweet the hashtag (or keyword) #followalibrary.”

Simple stuff, right?

Why not push that idea 1-2 steps further, to get a bit more bang out of your buck? On Oct 1, do what the organizers suggest – ask your Twitter followers to tweet their favorite Twittering library, using the #followalibrary hashtag.

THEN, do three more things:

  1. Using your library’s Twitter account, actually ASK FOR FOLLOWERS. It IS Follow A Library day, and all. Make sure to use the #gfollowalibrary hashtag.
  2. Then ask your followers to retweet those posts. What’s that do? My library has 1427 followers… what if all of those followers retweeted those messages? And then shared what THEIR favorite library was with all those Twitter followers? Much better reach that way.
  3. Then ask another question using the #followalibrary hashtag – ask “Why are we your favorite library?” Those responses have the potential to be pretty valuable! Use responses as sort of a “check-in” with your library patrons, and share them with staff. Is it what you expected? Listen to what your twitter followers say about you and your library!

OK – one more thing here. You’ve just asked your community to follow your library’s Twitter account on October 1st.

What are you going to do to SUSTAIN that growth on October 2nd?

How a Meme Gets Started

It’s been fun today watching the #inatweet meme take off on Twitter. Which made me think it’d be fun to document it a bit – memes, trends, and interesting topics CAN originate from your organization (it’s certainly happened to my library before).

Here’s how the #inatweet meme started:

Justin Hoenke (@justinlibrarian) was talking to Joe Murphy (@libraryfuture) about Dropbox, a cool file sharing and storage service, and I chimed in too (’cause Dropbox really IS a cool tool). Justin asked Joe and I if “either of you point me in the direction of a good place to start for learning about Dropbox?” I just said “they have a video about themselves – I’d start there.”

Joe, however, tweeted this: “Dropbox in a tweet: Transfer/synch files across comps & mobile devices via web or software @JustinLibrarian @davidleeking.” And I replied back “@libraryfuture @JustinLibrarian good job! Hey, u cld start a meme – describe *** in a tweet!.” …

And of course Joe, master of all things social, actually DID it – “Let’s do it! @davidleeking Librarians- share an intro to a useful tech in a 1 Tweet blurb & use the #inatweet hashtag.” Then we both did a couple of retweets …

And now we have this:

  • #inatweet hashtag on Twitter is being used quite a bit today
  • 14 pages of tweets so far! That’s 200 tweets and counting
  • Way over 50 different services and tools … described in a tweet

Besides being pretty useful – short, to-the-point descriptions of services is always a good thing – think about this:

  • how can YOU start a hashtag meme, a local trend, or even a good discussion in your community’s favorite social media tool of choice?
  • What would you talk about?
  • could you keep it going, AND make it useful to your community?

We need to engage our communities, and something as simple as starting a conversation on a social media tool can be a way to do it. Think about it.

ps – make sure to add to the meme! Describe a service in a tweet, and add the #inatweet hashtag. It’s that simple!

Twitter bird by Marc Benton

BIGWIG’s Social Software Showcase Presentation at ALA2008

I am one of the presenters/conversation starters at BIGWIG’s Social Software Showcase at ALA2008. What is the Social Software Showcase, you ask? From the website: “The general idea for the BIGWIG Showcase is to highlight up-to-date technological innovations for libraries, while giving as broad an access as possible to the content and the presenters.”

So – I’ve created a screencast. Here’s what you  do – watch/listen to my presentation, and then you have a few different options:

  • Come sit at my table during the actual Showcase, and we’ll chat! Show up on Saturday, June 28th at the ALA Annual Convention in the Marriott Anaheim Gold Key Rooms I-III from 1:30-3:30pm.
  • Comment now on this blog post (comment box found below)!
  • Comment on the version!
  • Comment on the YouTube version!

Here’s my presentation:

Description: Engaging your library’s local community is NOT an easy task. Engaging your library’s local DIGITAL community is even harder. This presentation introduces the concept of the experience economy and mashes that up with digital community participation and engagement. What’s that get you? A headache! No, wait… that’s the wrong answer. It REALLY gets you … Community Experience, aka the Conversation Economy.

So watch/listen to my presentation (if the version above is too small for you, go here for a 640X480 version)… and then come experience the conversation economy in action at my table at BIGWIG’s Social Software Showcase! Hope to see you there!