Tumblr for Libraries

I am very familiar with a lot of the major social networking sites and tools.  I have taught classes at my public library on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to both staff and patrons.  For my first blog post I wanted to focus on a social networking tool I’ve never used, tumblr.  I started my own account and started following other accounts, focusing on art, comedy and libraries, as those are things I really enjoy.  The thing I really like about tumblr is that it seems to be a middle-ground between twitter and regular blogs.  You can blog content on your own tumblr and followers can read that, it will show up in their feeds, and you can follow other tumblr accounts and their content shows up in your feed.  I really like this idea and am excited to keep exploring it!   I read this article about tumblrs for libraries and librarians:http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/08/social-media/tumblrarian-101-tumblr-for-libraries-and-librarians/ which gave me some great background information on tumblr.  The article also has some good tips for libraries that want to get in on the tumblr action, especially the emphasis on tagging.  I saw how important tagging is when I tried to search for “libraries” on the tumblr search function.  The result is a tumblr feed full of posts tagged with “libraries.”  http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/libraries  This includes posts by tumblr accounts of actual libraries (like the NYPL) and any other posts which have been tagged with that word.  It is interesting to see the results.

I’m always interested in ways that libraries can become more interesting to the communities they serve.  I want people to view the library as relevant to society and a fun place to learn, create and grow.  I see tumblr as a site that can help connect people in a community.  There are so many possibilities but one I am thinking of is if the library posts things relevant to the history and current events of the community it serves.  With the functionality of tumblr being a micro-blog where you can easily repost what others post, it would be great if the owner of the library tumblr followed local tumblrs and reposted the things they posted as well.  This would be less time consuming for the library itself to have to create content, instead passing on the valuable content that others have created.  It would be a way for the library to network and interact (virtually) with it’s community.  I’m planning to spend more time with tumblr in the near future and will look to find more ideas of how it can be used by libraries.


2 thoughts on “Tumblr for Libraries

  1. J. Andrews

    I find Tumblr confusing. Is it a blog? Is it like Livejournal? Whaaa? I look at things on there sometimes, but I don’t interact. Because I just can’t figure out how, really.

  2. Christy Confetti Higgins

    Your approach to using social tools to share local events and history in the community is great and could be used in tumblr and other social tools. Connecting with local communities and what they are doing with social and having the library leverage and connect there shows a connected community and hopefully will engage your users.

    Thanks for sharing!


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