A Dizzying Array of Choices

Am I the only one with my head spinning here?  While the world of social media is a wonder, to be sure, it’s also just a tad bit overwhelming.  What to choose, implement and manage not only for yourself, but for your institution?   Who’s to say what will be around next year or what will be the new “it” tool to add to the pile?

Even conservatively picking the “biggies” one could end up with personal accounts  on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google +.  Add to that professional  accounts for your library/institution and you’ve got another set of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google +.  I’m not even including Tumblr, Instagram, and many others and our tally is already at 9 accounts!  Who has time for that?!

I don’t know, but I’m thinking the best way to go here to maintain sanity (and some semblance of free time) is to employ the old, “pick one thing and do it well” approach.  Ok, maybe two or three things…but not nine!  Unless I had unlimited resources and a crack team of Web 2.0-ers…

If I was helping a library launch a Library 2.0 presence from scratch, I think I’d go with Facebook and Pinterest.  I think they’re both accessible, intuitive, and complement each other nicely.  Other pairings like say, Facebook and Twitter or Facebook and Google+ have a lot more overlap and the pressure to come up with original content for both at least some of the time might prove tricky.

For my personal use, I currently have only a Facebook page (and a couple of blogs), though I signed up for Pinterest today and plan to do a LinkedIn account when I get closer to graduation.  Baby steps…


5 thoughts on “A Dizzying Array of Choices

  1. kallierees

    Hi Nettie,
    I’ve asked myself this same question many times over the past few weeks. For my social media evaluation I studied the Harris County Public Library (HCPL) in Texas – http://www.hcpl.net . They primarily use what I think of as The Big Three – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And they also have a large blog presence on their website. They use these tools in combination with each other, but in a way that isn’t redundant. For example there is a Book of the Day post on Facebook that when you click on it takes you to the Pinterest Book of the Day board where there is a brief synopsis. Clicking on the book on the Pinterest page will take you to the library catalog entry for that title.

    HCPL also uses Library Thing as a readers’ advisory tool. They offer a readers’ advisory service called BookHunters and usually after a BookHunters search has been completed (i.e. books like the Hunger Games), they will upload those titles with tags into the Library Thing account. This way librarians don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they get a similar request. I spoke with a librarian there today and she mentioned they were getting a lot of follower on GooglePlus, but that she didn’t think they were ready to go there yet. She is a believer in wait and make sure the tool is one that is popular and will have longevity.

    If I was starting a social media presence for an organization I do think I would go with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest because they are the most popular and widely used. But I agree with you that less is more.

  2. Lori


    Sanity is important in our profession…holding onto is an accomplishment! I fully agree. I grew up with a dad with the same belief: “pick one thing and do it well!” So, not jumping in too fast and too deep (as Kallie) mentioned is great advice. I’ve been considering assigning a small piece, say one board on Pinterest for each of my three teen library assistants. All of the themes would be of YA interest, and I think it would be fun for us to all learn it together — take the pressure off, too!

    Though, I must admit that I have become a ‘wait and see’ type of person because every single time some new technology became available (between 1999 and 2010) that was going to make our lives “easier”, and our school district jumped into to be the leaders, it always took more time learning, setting up, and we were the guinea pigs who helped the companies to make it better, easier and faster for the general population. Oh, and the promise of “easier” was a lie! Not so much fun doing that anymore!!!

  3. Nomi

    Nettie, word of advice…start that LinkedIn profile now. It is easier to build it slowly than to have to do it all at once and it’s harder to remember things like good volunteer things to include once they slide behind you into the fog of your busy past. Additionally, USE SCOTT AS A RESOURCE! He actually teaches a course at SLIS that is designed to help you build your online presence and most of us built our LinkedIn profiles. I had already done a lot of work on mine, but I learned a lot from him during the course.
    And I do think that sanity is a VERY good thing! I also don’t personally do a lot of social media stuff, instead, I have focused on using LinkedIn as my primary social media presence. There are some other tools that I’m interested in trying, but my hesitance comes from not having the time and feeling like most social media tools feel voyeuristic, something with which I am not at all comfortable.


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