Author Archives: lslattengren

Have you guys heard of Vine?

 Its a new social network where members create short 6 second videos to post and be viewed by followers.  Vine links to twitter, where users can then click the link to view the video.  I first heard of this in February (shortly after it came out) and I thought it was great!  There is so much opportunity for humor and creativity in the short, simple videos that users post.  It is a new app and as of now it is only accessible on iOS devices so the videos or “vines” are really only available to iphone users, though they can be viewed on a computer browser as well.  The “vines” themselves can only be made on mobile phones through the app and the users camera.  Since so many people now use their mobile devices as their main source of information, I like seeing a social network that is based directly on an app.  

 

After my fascination with this new social network wore off, I began thinking about ways that libraries may be able to join in on the trend.  I did a little googling and found that several libraries do currently use vine.   This post by Matt Anderson gives a little information about vine and mentions Adam Goldberg, who makes some pretty wonderful vines, I must say.  Also, it lists some libraries that use vine.  It may be easier to view some of these vines if you use an iOS device.  

 

I especially love the potential vine uses for libraries which are shown in this blog post.  These short tutorials may be just what a patron needs to see to make their use of library resources go more smoothly. Also, the fact that they can conveniently click on the link from within their twitter feed is getting right to what I think is the most important part of libraries using apps like vine: reaching potential users where they are!  While I don’t think vine is necessary for libraries, I do think it could be a helpful step in getting younger users to see libraries as interesting and relevant to their lives.  

Not Another Social Network….

Until about three weeks ago I had resisted any urge I may have had to create a Google + profile.  I use gmail and google drive all the time so I have been aware of Google + for years but I don’t know many people who use it and I already use Facebook and Twitter so much that I didn’t really want to get sucked into another social network.  As I was working on a project for another class, however, a classmate mentioned that we could use a “hangout” on Google + to collaborate on our assignment but I was the only one in our group who didn’t have a profile.  I created a profile immediately and have been exploring it for the past several weeks.  

 

Immediately I was turned off by how Google wanted me to invite all my contacts into my circles.  I wasn’t sure which contacts actually had accounts with Google + and which Google just wanted me to get to sign up.  The last thing I want to do is unknowingly send someone a message asking them to join another social network.  I added a few people and created some circles but I think my biggest reason for not liking Google + much is that I haven’t found connections who use the site much, to get interesting content in my feed.  I do like how it is organized and how you can easily filter the feeds you see, depending on the circles you have created.  

As far as for libraries, from what I have seen, I do not think Google + would be an advantageous social network to join.  I did some research by looking at the profiles of several libraries on the site and from what I found, there did not seem to be a lot of activity on these profiles.  I think it is difficult for most libraries to find the time and staff to post a lot of information to all the social network sites that exist and when they do, they probably focus on the big two – Facebook and Twitter.  If anyone has any ideas or evidence to show why Google + would be a good social networking choice for libraries, please share.  From my experience, I don’t see the advantages of using this site for professional use.

Is your library on Pinterest?

I have never been a big fan of Pinterest.  It seems like all the women in my life (yes, women, can’t say I know a man that pins…) from my sisters to my best friends, use Pinterest all the time.  They seem to always  find recipes and craft projects to share with one another.  Maybe the fact that I don’t cook or craft is a reason I don’t care for the site but I decided to join anyway, and give it a shot.  I created an account last year and found that I was able to search for things that interest me and even repinned a few things but overall I was unimpressed.  I have not had the urge to log into my account in several months, which I find to be a big sign that it is not a social media site for me. 

Last fall, my supervisor at the library I work at, asked if I would create a class for our patrons that covered Pinterest.  I spent some time researching the website, talking to people who used it a lot, creating boards of categories I found interesting and looking at how it had been used by libraries.  My class was fun.  There were many patrons who had never used the site and wanted to know how it worked.  Some of them were really impressed; it is a visually interesting website with a lot of great content.  I, personally, just find it overwhelming and hard to categorize.  One of my favorite boards on pinterest is of local history resources which I found through someone I follow on Twitter.  He has images of events and places in our area which I love to see, since one of my passions is the town I live in and the history of the people and places within. 

I think Pinterest can have some interesting uses in libraries.  For the most part, I see libraries that create accounts make boards where they pin reading lists of specific genres of books.  I also often see quotes or photos of libraries from around the world.  While I don’t think these types of resources have a lot of value to a library, just showing users that the library is aware of and a PART of the sites they enjoy can help bring them closer to their library.  Since I know a lot of people who are very passionate about Pinterest, I think there is value in libraries paying attention to what these users enjoy and becoming familiar with and a part of the social media network. 

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.