Big Ideas, Social Media

Social Media on the Move – Part 1

As a $19 million renovation and expansion project begins, my library – Lawrence Public Library – is in the process of moving into temporary headquarters.  We are closed for two weeks while we move our collections and offices into – wait for it – a building that last housed a Borders bookstore!


This is not only a huge logistical undertaking, but it has been a major communications initiative as well. We have successfully used traditional tools – flyers, signs, e-blasts, press releases, etc. – to keep our community informed about the move.  However, we have turned to new media methods to keep our community engaged and excited about what’s happening at their library.   Continue reading “Social Media on the Move – Part 1”

Social Media

Inform, Engage, Listen, Respond


At Lawrence Public Library, we have developed a social media presence that is engaging, responsive, locally-focused, and fun. While we post a lot of funny memes, share book-related photos (often cats are involved), and ask goofy questions, there is actually a well thought out strategy behind it.  A strategy that in the past two years has tripled our following on Facebook and Twitter, led to increased engagement on both platforms, and resulted in real, measurable outcomes such as increased partnerships, new programs, and a higher visibility in our community.

When I began coordinating our social media just over two years ago, I realized that we needed a guiding document, but I did not want a lengthy policy piece – something that detailed exactly what can and cannot be said on social media, who can and cannot say it, or full of language that might stifle creativity or seem too corporate in tone.

What I did want was something that would outline who we wanted to be on social media, what we wanted to do, and lay out some basic rules of engagement.  I also wanted it to be short!  Here the text of the one-page document that developed:  Continue reading “Inform, Engage, Listen, Respond”

Social Media

3 Things to Talk About on Social Media in November

A few suggestions for social media fodder this month – these also work great for displays and programming, too.  There are lots more possibilities – please share your ideas in the comments!

1. NaNoWriMo – It’s National Novel Writing Month and libraries across the country are participating.  How about a Pinterest board featuring novels created during this month and then published?  You can also tweet out or post writing prompts, inspirational quotes, and words of encouragement to budding writers. #NaNoWriMo   Continue reading “3 Things to Talk About on Social Media in November”

Social Media

3 Things to Talk About on Social Media Right Now

1. Halloween! The scariest month of the year offers great fodder for libraries and social media. How about a Facebook post asking What’s the scariest book you ever read? or What movie first made you want to sleep with the lights on? or What was your best Halloween costume? On Twitter, you can tweet out 140 character horror book suggestions or information about local Halloween events happening in your community. Pinterest is perfect for holidays like this – how about a board for ghoulish baked goods, literary-inspired Halloween costumes, or staff picks for scary books and movies?   Continue reading “3 Things to Talk About on Social Media Right Now”

Big Ideas, Reader's Advisory, Social Media, Tips & Tools

Reader’s Advisory Goes Graphic!

No, this is not a post about 50 Shades of Grey or graphic novels.  This is a post about the power of graphic images to replace words and convey information in a fresh, interesting, and relevant way.

This flowchart made the rounds this summer.  And by “made the rounds,” I mean that it was picked up by everyone from School Library Journal and Nancy Pearl to GalleyCat and the Hollywood Reporter.  My colleague in our Teen Zone – the fabulous Molly Wetta – created it and she is still a little amazed at all the attention it has gotten in the past few weeks.  She’s mentioned to me a couple of times that it’s really “pretty simple.”  Continue reading “Reader’s Advisory Goes Graphic!”

Marketing 101, Social Media, Tips & Tools

On the Subject of Subject Lines

I spend an hour or two every week crafting our weekly e-newsletter – editing content, uploading a few images, and creating links to drive traffic to our website.  I tend to obsess over this piece, endlessly proofreading for errors and triple-checking links.  Until recently, however, I had not paid nearly enough attention to one of the most important parts of this or any e-newsletter – the subject line.  Continue reading “On the Subject of Subject Lines”

Minute to Market It, Social Media, Tips & Tools

Minute to Market It #3 – Feed Your News Feed

A series of short and sweet marketing tips you can implement right now.

M2MI #3: Feed Your News Feed

On Facebook, it’s really easy to be focused on your wall and forget about your news feed.  But remember, your wall is pretty much focused on you – your profile pictures, your timeline, your posts for the day, your admin panel that tells you lots of cool info about your page and how its doing. All important stuff, but not the only area to focus on.  Your news feed is focused on everyone else – it shows you what everyone you follow on FB is talking about.  Start listening to them.  Start talking to them.  Start *engaging* them.  Continue reading “Minute to Market It #3 – Feed Your News Feed”

Big Ideas, Reader's Advisory, Social Media

Three Reasons to Love World Book Night

It’s 11:00 pm on Monday night.  This time last week, I was cruising the main drag in town with two colleagues, passing out copies of Ender’s Game, chatting up folks of all stripes, and hoisting a pint with many of them.  World Book Night USA was a great night to be a librarian – especially one whose passions are readers’ services and marketing.  And beer.   Continue reading “Three Reasons to Love World Book Night”

Reader's Advisory, Social Media, Tips & Tools

Steal These Tweets

We’ve been hearing the social media message for some time now – it’s important, we should have a strategy, we should all be engaged in it, we need to be measuring our efforts. We are told just about everything except for one very important thing: What exactly should we be posting on Facebook and tweeting on Twitter?  I recently contributed an article to NoveList called “What We Tweet About When We Tweet About Books” that addressed just this.

In it you can catch a glimpse of exactly what one library tweets about and why.  There’s some talk of strategy and measurement, but mostly it is real, successful Twitter content that will hopefully offer some fresh ideas if you are struggling to come up with 140 interesting and engaging characters.  Go ahead, steal them – or borrow them as we librarians prefer to say.  Continue reading “Steal These Tweets”

Social Media

Want to Engage? Just Ask!

En/gage: a) to hold the attention of: <her work engages her completely> b) to induce to participate: <engaged the shy boy in conversation>            

If you are using social media to simply broadcast information about programs and events, you’re missing a huge opportunity to hold the attention of your community and to induce their participation. Social media is all about engagement. Via Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms you can speak directly to your community, start public conversations, and build relationships.  Continue reading “Want to Engage? Just Ask!”