An in-depth look at successful social networking in public libraries

For Immediate Release
Mon, 09/16/2013


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Editions

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Most commentaries to date on library use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have focused on a handful of well-funded public libraries with high-profile employees.  Now Walt Crawford’s “Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries,” published by ALA Editions, completes the picture, offering for the first time an in-depth look at how a large variety of public libraries are conducting digital outreach and marketing through social networking. Examining nearly 6,000 libraries across the US, Crawford:

  • analyzes social network use by libraries of many different sizes and funding levels, showing how many of them are active and effective in quite different ways;
  • offers many examples that will help other libraries establish or refine their own social networking activities;
  • lays out several key questions that libraries should ask themselves, such as “Who do we want to reach?” and “What’s the best way to interact with communities?”;
  • gives libraries guidelines for setting social networking goals and conducting ongoing evaluation;
  • includes illuminating comments from numerous librarians on the front lines of communication.

Crawford is an internationally recognized writer and speaker on libraries, technology, policy and media. Author of numerous books, articles and columns, including “Open Access: What You Need to Know Now,” Crawford is also the creator, writer and publisher of Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large, an ejournal on the intersections of libraries, policy, technology and media published monthly since 2001. He maintains a blog on these and other issues, Walt at Random. He received the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science in 1995, the ALCTS/Blackwell Scholarship Award in 1997, and the Gale Group Online Excellence in Information Authorship Award in 1998.

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Walt Crawford speaks of social media being used in about 6,000 libraries across the country with 1 main question to libraries being "who do they want to reach and in what kind of communities do the libraries what to reach them in?" There is Facebook and Twitter; and now Instagram. The main question should be "Who do we want to Reach?" This being the 21st Century, libraries have to step up they game on reaching the younger generation. They should also be in touch with the generation that doesn't care for OR doesn't use this type of social media.