Twitter! Twitter! Twitter!

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Twitter! Twitter! Twitter! Yep I now believe the future of libraries is potentially in the hands of Twitter. What a fantastic way of communicating with the public.  This public can be current library patrons but can also be people who have never stepped foot in your library (or any other Library).  The search feature means that you are able to interact and start a conversation with someone who has used the word library in their tweets.  This can be refined to a certain distance. A great way of reaching out and ‘reeling’ patrons in! (Le Gac, 2010)

Twitter is also useful as it’s short, sharp and concise – perfect for the hectic world most of us inhabit.  A Tweet can disseminate up to date information as easily as one click.  No need to group email or use a database for names and numbers. A quick Tweet and your followers have the information.

Web 2.0 users expect constant and regular flow of information (Stuart, 2010) and Twitter is ideal for this. Tweets are date stamped and we know exactly when they have been made. Of course having a Twitter account isn’t enough in itself; it needs to be an active account, updated regularly, preferably on a daily basis (Milstein, 2009). Whilst updating and maintaining the more traditional website may take some time, sending a Tweet is not time consuming nor difficult to do.  This is another bonus for libraries.

What kinds of Tweets?

Twitter could be used to inform patrons (and potential patrons) about the following:

Upcoming events- author visits, readings, book sales

Post links to video and podcasts of past events

Change of hours

Interesting news and information

I believe Twitter is well suited to libraries and can help them on their journey through the 21st century. The major inhibitor to this occurring that I can see is the number of Twitter accounts and whether people will see the Tweets.  However current Twitter usage statistics show that Twitter users in Australia number more than 2 million, which is significant. (Cowling, 2013)

References

Cowling, C. (2013), ‘Social Media Statistics Australia – December 2012.’ Retrieved January 16, 2013 from,

http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-december-2012/

Le Gac, M. (2010), ‘Twittering Libraries: How and Why New Zealand Public Libraries Use Micro Blogging’. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from, http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10063/1402/thesis.pdf?sequence=2

Milstein, Sarah, (2009), Twitter for Libraries (and Librarians). In SCIS. Retrieved January 20, 2013 from,

http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/twitter_for_libraries_(and_librarians).html

Stuart, David, (2010), ‘What are Libraries doing on Twitter?’ Online Jan- Feb. 2010:45+. Expanded Academic ASAP. Retrieved January 15, 2013 from,

http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA218313844&v=2.1&u=csu_au&It=r&p=EAIM&sw=w

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