The bosses have asked me to head up a new Social Media Team for Pollak Library.
Since coming on board as the Systems Librarian, I’ve been trying to get a bit of a handle on the library’s social media efforts and help develop a course of action to make better use of these tools, and better use of our resources, to promote library services and engage our our patrons.
Prior to my hiring, the library already had a Facebook Group (which I replaced with a Facebook Page), a MySpace profile, a Flickr Group, a YouTube channel, and a public blog. So, they were already in very good shape and had a solid understanding of the need to establish a presence on the various social web profiles our patrons use. Other than the new Facebook Page, I haven’t made any major modifications to these existing channels. My work has really revolved around getting these various applications to now “talk” to each other — but I’ll save that for a later post.
Over the past few months, I have added a couple new tools to the library’s social media arsenal. To help improve internal communications, I installed and configured a WordPress MU-based blog community (into which I plan to migrate their standalone blog shortly). I set up a public Twitter channel to post library news and tips, and to engage our patrons. I also set up an internal Twitter channel (although not private) for library faculty and staff to share information among ourselves and with other librarians. We do have a handful of library faculty and staff posting content to the blog community, but so far, I’m the main content provider for the Twitter channels — although I’m starting to get others interested there as well, too.
My role, and my team, will be responsible for more than just setting up and managing the library’s social media tools. One of our key charges is to develop an official social media strategy that will help identify:
- how we will continue to evaluate, implement, and prioritize new social web platforms
- how we should be using these tools to support our library mission, which includes our role as educators
- how we should behave and interact on these platforms when representing the library
- how we can best re-purpose library-produced content via social media channels
- how we can get more buy-in from our various units and sections
- how we can monitor our effectiveness on social platforms.
We are still in the early stages of forming this team, but I do expect to have an actual team, and a written team charge, in place for the fall semester. I anticipate that we will be extremely busy this academic year, but I do think the work will be quite fun. I’m looking forward to it…I hope my teammates are too!