Use of Social Media By Alaskan LibrariesThis paper summarizes a survey study of the use of social media by school, public, and academic libraries in Alaska. Librarians at 243 Alaskan libraries were contacted and asked to participate in the study; 83 librarians responded by taking the survey. Results show that public libraries are heavily engaged in social media; academic libraries regularly use social media; and some school libraries use social media but many face school district restrictions on usage. The top reasons Alaskan libraries use social media is to promote library news and events; promote specific resources; and promote specific services. Reasons for not using social media include: not having enough time; social media isn’t deemed as important; and poor Internet connectivity in rural communities. Social media platforms are selected based on librarian preference and comfort level, as opposed to audience characteristics. Libraries that aren’t under prohibitive restrictions, such as policies against using social media or poor internet/bandwidth issues, should frequently reassess their use of social media platforms to best engage with patrons and the community.
Blogging at a Small Academic LibraryThe Rasmuson Library Circulation blog began as a digital replacement for our Circulation Department white board, which we used to communicate information to student and staff employees, and which was frequently ignored. We were frustrated with our attempts to get everyone to pay attention to the written announcements, procedure changes, and new policy notices, which were regularly posted on the white board. Verbal feedback from both students and staff indicated that there were too many signs, too much visual information, so that everyone felt overloaded and paid little attention to new items. If students or staff were absent for a week or two, they would miss any new announcements, which would be erased by the time they returned to work. There was no record of what had been posted; once erased it was forgotten, so we would find ourselves repeatedly posting the same information, to try to ensure that everyone had read it, and inadvertently causing many to disregard the board entirely. The blog tool provided a solution to all of these concerns, allowing us to reduce the paper waste and visual clutter that a white board produced, archive messages, providing categories for easier reference, and giving users an easy filter to access only the most current information.
Learning 2.0: A Tool for Staff Training at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson LibraryThis paper describes a Learning 2.0 library staff training project completed in September, 2007 at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Rasmuson Library. The project planning process, curriculum creation, implementation, incentives, and outcomes are included, along with a summary of survey results from program participants. Recommendations for implementing this free and useful staff training tool by other academic libraries are included, as well as a link to the Library’s Learning 2.0 blog.