Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Monday, 14 April 2014

Effective Use of Social Media

The recent IAML (UK and Ireland) Annual Study Weekend saw a new innovation - the "Quickfire" sessions.  Karen chaired a couple of sessions on effective social media use in music libraries, before she fled for the last Scotland-bound plane of the day.

It's fair to say Karen has embraced social media both on behalf of the Whittaker Library and in her own name, but she restricted her comments to library activities for these sessions.


This Whittaker Live blog was established in 1999 – there have been changes over the years, most notably abandoning the attempt to find weblinks on weekly lecture topics.  Students can find that for themselves these days!  

Content is drawn from various sources:- stock acquisitions, forthcoming events, links to other relevant postings eg Bibliolore, and news about competitions and summer courses.  

·       It’s possible to schedule blogposts, but we don't generally do so.


Karen tweets as @WhittakerLib by day, and @Karenmca by night.  The @Whittakerlib account is the slightly younger of the two, started because there should be separation between library-related tweets and personal ones.  This is very important, because:-
  • It also enables others to tweet.   
  • It keeps tweets library-related.
  • It enables the library to have its own persona.
  • It means non-library related chat stays outside the workplace, and anything connected with Karen's research interests doesn't clutter up the library's message.
  • Messages to the Library go to our generic email account, which anyone can access.     
When Karen is using Twitter in her own right, she “favourites” links or RTs them to @Whittakerlib, but she also makes heavy use of Diigo – social favouriting.  This means any interesting links that she finds in her spare time can be saved for use either on the blog or on Twitter next time she's in the library.


There’s a feed from Karen's own Diigo list through to the Whittakerlive blog, but the app enables her to mark as private anything that's not to be shared.  Diigo is excellent for accessing favourites from any device you’re using, and for storing content for future use.


This is a great way of scheduling tweets!


We don't use Facebook professionally; Karen has chosen to keep her account purely for a handful of family and close friends, and a select few others.  Separation of personal and private is very important indeed, to convey a professional impression.  Having said that, the library’s canvas Wheesht bags did have their own Facebook page ...!

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