Thing 21: Infographics

https://infograph.venngage.com/p/44226/library-social-media-top-tips

I really like infographics. It is one of the best ways of displaying information simply and interestingly. Check out my attempt at creating one using Venngage which is a free infographic creator. It is really easy to use and there are loads of themes and icons available for you to use. I didn’t use any stats or data, it’s just a social media top tips infograph. I can’t download my infographic with Venngage unfortunately so next time I think I will use easelly, it looks just as good and that functionality is really important you are going to use it in the library.

I think infographics could be very useful in the library especially as a way of getting important information to students. I think information that is colourful, attractive and gets to the point quickly is more likley to be read in the first place.

rudai

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

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GT Project: An investigation into the use of social media at the University of Bradford Library

Flickr mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

Flickr mkhmarketing.wordpress.com

For my graduate trainee project, I investigated how the University of Bradford (UoB) Library could improve its use of social media (SM) to promote library services and connect with users. I completed a literature review which helped me to understand the existing research, I assessed the library’s social media and made suggestions on how to improve it. I looked at the way similar institutions conduct themselves online and made comparisons. I also surveyed the University of Bradford Library staff to see how they felt about using social media to connect with users. It was a very useful thing to do as it really helped inform my suggestions and it also helped me to feel more confident knowing that most people were in agreement. This is a brief excerpt from my project 🙂

With the ever increasing popularity of social networking sites (SNS) and their widespread popularity, it is important that the library exploits this method of communication. Libraries are expected to have many streams of communication open with users and social media provides an excellent opportunity to connect with staff, existing and prospective students and colleagues in a novel way.

There are many ways in which social media can be used in a meaningful and beneficial way, especially within an academic library. Social media can be used to promote the library, have real-time customer service conversations with users and receive feedback. Most librarians understand that social media is an important tool that can help them to deliver their services. Here is a list of some of the ways in which social media could be used in the academic library:

  • To build a sense of community
  • To reach users in their homes and ‘virtual spaces’ as many people can now access lots of library resources outside of the library
  • To seek user’s opinions on library services, respond to user feedback and use it as an opportunity for self-assessment
  • Publicise events such One World Week and the recent special collections Mitrinovic Symposium
  • Promote new acquisitions
  • Promote and increase usage of library collections
  • Promoting workshops and inductions
  • Keep up to date with other librarians and academic institutions
  • Financial costs are believed to be low
  • As a broadcast tool for library updates and news
  • Opening hours and contact details
  • To connect with new and current students, as well as alumni and especially distance learners
  • To connect with the academic community and university staff
  • Potentially a customer services tool – dealing with enquiries, feedback and complaints
  • To update users on system maintenance and problems with library systems
  • Explore the use of interesting applications such as Pinterest and Instagram for inductions and workshop

My favourite article fittingly titled “#selfiesinthestacks” looked at how Instagram can be used by libraries to alleviate library anxiety in first year students, increase user engagement and offer active learning experiences. Wallis questions how much information students realistically retain whilst attending traditional library inductions, especially when so much is going on at the start of term. Wallis developed a fantastic library programme using Instagram which introduced new students to the library in a fun, social and modern way.

  • She downloaded the Instagram app on the library’s iPads and created a library account (https://instagram.com/umlibrary/). She then logged into the account on each of the iPads (6 of them).
  • She then presented a short PowerPoint which was a brief introduction to the library, directing students to the library catalogues, describing the layout of the library and explaining the task.
  • Students were asked to get into groups of three to five people and choose a team name.
  • Each group received an iPad and a sheet of paper with the following prompts listed. All apart from the specific book title are open to interpretation.
  • The weirdest book
  • Something confusing
  • The best study spot
  • This book (each group was given a different book to find)
  • Your group and a member of library staff
  • A DVD you want to watch
  • Students would then use the iPads to take photos based on the prompts and upload them to the library’s Instagram account.
  • The groups were given 30 minutes to explore the library
  • When they returned they looked through all of the images on a projector together and had a discussion about their experience.

There is little doubt that social media is becoming an integral part of 21st century communication and this is increasingly the case in how we conduct our personal lives, our education and our careers. In order to appreciate social media, to some extent you need to immerse yourself in it; you must understand why you are spending time on it, be acceptant of the positives and negatives and be aware of the opportunities that it presents. Using social media yourself is good practice for when you use in on behalf of the library.

There are many obstacles and challenges associated with using social media in a consistent and meaningful way. If the library does not keep an eye open on social media, it is possible that we will miss important discussions and feedback that are related to the library. The conversation will happen, whether the library wants to listen or not and not everyone is going to have positive things to say. People do use social media to share both negative and positive experiences they have had with institutions, organisations and businesses.

It is easy to be worried about using social media in a professional setting because of unprofessional, negative comments. People will say negative things on social media and there are advantages to facing this negativity head on. We can try to resolve any problems the user might be having, we can apologise and we can try to make it right. People will also say positive things and when they do, it is good for us to know that we are doing things right. Social media could be used as another means of gathering student feedback in addition to the traditional methods already in place. It is a lot easier for a student to send an email or write a comment online than it is to fill in a form and post it in the library. For many service providers, customer service has gone way beyond simply speaking to someone in person, by email or on the telephone.

Staff and students alike need to be aware of the impact social media can have on people’s lives. People should conduct themselves as they would in any normal social situation and that involves being polite, respectful and appreciative of the fact that by law everyone has the right to freedom of expression. The catch being that when you voice your opinion on social media, you are inviting people to do the same. So it is important that all posts are carefully considered as they can come back to bite you, as they did with Paris Brown in 2013. Comments she had posted in the past on Twitter were investigated for possible criminal offences. Paris posted tweets when she was between the ages of 14-16 which were considered to be racist and homophobic. At the age of 17 she had just been appointed Britain’s first youth crime commissioner but was forced to resign due to her previous ill-thought-out tweets.

With prospective employers having free access to social media just as everyone else does, it is important that people, especially students, know how to conduct themselves online. They need to take responsibility for their own actions, learn about their online privacy and be aware that when they post things online, it can be there for the whole world to see. Librarians are in a fantastic postion to demonstrate how best to use social media, but first they need to be on social media.

Here are some of the Padlets I made to go alongside my project:

Using the existing literature, making comparisons with other academic institutions and surveying UoB library staff, I explored the negative and positive aspects of social media. Social media does not have to be difficult and it does not have to take up huge amounts of time. But a tailored social media strategy needs to be in place and social media needs to be monitored regularly if it is to be successful. If our efforts can help students find useful information they would otherwise not have found or to seek help in the library because he/she saw us pop up on their social media feed, then that is a job well done.

See this link for my presentation http://prezi.com/vpzaqq4g4mpe/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

Are we a generation of social media addicts?

Everyone seems to be using social media nowadays don’t you think? An estimated 2.03 billion people have active social media accounts which is equal to around 28% of the population. That’s one hell of a lot of cat videos, selfies and general viral stupidity. We spend a LOT of time using these things – only 39,757 years collectively spent on Facebook per day, no biggie. It doesn’t help the situation when you can carry them around with you everywhere you go. Nice one mobile technology.

The interesting infographic I’ve posted below prompted to think about social media and question whether or not it’s all just a passing trend? Social media sites fall in and out of fashion and yes, I’m thinking about you Bebo and Myspace. But I don’t think it is a passing trend. The sites we are using today might fall out of fashion yes, but I think the concept is here to stay. Gone are the days when we had to rely on actual face-to-face interactions if we wanted to socialise and gone are the days when we had to read a newspaper to find out what’s going on in the world… But does this mean social media “addicts” will withdraw into their online worlds, never to return to reality? No. Social media just helps us to communicate with each other in an increasingly busy world.

We shouldn’t forget about all of those people who aren’t using social media – 72% of the world’s population. In the UK 34% of adults do not have a social networking profile and in 2014 there were 4 million households (24%) without internet access; chances are they aren’t overly active on social media. It’s probably quite difficult to define what an “active” social media account even is. Lots of people have accounts but rarely use them. And despite the popularity of social media, I think a lot of people still need help setting up their profiles and using them. This is something that librarians can certainly help with.

Social media opens up a whole new world for people in terms of support networks, socialising, entertainment, professional development and so on. It provides a whole range of possibilites and opportunites and give you access to SO much information. This is a fantastic thing as long as you’ve got your ‘who wrote this’ hat on. If you are conscious about your online privacy and safety, think a little bit about what you’re posting and don’t take it too seriously – you can have a really useful and meaningful social media experience.

I’ll admit it, I think I might be a teeny weeny little bit addicted to social media. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Here’s why:

  • I’m part of the 16% who use Facebook/ Twitter as my morning news courier. But I also use the BBC, Guardian and Metro news apps and all of the others that I’ve liked and followed. This helps to me get a broad view of some of the crazy stuff that’s going on in the world. I don’t think you should rely solely on social media for your daily news dosage, especially on April Fool’s Daybut it’s useful to have news on your social media feeds. Plus I wouldn’t say no to some of the Metro “news” articles posted on their Facebook page, they are hilarious! It’s good to get your news from a variety of sources and I try not to trust everything I read on the news anyway. I don’t take part in the debates that happen online about the news either, but I do like to read them because it gives me a good idea of people’s differing opinions and ideas (and it’s fun).
  • I do spend a lot of time on social media, probably more than 2 hours a day… I mainly use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn and I think it helps me to become a more knowledgeable, interesting person – hopefully… I find out a lot of stuff that I didn’t know before and you can learn more about your specific interests by following the right groups, people and pages – essentially the information comes to you. If all else fails, it certainly helps break the ice when you can talk about that hilarious viral video that’s doing the rounds… and if they haven’t seen it, you can show them! Everyone loves a bit of ninja cat right?   
  • My social media accounts serve as a gentle reminder of all the things I’ve done since I’ve had them. Timehop is a great app which shows me my photos and updates from this exact day in history. Because I’ve shared something that I’ve done with the world, it’s out there like a little cyberspace scrapbook, reminding myself and others that are interested that I do cool things sometimes. My blog is especially useful as I can use it to reflect on the stuff I am doing at work and share it with others.
  • My family and friends follow me. It means we don’t have to see each other everyday… (This is a joke – if they read my blog they can tell me off). Seriously though, life can get busy at times and it’s a shame that you can’t always spend as much time with loved ones as you’d like. But with Facebook I can at least keep up to date with what my family and friends are up to and my mum can keep track of me.

  • You can use social media for work stuff as well, who’d of thought it?! This is actually one of the reasons I end up spending so much time on Facebook and Twitter. Before I started my graduate traineeship I never knew librarians loved it so much. There is a huge community of them out there willing to share their expertise and knowledge and the best way to speak to them is via online networks. You can get involved in Twitter conversations such as #uklibchat and there are many Facebook groups and Twitter lists that are dedicated to discussing issues within libraries and sharing ideas. I’ve just joined the Libraries & Social Media Facebook group and there is always something interesting on there to read. I am planning on asking them about my grad trainee project which I am doing on social media in the academic library (will blog about this soon). I am going on a tour of Chetham’s Library which has been organised by the New Library Professionals Network. I signed up for the event on NLPN’s Facebook page and if I hadn’t of been on Facebook/ Twitter, I probably wouldn’t have even known about it. This is the case for pretty much every library event I’ve been to actually. I always find out about them on social media before I get chance to read about it in an email. I personally use social media for professional development and for fun simultaneously. I don’t really feel the need to seperate the two because my work is a huge part of who I am… and that’s enough cheese for one day.

Thanks to @rudai23 I am currently undertaking a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment. http://rudai23.blogspot.co.uk/

Check out these crazy stats from GO-Globe.

Social Media Addiction

Scary huh?

Infographic by- GO Globe Singapore