Spartans Market Successfully

San Jose State University King Library

I selected the King Library as my marketing critique focus. The library has a well rounded presence on the web; outside of their website they market themselves through the following ways:
Twitter: @SJSU_kinglib
Facebook: SJSU King Library and
Google+: SJSU King Library
Bi-Annual Newsletter: SJSU King Library Newsletter

I will discuss how they engage themselves with these applications as well as address any improvements I see that might benefit the library. These points made are my observations only and do not included insight from the employees of the King Library.

I have a twitter feed, @nimblelibrarian, I started out following @SJSU_kinglib they have a small following of 240 twitters and within 30 minutes I was being followed back, this response time impressed me. Followed by this prompt new follower I browsed past tweets and gathered a feel of what exactly the King Library wanted its followers to know. They are supportive of other SJSU accounts, re-tweeting campus club announcements, local reference desk, local public libary, and the main SJSU feed. This past Friday I tweeted, “Its Friday, I want rain, soup and a good book”  @nimblelibrarian. I do not have a following, as I have just started developing my own brand, so you can imagine my excitement when I was re-tweeted by @SJSU_kinglib .

The impression made to me so far by the King Library was positive. Along with simple recognitions of their followers, they advertised upcoming events & exhibits taking place in the library.

The King Library also uses Facebook to expand their web presence. The Facebook page for the library was born, August 31, 2011. It is barely a year old, which surprised me as I thought they would have started using it earlier. The Facebook page did not impress me as much as the twitter feed did but it did not let me down either. The library uses images often with corresponding posts are which often about upcoming events or exhibits. Due to the nature of these posts it was difficult to see a “real” person behind them; they felt more like an automatic response you get when you apply to a job. That being said I came across one post that teased with personality, a post about the San Jose Falcons. (see post below)

 
This post encourages student to come to the library for non-library things instead of research, study, computers, etc. It is important to capture and include your target audience, in this case students, in your posts. This post had 3 likes and 3 comments, higher than most posts on the page.

Another concern was that the response time to student complaint posts was around a full day.   I saw to complaints, one directed at noisy patrons and the other directed at the Library Wi-Fi, response time for both around 24 hours. For the complaint directed towards noisy patrons the response was okay, because they requested information to report it. The complain directed to the library, “Please fix the Wifi connection. I really want to stay in the library to study. I can’t study at home!!!!!!!” needed to be addressed much earlier than 24 hours later because the student was studying and needed the Wi-Fi at that moment. I’d recommend tot he King Library to reduce the response time to posts like these, in order to be more helpful throughout their web presence. 

The Google+ account, created September 2011, is very much like the King Library Facebook page, posts are almost identical. On Nov. 4, 2011 one of the first posts to receive any follower response included the response from SJSU King Library thanking them for their support, +1 to their rapport. I critique this in their marketing because it is vital to acknowledge those who follow you, your “fans” as you will. However, this unfortunately fades in to the background after a couple more posts and the acknowledgment is no longer made.  It is important to keep it up, even if you only have a handful of fans, appreciate them. 

As I made my way through the main applications SJSU King Library uses to expand their online presence there are few things that I want need to address.  First, bravo to their consistent posting even with a mediocre following. Second, thank you for re-tweeting, just a small gesture that shows their acknowledgment of their followers.

They have a strong grasp of how to use these services to spread the word about what is happening in the library however they need to focus on expanding their following. SJSU has an enrollment of approximately 30,000 students, their followings hit around 300, that is 1% of the school.  I suggest they do this in multiple ways including:

1. Engage your followers – encourage comments in your posts and tweets. The more engaging you are the more interaction you will receive. Use posts for an opportunity to get survey responses from students, “Did you attend the Day of the Dead exhibit?”
2. Express personality beyond events and exhibit posting. Add to your newspaper a comic strip, for example talk about the employees and what they enjoy, make the library more personal.
3. Quicken your response time to posts. 24 hours for a response to  a wi-fi complaint is useless to the patron.  
4. Create a blog. Blogs are a great way to move above and beyond hours and event posts, of course I do not think I need to tell you that.

This being said, SJSU King Library markets their library services well, events, exhibits, hours, changes, etc. If their brand is “A library that keeps their students informed of events happening on campus” then they nailed it, no matter how boring that sounds. I recommend really exploiting the personality of the library, there are a great deal of employees their and I am sure they are not all boring. 

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Library Social Media…what are your tactics?

Top 5 Social Media Tools for Promoting Library Services


What? Facebook
Why? Reach patrons of multiple ages, mobile accessibility, “Its massive reach provides compelling opportunities to connect with customers, both current and future, through fan pages, news feeds, groups, and throughout the site.” (SEOmoz)
How? Sign up for a group page (not a profile), designate the information that will be posted for your users and others to see and start posting. Posts about common topics, new ideas you want to implement. Using Facebook in this manner allows Libraries to get feedback in the easier way possible and directly from their users.

What? Twitter
Why? Networking in real time. A new tool to become personal with your users. Tweets are limited to 160 characters, requires tweets of significance and informational. IE “SJSU library closed Oct. 8 Columbus day!” (39 characters)
How? Sign up for a twitter account begin adding followers and following others. Read Musings about librarianship on how Twitter can help your library.

What? YouTube
Why? Video promotion
How? Video Blogs – have staff record book reviews of latest books, add a library tour and introduce your staff, invite participation from patrons “What is your favorite book?” and compile them into a video. Video Tours are very effective and allow users to get a feel for your library before they go, you can also put up tutorials on how to use your system. You can also use YouTube as a form of education videos, how many tutorials can you find on YouTube? Millions! I’m sure you can even find one on using YouTube in your Library.

What? Wikipedia
Why? Wikipedia offers a place to build guides for users. Wikis are a great way to keep on top of all the new services or updates happening in the library 

How? Create a Wiki (make sure to have an easy access link to the page) where Library staff can update changes to the library. You can also create a Wiki that patrons can access and add recommendations or even services that maybe a staff member did not think of.


What? Good-reads
Why? What better way to promote an RA (Readers Advisory) with Good-reads.
How? Visit the link and start adding books and reviews. Good-reads provides a way for patrons to see what the staff is reading and get recommendations and reviews. This tool in itself is a RA service, not just one to help promote your own library services.

-NimbleLibrarian

Recommended Reads:

Breeding, M. (2009). Social networking strategies for professionals. Computers in Libraries, 29(9), 29-31
Fichter, D. , & Avery, C. (2012). Tools of influence: Strategic use of social media. Online, 36(4), 58-60.


Step-by-Step Guide to Your Social Media Success
Avoid These 4 Common Social Media Mistakes – Joseph Ruiz

Professional or Personal they still convey a message

This post will be in response to Exercise #2 for Libr246. The requirements included subscribing to 5 listed blogs and then 3 of your own interest and then compare them, write about it and provide your insight. You can continue to read or decide you don’t really care, either way I am still writing about it.

Listing from most enjoyed to least enjoyed the assigned blogs are as follows:

David Lee King – trends, social media, technology, constant but not predictable (no set schedule) and small bites with lots of flavor.

Librarian by Day – personal blogging about professional stuff. Language use is entertaining but not over board annoying, posts involve topics that make you think twice, not as constant as I’d like but still enjoyable when published.

In the Library With the Lead Pipe– this is a more professional blog written by a community of librarians and featuring guest publishers often from the education sector. These posts are written in a more formal language, so not usually a quick read and they tend to be lengthy but often talk about interesting and necessary subjects pertaining to libraries.

Librarian’s Commute – this particular blog I enjoyed because I work at a 2 year college so most of the posts I could relate to and also directly implement into my work. These posts were often long but they contained personal language, making them easier to read.

The Distant Librarianposts were usually brief, with excessive use of punctuation (i.e !!!!!!! instead of !), I’m thinking this stems from the personal connection and writing like one speaks, of course that is only speculation. The most recent most involved a personal trip to a fair with their family so the blog hs both personal and professional aspects.

Are you bored yet? If not, visit those links and check out the blogs.

What did I rank the blogs the way I did? Well I read most if not all my blog feeds on my phone, I don’t like to scroll very much but I like to get a lot of neat information. David Lee King small bite lots of flavor. Also, I enjoy posts that provide links within the post but also recommended reads so if I have time and am in the mood I can continue to read on the topic. Professionally I don’t really care for pictures in the post but personal blog posts better have pictures or I’m likely not to read. Just being honest.

After subscribing to the 5 blogs above I MUST subscribe to 3 more library blogs….well I was already subscribed to three library blogs as it is.

Stephen’s Lighthouse – Stephen Abram’s library blog. Who is Stephen Abram? (do you live under a rock?!)…read about him here. Stephen uses Social Media like most people eat, very often. His blog posts can range from 1-5 per day and they vary from controversial topics to new technologies to surveys on jobs.

The Daring Librarian -A personal blog of a professional librarian; however the blog is very popular making it both personal and professional (as part of her own branding). The author is very interested in social media tools and a self admitted Geek. Her posts are often very energetic and can be overwhelming in graphics. The topics often follow trends in the library world, social media sector and more.

The Jolly Librarian – written by a librarian at a Tennessee community college. I began following the JollyLibrarian when it was recommended by a colleague. Her posts are entertaining to read and help me as I build up our library blog. The author provides weekly challenges and updates the readers on how the staff graded in. Along with those posts are posts directly aimed at college students and tips to help them be more successful in school and life.

What makes a blog successful?

  1. Constant posting but not always predictable. If you come across something interesting, neat, etc. Share it. Don’t wait until the scheduled date to post it. There is a lot of information out there you won’t run out.
  2. Informative but not like drinking from a fire hose. Give us small bites with lots of flavor.
  3. Entertaining – formal writing is great but put some spunk into your posts otherwise its like reading term papers and lets be honest who really likes reading those?
  4. Topis are relate-able… Basically, if your readers can relate to your posts you will find your following to grow.

Thus concludes the ramblings.
Stop by again.
-NimbleLibrarian

Libraries + 2.0 = issues

 
three 2.0 issues affecting libraries….
  1. Death by 2.0
  2. Death by fear
  3. Death by static

I see one of the main issues affecting libraries is “Death by 2.0”. Libraries become enthralled in Web 2.0 and dive in for a bite. The problem is that they don’t stop eating. There are too many 2.0 applications to become involved in all of them – blogs, Facebook, Wikis, Flikr,  tagging, chat boxes, Tumblr, FourSquare, Twitter, MySpace, (you get the point). Instead of carefully thinking out which ones to use it is far to often we get involved in multiple platforms we kill ourselves off (so to speak) before we can truly get going.

Another issue is “Death by fear”, the fear of giving control (even if a little) to patrons. Of course as librarians we should want to serve our patrons to our best abilities and provide for them what they want. Unfortunately, (yes, I am going to say it) the current age of the librarian is 40+ years. These new technologies are scary and unfamiliar and provide a sense of disarray. As stated in Helen Partridge’s, Librarian 2.0: it’s all in the attitude, “When discussing the emergence of library catalogs that allowed client tagging, some participants were still not convinced, stating, ‘But you could have a real mess!'” (Partridge, 2011). If libraries do not take the leap to interact with their patrons at their level, patrons will go elsewhere (Google anyone?).

The third issue, “Death by static”. Static refers to the lack of mobility in the library resources such as eBooks, mobile websites and virtual reference options. Libraries are having to change from being static buildings that are housing books and librarians sitting at reference desks conducting face-to-face reference interviews to off-site electronic resources and virtual reference interviews. This is a big change for libraries and will continue to be an issue as technology becomes the tool of choice for communication.

There are many issues that libraries face in regards to Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, libraries will always have new issues to address and adapt to. As commonly referred to “The only constant in our lives is change”.

My Library

I love when project time comes around!
Students GALORE working and researching.
Its a beautiful and stimulating site.
It also calls for a time of reward, you get to see what you have been teaching them put to use YOU also get to see what you know put to use.

Its nice to see that the library is being used. 🙂

Long live and prosper! (at least during project time)

Being an Online Student and being successfull

As an assignment for my LIBR 203 class I am taking right now we read and listened to a great deal of material, wonderful material on being successful as an online student.

A key thing to remember is that to be successful as any student is to be organized. Have a calendar and schedule times for when you want to have projects done as well as when they need to be done. I find this to be super helpful, so if I finish it when I want to finish it I finished early, but if something came up that did not permit me to finish it on my timeline I know I still have a small window, sometimes large window, to finish it on the instructors time line.

I have been always been an organized person, especially in my studies. I love to have time lines, my time management skills are super important to me. I enjoy sitting down and plotting out how and when I will complete certain tasks and how long it will take me.

Laugh at me but I already have my Master’s planned out to how many credits I will take a semester, what I will need to have saved to pay for it (in the case I do not get any scholarships) what classes I plan on taking, as long as they do not change the scheduling that is already posted and when my projected graduation date is. I love having this mapped out for me it gives me a sense of not only control but of relief knowing I have a plan.

I loved what Ken Haycock expressed on conflicts and confronting issues, Don’t talk about an issue you won’t put on the table to respectfully go over. To me that is like asking a question you don’t want an answer to.

I big into teams but I also love working on my own, its easier. However, if you have a successful team you can achieve tasks much greater in a shorter amount of time as a team and like I said before I love managing my time and know where it is being spent and on what, so effective teams win my heart over individual work.

As Enid Irwin said, “Team work IS planning and communication and a process.”
I loath pointless meetings, if we are going to get our team together in one spot and one time we need to be productive of the time use. Having a meeting is teamwork, bring something to the table every time, don’t come empty handed or that is how you will leave.

I loved these presentations on Teamwork and how to make it successful, I will definitely not only use these in school work but also in my own career work and help my team be more successful.

I am so pumped after reading these two presentations (I DL the PowerPoint so I read them)

LIBR203 Assignment

I have 2 blogs already, one is private, which is why the second one (this one) is very limited on its content. When you go private on Blogger is takes you off the feed so your followers don’t see when you post a new blog. To close that gap I use this one to announce a new blog post. However it doesn’t work all that well because there are only 4 followers on this blog and 44 followers on the other blog.

I enjoy blogging and my best friend Emily got me into it, really it was birthday present for her for me to start blogging because I was, to say the least, ANTI.

But since I have started blogging I feel that my writing has become better, even though my blogs are not in a formal format it still helps.

That and its like a pretty and easy way to scrap book and keep a journal all in one.