SCCLD Social Media Internship Final Report

SCCLD Social Media Internship Final Report

Whitni J. Watkins

San José State University, School of Library and Information Science


The purpose of this report is to explain what I did and learned during my internship period with the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) as their social media intern. The report is also a requirement for fulfillment of San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science’s Virtual Internship program. The report focuses primarily on the student learning outcomes (SLOs) and will include a breakdown of activities and tasks performed during the internship period and how they relate to the achievement of the SLOs.

Santa Clara County Library District

SCCLD consists of 7 community libraries, 1 branch library, 2 bookmobiles and an online library. They serve the areas of Santa Clara County in California including: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Lost Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, and Saratoga. They serve a population of 412,732 with a rate of 52% being current library cardholders.

As an intern with the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD), I was working with Megan Wong, the virtual library manager, to develop procedures and policies to help further the presence of the library in multiple social media platforms. SCCLD is present on 7 social media channels including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and 44 library blogs.

Internship selection

I chose to apply for this internship based upon my interest in the use of social media in organizations such as libraries. I also lacked professional experience in a public library, as all my experience is in academic libraries and SCCLD provided me both options.

Student Learning Outcomes

Prior to beginning my internship I worked with the internship supervisor, Megan Wong, and developed a set of SLOs that would outline the tasks and responsibilities to be accomplished during the internship period.

  1. Effectively identify, monitor and respond to the community audience formed around the library’s social media by reviewing previous posts and audience response on social media platforms (Facebook, & Twitter) and attending Reader’s Advisory meetings (virtually).
  2. Learn and practice best social media practices through hands on use of platforms including scheduling posts and daily interaction on forums to increase traffic on Santa Clara County Library district social media platforms; including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
  3. Formulate a social media marketing plan; set up policies to manage a public social media account and the distribution of information.

Student Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcome 1.0

The first learning outcome was to effectively identify, monitor and respond to the community audience formed around the library’s social media by reviewing post and audience response on social media platforms, Facebook & Twitter and attend the reader’s advisory meetings virtually.

The first half of this learning outcome was achieved through daily monitoring of SCCLD’s Facebook page and Twitter account (See Appendix item 1 for clocked hours). Through my monitoring I learned what posts were most popular on Facebook, the time in which users frequented the page most often and as well as what posts reached the largest population (see Appendix item 2). The constant monitoring of Facebook allowed me opportunities to see what types of things the “fans” enjoyed seeing the most. This allowed me to recommend specific types of posts for staff to focus on to encourage more interaction on the page.

Monitoring the Twitter account was less insightful as the audience focus was less targeted, this became a recommendation item on the social media plan I put together. I used the opportunity while monitoring Twitter to find more community to follow, to communicate with those who tagged SCCLD in tweets. This received good feedback, one individual stated, “@sccld You’re awesome! Great job with the social media!”  (See Appendix 3 for full conversation).

The second half of the SLO, attend Reader’s Advisory meetings, was later dropped by the internship supervisor due to scheduling constraints on both parties . Any information pertaining to my responsibilities as the intern was relayed to me by my supervisor.

Learning Outcome 2.0

The second learning outcome was to learn and practice best social media practices through hands on use of platforms, including scheduling posts and daily interaction on forums to increase traffic on SCCLD’s social media platforms; including Facebook & Twitter.

This SLO was achieved through research, daily interaction of SCCLD’s social media platforms and volunteering to post on the Facebook feed weekly. For research, refer to the bibliography page for a listing of articles that were used in shaping the focus and evolvement of SCCLD’s social media. Traffic for SCCLD has increased; the follower count for Twitter has grown by 29 followers since the beginning of the internship and Facebook has increased by almost 80 “likes”.

The biggest accomplishment SCCLD saw over the past 3 months was hitting the 1K milestone, 1,000 page likes on Facebook, without the use of a Facebook campaign. At the beginning of the internship period, SCCLD was looking at 927 likes by the end we were up to 1,006 likes (see appendix item 4). Through research and recommendations, the staff began posting content that sparked more interaction from our fans. The interaction provided greater opportunity for our Facebook page to be seen and receive more likes.

Another opportunity that came from monitoring Facebook daily was the opportunity to answer a reference question  and turn it into a very positive experience.  A patron made a comment on a post on Facebook and I responded to her comment, which then sparked this reference opportunity. This patron desired that a certain book be available on an audiobook service that SCCLD subscribes to.  I found that although the service did not have the book, that the book was available on disc for checkout from the library.  The patron was ecstatic about this revelation and left very happy. The interaction between myself and the patron is publically visible and created a positive experience that others can read and gain more insight to SCCLD.[1]  

Learning Outcome 3.0

This SLO required that I take the knowledge I gained and formulate a social media plan and set up policies to manage a public social media account and the distribution of information.

The SLO was accomplished through 135 hours of research, hands on practice and incorporation of best practices. This was a difficult task to accomplish, as it required viewing each platform; see footnote for link to full social media plan.[2]

Along with the social media plan, Megan and I put together a best practices document that listed key bullet points for each platform about posting and things to keep in mind while managing the platform. For example, Twitter only allows 140 characters in posts, only use 120-130 of the characters so there is room for followers who want to retweet or quote your tweet. Another example is to always use the #SCCLD in Tweets and Instagram’s, this will help make SCCLD more searchable in the platforms.[3]


My internship experience with SCCLD was very positive. My supervisor exhibited a democratic management style where we each collaborated on ideas and together chose ones that fit the model we were working towards. This method of management was very effective as it allowed and encouraged innovation. I would recommend that there be more insight from the managing side to help better guide the focus of the organization. This would have been more helpful because I was an outsider to the organization.

Code of Ethics: ALA

One thing I found was that SCCLD was very strict into adhering to statement II of the ALA Code of Ethics that  reads, “We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.” One example of this was a user posted a quote on the SCCLD Facebook page that contained the F word. The user did not censor the word in the quote; however SCCLD policies enforce that staff does not censor comments made on public platforms as it is a violation of patron’s right of speech. Although my instinct said to “hide” the comment as to not offend those who read the post, I knew that the policy was not only enforced but was also in accordance with the ALA Code of Ethics by which I, as a current ALA member, established I would do my best to uphold.


While working with SCCLD my primary responsibilities included:

  • Build followers on Facebook, work towards gaining better awareness
  • Develop best practices for Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
  • Monitor and participate in Facebook & Twitter posting
  • Develop procedures for implementing an Instagram photo contest
  • Develop procedures for implementing a Facebook campaign

My main priorities were developing the procedures for different platforms and researching best practices. My site supervisor broke down each month’s priorities based upon what was accomplished and learned in the prior month. One action item that stayed continuously on the menu was finding a way to gain better awareness on Instagram and to use it to promote the library. The action plan was of great help to keep priorities in view; and I recommend that it be a best practice for future SCCLD internships.

The most difficult aspects of working in this [virtual] environment was connecting with the library. Due to schedule constraints I did not get the opportunity to participate in the Reader Advisory meetings and in part I felt like this created a gap between me and the staff. I wish the staff would have reached out to me more to give feedback or insight on how they are currently using social media; however I could have encouraged this more by sending out emails and interacting with them more.  I think this was a difficulty primarily because this was a virtual internship and had I been on site my interaction with staff would have been satisfactory.


Throughout the internship I used a variety of technology to accomplish the tasks set before me. I used email, Google Docs, and the Virtual Library Wiki for collaboration with my site supervisor as well as some staff at SCCLD. I used social media platform mobile applications for iOS[4] to manage SCCLD’s accounts including; Twitter, Facebook, Pages, Cubenect, SCCLD mobile site app, WordPress, and Instagram. I also used the full website pages for Twitter, Facebook, WordPress & to manage these same accounts. All tasks were easily accomplished through these forms of technology  and I do not have any recommendations for improvement.

Course Work

As I made my way through this internship program I found myself grateful that I had taken Libr246: Social Media & Web 2.0 tools. This course, although only briefly, provided me with an overview of how some libraries used social media. It also introduced me to some of these libraries that had great examples, such as NYPL, to refer to during my research. I also found myself referring back to information I learned in Libr210: Reference and Information services, specifically Reader’s Advisory services. The reader’s advisory will be incorporated through Facebook posts, Pinterest boards and library blogs. These ideas were introduced to me through Libr210. Although I have a strong background in social media, these two courses introduced me to aspects of the library that I may have over looked during my research, specifically the use of Pinterest in the library.

Equally, I would have been better equipped had I taken course work on censorship and public libraries. This internship was my first non-patron experience in a public library, so many rules that exist in a private academic library in regards to censorship are forbidden in many public libraries. I am a firm believer in not censoring however it is still an area I do not know much about. I also think course work in library marketing would have helped me in the long run as a put together the social media plan. I am confident in my work but I know that having a formal foundation in library marketing would have saved me time as I set up action items for the social media plan.

I feel that this internship exposed me to opportunities and experiences that helped me more fully understand the impact social media can have on organizations. Although the work I performed during this period seemed insignificant in process, when put into the bigger picture I realize that this helped structure SCCLD’s social media presence. The social media plan will be a basis from which SCCLD can build their policies and procedures; this is of significant value to the organization.

Working with SCCLD has helped me form a more professional view of social media and how I can now use it to my advantage in advancing my career. I have a solid understanding of Facebook, as well as the ability to create and implement Facebook campaigns for other organizations with which I may work. I can state that my internship at SCCLD was a rewarding experience and I will take from it a significant amount of primary evidence as well as a new perspective on using social media in libraries.


American Library Association. (2008). Code of Ethics of the American Library Association. Retrieved from

Santa Clara County Library District. (2013). Social Media Policy [PDF]. Retrieved from Santa Clary County Library District Staff Wiki (private access).

Watkins, W. (2013, October 27). Facebook: the form of reference/advertising/reader’s advisory AIO [Web log post]. Retrieved from

[2] Full social media plan, drafted and submitted by Whitni Watkins to SCCLD:

[3] Best Practices guidelines document:

[4] The use of mobile applications was not a requirement to accomplish my responsibilities; their use merely provided convenience and all tasks could be accomplished through the web browser.



Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

With the boom in technology and the internet the ability to access information as increased tenfold. The amount of information that is not only available but produced on a daily basis surpasses that which the natural mind can compute. It has been said that we create now in a matter of days what took thousands of years to create; that is an astronomical amount of information. As users we do not see the impact of information that would cause our minds to implode because it has been organized. In order to make this information more accessible to users it is necessary to organize it on a set of consistently applied rules or standards.

The rules and standards of organization of information have existed since the dawn of time. Some schemes are simplistic such as organization of male and female and other schemes are more complex like organization of books in physical and digital libraries. Libraries have the longest standing set of rules and standards for organizing information; they are referred to as organizational schemes; the most common known schemes are the classification schemes Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress.

The primary role of libraries has been to provide access to materials and information already produced. Considering the amount of information available today it is necessary that these standards are used in organizing collections so that this information can be found in a manner that is useful to the user. To achieve this goal the library profession has agreed to control the information about these collections using a format that makes the bibliographical records searchable. This form of control can be referred to as bibliographic control which Charles A. Cutter stated the objects of this control were to (Chan, 2007, p13-14):

  1. To enable a person to find a book in which any of the following are known:
    1. The author
    2. The title
    3. The subject
  2. To show what the library has:
    1. By a given author
    2. On a given subject
    3. In a given kind of literature
  3. To assist in the choice of a book:
    1. As to its edition (bibliographically)
    2. As to its character (literary or topical)

The AACR is the primary standard used for bibliographic description; other standards include Dublin Core (DC) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD). These standards were developed to apply to different sets of material but essentially they all served the same purpose which was to standardize the information cataloged from material.

With the introduction of computers and the internet environment the interest in indexing these catalogs in an electronic format grew and with that was developed a format that was machine readable, MARC. This format was developed by the Library of Congress and is now the standard for bibliographic cataloging is MARC; this format was adopted as the national standard in 1971 and as an international standard in 1973. In 2013 the MARC format was supplemented with Resource Description and Access (RDA) in order to adapt more easily with rapidly developing information items and packages (Chan 2007).

A more recent scheme has entered the cataloging and organizing playing field; this scheme is free form and often causes anxiety in librarians due to the nature of its lack in structure and/or consistency and bears no resemblance to MARC, RDA or any other standard of information control. The scheme is referred to as tagging. Tagging essentially allows users to describe and organize content with any vocabulary they choose, using folksonomies instead of a standardized set of terms. You can see examples of tagging on social media platforms such as Flickr, Tumblr, and GoodReads. In recent years WebOPACS have offered the option to enable tagging of material to encourage users to interact with the records and help enhance them. Adam Mathes (2004) states,

A folksonomy represents simultaneously some of the best and worst in the organization of information. Its uncontrolled nature is fundamentally chaotic, suffers from problems of imprecision and ambiguity that well developed controlled vocabularies and name authorities effectively ameliorate. Conversely, systems employing free-‍form tagging that are encouraging users to organize information in their own ways are supremely responsive to user needs and vocabularies, and involve the users of information actively in the organizational system.

Component 2: Evidence and Justification of Evidence

The first piece of evidence I chose to include to demonstrate my understanding of this competency is record I cataloged in MARC format for Libr248, [Excel2003MARC]. This shows my understanding of the national standard format for bibliographic records. It also shows my understanding of MARC tags and the information that should be added to a bibliographic record. It also shows my mastery of cataloging procedures and policies involved in meticulous attention to delimited marks (| , ; ) that allow for these records to my be read accurately by machines so that they may be electronically cataloged into OPACS.

The second piece and third piece of evidence I chose to include to demonstrate my understanding and master of this competency is my [LIBR202 Project #4 Table] and [LIBR202 Project #4] from Libr202. The subject of my search was Ethics in Librarianship. The document breaks down my search process and explains why I chose to search the catalog and databases I selected for this search. This project showed my understanding of controlled vocabularies assigned in catalogs and in databases and how they differ and the benefits I saw between the two. The table lists search queries, results and annotations for pre-coordinate and post-coordinate vocabulary searches.

My final piece of evidence is an exercise from Libr202 [Folksonomies, what are they]. The paper discusses what a folksonomy is and how they are created. I discuss also the benefits and drawbacks to using folksonomies. Due to the nature of information organization and the more recent development of using tagging (a form of folksonomy) in organizing material, especially on the internet, this paper shows my understanding of this newer form of classifying. It also includes screenshots of my personal use in cataloging and classifying with LibraryThing where I store my personal library collection and also where I used it to create a searchable collection for a school I worked for that did not have one.


The amount of information needed to be organized will continue to grow exponentially and user involvement in this organization will also grow. The purpose of these schemes is to help users swim through the information without drowning; having a standard is beneficial and the retrieving quality and relevant information will be best achieved through these standardized schemes. However, the type of information we are searching for has evolved into forms that are better organized through folksonomies such as tweets, photo organization and blog posts.


Mathes, A. (2004). Folksonomies – Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata. Retrieved from

Rubin, R. E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Chan, L. M. (2007). Cataloging and Classification: an introduction. Third Edition. Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.



LIBR202 Project #4 Table

LIBR202 Project #4

Folksonomies, what are they

Social Media Etiquette: responding to complaints

The more I’ve worked with Social Media the more I’ve come to notice that etiquette is hit and miss. Not everyone follows the same protocol. Albeit more important for ‘businesses’ than individuals, unless you are a celebrity which in this case you are viewed more as a business than an individual (sad but true when you think about it)

As librarians or para-professionals or circulation clerks, the list goes on, we have our fair share of dealing with irate patrons. We have the patrons who just want to be heard. The patrons who complain about dust on the keyboard. The patrons who just patronize…yeah, I went there. How do we handle these verbal complaints? “Kill ’em with kindness” “Give ’em a listening ear” “Ignore them [wait what?!]”  Our reactions to these situations are more/less second nature (if you’ve been working for more than a month in a library). Depending on the patron these complaints usually take place in a quite/semi private 3′ area about the desk between you and the patron requiring that you work one on one with the patron.

What about handling a complaint that someone megaphones from the roof tops in the middle of a HUGE city parade? How do you handle that? It becomes a bit more ‘messy’. Similar to handling a negative online comment. The viewing audience is now millions/billions? more than the verbal-across-3-foot-space complaint.  So how do we/you handle it?

First and foremost, you respond. If you don’t ‘speak up’ you are not defending yourself and thus giving the complaint merits to be true. Make sure you respond with a thoughtful and positive tone, don’t feed the fire with fire. In your response I also recommend that you remove the complaint from the public eyeEncourage the user/patron/customer to contact you personally (Direct Message, Email, etc.) A good example of this is Cory Booker’s (New Jersey Mayor) twitter feed. 


Articles to read in light of Social Media Etiquette:

The Ultimate Social Media Handbook [pdf 5 pages] 

Real Simple’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette


A Facebook campaign?

Currently we are |this| close to hitting 1000 ‘likes’ on our Facebook page. The likes still come in during the week but on an average of about 3 per week. At this rate we will be into the new year before we hit 1K; that isn’t our [SCCL’s] idea of ending on a bang, more like a pfft (think poorly executed whoopee cushion prank).

What are we going to do? We are going to campaign for your likes, but how? That’s my job. I get to figure that out and I have NO IDEA how to develop a campaign on Facebook. Fortunately, we have the interwebs to help. Yes I did it, I googled “creating a Facebook campaign”, you can do it too I won’t judge.  I came across an article in Social Media Today: How to Create a Perfect Facebook Ad Campaign, author: Mitz Pantic. This article is nicely written but please keep in mind that it is a general guide (10 tips) and some of it isn’t 100% applicable to libraries.

So here is my plan, execution will come later.

Decide on our audience. We know geographical location (mostly) but now I need to decide on what other factors will make up our audience. Gender? Interest? Education? Marital Status? Spoken language?…

Discuss an image. Our campaign logo. Do we create one or do we use the Library’s logo? This image will represent us, when people see it we want them to think “Oh SCCLD, they are awesome.” [or something of that sort]

Creating your ad. Pantic recommends 5-10 ads to rotate, seems high but I’m new so that could just be naivety on my part. Creating the ad is the MOST important part because its what you will be ‘saying’ to those who see it. What message are you going to convey?

Do we offer an incentive for clicking on our ad? I don’t think this is something we can offer or should offer. We can promote a service but that’s about it… **mental note: address this later**

Find out when your audience interacts with your posts, this will help gauge the right time for your ads to ‘circulate’ around Facebook. If your audience is predominantly on Facebook around 1pm, don’t have your ads circulate at 8am. Capeesh?

Do we want Pay by Clicks or Cost Per Impression [WHAT???…will look into this later]

Audience. Image. Brand. Why.

So there you go, that’s my plan and I am sticking to it.

If you want to help us reach our 1K sooner than please like our page on Facebook

Need more to read about Facebook Ad Campaigns? Check out these articles:

Facebook for Business: create an ad

The Not-So-Secret Secrets of Successful Facebook Advertising

Social Media for libraries

Top 5 Social Media Tools for Promoting Library Services

facebook like unlike

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.
twitter icon
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.
YouTube Icon
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.
-NimbleLibrarianRecommended 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

Keeping Track of Resources

As you work your way through courses you will come across so many fantastic resources you just won’t know what to do with them. A great way to keep these resources manageable is the use of a browse folder or bookmarks. Unfortunately, we all use different browsers and sometimes we access material on computers with only certain browsers.

My answer to this is: Diigo

What can I do with Diigo?

  • you can bookmark pages and add personalized tags
  • you can highlight pages and save them
  • you can share your bookmarks
  • you can categorize them
  • you can add notes to links, pages, posts, and many other resources
  • webpages are archived so you can still view it later even if the original link is now broken

Get it Diigo now!

Designed for Mobility

When you create a website in today’s era you have to think about how your website will appear and function through a handheld device whether phone or tablet. I want to discuss three important issues to consider when designing your website: page sizing, navigation without a mouse, and loading media on a slow network. These topics are critical for a successful mobile website, if you don’t care about mobility then do not continue to read, better yet you might reconsider web design as a career.

First is page sizing and your layout. A desktop screen is approximately 1024 X 768 where as the iPhone screen is significantly smaller and can differ whether the user is viewing in portrait or landscape mode. Then you have the hundreds of other mobile screen sizes and tablet screen sizes to think about. In Smashing Magazine’s article: A User-Centered Approach to Web Design for Mobile Devices, they give a helpful 4-step process to mastering this task.

Bryan Rieger addresses the issue of designing for multiple screen sizes with a 4-step process:

  • Define device groups by grouping screens with similar widths together resulting in a manageable number of groups,
  • Create a default reference design that will adapt to smaller and larger screens,
  • Define rules for content and design adaptation for it to display well and
  • Opt for Web standards and a flexible layout.

Second, is the increasing use of touch screens requires simple navigation. Most mobile devices use your finger as direction movement and tiny keypads for word entry, unlike most desktops. Users will navigate your site on a smaller screen without a mouse; how do we make their experience magnificent? When creating the mobile navigation prioritize and simplify. Put the most used and most important (based on user statistics not your opinion) links up front. Make them easy to spot and easy to touch. Also, reduce the number of categories and levels on your navigation; it’s safe to say if the user is navigating on a mobile device they are on the move and need it quick don’t make them dig deep into the site for their answer.

Last issue I want to discuss is, media download. Users pay extra to navigate your website on their phone due to strict data usage policies cell phone companies require, do not waste their time or money. Keep your pages small so they can load quickly. We already reduce image sizes for web use, continue to reduce them for mobile use. Remember, mobile users need information quickly, so balance form and functionality, is it necessary to have all the bells and whistles for the mobile site? If not then eliminate them and leave the most important but do not completely compromise your sites look.