Social media is a tool used for electronic communication between networks. Boiled down, social media is using websites and apps designed for social networking and blogging through which users can share information, ideas, and other content like videos and pictures.
Social media is the perfect marketing tool for libraries as it allows your patrons and community members to see where you are located, your hours, and what programs you have going on that might be interesting to them. You can promote all of your library services through social media platforms.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, social media became an important way for libraries to connect with their patrons by giving updates of their closures, re-opening plans, and online programming such as virtual storytimes, trivia, and book clubs. Since libraries are highly trusted, libraries were well-situated to share relevant health and safety information to their communities through social media.
Examples of social media platforms that libraries often use:
Other platforms that libraries use may also include:
First and foremost, libraries should give serious consideration to implementing a social media policy. A policy can help outline guidelines on what and how to post, and help ensure libraries are getting the most out of their social media usage.
There are many resources available online regarding libraries and social media, and here are a couple of terrific places to start:
Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.