The Social Library


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The internet has profoundly challenged all constituents of the information economy: media, education, publishing and libraries. Social software, web 2.0, the read/write/web – all terms that were once the cusp of innovation and cutting edge – are now part of our everyday workflow. Libraries are constantly embracing new media and technologies to stay relevant, build awareness and ultimately engage with their users. Like most libraries, the University of British Columbia Library has a presence on social media, but how do we know what’s working and what’s not? Using a case study from UBC, we examine and measure the Library’s use of social media and how it interacts with users in a variety of ways, from events to promotions to informational questions, using its own auditing metrics and best practices.

Presented at the 2013 British Columbia Library Association annual conference in Richmond, BC May 10.
Jessica Woolman is the Web Communications Coordinator for UBC Library’s Communications and Marketing Department.
Allan Cho is a Program Services Librarian for the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

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The Social Library

  1. 1. The Social LibraryCase studies at UBC LibraryJessica Woolman & Allan ChoBritish Columbia Library Association ConferenceMay 10, 2013
  2. 2. What is social media?• Social media includes all online toolsthat allow social interaction (throughsharing, collaborating, commenting etc.)• It is a communication channel
  3. 3. Social Media in librariesHow are libraries using social media?76%of Association of Research Libraries (ARL)member libraries have active Twitter accounts
  4. 4. About UBC LibraryWe serve the University of British Columbia•  Over 60,000 faculty, students and staff•  15 branches and divisions, including off-campus locations at UBC-Oand Vancouver General Hospital•  Nearly 6.5 million volumes•  2.8 million in-person visits and 140,000+ reference questions
  5. 5. Social Media @UBC LibraryHow do branches use social media?
  6. 6. Social Media @UBC LibraryHow does “the Library” use social media?
  7. 7. How does it work?Where does the content come from?
  8. 8. How do you know it works?Metrics, analytics
  9. 9. Facebook Edgerank Algorithm:friend or foe?Edgerank is the algorithm used by Facebookto determine where and what posts appearon each individual users newsfeed. Thethree variables that make up this algorithmare affinity, weight and time decay.
  10. 10. What does this mean?•  AFFINITY: The more someone likes your stuff, the moreof your stuff they will see.•  WEIGHT: Posts are measured in weights – videos,photos and links = more weight•  TIME DECAY: The older a post is, the more it has lostvalue.Tips? Post consistently, post often, and post stuff peoplewill like to see: not just text! Be visual, relevant and timely.
  11. 11. YouTube as Webcasts
  12. 12. Location-based socialnetworking website formobile devices, such assmartphonesUsers post their locationat a venue ("check-in")and connect with friendsMobile Media: Foursquare and Layar
  13. 13. Download the Layar app•  Download via QR codeOR•  Login through:
  14. 14. The Project•  Irving K. Barber Learning Centre•  Recognition Wall•  UBC Digital Collections•  Institutional Repository (cIRcle)•  UBC Archives
  15. 15. Virtual RealityVirtual: computer generated, 3-d space
  16. 16. AR in ActionAugmented: digital information overlays a real world scene
  17. 17. •  The browser allows users to find various itemsbased upon augmented reality technology•  Uses built-in camera, compass, GPS•  Used together to identify the user’s location andfield of view•  From the geographical position, the variousforms of data are laid over the camera view•  Other popular browsers: Junaio, Wikitude,Glasses?AR Apps: Layar & Stiktu
  18. 18. Sample point-of-interest (POI)Set to replace QRcodesGeolocation orObjectRecognition
  19. 19. Dr. Irving K. Barber
  20. 20. Student studying (top left)Musqueam house post (right)UBC’s Great Trek(bottom left)
  21. 21. Thanks!Jessica WoolmanWeb Communications Coordinatorjessica.woolman@ubc.caAllan ChoCommunity Engagement
  22. 22. Photos courtesy of UBC Library, except where noted below:•  Augmented Reality. Charles Arthor, The Observer.Augmented Reality: its like real life, but better. March 2010.•  Virtual Reality.•  AR in action. James Rivington, Tech Radar. Google Glass: what you need to know.•  Layar.
  23. 23. For more info on libraries using Twitter:Willie Miller & Brian Matthews. ”ARL Klout study: significance of Twitter in academic libraries.”Conference presentation, March 2012.Nancy Dowd. “Social Media: Libraries Are Posting, but Is Anyone Listening?” Library Journal,May 7, 2013.For more info on metrics:Susan Etlinger, Altimeter Group. @setlinger"Measure or Die: Making Social Media Actionable." Schmulen, Constant Contact. @mschmulen"The New Rules of Engagement: How Email & Social Media Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand toGrow Business.”