socialseries Web 2.0

1. Twitter

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows I’m a total Twitter fangirl. I use it, and love it, daily. I evangelize about it! But, when I tell people how wonderful it is to have the collective mind floating through my Firefox sidebar each day, do I really do the possible useful applications of Twitter for libraries justice? Probably not, so here goes!
First, there are a lot of great posts out there about how to use Twitter in libraries. The last one (linked to the word “libraries”) even has a great explanation of what Twitter is. This is a great starting point to learn how other people use Twitter.
One great use of Twitter by a library is at LPI Library. They use it both for announcements of new books and programs, but also to contribute to the conversations that go on among the librarians using Twitter. The library ( for The Lunar and Planetary Institute) provides a lot of great information on topics within it’s specialty – it’s a handy Twitterer to follow whether you are interested in library topics or astronomical topics.
The way we (as in MRRL) use Twitter is as an announcement broadcaster that has the ability to broadcast our news to people’s cell phones, IM clients, web browsers and email clients – whichever they prefer. The way I (as in Webgoddess) use Twitter is as a water-cooler. I spend more time responding to other people in a conversational way as I do announcing what it is I’m doing. I spend as much time asking questions of the “hive mind” as I do announcing what it is I’m doing. Yes, I use it to keep my co-workers and friends apprised of what it is I’m doing with my day, but I like the social, not-quite-gossipy, but definitely chatty aspect of Twitter just as much as I do the work-related announcements of what I’m up to.
One very recent use of twitter (I blogged about it the other day) is to provide reference services via the Twitter architecture. The original idea is as a decentralized, 24/7 reference service, but it could be personalized for use in a busy library with a heavy population of cell phone users as well. Perhaps not as 24/7 service, but definitely during busy reference hours. The ability to text in reference questions is something that some libraries (Yale, for example) is doing already. Twitter would let smaller libraries offer this service without investing in the underlying architecture to handle the text messages – Twitter does that for them.
These are some of the uses that I find Twitter ideally suited for. What does your library do with Twitter? Is anyone using RSS from the catalog to populate a Twitter feed? How do you use Twitter?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Relation Browser
0 Recommended Articles:
0 Recommended Articles: