Libraries & Google+: Yet Another Platform to Reach Users

Courtesy of venturebeat.com

So if you represented a nonprofit organization that provided services to individuals and were looking to grow your organization’s sphere of influence, increase user interaction and engagement, and at the same time gather demographic information about your users by using a new tool, would you present it to your boss/supervisor/managers?  What if it didn’t cost you anything to implement, besides time to plan and maintain your organizational message?  What if you knew you could recruit others in your organization to help you with the workload, as mentioned, whereby the additional work would be negligible?  You would do it right??!!!  OF COURSE YOU WOULD!

This is exactly what is happening with libraries throughout the United States.  A great number of libraries are creating organizational accounts on Google+, since Google only recently made its social networking platform available for this.  David Rapp of the Digital Shift blog describes the use of this new service for libraries in his post Libraries on Google+.  Accordingly, since the inception of Google+ in June of 2010, over six months ago, there are now 40 million individual using it, and libraries are now signing up in the same fashion and at a comparable rate to create their own organizational accounts.
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Reflections on Ref 2.0

2.0 whatever

Courtesy of freeminecraft.org

Ah, the ubiquitous and all encompassing topic of REFERENCE 2.0.  In the time-honored tradition of the 2.0 designation, this topic has been attributed the same general, amorphous distinction of not having specificity attached to it, but dawns the uber inclusive and always fascinating pop culture label given to social media employed for a specific use within a profession or service.

There are almost an uncountable number of opinions and interpretations as to what providing this service means to library patrons, the most efficient and useful ways to do so, and what to call it at YOUR library … best practices and unsolicited advice abound in every corner and crevice of the information profession.
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Non-profit use of Social Media and its Impact: Funding

This is the third post of a four part series devoted to social media’s use within nonprofit organizations, Funding.  The first of the series was Engagement & Empowerment and the second was Increasing Presence and Transparency.

Funding

Courtesy of thinkquest.org

Social software’s impact on fundraising for nonprofit organizations has been significant.  When supporters are able to more easily make donations using social software, they gain a greater sense of community and ownership of the ideas embodied in the organizations they are supporting.

This technology has made it easier for organizations to raise funds through allowing third party developers the chance to create widgets that can be embedded in existing non-profit Web pages.  One such example is Razoo’s Donate Anywhere widget, which allows widgets to be embedded in their social media platforms, Facebook or Twitter, or on their own fundraising site per Livingston(2010).  Another example of using social software for fund raising is to use a person-to-person approach.

Courtesy of luckydoganimalrescue.org


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Nonprofit use of Social Media and its Impact: Engagement & Empowerment

Courtesy of Time.com

Social software has infiltrated many aspects of our daily lives.  This technology’s ubiquitous acceptance by society can be seen in mass media and even heard on the radio.  Network television content will regularly ask for feedback or be holding a contest that involves their Facebook page or their Twitter account and how their viewers can follow them or interact with the personalities viewers see when they turn to that station.

Using social software in this way creates another avenue for individuals to interact and communicate.  This technology has a built-in, inherent inclusiveness to it, which lends itself well to promoting ideas, ideals, and even mass media content to large groups of online users.  In this way it allows groups of individuals to create communities based on their loose affiliations, which promotes the growth of these communities.
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Reader’s Advisory Tools

I decided to review and compare two online reader’s advisory tools Allreaders.com and FictionDB.com.  I chose these two reader’s advisory (RA) tools because they are both free and seemed to be the most similar out of the ten tools listed in our text book.  As the Cassell and Hiremath text states, RA tools should be evaluated based on five reference needs: content, scope, originator, format and purpose.  I will base my criteria for evaluating these two sites on these five reference needs.  Then I will draw from each evaluation their individual strengths and weaknesses.
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Marketing Libraries: Insights

        

Here is another paper I wrote for my Library Marketing class, LIBR 283.  As always, my comments are meant to be constructive and from the perspective of a SLIS graduate student.

Marketing for nonprofit organizations has its own distinguishing aspects that help differentiate it from commercial entities.  Nonprofits are not only exchanging economic measurements, they are asking individuals to change their beliefs and perceptions for an ideal the nonprofit organization believes in and has a vested interest in maintaining and growing.  In this way nonprofits are marketing their ideas and values to individuals and other organizations.

Libraries are a shining example of how dynamic marketing for a nonprofit organization can be.  Like many organizations, libraries have many stakeholders that are affected by their marketing efforts.  These stakeholders include their immediate customers, the library staff, the communities they operate within, and their state and local governments.  Understanding their unique environment and their customers’ perceived costs and benefits is paramount to the successful marketing of library services.
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Org- or Customer-Centered?

I recently completed an assignment for my Marketing for Libraries class on the marketing mindset of nonprofit organizations.  The assignment made me think about where I work and how libraries are operating from a weak position compared to the competition they face from other information providers.  Marketing the libraries services and vision has got to be one of the single most difficult aspects of managing a library, however it is also one of the most important management functions.  The marketing function at a library has the potential to make it shine bright in a sky full of stars, but if this function is neglected and relegated to an unsubstantial position within a library’s overall planning, then the organization will suffer greatly in the long-term.  This could lead to less funding, less visibility, and overall less usage of library resources and services by the community it serves.

I focused in on my current employer to gain a better understanding of how a nonprofit organization is affected by its marketing mindset, Washington State University Libraries.  I do not wish to disparage my employer or talk poorly of them and this critique is meant to be strictly constructive.  Again, this was an assignment I completed for my SJSU SLIS graduate program and I am writing this post as a SLIS student and as a user of the Washington State University Libraries’ services.
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