Youtube, founded in 2005, is a very popular social media service, affording individuals the ability to upload and view videos. SinceYoutube has grown in popularity, many organizations, including universities and libraries, have incorporated Youtube channels to upload educational and promotional videos. According to Colburn and Haines (2012), “A Pew study from July 2011 reported that 71 percent of adult Internet users have watched videos online at video sharing sites such as YouTube or Google Video. These percentages have grown steadily from 2006, when only 33 percent of respondents had visited a video sharing site.” (Colburn and Haines, 2012, pg. 6) Therefore, it would be prudent for libraries to take advantage of this popular service. Having utilized Youtube in the past, I have never accessed educational videos through this service. In order to determine how other libraries utilize Youtube, I recently spent time exploring videos posted by other library websites. In addition, I have explored search options to acquire articles best suited for Youtube utilization in a library setting. To help promote the library, who employs me, applying my acquired knowledge to suggest content of related Youtube videos would be beneficial.
There are various techniques for libraries to employ Youtube, such as the utilization of video creation to share knowledge with other librarians about topics pertaining to the library. Additionally, Youtube videos can be utilized to promote libraries in a variety of ways. Colburn and Haines (2012) lists an assortment of promotional videos libraries can develop, which include “1. General Promotion/Appreciation; 2. Orientation/Tour; 3. Patron-Generated; 4. Promotion of Service/Collection; 5. Event Documentation; 6. News; and 7. Instruction/Tutorial.” (Haines and Coburn, 2012, pg. 9) Colburn and Haines also note that it is judicious for libraries to share videos on other social networking platforms utilized by the library and their website. This is an excellent suggestion, since it helps generate interest regarding promoted library videos.
Colburn, S. S., & Haines, L. (2012). Measuring Libraries’ Use of YouTube as a Promotional Tool: An Exploratory Study and Proposed Best Practices. Journal Of Web Librarianship, 6(1), 5-31.
Recently, I read a Facebook post about a librarian who helped a young homeless man set up a Google Voice account. The homeless individual had recently attained freelance work. Although he did not have a permanent phone number, it was essential that he secure a client contact number. The young man was extremely grateful because Google Voice enabled him to pursue permanent employment.
After encountering this post, I considered additional opportunities when libraries could utilize Google Voice. According to the Google support page, “Google Voice gives you one number for all of your phones — a phone number that is tied to you, not to a device or a location. Make and pick up calls, send and get texts, and read and listen to voicemails on your phone, tablet, or computer.” (Google Voice, n.d., para. 1). Google Voice can be used to send text messages from a computer, read transcriptions of voice mails, screen calls, and direct calls to any phone. Research on best practices helps librarians understand how to best utilize Google Voice in a library setting. Knowledge obtained from this assignment will afford me the opportunity to suggest to the library where I am employed, how to incorporate Google Voice into services they presently offer.
There are several ways in which Google Voice can be applicable to libraries. Google Voice can be utilized to implement a SMS/Text reference service. Patrons can text reference questions to the library and librarians can respond without sharing personal numbers. American Libraries Magazine states, “Simply enter the recipient’s phone number (which must be able to receive text messages as most all cellphones can), type your message, and click “send.” You can use the service to reply by text message to a voicemail, call, or text. Patrons can respond to your text from their phone, and you can respond from your Google Voice account and browser.” (Kroski, 2013, para. 21) Secondly, Google Voice can be utilized to send patron notifications, such as the availability of books placed on hold. However, there is no way to schedule text messages. Each message must be sent manually and individually. This feature presents an inconvenience for larger libraries but is extremely useful for the smaller library.
Kroski, E. (2013, February 27). 10 Great Technology Initiatives for Your Library. American Libraries Magazine
. Retrieved from http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2013/02/27/10-great-technology-initiatives-for-your-library/
Snapchat, a smartphone application, is a type of social media. Users can send pictures or short video clips to other users. These pictures and videos, referred to as snaps, can be decorated in a variety of ways. Prior to transmittal, they offer the capability of adding text captions. The videos or pictures disappear after ten second, which makes this service unique. Users can also add photos and videos to a “story” which can be viewed for 24 hours after the story is posted. Hands on experience, exploring the Snapchat application, is the best method for acquiring knowledge about app utilization. Researching best use practices can help librarians understand how to effectively employ snapchat within a library setting. Having completed this assignment, I can now utilize this Snapchat knowledge to create advertising materials in future employment.
Snapchat relates to library work, since it can be employed in advertising programs and services. For example, librarians can take turns creating a “day in the life of a librarian.” Libraries could send out snaps about new materials or services. However, as the majority of snapchat users are teens and young adults, it would be especially prudent to utilize this app with patrons in this age range. Libraries can develop creative contests for these patrons. Teens and young adults could create Snapchat stories about “…how a book is made, abridged version of a classic novel, etc” (Alfonzo, 2013, para 6.) or a library service they enjoy; the winner could receive a prize. These types of contests could be run in conjunction with the library’s summer reading program.
Quick Reference Codes, better known as QR codes, are similar to bar codes. However, QR Codes contain more data than traditional bar codes. QR Codes have steadily been gaining popularity with smartphone users. Users can employ an application that utilizes the smartphone camera to scan the code and can be automatically directed to a website or a specific application. The majority of QR codes link to websites; however, they can also link to other information. (“QR Code”, 2014) Hands on experience in using and designing QR codes is the fastest way to gain understanding of QR Codes. Incorporation of QR Codes can be incorporated in my future workplace by assisting patrons with location information.
There are many ways libraries can utilize QR Codes. For example, libraries can add QR Codes to flyers that advertise events. Patrons can scan the codes and be directed to the event registration page on the library website. Libraries can also develop QR Codes to create an online scavenger hunt. Porter and King (2013) describe an example of a library using a QR Code. One of the authors, David King, works for the Topeka & Shawnee Count Public Library (TSCPL). As part of The Big Read initiative, TSCPL chose The Maltese Falcon as the focus of this program. They created a community-wide scavenger hunt. Patrons visited various businesses where QR Codes were hidden within the community. Patrons scanned QR Codes which directed them to questions about The Maltese Falcon. Once the questions were completed, they were entered into a prize drawing. For the purpose of engaging library patrons, this community endeavor was a very creative way to utilize QR Codes. The authors state that over 300 patrons started the scavenger hunt but it was completed by eight. However, they consider it to be a success because they learned “….something, and can adapt and grow from that information.” (Porter and King, 2013, Para. 7)
Porter, M., & King, D. (2013, April 29). QR Codes in Libraries: Some Examples. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/04/qr-codes-in-libraries-some-examples/
QR Codes. (2014, July 23). Retrieved February 23, 2016, from http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=QR_Codes