Some light library inspo to start the New Year…

Because really who wants to tackle some heavy reading or weighty issues first up in 2016?

I was fortunate enough to attend Shout! Karanga Rā, the annual LIANZA conference in Wellington in November.  Unlike the physical exhaustion I experienced in completing the my first half marathon in Queenstown that same month, post-conference it was my brain that was overwhelmed after four days of ideas, conversations, laughter, themes and information.

Speakers from New Zealand and around the world inspired, challenged and made us laugh. In the interests of keeping things light to kick off the year, here are some memorable quotes and comments that captured my attention:

“The library listens, interprets and makes awesome things happen” + The public library should be fun!” – the effervescent Justin Hoenke Director of Benson Memorial Library in Pennsylvania.

“Australia is full of bogans” – Ghil’ad Zuckermann, chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, currently working on the revival of the Barngarla Aboriginal language. Fascinating style of delivery for his keynote opening with a Hebrew song sung to the tune of Pokarekare Ana and great application of the ‘Driver Reviver’ message to saving languages.

“Everyone f**king hates councils, but everyone loves libraries” – Nigel Latta wondering why his council doesn’t promote their libraries as their awesome service to improve credibility with their ratepayers + “work life balance is bollocks” + “practice a growth mindset” – changing your worldview from fixed to one open to change.

“The World Wide Web is the reading room of the 21st century” – Bill MacNaught, National Librarian.

“The library is the Agora of the community” + “libraries need to be more like Bowie” – Kim Tairi, University Librarian, Swinburne University.

Kim Tairi keynote
Kim Tairi keynote. LIANZA Conference. Wednesday 11 November 2015. Flickr LIANZA-2015-IMG_0853

“Do what people need but market what they want” – Ned Potter from the University of York and his Library Marketing Manifesto.

Ned Potter
Ned Potter. LIANZA Conference. Tuesday 10 November 2015. Flickr LIANZA-2015-IMG_0702

 

Tweetapalooza at the LIANZA Conference 2015

The LIANZA Conference 2015 was brilliant – loud, proud, full of ideas. And the rowdiness wasn’t just in the building – it was online. I’ve never been to an event where so many people were tweeting, taking pics, and typing on devices. I got to meet plenty of the wonderful library people I connect with on Twitter.

It was a veritable Tweetapalooza – the hashtag #shout15 was even trending on NZ Twitter at various times.

I’ve pulled together a bunch of conference tweets using Storify. It is a good way to get the flavour of Shout! Karanga Rā:

Stuart Palmer  @s_palm did some great analysis of how many #shout15 tweets were published, how they connected, etc.  9561 tweets recorded as at 12 November.

The hashtag #shout15 still has legs, as keynote speaker Ned Potter has shared this frank and wonderful post on what it means to come all the way to Aotearoa for a conference.

I’ve been thinking of another thing to consider about tweeting from a conference – should you tweet as your institution, or as yourself? I made the call to do it as the library. There are pros and cons to that – tweeting as Christchurch City Libraries meant we showed we were in amongst it. But it also meant people who follow @ChristchurchLib got a lot more insider library stuff than usual. It’s open to debate.

Why is Twitter so useful at a library conference?:

  1. A tweet shows ideas that hit the mark, provoked, excited, challenged, surprised. It is like an exclamation marking saying “This!”
  2. You can get a glimpse into the sessions you didn’t go to. Your envy might be mollified (or enhanced) by the way someone tweets about it.
  3. It is a handy aide–mémoire for recalling the ideas that you found most interesting. Makes writing up your notes much easier! You’ve already used the highlighter by tweeting something.
  4. It allows anyone who is not at conference to see what people are shouting about.
  5. You can use the hashtag to hunt out other people’s splendid thoughts. And share them, passionately.

Finally, I’d like to do a shoutout for @leerowe who did something that combined Twitter (digital) and analogue in a deeply appealing way – it is proof that the way you use Twitter at a conference can be idiosyncratic, personal, and filled with character.

Spread the word: Using social media to promote community programmes and events

Christchurch City Libraries has been using social media since 2007 when we started our blog. Since then, we have added Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. These tools help us share our stuff, inform people about events and resources, and allow us to have conversations with our customers. Here are some things to consider, particularly if your community group is using social media.

Think, practice, and play

Why does your group want to use social media? The best reason is to be where people are, and to be able to communicate with them. Once you’ve decided that, there are many social media tools you can use.

Play with them as yourself before you launch your organisation’s online presence. This gives you time to see how the platform works, to practice using it, and to become more familiar with getting the best out of the medium. Once you have launched on a social network, spend some time posting and browsing.

Bike Maintenance Evening

Orange Chair @ Parklands. Bike Maintenance Evening with The Bike Shop’s Graeme Taylor at Parklands Library, 18 June 2015. Flickr: Orange-Chair-Bike-Maintenance-1060721.jpg

Plan and prepare

Once you’ve become more familiar with how social media and various platforms work, consider how you will use it. Think sustainability.

  • What tools best suit your organisation?
  • Who will be doing the writing and posting?
  • How much time do they have?
  • Can the tasks be shared?

Favourite tweets and like Facebook posts that you think work well. You can learn a lot from good examples:

  • What wording works?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • What makes you want to read more?

Be there

The most effectively communicated message is tailored to the medium – in Twitter you need to be pithy and punchy, in Facebook you have a bit more room to explain things.

There are tools that allow you to share posts between platforms, but it is best to do a Facebook post in Facebook etc. Being present also allows you to gauge what’s happening in the community, to answer queries, and to take part in discussions.

You should be a listener as well as a broadcaster.

The World of David Walliams
David Walliams. WORD Christchurch Autumn Season. Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margarets College, Christchurch. Flickr 2015-05-14-IMG_7286

Timeliness

Be alert. If something is in the news, share what you have that is useful and relevant. Timeliness is one of the most powerful advantages of social media – it is no coincidence that Twitter is quoted often by the media. If you are promoting an event, give people plenty of prior warning and follow up with more messages closer to the time. It is not a simple matter of mentioning the event once.

Photos, pictures, and video are powerhouses

What’s the stuff that gets people revved up in social media? Images and videos – historical and  contemporary – have great traction. Whether they are heritage images, photos of events, or shots from around town – these are often things that get retweeted, reposted, liked, and shared.

We use Flickr to manage our images, and this works well in a social media context. You can plop images easily into blog posts. It also interacts well with Twitter, Facebook,  and Tumblr. Build up your collection of images by keeping your eyes peeled for interesting things. It is easy to take and share photos in the age of digital cameras and smartphones.

If you are on Facebook, have a go at making an album of images. They make the most of your pictures, and are easily shareable. Think about the size of the image you are using – a PDF A4 portrait poster might look good pinned up on a noticeboard, but on Facebook it’s not ideal.

If you have graphics, images, or posters you want people to share or print out, consider having a downloads section on your blog or website.

Taking photos during your event is not only a record of what happened, it is a great tool for you to use when promoting your next one.

Te Pao o Tahu kapa haka group in performance

Te Pao o Tahu kapa haka group in performance Matariki at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Sunday 21 June 2015. Flickr: 2015-06-21-IMG_7703

Participate as well as promote

Start conversations with your followers. If you have questions, ask them. Answer their questions. Comment on their posts. Follow other local groups and organisations, and you will be setting up a useful network for your group.

If you want an idea on which organisations to follow, see who your favourite groups are following – and then follow them too. Build up your network and you will start seeing interconnections, crossovers, and ways in which you could work together.

The reciprocal sharing of information and ideas is one of social media’s great strengths. It is a place to broadcast your message, but also to listen to what other have to say, and talk about it. Sharing is a two-way street and offers lots of opportunities.

Promoting both your own activities, and those of other groups, is a way to maximise engagement with the community. Hashtags – which work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr – are a way of hooking into a wider community.

If you worry that social media is catering only to the online community, remember that people online talk to people offline too – so your message can be spread through word of mouth.

Facebook

Facebook has a large audience, and allows you to connect with relevant groups and local organisations. Creating a page gives you a space to share events and other information.

As at April 2015, over 2.5 million Kiwis active on Facebook every month. Find out more Key trends about Kiwis on Facebook.

Facebook photos

Facebook automatically resize and format your photos when you add them to Facebook. To help make sure your photos appear in the highest possible quality, try these tips from Facebook:

Resize your photo to one of the following supported sizes: Regular photos (width in pixels): 720px, 960px, 2048px. Cover photos should be 851px by 315px

Use Insights

Facebook Insights allows you to find out more about your users. What demographic are they in? When are they online? What posts do they find most engaging? Use the data to help you. For example, we found our users were mostly online between 6pm and 9pm. We can schedule posts for this time for maximum reach.

Create events

Facebook events are a great way of building a community. If you make an event page, you can invite people to the event, and you can also share information on it. See our Matariki event on Facebook.

Matariki1

Facebook advertising

If you have some money in your budget for advertising, consider using some of it on Facebook ads or boosted posts. You can target your information using demographics, and ensure your information gets a wider reach out into the community.

untitled-1

Useful Facebook resources

Facebook pages

Here are some local Facebook pages that illustrate how an active presence and community can work well. They take a different approach and yet are all effective:

Other social media platforms and tools

  • Twitter is a microblogging platform with a fast sharing, active community.
  • Instagram is increasingly popular, and allows you to add filters to your images and pin them to a location.
  • Tumblr lets you create attractive, highly visual blog posts.
  • WordPress and Blogger are blogging platforms, and many groups use their blog as a website.
  • Flickr is a photo-based blogging platform.
  • Social media management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck allow you to monitor interactions and to schedule posts.

There are of course many more …

Conversationprism

Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3 (http://www.theconversationprism.com/) [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Resources

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet of Photo & Image Sizes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Networks [Infographic]  Hubspot

Social Media Gameplan
A nine-step guide by Sport New Zealand for sports organisations starting off in social media.

Honoa te hapori me te hapu – ki te ipurangi – Getting your community and hapu online
A Department of Internal Affairs resource to help communities, hapū and iwi develop digital initiatives.

Social media
Useful information on social media in the New Zealand Government Web Toolkit.

Christchurch City Council courses for event organisers
Learn how to plan, organise and promote your own community recreation programme or event. CCC regularly run two workshops throughout the year: Get Set Go! and Spread the Word! These workshops and guides have been designed in collaboration with Wellington City Council.


Information updated 20 October 2016.
This post is an updated version of a 2013 post.

I’ll tumblr 4 ya

Tumblr2Tumblr. Think of it and no doubt you think of the associated phrase F*** Yeah. There are plenty of wibbly GIFs and fan stuff (Is Michael Fassbender a shark?) and a lot more besides. As a blogging platform, it is easy to set up, fast-growing, and has recently been purchased by Yahoo.

If you go to Explore Tumblr, you will get a feel for the type of stuff being posted: LOL, Food, Fashion, Art, Vintage are the current top five tags. You can follow Tumblrs, and tagging is critical as it is the main means of finding stuff.

Excellent background reading is found in two articles:

I love Kate’s description of  Tumblr as “the best baby Twitter and WordPress didn’t know they ever had.”

Central Hawke’s Bay District Libraries is the only Kiwi library doing it at an institutional level, but New Zealand librarians are colonising the space. I’ve been dabbling for a while, in order to figure out how and why a library might want to be in this social space. Here are some observations:

The potent image

There is a strong visual component to Tumblr. GIFs, video, images, photos, and even text itself are all well-handled in all the blog themes. If you have an art or photo collection that you want to promote, Tumblr should be a strong contender.

Even the monthly archive of your blog pulls together posts in a super-visual style:

Tumblr

Literature lovers unite

Publishers, booksellers, literary people, and readers hang out on Tumblr. They share literary news, photos, and snippets of interesting stuff. Often these people or groups will have a Twitter, Facebook, possibly a Flickr, and Tumblr is their publishing place of choice for longer format material.

Things to think about

It is easy to share …

You will find a lot of sites make it easy to post stuff to Tumblr. You can also reblog posts you like. This is super-easy – I especially love how you can get Flickr images up into Tumblr with a simple click. I’ve set my Tumblr up so it fires off a tweet when a new post goes up. It is all interconnected and simple.

– but who does the content belong to?

When you reblog a post, it looks like it is your content which can lead to confusion. Sometimes it is unclear where the post originally came from, or who owns the content. This can be problematic for libraries in terms of copyright and attribution.

An in-between place

Not as short as Facebook and Twitter, not as discursive as your WordPress/Blogspot blog or website – Tumblr can serve as a place where you both share your own content and repost stuff that is useful, interesting, and relevant.

Let’s get together

Tumblr would be a great space for us for the GLAM sector to share content collaboratively. It would be an environment in which to share our historical content and images (remember vintage is one of the top five tags – so there is an inbuilt audience). Some of us keen on making DigitalNZ sets had a go at promoting the gems we found via The DigitalNZ Fan Club.

Tasty Tumblrs

Smithsonian Libraries
A Tumblr of semi-random stuff from the stacks of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Millions millions
The official Tumblr feed for The Millions, the online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture.
The Composites
Images created using a commercially available law enforcement composite sketch software and descriptions of literary characters.
Writers no one reads
Highlighting forgotten, neglected, abandoned, forsaken, unrecognized, unacknowledged, overshadowed, out-of-fashion, under-translated writers.
Unhistorical
Day-by-day reflections on history and culture

Tumblr tags

Reading list

This article was also published in Library Life’s social media issue, August 2013.

Spread the word: Using social media to promote community programmes and events

Audience at Mark Sommerset reading at Central Library
Take photos of your events and share them around. Mark Sommerset drew a happy crowd at Central Library Tuam.

Christchurch City Libraries has been using social media since 2007 when we started our blog. Since then, we have added Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter. These tools help us share our stuff, inform people about events and resources, and allow us to have conversations with our customers.

Here are some things to consider about launching your community group on social media:

Practice and play

Play in the tools as yourself before you launch your organisation’s online presence. This gives you time to see how it works, to practice using it, and to become more familiar with getting the best out of the medium. Once you have launched on a social network, spend some time posting and browsing.

Plan and prepare

Think sustainability.

  • What tools best suit your organisation?
  • Who will be doing the writing and posting?
  • How much time do they have?
  • Can the tasks be shared?

Favourite tweets and like Facebook posts that you think work well. You can learn a lot from good examples:

  • What wording works?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • What makes you want to read more?

Be there

Kids' artwork
Keep your eyes peeled for interesting things. It is easy to take and share photos in the age of digital cameras and smartphones.

The most effectively communicated message is tailored to the medium – in Twitter you need to be pithy and punchy, in Facebook you have a bit more room to explain things. There are tools that allow you to share posts between platforms, but it is best to do a Facebook post in Facebook etc.

Being present also allows you to gauge what’s happening in the community, to answer queries, and to take part in discussions. You should be a listener as well as a broadcaster.

Timeliness

Be alert. If something is in the news, share what you have that is useful and relevant. Timeliness is one of the most powerful advantages of social media – it is no coincidence that Twitter is quoted often by the media.

If you are promoting an event, give people plenty of prior warning and follow up with more messages closer to the time. It is not a simple matter of mentioning the event once.

Photos and pictures are powerhouses

What’s the stuff that gets people revved up in social media? We’ve found that images have great traction. Whether they are heritage images, photos of events, or shots from around town – these are often the things that get retweeted, reposted, liked, and shared. If you are on Facebook, have a go at making an album of images. They make the most of your pictures, and are easily shareable.

We use Flickr to manage our images, and this works well in a social media context. You can plop images into blog posts. It also interacts well with Twitter and Tumblr.

If you have graphics, images, or posters you want people to share or print out, consider having a downloads section on your blog or website.

Example: New Zealand Post Book Awards

Participate as well as promote

St Asaph Street sign
What’s happening in your neck of the woods? Show you have an eye on local stuff.

Start conversations with your followers. If you have questions, ask them. Answer their questions. Comment on their posts.

Follow other local groups and organisations, and you will be setting up a useful network for your group. If you want an idea on which organisations to follow, see who your favourite groups are following – and then follow them too. Build up your network and you will start seeing interconnections, crossovers, and ways in which you could work together.

The reciprocal sharing of information and ideas is one of social media’s great strengths. It is a place to broadcast your message, but also to listen to what other have to say, and talk about it. Sharing is a two-way street and offers lots of opportunities. Promoting both your own activities, and those of other groups, is a way to maximise engagement with the community.

If you worry that social media is catering only to the online community, remember that people online talk to people offline too – so your message can be spread through word of mouth.

Tools

Facebook has a large audience, and allows you to connect with relevant groups and local organisations, Creating a page gives you a space to share events and other information:

Here are some local Facebook pages that illustrate how an active presence and community can work well. They take a different approach and yet are all effective:

Other tools:

  • Twitter is a microblogging platform with a fast sharing, active community.
  • Tumblr lets you create attractive, highly visual blog posts. It is popular with teens.
  • WordPress and Blogger are blogging platforms, and many groups use their blog as a website.
  • Flickr is a photo-based blogging platform.

Resources

Web and social media Sports New Zealand
Effective use of online channels is increasingly critical for sports organisations. Many in New Zealand have risen to the opportunity with great creativity and understanding.
Includes a nine-step guide to using social media for New Zealand sports organisations starting off in social media.

How-to Guides – Social Networking CommunityNet Aotearoa
Resources for setting up and running community organisations and projects.

Christchurch City Council courses for event organisers Learn how to plan, organise and promote your own community recreation programme or event. CCC regularly run two workshops throughout the year: Get Set Go! and Spread the Word! These workshops and guides have been designed in collaboration with Wellington City Council.