Category Archives: Social Media

Using Twitter to Promote the Library and Engage the Community

twitter-bird-white-on-blueTwitter is a great tool that allows you to connect with millions of people around the world. You can promote your library’s holiday hours, upcoming teen events, new exhibits, or whenever you are offering free classes. It can also be a powerful tool to connect with local businesses, organizations, and individuals in your community.

If your library partners with local organizations such as the Humane Society, YMCA, or Boy/Girl Scouts, twitter can be an outlet to support those partnerships. This can also help open the door to new collaboration opportunities. Building conversations via twitter can help connect your message with others in the community.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • When composing a tweet, keep it conversational.
BOOKTOBERFEST at the Downtown Lib! There will be @Yuengling_Beer & German food! #oclsbooktoberfest
  • Share something people can take with them, like a link or photo.

Hernando Co. Library ‏@HernandoLibrary 7 Sep 
Photos posted from our last #Art Attack at the Main #Library. Thanks @NatureCoastTV for filming! 

  • You can ask a question and respond to patron inquiries.

Al and Jessie on the road to Volusia County for a TBLC Technology Roadshow #ontheroadagain #techgeeks 
from Ormond Beach, FL

@TBLC Cool, how did it go?

@KeeslingMary awesome! Love talking about gadgets for #librarians

  • Update often because you don’t want your page to be stale.

Check out the State College of Florida Libraries @SCFlibraries  

Here are a few examples of people in the community and Florida organizations you can follow:

  • local hospitals
  • county government
  • government officials
  • newspaper editors
  • county or local newspaper
  • free newspapers (i.e creative loafing or TBT)
  • local film associations
  • town or city guides
  • Florida Trend
  • FEMA
  • entrepreneurs
  • local ministries
  • early learning coalition
  • big brother/big sister
  • YMCA
  • Department of Children and Families
  • Schools / Colleges in the area
  • government -economic development
  • aquariums or zoos in the area
  • local cafe’s or restaurants
  • news stations
  • museums
  • local athletic clubs (biking, running)
  • girl scouts/ boy scouts
  • bloggers
  • radio stations (big names and local)
  • festivals in the area (art or music)
  • hospice
  • local organizations for advocacy, leadership, marketing, or economic growth
  • public broadcasting
  • community leaders
  • emergency preparedness companies/ government
  • agriculture industry
  • local hotels
  • extension counterpart
  • community radio
  • community groups (planters, knitters, etc)
  • habitat for humanity in the county
  • chamber of commerce


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App of the Week: Path

PathApp: Path

Cost: Free

Availability: Android and iOS

Path is a private sharing network that allows you to post information about your life with close friends and family. The app let’s you create a timeline that highlights interactions with friends and family, pictures, posts, locations, music and quotes.

Path is very similar to Facebook, but has the qualities of a more intimate setting. This social media app was designed for close-knit sharing to escape the public aspect of Facebook. You can only friend 150 people on Path, another way to only share with those close to you.

Path was launched back in November of 2010. They currently have over five million active users. If you have patrons coming into the library looking for a way to share information with their family, or students looking to share information with only a close group of friends, this is the app to suggest.

Getting Started: You can download the app in either iTunes or the Google Play Store.

Personal Take: One of the nice attributes of Path is that it is private. They believe that individuals  should always be in control of the information you share and I like that. I think so many of these social networking sites have moved away from that, and this site brings back that intimate sharing environment.

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How to create a Secret Board on Pinterest

If you already have a Pinterest account and you have been pinning and organizing all of your pictures, posts, and websites, it’s time to learn something new! Here’s how to create a secret board in Pinterest. Secret boards allow pinners to hide specific boards from followers and other viewers.

Every user can add up to three secret boards. Existing boards cannot be made private because other people may have already repinned items from that board.

How to set up a secret board:

  • At the bottom of your profile page, below all of your boards, there will be an area for secret boards.
  • Click on the secret board to add the board name and category.
  • You can invite certain people to have access to your secret board, or no one at all.
  • If you would like to turn your secret board into a public board, you can change the options in your settings.

Secret boards on your mobile device:

  • Both for IOS and Android devices
  • Click on your profile tab in your app, then your boards tab, and scroll to the bottom to create a secret board

Examples on why a secret board would be useful:

  • If you are planning a surprise event in the library
  • New children’s or youth program in the process of creating
  • Party for the friends of the library or trustees
  • Retirement party for a colleague

Follow Me on Pinterest

Looking to learn more on Pinterest? Check out What’s Trending in Technology: Pinterest

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What’s Trending in Technology: Infographics

Infographics, they are everywhere lately! You will find them streaming on Pinterest, popping up in articles and magazines, and even Dunkin’ Donuts! So what are they? Infographics are visual creations that display information or data graphically. The design portrays conceptual information easily. These graphics help you communicate complex or statistical data by using symbols, colors and images to describe a process or specific information. They can be great for libraries to represent an increase in users, programs and services available to the community and even advocacy!

Getting Started: gather your information, you want to outline your facts and statistics before hand. Pick several colors and images that you want to represent in your graphic. Remember, you want it to flow and be consistent.

Formats to include: percentages, maps, charts, graphs, timelines, shape comparisons, word clouds and diagrams. Here are some free sites to help you with formats:

  • Wordle grenerating word clouds
  • iCharts creating great looking charts in minutes
  • OpenClipArt clipart images for collaborative use

Design: there are different ways to get started with the design. If you are familiar with Adobe Indesign you can create your Infographic from scratch. You can also use Microsoft Publisher and add text, images and graphs as you go.  There are some really great free websites out there too to help you create Infographics. Here are a few:

  • a place to share and make data become visualizations
  • online diagramming and creation
  • Picktochart creating WOW Infographics for your audience
  • create interactive Infographics

Looking for more?

10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics

Over 100 Incredible Infographic Tools and Resources

Librarian Lifestyle: How to Create Your Own Infographics

Infographic from ALA

Here is an Infographic from ALA on Libraries and Communities – Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, 2011-2012 (Conducted by the American Library Association and the Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland).

Weathering the Storm

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What’s trending in Technology: Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pinterest has really gained popularity over the last few months. So today I will try to tell you a little about how people are using it, what they are “pinning”, and how you can use it in the library. Pinterest is an online pinboard that allows people to organize and share items like pictures, recipes, or articles on the web.

Who is using Pinterest? With over 10 million registered users, over 1/2 are women

Low-Down on the Lingo:

Pins: images such as a picture or video (that links directly to a website)

Boards: set of pins by topic or theme

Categories: group of pins classified by items in common

Repin: once someone has pinned an item, it can be repinned by another user

How People are using it?

  • Following friends and other people – Pinterest provides you with the option to “find” friends from facebook, or if you are using a mobile device, to find them from your contact list
  • Creating “boards” – boards are the organization behind “pinning”
  • Placing a Pin it button on your toolbar or browser- (this allows you to easily pin an item to your board)
  • Repinning other interesting photos so their friends can follow and see what you like

What are they pinning?

  • Boards range from Dinner ideas to Weddings to Destinations to Books (people have to ability to create any type of board they wish) the beauty of organizing!
  • Ideas for recipies, traveling locations for upcoming vacations, books they want to read, gardening ideas, DIY (Do-it-yourself) around the house, school crafts or electronics

How can you use it for libraries?

Check out some of these Boards for more ideas:

We also love our librarians


Library Crafts


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Tweet About Your Library Work!

Here is a message from FLA who is inviting all librarians to tweet about their jobs! They want everyone to be a part of their Virtual Job Shadowing Project! Take a look at the description below!

Tweet about your library work! The Florida Library Association (FLA) would like to invite librarians in all types of jobs to be part of our Virtual Job Shadowing Project (library school students who are currently employed in libraries can also participate). Choose a day between April 2 and April 14th to tweet your daily activities using the hashtag #libjobshadowFL. Inform potential (and current) librarians about your workday. Users can also visit the FLA Twitter page at

Librarians have embraced the changes brought about by the internet age and we are creating new roles to become the information guides of this new century. Sharing our daily activities will help to illuminate the depth and breadth of our profession. We want to hear from all types of librarians, whether new or time-tested, about the roles you are creating every day.

For a list of our tweeters and the days they will participate, stop by the Virtual Job Shadowing Project Facebook page at The FLA Virtual Job Shadowing Project is coordinated by the Florida Library Association Library Personnel Recruitment Committee. To volunteer to tweet about your workday, please contact Susan L. Smith via email: or phone (239) 598-6134.

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Can Twitter Help Promote Our Library Programs and Services?

Twitter. Why is it so popular? When it first came out, I didn’t quite understand the concept. Why would we want to tell people what we are doing? That concept has changed and developed into something more interactive.

Twitter first launched in the summer of 2006 and has grown into a powerful tool for social media marketing.  Its is a FREE communication tool that allows you to send messages (under 140 characters) to a group of followers. People in the twitter community sign up to “follow” your posts. People use twitter in multiple ways, either to communicate what is going on at their library or to share information at live events like conferences or multi-location meetings. Twitter is a great tool to help promote the awesome programs and services happening in the library to your patrons and community.

How to get Started

  • register with your library name and start following library patrons and friends (send an announcement so people can follow you at your new twitter account)
  • customize your twitter page, place your library logo and a background image that lets your page stand out and be easily identified by your patrons
What type of material to post
  • how to find or access information online or in the physical library
  • upcoming events or programs at the library
  • ask for feedback on policy changes
  • update patrons on new material that just came in
  • point out highlights on the library website or catalog
Reaching a Diverse Audience Publish your tweets in multiple locations.
  • Facebook -you can set up an application to automatically post a tweet to Facebook (Facebook application for Twitter)
  • Website – you can install a Twitter Badge on your website home page that displays your tweets. This helps spread the word to folks who don’t have an account or didn’t know your library was on Twitter. A twitter widget for your website - Twitter badge
  • Blog – most blog interfaces have an option to tweet your posts. It’s easy and you get the message out in multiple locations
  • Social Buttons- don’t forget to place a twitter button or icon in unique locations like: your email signature, website, promotional fliers, newsletter, or inside the library

Encourage Use with your followers

  • ask questions – like “Who was at today’s Reading Club” or “What was your favorite book that you read this year?”
  • share links – like “Check out today’s article in the Tampa Bay Times” or “Check out this new book review”
  • re-tweet posts from other business in your community – this shows support in the community
  • reply when patrons message you – remember to use hashtags, these help categorize messages. So if you start talking about Battle of the Bands at your library use a hashtag like #battleofthebands, so other users can comment and follow these keywords
Helpful Pointers
  • Don’t over or under do it, you know what it’s like to get too many emails from the same person or not enough to forget about them
  • make sure you use the right lingo, you post a “tweet”
  • look for trends with your followers, what are they tweeting, who are they following
  • make sure to check for any mention of your library in other tweets, if your patrons are “tweeting” about your library you want to know!

Check out and follow some of our member libraries! Look for us too @Tblc

Sarasota County Library @SCLibrary

Hernando County Library @HernandoLibrary

New College/USF S/M – @JBCLibrary

Winter Haven Library @WinterHavenLib

PASCO County Library @PascoLibraries

Leesburg Library @leesburglibrary

Largo Public Library @LPLNews

USF Polytechnic @usfplib

Lake Library System @lake library

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How can I get that QR Code on my library materials?

QR Codes, what are they? and what do they do? Quick Response codes link you to digital information on the web and connect the mobile device you are using to a website, text, phone number or SMS. You can read QR codes through almost any smartphone with an application that scans the code.

You can use QR codes anywhere, even digitally. I have seen them in places I would never imagine, like on the back of a toothpaste bottle, to the front of a tee-shirt.  Since the novelty is still pretty new here in America, people are curious as to what it actually is and what it actually does.

QR codes are a great way to market your library. You can send students or patrons to a website, a mobile application, your facebook or twitter page, a library exhibit, staff directory, library video, or the library catalog. Place the codes in strategic places like outside a conference or study room, library stacks, print handouts or a library map. 

Website QR Code Generators 

KAYWA QR-Code Generator – I like this site because it allows you to change the size of the code without distorting the image.

QR – This site is pretty neat because it allows you to enter what type of data you want with the option to change the color from the normal black on white.

GOQR.Me -This is a very basic generator and easy to use. You can create a text, url, call, sms or vcard code.

Smartphone Applications

Apple Products: QRReader -app opens instantly to scan the code, you can also create a code from within the app

Android Products: QR Droid -app uses the camera to scan the code and you can create a code from a bookmark or contact

Here are some QR codes I created as examples, scan them and see where they take you!


 If you need help, don’t hesitate to email or call the TBLC office and I can walk you through it! – Jessie

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Visioning – the Future of Libraries

mobile booksWow!  These have been an exciting last couple of years!  Budgets and staffing have been slashed for all types of libraries.  Library use is up and the public loves them.  Pads are replacing laptops which replaced desktops.  University libraries are packed with over caffeinated students and the tables have wheels.  Bestselling authors are  bypassing publishers, publishers are terrified.  Popular ebook users love libraries because we provide free ebooks – even if some publishers are reluctant to take our money – wha???. 95 people show up virtually for an ebook seminar.  TBLC does webinars on side-loading a Nook – huh? OCLC’s Cathy De Rosa goes all Twilight Zone on us, telling us “we are all people of the screen.”   K-12 students (some) are getting text books on Kindles and iPads,  All libraries have apps – don’t they?  Librarians argue about whose library has the most Facebook likes – TBLC has 232 likes.  Public libraries have battles of the bands and rock bands in their teen rooms.  Children’s librarians are reading synaptogenecists and work with brain neuroplasticity.   Anyone tired?

The TBLC Board is crying enough!  It’s time to stop, take a look around, get our heads around things, and come up with a new vision for area libraries.  Yes we’re going to conduct a visioning process and you’re invited to participate.  We haven’t worked out the details yet but we are looking around for articles and sources that help describe developments and issues that we will need to take a look at and we would like your help in identifying more.  Here is my list, please help us by sharing yours by emailing me at

Visioning Articles & Resources

§  Publishers vs. Libraries: An E-Book Tug of War, New York Times, 12/24/11

§  YouMediaLab – Chicago Public Library

§  Redefining the Academic Library: Managing the Migration to Digital Information Service, University Leadership Council

§  Quiet no longer required in some libraries around the country

§  Libraries as Journal Publishers

§  From Service Providers to Content Producers: New Opportunities for Libraries in Collaborative Open Access book Publishing

§  The Collapse of Complex Business Models, Clay Shirky

§  Tablets & a World in Transition, Marc Herman, EBN: Premier Online Community for Global Supply Chain Professionals, 11/29/11

§  For Reading and Learning, Kids Prefer E-Books to Print Books Jeremy Greenfield, DBW – Digital Book World,  1/09/12

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