Top 100 Ways Librarians Use Social Media

Graduate students in LIBR559M – Social media for information professionals were asked to do a scavenger hunt on the web to seek out new and/or creative ways that librarians and other information professionals (i.e. archivists and museum curators) use social media. We did not employ any methodologies in this activity, just a simple sharing of websites and the eureka moment “Oh, that’s a cool way to use that tool … and here’s why, take a look yourself”.

Many information professionals use social media to promote libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) and their services, build new relationships and connect with users — but what other ways is social media used?

This list represents our collective web surfing for the Top 100 Ways Librarians Use Social Media — and, as such, represents a small sliver of best practices from our collective perspective. It’s meant to be a fun list! And, an opportunity to share our work with others. This list will be posted on our blogs and we will send tweets to share this information in the first week of August 2010. Feel free to share your favourite examples.


  1. Save the Los Angeles Public Library!

Archives 2.0

  1. Archives 2.0 – The Social Network Community for Archivists 2.0 (useful central network for archivists)
  2. Spellbound (blog by Jeanne Kramer-Smyth)


  1. American Library Association (Myspace)
  2. Association of College & Research Libraries Facebook
  3. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) Members blog landscape (aggregator)
  4. European Association for Health Information and Libraries (Web 2.0 Taskforce)
  5. IFLA 2010 Goes Interactive (blogs)


  1. Rotorua District Library Bebo page


  1. Allen County Public Library Teen blog (reading and events)
  2. Cook Memorial Library (range of social media)
  3. Future of the Book blog
  4. LIBR559M Summer 2010 – blogroll (class blogs for a WISE course on social media for information professionals
  5. Library of Congress (blogs)
  6. Merry Librarian (Story of the Week posts)
  7. Miss Sophie Mac blog (Wallwisher suggestion board)
  8. Santa Fe Public Library Blog
  9. Toronto Public Library (blogs)


  1. Holdrege Area Public Library (delicious links)
  2. National Army Museum (social bookmarking)


  1. British Library (Facebook as aggregator)
  2. Geek the Library (community-based public awareness campaign)
  3. National Library of Singapore (Facebook as social media aggregator)
  4. National Library of Wales (Facebook as promotional space)
  5. New York Public Library (AskNYPL via Facebook)
  6. Papercut Zine Library (Facebook as promotional space)
  7. Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (Facebook as aggregator)

Librarian 2.0

  1. Emerging Technologies Librarian blog (Pat Anderson and digital literacy skills)
  2. Handmade Librarian blog (Jessica Pigza)
  3. Information Tyrannosaur blog Andy Burkhardt
  4. Librarian in Black blog (Sarah Houghton-Jan)
  5. Libraries & Life blog (Curtis Rogers)
  6. UBC Japanese resource blog (Shirin Eshghi)
  7. What I Learned Today blog (Nicole C. Engard)

Library 2.0

  1. Brock University Library Learning commons (wiki)
  2. Brooklyn Public Library (text messaging for fundraising)
  3. Carleton University Library (Madgical blog)
  4. Chicago Public Library (Tumblr website)
    1. YouMedia website
  5. Cushing Academy Library
  6. Dalhousie University Library (webcast tutorials)
  7. Edmonton Public Library catalogue (range of social media)
  8. Halifax Public Library catalogue (AquaBrowser tag search)
  9. Internet Public Library2: Information You Can Trust (website with 2.0 features)
  10. National Library of Australia (range of social media)
  11. ProBiblio Dutch public Library Amsterdam
  12. Stanford Graduate School of Business J. Hugh Jackson Library blog
  13. University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (QR codes, mobile)
  14. Yale University Beineke Library (Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities blog)
  15. University of Wyoming Library (YouTube tutorial on Meebo)
  16. Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District (social media librarian cards)
  17. Worthington Libraries (Myspace as aggregating site for Teens)


  1. County of Prince Edward Public Library, (Teenroom on LibraryThing)
  2. “I see dead people’s books group” (personal libraries of famous readers)

Location-based services (Foursquare, Gowalla)

  1. Joe Murphy, Yale librarian Foursquare user & (An ACRL presentation about location-based tools)

Mobile & smartphone access

  1. WorldCat (iPhone app)


  1. New York Theological Seminary Library (library reserves)

Museums 2.0

  1. American Museum of Natural History, New York Explorer App for iPhone & iPod touch
  2. Brooklyn Museum (Flickr as promotional space)
  3. The Tate Museum (Youtube as promotional space)

OPAC 2.0

  1. Bath University Library (QR codes in the library catalogue)
  2. Bibliocommons (social-media friendly library catalogue)
  3. University of Lethbridge Library (send call numbers via texting)
  4. University of Western Ontario Library (tag clouds in the library catalogue)


  1. Emory University of iTunes U
  2. Harvard Law School Library (Facebook as homepage)
  3. Hennepin County Library (photostreaming space)
  4. Library of Congress (historical photosharing on Flickr)
  5. National Library of Scotland (photostreaming on Flickr)
  6. New York Public Library (photostreaming space for historic photos)
  7. U.S. National Archives (Flickr as two-way sharing space)


  1. British Library (John Berger collection) (audioboo, podcasting and geotagging)
  2. Design Museum, London (podcasting: exhibitions and talks)
  3. Chicago’s Pritzker Military Library (military collections & promotion via podcasts)
  4. Pace Law Library podcasts

RSS feeds

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries (RSS feeds for new books)

School library 2.0

  1. Dr. Charles Best Secondary School Library (range of social tools)
  2. Fenton English Paris Cooperative High School Library (range of social tools)
  3. Harry Ainlay High School Library (range of social tools)
  4. School Library Websites (aggregator, wiki, glogster)
  5. Strathcona High School (range of social tools)

Second Life

  1. American Library Association, (Island in Second Life for meetings/training)
  2. Community Virtual Library in Second Life (Virtual library with Twitter & Facebook)
  3. McMaster University Library (Gaming sculpture garden in Second Life for teaching/learning) see Steel City


  1. Messa County Public Library District (Skype a fiction author)

Slide & presentation sharing

  1. Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC), CILIP in Scotland (CILIPS) (SlideShare channel & aggregator)


  1. Brooklyn Museum (staff twitterers take Q/A)
  2. Dewey Decimal Classification system (daily chronological tweets)
  3. University of London Research Library Services, Senate House Library (Twitter announcements)


  1. American Association of Law Libraries (wiki)
  2. e-Learning for Librarians: An Ideas Playground (Queen’s University Library wiki)
  3. HLWIKI Canada (wiki for health librarianship & social media]
  4. McMaster University Library (First Year Experience @Maclibraries wiki)
  5. National Archives of the United Kingdom (wiki)

YouTube & other video

  1. Brigham Young University Library (Old Spice Guy parody)
  2. Brown Library Video Tutorial: Finding Books (good humour used)
  3. New York Public Library (Ghostbusters video) & (events videos)
  4. Seattle Public Library (flash mob dancing)
  5. University of Ottawa Amazing Library 101 Challenge
  6. University of Washington’s Information School (Librarians do Gaga)


  1. Ithaca University Library Zotero guide

24 thoughts on “Top 100 Ways Librarians Use Social Media

  1. The University of Michigan has compiled their impressive collection of in-house produced library videos, all of which are accessible on youtube, in this online gallery. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas maintain this interesting blog, which has a great mix of collections information, current events, and blurbs on particular people and activities at the library.!/nationalgalleryofart?v=wall&ref=ts The National Gallery of Art in Washington has an impressive Facebook page, which has separate tabs for events, photos, exhibitions, videos, etc. The ALA has combined two Web 2.0 platforms by posting photos of its activities in Second Life in a Flickr group. It might be a great way to get a feel for Second Life for the curious. The OPAC set up for member libraries of the Saskatchewan Information and Library Services Consortium allows patrons to rate, review and tag items in the collection.

  2. 1. ProBiblio Dutch public library , Amsterdam

    ProBiblio Dutch Public Library organisation, just opened the first airport library ( with funding from the ministry of education, culture and science). This library has a “download room” where you can download books and movies on your phone/ipad. I think the concept of having a download room is simply awesome and innovative.

    2. Save the Library – LA Public Library System

    They are doing an excellent job using twitter to spread awareness over the library cuts happening in LA and elsewhere in the United States.

    3. The New Jersey State Library – H2H, November 2009

    NJS Library has partnered with Gold Mobile to form the book titled “H2H (Human to Human) Wisdom in 160 Characters” via mobile. The campaign is in support of National Write Your Own Book Month. “We’re combining mobile marketing with Facebook, Twitter and traditional Web pages and looking at this planting the seeds for a viral movement,” said Nancy Dowd, director of marketing at the New Jersey State Library, Trenton, NJ.

    3.The American Museum of Natural History, New York

    This Museum offers a great example of how museums and other cultural institutions can use the iPhone and other smart-phone devices to help patrons navigate collections and learn about exhibits.

    5. University of Washington, School of Information (iSchool)

    Libraries do Gaga – Libraries can learn from this experience and get more creative!

    Since it was released , the video has gotten more than 644,000 hits on YouTube, and Perez Hilton called it “positively … awkward!!!” on his blog.

    Bonus –
    Simple , but clever is something that usually works – get your library on a blog and/or on twitter by being different…

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  5. Some of you have begun the hunt for the best examples in the information professions (libraries, archives, museums) of social media implementation. Be highly critical of what you see and ask yourselves “How did the library/librarian arrive at the decision to use this specific social tool”?

    Keep in mind that they are probably trying to do one of the following:

    1. Perform outreach, marketing, promotion

    2. Have fun (and improve the public image of libraries)

    3. Push information out to users using desktop and mobile devices

    4. Teach & share information about libraries & using social tools to create

    5. Advocate for a cause, a library, a group of users

    One would hope that there will also be novel uses worth pointing out. ~Dean

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  12. – Harper College in Illinois for their humorous and engaging Youtube video walking students through a virtual guided tour of the library and outline of programs and services. They reach students where they are, with personality at that. 35 000 views in 3 years says they are doing something right!

    – Multnomah Public Library in Portland Oregon for their Facebook page. Not only do they post updates regularly, but they actually engage with patrons directly on the site. With such regular usage, they have earned the trust of their users who post questions and host discussions surrounding the library and books in general. With almost 11 000 users, many of whom have posted additional questions and photos, they are an example of how to do a Facebook page right.

    – MIT’s delicious tag cloud link to the Virtual Reference Collection. It contains links to the catalogue and categorical lists of useful websites, all fed by delicious feeds.

    – New York Public library for maintaining 121 active blogs on their website. With attractive thumbnail pictures and enticing write ups, these are blogs to appeal to the masses. “Summer entertaining”, “Are you underpaid?”, “Aging Creatively” “Teen Pictionary”, and how appropriate, “Job Hunting: Now with more social media”. I am wildly impressed with the efforts to maintain these blogs, with help from librarians and users alike.

    – Lethbridge Community College: Small rural college manages to get 500 followers by reaching out to the community and tweeting beyond the scope of the library. While always appropriate, the library’s tweets are sometimes about new programs/website, etc but also asks for feedback regarding blogs students like and promotes the community and the college beyond the library itself. They have proven they add value to the notion of library at the heart of the community.

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  15. 1. UNR BookFinder – A mashup of Google Books, the Library Catalogue, and ILL services. Still in the testing phase, so this link is to a YouTube video going over the service, but it looks great!

    2. The Roving Librarians (Training video for librarians, via Mentor Training Group):

    3. University of Manitoba: The Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library is undergoing renovations, and uses Posterous to update library patrons about whats going on – a interesting use of social media to meet a specific need the library has:

    4. TeenRC: A reading club for Canadian Teens which uses an asncyronous online model to allow teens all over the country to connect:

    5. The Darien Library does a great job of connecting with teens. They have a monthly “TeenCast” ( and a “Made” page where they post a variety of things such as videos and playlists created by teens (

    Bonus Round: It may help that I’ve met the folks in this video (starring your friendly neighbourhood staff at VPL, for those of you living in Vancouver), but I love these security training videos:

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