Social Media in Library 2.0

An exploration of social media in libraries

Using Glogster for Reader’s Advisory

with 4 comments

I was introduced to Glogster (and the verb “glogging”) in this week’s module on creation.  Forgive my use of the 2.0 suffix that we all so dislike, but Glogster is basically Poster 2.0.  Users can create posters using pictures, videos, audio, and hyperlinks, and graphics.  The posters can be linked to, or embedded in, web pages and blog posts, and can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and a myriad of other social networking tools.  Glogster’s mission statement:

Glogster is committed to bringing the best Multimedia Tool & Expression Space for young people, students, educators, and all creative people through its innovative Glog format and the new online phenomenon, Glogging.

It occurred to me that these posters would be a cool way to link library users to recommended books, so I thought I’d try my hand at creating one:

The benefits of glogging:

  • The software is generally intuitive and easy to use, and it only took me a few minutes to put together this simple poster.
  • Any item in the poster can be linked to an external webpage.  In my poster, all of the pictures link to book reviews from in a real library situation, I would link to the library’s own reviews or to the item’s catalogue record.
  • It’s easy to embed videos.  I embedded this booktalk video from YouTube: a librarian could tape his/her own booktalks for this purpose, or link to book trailers and other relevant videos.
  • The user can choose graphics to match the content of the poster.
  • The visual (rather than textual) foundation of the poster is attractive, especially for teens and children, and is great for those with visual memory.
  • More text could be used to customize the poster: a librarian could easily incorporate readalikes into the poster.


  • Once an element is added to the poster, you cannot edit certain aspects of the element.  For example, once a photo is added, you cannot go back and add a frame: you have to delete the original photo and add the photo with a frame separately.
  • The software is slow to load.

Other uses of Glogster:

  • Subject guides: The basic ideas mentioned above could be applied to a subject guide.  This would likely be more complicated to create, and would probably benefit from a combination of text and images, rather than just images.  It probably wouldn’t work well for all subjects, but it might be effective for some (e.g. art, genealogy).  It might also work better for public library subject guides than academic library guides.
  • Library events: Glogster is a neat way to “scrapbook” photos and videos once the event has finished.  When appropriate, the photos/videos could link to library webpages or other community events.
  • Staff introductions: Librarians and other staff members could create “about me” posters.  They could include interests, education, photos, video, text, and/or links to other social networking profiles, like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  Librarians sometimes have this information on the library’s webpage, but a visual profile could be much more interesting, and it would be especially appropriate for a young adult librarian.

Here are a few glogging libraries and librarians:

Can you think of more ways to use an interactive poster?  How could they be used in archives and non-traditional information organizations?

Written by Jessica Gillis

August 1st, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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4 Responses to 'Using Glogster for Reader’s Advisory'

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  1. Great post, Jess. I think Glogster posters have such great visual appeal and would work well for libraries as a promotional tool. I like that Glogster makes visual and flashy elements available to users who may or may not have computer / design skills or design software. I am intrigued to make my own posters in the future!

    You have included some awesome suggestions for Glogster use in libraries. Another idea would be to use Glogster to promote new library branches — a poster could include textual information about the location, a video tour of the library, photos, and links to more information.

    I wonder if there are any compatibility issues for Glogster posters in different browsers or if patrons with slow internet connections would not be able to load all of the elements of a completed poster. I would still put the effort into using Glogster, but just something to consider.

    I think the challenge for Glogster is to continuously update with new typefaces, colours, and themes, so as to keep current with contemporary design aesthetic. Design choices also fall on the librarian and good design can make a piece all the more inviting and cool to patrons.


    2 Aug 11 at 10:30

  2. I would completely use something like that for booktalks, and for book club to collaboratively make one with the best books we read this month or something.

    Hell, just using something like that with some “news from the library” as the browser startup page in a corporate setting would be very noticeable amid all the sameness. Being embeddable helps their cause too.

    I can see how they could be pretty gaudy, but if you’re an infopro with style and grace (as all of us are, I am sure) you could make some very cool stuff with this.

    Very neat. Thanks.


    2 Aug 11 at 13:47

  3. Thanks for your comments and ideas, Justin and Courtney!

    I’m not sure about browser compatibility issues, but having a slow internet connection would definitely be a deterrent to using the site.

    I agree that being up-to-date with their design options is a key ingredient in Glogster’s success, and can make all the difference in the perception of a library as “cool,” “boring,” “dated,” etc. It’s not just the content of the poster that matters. In fact, when I first visited the site I was totally turned off: most of the posters look pretty teen-angsty, and it took me a while to find posters that I thought looked both professional and cool. Maybe this is why organizations largely haven’t made use of the site yet.

    Jessica Foshaug

    2 Aug 11 at 14:55

  4. Interesting, I’m going to try this out too! While the site does definitely seem to be teen-oriented, maybe that can be a good thing. A useful tool to encourage teen library patrons to create? Probably being idealistic, but still…


    3 Aug 11 at 01:20

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