Content Creation vs Content Curation

Should public libraries focus their social media efforts on content curation over content creation?? I think that this is an interesting question given that many social media experts have suggested that the most effective social media posts for libraries feature creative content. However after stumbling across this article from Forbes, I am not sure that I agree.

The article, 4 Reasons Why Content Curation Has Gone Mainstream published in 2012 Forbes online, suggests that content curation – “the process of finding, organizing and sharing online content” – can and should be viewed as a key component of an organization’s marketing strategy. Why though?

Google_searchengine

Growing quantity leads to sinking quality. I think that this is so true. A simple search on Google often yields results in the millions – this is overwhelming for many people to navigate and it can often be hard to locate the best and most relevant content – I think that most people will go for convenience over reliability when it comes to wading through information online and this can often lead to problems. Curation is one way to assist users wading through mediocre content to find the most useful resources.

As well, creative content is so difficult to come up with (at least for me!). So instead, libraries should curate and link to other people’s content. This not only offers potential patrons recommended resources, but also enhances the social networking presence of the library. When you link back to other people’s posts, tweets, etc., you’re making a connection with them that may lead to them linking to your posts in the future.

People want to be engaged with their online content, not solicited. I think that libraries have great potential to become curators of content online as they can be impartial about content, rather than sites like Google where there is an “pay-for-promo” approach to content.

What do you think? Is this starting to veer outside the mandate of most public libraries? Or does content curation just make sense?

Who gives a f***? Why Public Libraries Should Care About Reaching Millennials

Millennial

Millennials have long been the interest of researchers for their “advanced technology habits, their racial and ethnic diversity, their looser relationships to institutions such as political parties and organized religion, and the ways in which their social attitudes differ from their elders” (PEW, 2014). But for all their positive and interesting attributes, its seems that negative millennial stereotyping tends to dominate the discussion; millennials are a fickle, judgemental, cynical, materialistic, entitled bunch, lazy and just looking to have a good time. Perhaps the most overarching theme to come from these discussions is millennials’ dependance on technology and love of all things social media.

So why should public libraries care?

Millennials are often considered to be the most underrepresented user group in public library settings. While this is not entirely true, roughly 50% of young Americans aged 16-29 reported using their public library in the past year (PEW, 2014), younger Americans are among the least likely to say that libraries are important (PEW, 2014). Further, only 19% of this population stated that their library’s closing would have a major impact on them and their family (PEW, 2014). Obviously, in a world where budgets are already tight and the threat of closure or downsizing looms imminent, this statistic is significant.

So what can be done?

marketing

Tailoring library marketing campaigns to millennial patrons is one way of doing it. Seems simple, no? And with 90% of millennials are active on at least one social networking site (PEW, 2014), social media is the way to do it. Further, considering over three-quarters (77%) of younger Americans have a smartphone (PEW, 2014), public libraries have to find a way to appear on their phones!

But public libraries should be careful when using social media – we millennials can be a mean bunch.

For instance, while millennials want to be engaged with brands on social media, some take it too far and become annoying. Multiple posts across a variety of social media platforms becomes repetitive and boring to us. We like authentic and pithy content disbursed to us at regular, timely intervals. It should also be authentically pleasing enough to peak our interest. Got it? Good.

References

McClary, T. (2014, April 24). Marketing the Public Library to Millennials [Blog]. New Jersey State Library. Retrieved from http://www.njstatelib.org/blog/marketing/2014/marketing_the_public_library_to_millennials/

PEW Research Centre. (2014, September 10). Younger Americans and Public Libraries: How those under 30 engage with libraries and think about libraries’ role in their lives and communities. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2014/09/PI_YoungerAmericansandLibraries_091014.pdf

The G Brief. (2016, January 14). Do Millennials Care About Traditional Libraries? [Blog] The G Brief. Retrieved from http://thegbrief.com/articles/do-millennials-care-about-traditional-libraries-609