Introduction

The Steve Jobs Library and Museum of Innovation and Design (SJLM) was founded in 2012, following the death of the  renowned Apple co-founder, as a way to memorialize him and to educate the public and share with the world the story of his innovations. The library is now preparing to open its doors to the public and welcome the world, and key to achieving this goal is the development of a social media strategy. The library houses a collection of Job’s personal papers, including a sous-fonds[1] of papers owned and used by Jobs. The museum portion of the institution houses artifacts pertaining to Jobs’ career at both Apple and Pixar, and includes historical documents pertaining to product development and creation, as well as other significant artifacts from the ‘digital revolution’.

The museum is composed of an Exploratorium, theatre, conference centre, education facility and a gift shop. The institution has YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts, which can be accessed directly from its website. The museum hosts and sponsors a variety of exciting events and programs, including a VIP reception at the MacWorld/iWorld Expo. Exhibits on permanent display at the museum aim to present material on Steve Jobs’ life and the evolution of computer-aided design. The SJLM hosts programming for adults and children alike, including lecture series, summer camp activities and adult’s and children’s workshops. As the institution is centered on technology, it strives to reach out to its users via social media, and utilize social platforms as a way of engaging with visitors – both physically and virtually – around the world. The museum has a small, dedicated staff of technologically-savvy individuals who will implement a strong social media strategy in order to reach as many visitors as possible. In doing so, staff will develop a social media policy in order to deal with a range of situations that may arise, and work to ensure that staff engaged with the social media portion of the museum’s engagement strategy act as one. Museums have often been concerned with the warehousing of collections but the SJLM seeks to engage with the public, promote dialogue and inspire future innovators.

Being Social

At the SJLM social media is about being social; it is about people. It is about being authentic, genuine and transparent. It connects the library and museum with “previously disconnected individuals and global communities.” (Russo, 2011) When combined with our educational programs and events, the SJLM’s use of social media effectively “harasses the creativity of an online community to collect, evolve and rank ideas and contributions in a public forum.” (Russo, 2011)

 

[1] A sous fonds is defined by the Archives Association of British Columbia as “the records of a sub-unit of the creator of a fonds,” that is, in this case, a series of records that belonged to others but was used by Jobs.

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