Digital Librarianship & Social Media: the Digital Library as Conversation Facilitator
Robert A. Schrier
Digital collections marketing is an important, yet often ignored aspect of digital collection management. While many collections are laudable for the quality of their pictures, metadata, and preservation techniques, they often remain obscure, unknown, and therefore inaccessible to their intended user populations. One of the ways digital librarians can cultivate a broader awareness of their collections is through social networking. More importantly, digital librarians who participate in conversations with users through the use of social media become inextricably intertwined with the knowledge creation processes relevant to their collections. This paper presents a set of five general principles (listening, participation, transparency, policy, and strategy) that provide digital librarians with straightforward, concrete strategies for successfully integrating social media into a digital library's overall strategic plan. In addition to these concrete strategies, I also explain the theoretical importance of each principle and its relevance for establishing a rapport with current and potential users of a digital collection.
Via Karen du Toit