Libraries tap into Twitter
Increasing numbers of librarians are using Twitter to engage readers and spread information
Alison Flood in the guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 24 June 2009
Libraries throughout the UK are testing the waters of Twitter as a way to both engage with their readers and dispel their image as fusty, silent enclaves staffed by old-fashioned introverts.
At the British Library (@britishlibrary), they're talking about riding on John Berger's motorbike; "about as good as it gets I think". Aberdeenshire's libraries (@onceuponashire) are recommending books – "Katherine by Anya Seton is a great romp through the 14th century, well worth a read" – while the John Rylands University of Manchester library (@jrul) informs us that it has just made a 14th century cookbook available online, complete with recipes for porpoise, pike and blancmange.
"Librarians as a group are very spread out around the country, and they are really seizing on Twitter as a great way to network and spread information among themselves. They are also trying it out to give information about author events and closing times to their users," said Benedicte Page, libraries expert at the Bookseller. From Milton Keynes (@mklibraries) to Devon (@devonlibraries), Plymouth (@plymlibraries) to Newcastle (@toonlibraries), over 40 UK libraries are now using Twitter, and a "Twitter for librarians" course will be held by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in September to encourage more to take it up.
"It certainly helps to change perceptions of what we do, raising our profile and helping to shape our role," said David Viner, assistant librarian at Solihull Central Library (@davidviner, @cilipwm). "Twitter instinctively becomes the medium you use to find out information, so in that sense it allows libraries to promote their services to users and non-users in a fast and effective way."
Read the rest of her report at the guardian online.
Lots of NZ libraries on Twitter also
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