Saturday, April 5, 2014

Interview report

Technology: Twitter
Context: Public libraries
Audience: Adult/teen library patrons

For my interview, I spoke with the digital services manager at a local public library about Twitter. She manages the library's Twitter and other social media accounts, and shared many useful and interesting experiences with me. I was mainly curious about the benefits Twitter brings to the library, so we spent quite a bit of time discussing the pros and cons of Twitter as a platform.

She told me about the different ways the library uses Twitter as a tool for targeting and getting information out to users who might not otherwise see the information or use the library. She also mentioned that the library uses Twitter differently from Facebook (as part of an overall online presence) due to the different demographics that are reached on each different site. Twitter was seen as a key way to reach people in the 18-29 age bracket, users that may have lapsed in their library use after graduating from high school and before having a family, and get them more interested in the library.

Additionally, she was able to give me some very helpful insight into how Twitter is actually used on the library's end. She explained how social media can be time intensive for library staff because users expect responses outside of the typical 9-to-5 window, but that it can also be extremely rewarding to reach out and speak with users and with people who might not (yet) be users and engage with those people. She also told me about a variety of ways that the library staff lessens the work load of maintaining a social media presence, including scheduling posts, cross-posting from other sites, and sharing the work among colleagues.

This interview was in person and took place on April 4, 2014.

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