Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries

Article excerpt

Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries. By Walt Crawford. Chicago: ALA, 2014. 176 p. Paper $55 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-1167-9).

The prolific Walt Crawford is a writer and speaker on libraries, technology, and media, and the author of seventeen books in these fields. He began his social media project in fall 2011 as a "rolling snapshot" that eventually encompassed thirty-eight states and nearly 6000 libraries, just over half of which were found to have a social media presence. His goal was to examine the prevalence of Facebook and Twitter usage for library communication, as well as the extent to which these media actually reach an audience.

The author carefully defines terms such as LSA (legal service area population), "likes," presence, and reach, and breaks down his findings by HAPLR size--ten size divisions of public libraries as used in Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. This book is not for librarians who want a "how-to" or for those who don't have the patience for number crunching. However, as Crawford presents his findings, the text is loaded with real-life examples of postings arranged by HAPLR size. The examples show successful posts, loaded with humor, invitations, anecdotes, and questions. A chapter on state-by-state findings helps benchmarking among comparable-sized libraries. …

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