Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
As a gateway to your collection the library catalogue provides information on what is available and where to find it. Now with the advent of LibraryThing for Libraries your catalogue can take on a whole new dimension with the inclusion of social media content including reader recommendations, tags, virtual shelf browsing, and series / award information. For a yearly subscription fee you can access these features plus more. To see an example within a school library context take a look at St Patrick’s College Tasmania . Try a search for Scorpia Rising – Anthony Horowitz to see an example of reviews and the virtual shelf browser.
A novel way to highlight titles and authors is through Kidderlit, a service that Tweets the first line of a random children’s book every morning. You can embed a widget (a graphical interface that displays information) into your school library blog or wiki allowing your students to access Kidderlit directly. By clicking on the line quoted by Kidderlit you can go to Amazon to see which book the line comes from. Springston School Library has incorporated Kidderlit into their library blog – take a look to see how it works.
If you want to create your own virtual bookshelf try Shelfari. This site allows you to add your favourite reads, with comments, to your own bookshelf. You can then link your virtual bookshelf to your school library blog or wiki by embedding a widget into your site. This could be a great way to promote new books which you are adding to your collection. Springston School Library also includes Shelfari as part of their library blog.
Twitter can be used to promote titles through short postings that highlight different parts of your collection. A really innovative example of this is the John F Kennedy library and museum used Twitter to disseminate updates on President Kennedy's day-to-day activities from 1961 in the White House — 50 years later — by following the JFK Library's historical Twitter feed @Kennedy1961 In the same way, you could tweet short phrases or character profiles from your new titles and link back to your school library blog or wiki from Twitter to encourage staff and students to come in and borrow the items. This is also a great way to create interest from the wider school community including parents who use Twitter by encouraging them to follow your school library.
There are lots of ways to use these tools; it would be great to hear how your school library is using social media to promote your collection.
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