At Online Information 2011, I presented in one of the European Librarians Theatre panel discussions. The discussions are hosted by EBSCO and SLA Europe and bring together librarians from different parts of Europe to discuss a topic and the experiences within their country. My session, ‘Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?’ focused on social media. It was chaired by Sara Batts (see tweet below), and my fellow panelists were Katrin Weller and Dennie Haye.
— Sara Batts (@Batty_Towers) November 30, 2011
I think the panel discussion flowed well – there was largely agreement across the board on a number of different factors, suggesting that libraries across Europe are at a similar stage with social media (the panel had representatives from UK, Germany and The Netherlands). There were some really interesting examples from my fellow panelists – one example of Yammer being used for internal communication (in an international organisation with staff dispersed geographically), and one example of Facebook being used by a University before students arrived to help answers queries and help them begin to make friends.
The main messages I took from the session were that libraries and librarians should experiment with social media to see what works, and should aim to understand more about their users as no two libraries will use social media in the same way.
You can see the tweets from the session at the #elt2011 hashtag (thanks to @WoodsieGirl and @EBSCOUK for such comprehensive tweeting!) and there is a write up of the session on the SLA Europe website.
As mentioned before, I decided to get information for my section of the discussion via a brief survey – many thanks to those who gave feedback. The main themes emerging from the results of this are shown below. Read the rest of this entry »