Social media on the phone

Social media can help you find new ways to interact and connect with your school community, to support reading, inquiry and digital literacy. It can promote interest and curiosity, and show that your library welcomes student involvement.

  • What can you do with social media?

    Social media makes it easy to create, join and take part in virtual communities and networks. Members of social media sites generate the site's content themselves. You can use social media to connect with students and your school community using the same platforms they use.

    Here are some ways you can use social media to enhance and extend your library's services:

    • curate and share information to support inquiry and research
    • engage with your community to promote the enjoyment of reading
    • develop your own learning networks and help others in your community do the same
    • share stories and images that celebrate what's happening in your library
    • increase awareness of your library services and create new opportunities for advocacy
    • enhance literacy initiatives and build home-school partnerships.

    #DadsRead campaign celebrates fathers reading to kids School Library Journal

    Using social media to connect with your community — TKI guide for schools planning, getting started and using social media

    Using social media to support school library services — SCIS Connections Issue 98

  • What can you do with social media?

    Social media makes it easy to create, join and take part in virtual communities and networks. Members of social media sites generate the site's content themselves. You can use social media to connect with students and your school community using the same platforms they use.

    Here are some ways you can use social media to enhance and extend your library's services:

    • curate and share information to support inquiry and research
    • engage with your community to promote the enjoyment of reading
    • develop your own learning networks and help others in your community do the same
    • share stories and images that celebrate what's happening in your library
    • increase awareness of your library services and create new opportunities for advocacy
    • enhance literacy initiatives and build home-school partnerships.

    #DadsRead campaign celebrates fathers reading to kids School Library Journal

    Using social media to connect with your community — TKI guide for schools planning, getting started and using social media

    Using social media to support school library services — SCIS Connections Issue 98

  • Platforms for different purposes

    Different social media platforms offer options for connecting with your community. It can be difficult to decide which one to begin with. Some platforms are better suited than others to creating and sharing different types of content. Think about your purpose for using social media to help you decide which platform to use.

    Building relationships

    Connect with members of your community on a personal level. Using a platform such as Facebook, you can create a stream of content on your network profile. This might include your own news updates, events, photos and polls, as well as shared content from other sites. You could use instant messaging apps (for example, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp) to provide online reference help and support for your users.

    Media sharing

    These sites make it easy for users to create, edit and share media such as photos and video. Posts on these sites begin with the media and let you add more information, such as captions, later. You can embed content from media sharing sites such as YouTube or Instagram into your virtual school library website.

    Social publishing

    These sites are predominantly used for text publishing. Blogging platforms such as Wordpress or Blogger provide for longer posts. Microblogging platforms such as Twitter or Tumblr are good for sharing small pieces of content. Users might share images this way, or links to longer posts or interesting articles online. Some of these platforms include features such as direct messaging between users.

    Curating digital content

    These sites allow you to put together collections of quality information from around the internet. You can give context and add value to content you've curated. Include your comments, questions or reflections and allow ways for your followers to do the same. You can embed content from sites such as LiveBinders or Scoop.it! into other platforms, for example your school's learning management system.

    Curating content

    Interest-based networks

    Social media makes it easy for people who have similar interests to find each other. You could use these networks to share your knowledge and enthusiasm for reading.

    For example, Goodreads is a site where readers can find book recommendations, see what others are reading and keep track of their own reading.

    SLANZA Bookclub on Goodreads — join this group to connect with other New Zealand school librarians.

  • Platforms for different purposes

    Different social media platforms offer options for connecting with your community. It can be difficult to decide which one to begin with. Some platforms are better suited than others to creating and sharing different types of content. Think about your purpose for using social media to help you decide which platform to use.

    Building relationships

    Connect with members of your community on a personal level. Using a platform such as Facebook, you can create a stream of content on your network profile. This might include your own news updates, events, photos and polls, as well as shared content from other sites. You could use instant messaging apps (for example, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp) to provide online reference help and support for your users.

    Media sharing

    These sites make it easy for users to create, edit and share media such as photos and video. Posts on these sites begin with the media and let you add more information, such as captions, later. You can embed content from media sharing sites such as YouTube or Instagram into your virtual school library website.

    Social publishing

    These sites are predominantly used for text publishing. Blogging platforms such as Wordpress or Blogger provide for longer posts. Microblogging platforms such as Twitter or Tumblr are good for sharing small pieces of content. Users might share images this way, or links to longer posts or interesting articles online. Some of these platforms include features such as direct messaging between users.

    Curating digital content

    These sites allow you to put together collections of quality information from around the internet. You can give context and add value to content you've curated. Include your comments, questions or reflections and allow ways for your followers to do the same. You can embed content from sites such as LiveBinders or Scoop.it! into other platforms, for example your school's learning management system.

    Curating content

    Interest-based networks

    Social media makes it easy for people who have similar interests to find each other. You could use these networks to share your knowledge and enthusiasm for reading.

    For example, Goodreads is a site where readers can find book recommendations, see what others are reading and keep track of their own reading.

    SLANZA Bookclub on Goodreads — join this group to connect with other New Zealand school librarians.

  • Strategy for social media use

    Developing a strategy helps you define the goals you have for using social media. Within your strategy, decide what tactics you'll use with each platform to achieve your goals.

    Your strategy document should include:

    • your library goals
    • your social media goals designed to support the overarching library goals
    • the audiences you're trying to reach through social media
    • objectives for each platform you're using, the type of content you'll share and how you'll know if it's been successful
    • specific tactics for each platform, such as:
      • post reading-related links on Facebook x number of times per week
      • share information about new library items every week
      • respond to comments and questions within 1 day.

    Social media optimization: five principles to guide your online activities — American Libraries Magazine

    Ideas for social media posts

    You'll want to keep up with regular posts so that your followers don't lose interest. But make sure that what you're sharing is relevant and informative to your followers. You don't want to overwhelm them with too much information or too many posts.

    Finding new ideas for posts can be hard to sustain, so here are some suggestions for things you could share. Many of these are quick and easy to do. Responsibility for posting could involve members of your library team, including student librarians.

    The big list of no-fluff social media post ideas for schools — Cursive

    100 killer ideas for your social media content — Forbes magazine

  • Strategy for social media use

    Developing a strategy helps you define the goals you have for using social media. Within your strategy, decide what tactics you'll use with each platform to achieve your goals.

    Your strategy document should include:

    • your library goals
    • your social media goals designed to support the overarching library goals
    • the audiences you're trying to reach through social media
    • objectives for each platform you're using, the type of content you'll share and how you'll know if it's been successful
    • specific tactics for each platform, such as:
      • post reading-related links on Facebook x number of times per week
      • share information about new library items every week
      • respond to comments and questions within 1 day.

    Social media optimization: five principles to guide your online activities — American Libraries Magazine

    Ideas for social media posts

    You'll want to keep up with regular posts so that your followers don't lose interest. But make sure that what you're sharing is relevant and informative to your followers. You don't want to overwhelm them with too much information or too many posts.

    Finding new ideas for posts can be hard to sustain, so here are some suggestions for things you could share. Many of these are quick and easy to do. Responsibility for posting could involve members of your library team, including student librarians.

    The big list of no-fluff social media post ideas for schools — Cursive

    100 killer ideas for your social media content — Forbes magazine

  • Guidelines for social media use

    You may want to create guidelines for those who will be using social media on behalf of your school library. This is especially important for volunteer members of your library team and those new to using social media.

    Guidelines should clarify:

    • who can do what, on which platforms
    • issues of privacy and security — your own and your students'
    • what is appropriate content
    • permissions for sharing content such as students' work or material covered by copyright
    • how your library's social media use complies with school-wide policies.

    6 ways to avoid those social media landmines — Daring Librarian

    Why do you need a social media policy? — Happy Days Librarian

  • Guidelines for social media use

    You may want to create guidelines for those who will be using social media on behalf of your school library. This is especially important for volunteer members of your library team and those new to using social media.

    Guidelines should clarify:

    • who can do what, on which platforms
    • issues of privacy and security — your own and your students'
    • what is appropriate content
    • permissions for sharing content such as students' work or material covered by copyright
    • how your library's social media use complies with school-wide policies.

    6 ways to avoid those social media landmines — Daring Librarian

    Why do you need a social media policy? — Happy Days Librarian

  • Examples of school libraries using social media

    For inspiration and ideas about how your school library might integrate and use social media, here are a few examples.

  • Examples of school libraries using social media

    For inspiration and ideas about how your school library might integrate and use social media, here are a few examples.

  • Find out more

    TKI chart — provides a useful comparison for several types of social media within a classroom context

    Get connected 2016 starter kete — makes an excellent reference tool for anyone and covers the main categories of social media tools

    Social media for school libraries — a curated list of links divided into sections for ease of access

    TKI Enabling e-Learning community — defines types of social media tools, with videos on how New Zealand students are using these tools

    Kathy Schrock — provides an in-depth overview of Twitter for educators

    Libraries and social media — International Librarians Network

    Boyd, D (2014). It’s complicated: the social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press — a great read for secondary school librarians wanting to learn more about teen social media use

  • Find out more

    TKI chart — provides a useful comparison for several types of social media within a classroom context

    Get connected 2016 starter kete — makes an excellent reference tool for anyone and covers the main categories of social media tools

    Social media for school libraries — a curated list of links divided into sections for ease of access

    TKI Enabling e-Learning community — defines types of social media tools, with videos on how New Zealand students are using these tools

    Kathy Schrock — provides an in-depth overview of Twitter for educators

    Libraries and social media — International Librarians Network

    Boyd, D (2014). It’s complicated: the social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press — a great read for secondary school librarians wanting to learn more about teen social media use