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By Beth McGough, Marketing Manager


The latest report from the Pew Research Center looks at social media use over the last ten years. The result of the research is based on social media usage of all adults, not just internet users, making the report even more striking.

Pew reports that 65% of adults use at least one social network, this is up from 7% in 2005. Several trends emerged from the analysis:

 -Usage among seniors has tripled over the last ten years.

-Men and women use social media at similar rates, as do different racial and ethnic groups.

-Those with higher education levels and higher income are more likely to use social media.

-More than half of rural residents use social media but are less likely to use it than suburban or urban residents.

Social media usage is nearly ubiquitous among young adults. In a report on smartphone use, published in April 2015, Pew stated 91% of smartphone owners 18-29 use their phone for social networking.

What approaches have libraries taken to grow their social media presence over the last decade?

    -In a study done at Montana State University a community-building approach was taken with Twitter resulting in 366% increase in the student user community and 275% increase in interactions. (1)

    -A study published in International Research: Journal of Library and Information Science determined “Participants described using their social networking accounts for student and faculty outreach, to participate in intrainstitutional interest groups and committees, to discuss papers and ideas with other professionals, to share conference and event photos, and to advertise job openings.” (2) 

    -The Albertsons Library at Boise State University grew their social media presence through experimentation, collaboration, partnerships, and measurement. (3)

These are just a few examples of how libraries are using social media and adapting their approach to this important communication medium. How has your library’s approach to social media changed over the last ten years? 

(1) Young, S. W. H., & Rossmann, D. (2015). Building library community through social media. Information Technology and Libraries (Online), 34(1), 20-37.

(2) Jadhav, V. G. (2014). Application of social networking services (SNS) for library collaboration: An exploratory study. International Research: Journal of Library and Information Science, 4(1) Retrieved from

(3) Ramsey, E., & Vecchione, A. (2014). Engaging library users through a social media strategy. Journal of Library Innovation, 5(2), 71-82. Retrieved from

27 Oct 2015

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