This is the final installment in a series of three posts which explore engaging undergraduate and graduate students through social media. The first post focused on student use of social media. The second post focused on social media for study and research. These posts are based on a study conducted by Hanover Research.
Beth McGough, Social Media Manager, ProQuest
Part 3: Providing library services through social media
The study revealed that few undergraduate and graduate students are currently contacting librarians or faculty through social media. This could be because students prefer traditional forms of communication, or they are not aware of the library’s presence on social sites.
When students were asked if they would be interested in library services delivered through social media, they responded positively. Undergraduates expressed more interest than graduate students.
What services would the library want to provide through social media? The top three services noted in the study were:
- Ability to share files or citations
- Ability to ask questions of the librarian in real time
- Tutorials and research instruction
What can librarians take away from this portion of the study?
In addition to the recommendations in the first and second posts, librarians could:
- Promote the library’s social media sites within the library, in newsletters, on the library website, and through other means of communication with students
- Introduce students to tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and school services such as an intranet or Blackboard/Moodle where students can share files
- Provide real-time reference services through Twitter
- Add new and existing video tutorials to YouTube and Facebook
Additional Resources (click on the infographic to see the entire thing):
For a more in-depth look at the Hanover study, download the Engaging Students through Social Media whitepaper, or view the Engaging Students through Social Media presentation given at Internet Librarian 2013.
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