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Michael J. Jones
Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, UK
Northumbria University, UK
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JOLIS)
Published Online Before Print September 22, 2016
In an attempt to market their services and connect with potential users, and particularly young people, many libraries are opening accounts on social media platforms. Research suggests a contradiction between the advice relating to marketing and that regarding the use of social media in libraries, with the former emphasising the importance of the user at the centre of all considerations and the latter placing library staff as central to decisions. In this work we attempt to re-address this imbalance by surveying the current state of library activity on Twitter and, by means of questionnaires, investigate the experiences and motivations of librarians (n=58) in using social media and whether students (n=498) are willing to engage with the library in this manner and why. Our findings confirm that libraries in the sector are indeed struggling to foster interest in their social media activities and go some way to understanding why this is so, leading to a number of conclusions and recommendations for practitioners.
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