May 20, 2022

New Research Article: “Engaging Users Through Social Media in Public Libraries” (Preprint)

The following research article (preprint) was recently shared on arXiv.


Engaging Users through Social Media in Public Libraries


Hongbo Zou
Queensland University of Technology

Hsuanwei Michelle Chen
San José State University

Sharmistha Dey
Griffith University


via arXiv


The “participatory library” is an emerging concept which refers to the idea that an integrated library system must allow users to take part in core functions of the library rather than engaging on the periphery. To embrace the participatory idea, libraries have employed many technologies, such as social media to help them build participatory services and engage users. To help librarians understand the impact of emerging technologies on participatory service building, this paper takes social media as an example to explore how to use different engagement strategies that social media provides to engage more users. This paper provides three major contributions to the library system. The libraries can use the resultant engagement strategies to engage its users. Additionally, the best-fit strategy can be inferred and designed based on users’ preferences. Lastly, the users’ preferences can be understood based on a data analysis of social media. Three such contributions put together to fully address the proposed research question of “how to use different engagement strategies on social media to build participatory library services and better engage more users visiting the library?”

Direct to Full Text Preprint
11 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.