The University of Southampton’s library has launched a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel to extend its communication with students.
The social media strategy, developed by library staff and students at the University, aims to provide ‘the most accurate content and information from the library, whilst remaining relevant to students’. The project has been launched to improve communication with users of the library services, providing students with course materials and library information. The YouTube channel will also be used to release videos for existing and future students explaining to use many of the library’s services.
Developers of the project hope that not only will Facebook and Twitter will be used to inform students and act as a virtual extension of the library helpdesk, but also that students will use the social networking sites to build a community – using the pages to organise where to meet fellow students and other social activities.
Users can also use the social networking sites to comment on library facilities .
Chris Fowler is Head of E-Library Services. She said: ‘we were looking for a contact method that is more active than static web pages. We found that where we had to get key information to users rapidly, such as when some of the Libraries were closed during the bad weather, we didn’t have an instant means of contacting users.’
She continues, ‘We hope that as well as telling people when we are running extended opening hours and extra facilities for exam revision, users themselves might be able to enrich the picture by tweeting about where there are free computers and work spaces. We are gradually improving our bigger bookable group study rooms with touch screens and this is also useful to know.
‘We know that these materials are accessed 24/7. At Southampton, there are five sites and so there are users based out at the General Hospital, at the Dockside campus, Winchester, Avenue as well as the Hartley users. We have a lot of information and a scattered audience so it makes sense to tweet and to post on Facebook in order to extend our contact with users.’
Keep an eye on www.facebook.com/UniSotonLibrary for updates and details as more features and content is released over the Easter.
Also follow http://twitter.com/UniSotonLibrary for additional content and to join the community.