June 25, 2009

Libraries Using Twitter to Engage Readers

Today, I was glancing through the Guardian, and came across an interesting article about how libraries in the United Kingdom are using Twitter to spread information to readers. Here's a piece from the article:
"Libraries throughout the UK are testing the waters of Twitter as a way to both engage with their readers and dispel their image as fusty, silent enclaves staffed by old-fashioned introverts.

At the British Library (@britishlibrary), they're talking about riding on John Berger's motorbike; "about as good as it gets I think." Aberdeenshire's libraries (@onceuponashire) are recommending books – "Katherine by Anya Seton is a great romp through the 14th century, well worth a read" – while the John Rylands University of Manchester library (@jrul) informs us that it has just made a 14th century cookbook available online, complete with recipes for porpoise, pike and blancmange.

Librarians as a group are very spread out around the country, and they are really seizing on Twitter as a great way to network and spread information among themselves. They are also trying it out to give information about author events and closing times to their users," said Benedicte Page, libraries expert at the Bookseller. From Milton Keynes (@mklibraries) to Devon (@devonlibraries), Plymouth (@plymlibraries) to Newcastle (@toonlibraries), over 40 UK libraries are now using Twitter, and a "Twitter for librarians" course will be held by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in September to encourage more to take it up.
The article notes later that the UK is behind the United States when it comes to Twittering. If you are interested, you can read the rest of the article here.

Speaking of Twittering, you can follow the Troy Public Library on Twitter @troylib or The Tech Desk at @tpltechnology.

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