The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is a state university with about 9500 students. The library has a blog and a Facebook page (and a Flickr account, but I won’t go into that here).
The library home page has links to Facebook, Flickr, and its RSS feed. The RSS feed is for the library blog, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to go directly to the blog from the library home page. The icons for each are big and stand out against the light purple background, so users shouldn’t overlook them.
One of the more interesting features of the library blog is the book of the week. Each book has a picture, the publisher’s description, and the library call number. Some posts also include links to reviews. Recent books are all nonfiction, but they range from The Atlas of Global Inequalities to Balzac’s Omelette. Using publishers’ descriptions makes it easier to summarize books the person posting may not have read, or only skimmed, but it is less personal than writing original summaries. Plus, it makes it unclear how books of the week are chosen. None of this is terribly important, though – there are summaries of cool books you can get from the UW-Stevens Point library, which is great. It’s also nice that they include books from the reference section like The Atlas of Global Inequalities instead of focusing on leisure materials, as some other libraries do.
In addition to the books of the week, there are posts about other library news. There are bios for new librarians, and details for a survey about the library website. The blog updates at least once a week (as books of the week would suggest). The blog is fairly easy to find, and the posts are straightforward, but it’s not really an interactive space; most blog posts don’t have comments.
The Facebook page is a little more social. 182 people have liked this page. Most posts are either from the page administrator or someone from the UWSP Library Assistant Managers group. An advantage of this group is that it lets multiple people post while still identifying them as part of the library. Unfortunately, whoever is posting from the group is identified as “UWSP Library Assistant Managers”, so you can’t really get a sense of individuals.
Posts from the page administrator include links to the book of the week blog posts, links to library-related news articles (about UW-Stevens Point or libraries more generally), and questions. For Halloween they posted a picture of jack-o-lanterns along with the question “What’s your favorite scary movie?” (somehow, this doesn’t seem quite as intimidating as when GhostFace asks the same question). Some posts are liked or have a few comments, but most are from the same few people/organizations.
At the moment the UWSP Library Assistant Managers are posting pictures and telling people to come to the library if they know where they’re from. Presumably the pictures are of places on campus, and I’m guessing that there’s some sort of contest, but that’s not entirely clear. A post to explain what’s going on might help out people who aren’t already familiar with the contest, and put the really cool pictures into context.
You can also find the library’s contact information and hours on the Facebook page, along with their mission statement and a link to the blog. It’s always good to see links from one social media tool to another!
More questions and contests like the current one could encourage more people to use and interact with the library Facebook page. If I were at UW-Stevens Point, I might like the Facebook page as a convenient way of seeing library news. That shark picture would definitely help. Since there are links to all the blog posts on Facebook, there’s not much reason to follow the blog if you’re using the Facebook page. That’s not a bad thing – whether people are accessing a blog from Facebook links or an RSS feed doesn’t alter the content.