Aberdeen Library

Aberdeen Libraries include a central library, 16 community branches, and mobile and home library services. The city of Aberdeen has a population of 200,000. The Aberdeen Library and Information Services site is part of the City Council site, but it’s a simple, attractive site with plenty of information. I particularly like the clear link to Facebook on the right-hand side of the home page. I find it easy to overlook icons, so the brief description, photo and Like button work well for me.

Aberdeen Library site

Screenshot of the Aberdeen Library home page.

The home page of the site also acts sort of as a blog. There are announcements about library closures, programming, and other news announcements. It’s more of an old-fashioned newsletter than a blog, though, as there doesn’t seem to be a way to leave comments. Their options may be limited by the City Council site’s design. Aberdeen Library’s primary social media is Facebook.

There’s an Aberdeen City Libraries Facebook page, which 167 people have liked. It’s very straightforward and easy to use. There are posts about changing hours, new materials, and special programming. Occasionally other people post on the wall to ask questions. The new materials posts are mostly about DVDs, and include links to trailers. They might consider expanding their new materials posts to books and other materials.

Their most social posts have to do with displays at the central library. They’ve been soliciting user suggestions for a display of books people didn’t finish. There have been a few comments, and the current list includes Ulysses, Austerlitz, and Midnight’s Children. I really like this idea. People get to contribute to the displays, and it’s a good question. Continuing to come up with questions that users will be will want to answer for displays could be tough, though.

The library also occasionally posts pop culture links: there’s one for the 20th anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s death, and one for the birthday of Robert Vaughn, Scarlett Johansson, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The first post asks users about their favorite Queen song, and the second lets people know that the Aberdeen Libraries have several of those actors’ movies. It’s a pretty good way of reminding users what the libraries offer while being somewhat interesting and timely.

Now, the Aberdeen Libraries offer a lot more than DVDs. As a former user of the Aberdeen Libraries, I can attest that at least in 2009, their collections were dominated by books. Their fixation on DVDs when it comes to their Facebook page is interesting. Aberdeen Libraries charge for checking out CDs and DVDs. It’s possible that they just want people to know that the library does have materials other than books. However, by only talking about DVDs it seems like they’re trying to encourage people to use these paid services instead of the free ones. That might well be their aim. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it would seem a little less suspicious if they mentioned the occasional book.

Even if I were still using the Aberdeen Libraries, I don’t believe I would have liked their Facebook page. I might occasionally show up to a closed library as a result (which, in fact, I did do while in Aberdeen…), but since I’m not that interested in what DVDs the library could rent to me, I probably wouldn’t bother using a Facebook page that focuses on that. If they broadened the focus of the page, I (and potentially other users) would be more interested.

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