UW-Stout Library

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is a state university with just over 9000 students. The library has a blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.

The library page on the UW-Stout website has links to all of their social media. Unfortunately, UW-Stout also has links to all of the university’s social media quite near to the library’s social media icons. I definitely on the university icons first, but realized my mistake. The library icons are clearly identified as library-related, and presumably if I were more familiar with the website (which, the library announced on all its social media, changed this very weekend) I’d know the university icons are always on the bottom bar. The setup’s not ideal, but it’s okay. Even though I clicked on the wrong icon, I saw both sets of icons right away – hurray for obvious links to social media! After all, people won’t use your social media if they don’t know it exists.

UW-Stout library page

Screenshot of the UW-Stout library home page.

I really like the library blog. Every week a Library Video of the Week and Browsing Area Book of the Week are posted. There’s a brief description of each book or video, a picture, and the library call number. The descriptions are both clear and interesting, and each post is clearly tagged. It’s a really great feature and lets students know about the fun stuff they can find at their academic library.

In addition to the book and video posts, the blog posts about some library and campus events. There are posts about the new website, banned books week, a thesis workshop and checking out textbooks. This practical information is nice, but the majority of the posts are for books and videos, so anyone who checks the blog regularly presumably does so for those.

The blog also has a link to the Facebook page and the last few posts appear. It’s great that you can go to the Facebook page from the blog; it would be even better if there was also a link to the Twitter feed.

The library Facebook page links to each blog post, but it also has many other posts. There are some Facebook-specific posts, which mostly involve photos or links to other local organizations’ posts, but the majority of the posts are tweets or links to the blog. It covers practical library-related information that students need to know, like special hours, as well as fun information. There are links to all kinds of technology news articles, links to free classical music downloads, and of course those videos and books of the week. You can also find the library hours, website, and contact information from the Facebook page. It’s attractive, with all those images and links the Librarian in Black would recommend, and updates several times a week. The page has been liked by 177 people.

The Twitter feed contains links to blog posts and links to news articles, those classical music downloads, and so forth. They’re making announcements, not having a conversation, but that’s a valid way to use Twitter. The library is following 177 Twitter users and is followed by 52.

If I were a student at UW-Stout (or using the library in some other capacity), I’d like their Facebook page. I already use Facebook, so I wouldn’t have to go anywhere outside my usual routine, plus the Facebook page brings together the blog posts and tweets, so it has everything all in one place. It would let me know if anything important was going on at the library, plus I could see all kinds of interesting articles. Overall, the library uses social media mostly to promote the library’s leisure collections and provide links to all sorts of technology and information news. That’s a pretty valid function. Their posts are all easy to follow even for people new to the various pages. If the library started asking more questions, they might get more people interacting with their social media, which would be the next step up. An explicit invitation for users to share their thoughts on an article, or a book or video of the week, could be all they need.

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