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Harnessing Yik Yak for Good: a Study of Students’ Anonymous Library Feedback
Journal of Web Librarianship (2016)
  • Mark Robison
  • Ruth S Connell
This study explores academic libraries’ potential uses of the mobile application Yik Yak, with particular focus on patrons’ anonymous feedback about library services and spaces. Over a 232-day period, the authors observed the Yik Yak feed for their university and recorded all yaks related to the library. A content analysis of the 249 library-related yaks found six distinct purposes that these library-related yaks served, from the perspective of the patron, that are of interest to the library: asking questions about library services; reporting problems with library spaces; reprimanding violations of and encouraging adherence to library policies; sharing compliments about library services; demonstrating need for improved library services; and discussing and offering feedback about library programs. This study reveals several opportunities for academic libraries to engage with Yik Yak in order to serve their patrons better, including providing virtual reference services, monitoring problems within the building, developing proactive approaches to policy enforcement, gathering honest and continuous feedback about the library’s strengths, and identifying opportunities to improve and expand services. Implications for practice are discussed.
  • Academic Libraries,
  • Anonymous,
  • Libraries,
  • Observation,
  • Social media,
  • University,
  • User Satisfaction,
  • Yik Yak
Publication Date
November, 2016
Publisher Statement
This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an Article submitted to the Journal of Web Librarianship available online at
Citation Information
Mark Robison and Ruth S Connell. "Harnessing Yik Yak for Good: a Study of Students’ Anonymous Library Feedback" Journal of Web Librarianship (2016) p. 1 - 21 ISSN: 1932-2909
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