Presented at the 2016 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference poster session, Orlando, FL. June 26.
Social media has increasingly become an integral part of our personal and professional lives worldwide, and it revolutionizes how we communicate and share information. Libraries and librarians are early adopters and proponents for the use of social media. In countries such as China, social media has gained momentum in the recent years, and particularly in colleges and libraries.
This poster first investigates social media's presences and applications especially in university libraries in the U.S. and in China. The two countries use different social media apps such as WeChat, Facebook, Twitter, Weibo and Blog. It then focuses on a case study of Tongji University Libraries' Microblog and the University of Central Florida (UCF) Libraries' Facebook. The study takes a full year of posting data from the two libraries as the comparison sample for analysis. Five broad categories, including education resources, library collections and resources, library services, news and announcements and social interactions, and about forty subcategories are designed and the two datasets are classified based on these categories and subcategories. Quantitative analysis is performed to investigate various social media metrics such as reach, impressions and likes, and textual analysis is done to analyze popular categories, top words and word trends with Voyant and Excel.
Through this study, it is found that social media in China and the US are represented by different platforms in academic libraries but they are functioning in similar ways. Both Tongji and UCF Libraries use news and announcement to raise awareness of library events and resources, and social interactions to engage users and promote libraries. At the same time, they differ in social media administration, user bases, post content, posting style and culture. These similarities and differences give insights into how social media has shaped the library community in regards to information learning, library services and social communication.
Deng, S., Zhang, Y. & Xu, J. (2016). Social media for librarians and users, a global perspective. American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference 2016, Orlando, FL, June 26.