rusq: Vol. 50 Issue 2: p. 194
Sources: Microblogging and Lifestreaming in Libraries
Jenna Ryan

Jenna Ryan, Reference Librarian, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Part of the Library and Information Technology Association’s Tech Set series, Microblogging and Lifestreaming in Libraries is a step-by-step guide for incorporating popular social media such as Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, and others into the library outreach and communication arsenal. The book is well organized and takes the reader through the process of integrating these services into their library’s outreach portfolio.

Detailed instructions are provided on how best to integrate microblogging and lifestreaming services into a library’s established activities. The author explains how to use the services to create multiple avenues of access to the information the library provides, such as integrating library blog posts into Twitter and integrating the library’s Twitter stream into its website.

Social media services are becoming part of people’s daily lives, particularly for the younger generation, and microblogging and lifestreaming allow libraries to make their presence known among a community that is less likely to walk through the building doors. Hastings discusses marketing strategies and best practices not only for attracting users to the service, but also for using the service to establish the library as a vital part of the local online community.

Hastings’ style is clear, and her instructions are easy to follow. Each chapter contains “info boxes” defining terms, providing related information, and itemizing key points. Specific instructions are often accompanied by screenshots illustrating the process. The only downside to the high level of detail is that parts of the book quickly will become obsolete as the services discussed change their options and site designs or even disappear completely. The general discussion and best practices described, however, will continue to be relevant as long as the concepts remain current.

Hastings concludes with a discussion of assessment and a list of recommended print and electronic sources. In addition, a wiki is set up in conjunction with the book, with updates from the author and an area for readers to share their own experiences and tips. This book is highly recommended for any library planning to get involved in this new arena.

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