Honda has put out a series of short videos (videos are Flash) about “dreaming the impossible.” The videos cover some interesting topics including failure (which I’ve posted on), dreams, robots, and mobility.
“Technology is part of the evolution of the human race. It’s neither divine nor diabolical. It’s up to us how we use it.” -Deepak Chopra
This quote was about robots, but it could be just as applicable in libraries. Often people get hung up on technology. They think the newest thing will be a “game changer” or will revolutionize the way things are done. Or they vilify it as something ruining culture or as just another fad. Chopra points out that technology is not good or evil, but that we should be thoughtful in how it is used and applied.
I’d recommend watching a couple of these 7-8 minute videos. They’re inspirational and they bring up a number of fascinating ideas. The videos got me thinking about how libraries can start dreaming the impossible. Instead of making statements like “we don’t do it that way” or “that can’t be done,” we should be asking questions like “how can I make this vision a reality” and “why not?”
A valid concern that I’ve heard about using social media in libraries is “how do I find the time time to maintain a social media presence?” Librarians can be stretched pretty thin with their workload, or sometimes there are only one or two people running a library. Maintaining a social media presence takes time and commitment. It can be very difficult to regularly post Facebook page updates, fresh tweets, and new blog posts. This is where work flow comes in. There are technologies available to help even the busiest librarians post regularly to their social media accounts with ease.
One simple way to save time and make sure that you post regularly is to schedule tweets and posts. The best tool I have found to do that is HootSuite. HootSuite allows you to connect to both your library Twitter account and Facebook page and easily update them both from one web-based application. In addition HootSuite gives you the option to schedule your posts for sometime in the future.
Scheduling posts makes it easier to post regularly without the hassle of doing it every day. A librarian can take a half an hour once a week to write a research tip of the day and posts about multiple upcoming events, schedule them, and have posts coming out every day that week. This even makes it possible to post on weekends when you’re not actually around.
This is a very useful tool for already overtaxed librarians, yet it shouldn’t be the only thing you use. You also have to answer your patrons when they post on your wall or @mention you. And don’t let scheduled posts kill spontaneity either. Spontaneous posts are the often some of the best and most authentic. It’s necessary to find a good balance, but scheduling posts can be a very helpful practice in dealing with social media work flow.
Here’s a very brief video showing how to use HootSuite to schedule your posts.