You’ve Been Followed: How Public Libraries Use Twitter To Engage Their Patrons

Stanislav Orlov 1 *, Alla Kushniryk 1

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine how public libraries in Canada and the USA use social media to communicate with their patrons. The authors identified Twitter as one of the most popular communication tools, which, however, is often not used efficiently. The researchers collected 38,000 Twitter messages from thirteen public libraries. The data was examined using network analysis based on four proposed dimensions: velocity, reciprocity, centrality and message control. The dimensions of velocity and reciprocity are two major factors in understanding the nature of Twitter messages, while the centrality and message control dimensions are very important in evaluating the impact on the flow of communication and the strength of connections between a library and its patrons. The authors devised a set of recommendations for public libraries to improve their communication strategies in order to increase the number of followers and more actively engage patrons on Twitter.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 6, Issue December 2016 - Special Issue, pp. 229-241

Published Online: 01 Dec 2016

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