100 Most Social Media Friendly College & University Libraries for 2013
Librarians have come up with some innovative ways to use social media, from publishing pictures of edible book contest entries on Pinterest and Flickr to posting library-themed quotes and cartoons. But regardless of how each library uses their social media accounts, the end goal is the same: to get more students to visit the library.
The staff at LibraryScienceList.com searched the most popular social media platforms looking for libraries that are actively using their accounts to promote library events, notify students of new materials, or interact with patrons in other ways. We ended up with a list of 442 college and university libraries, which were evaluated based on their level of activity on various platforms. The highest possible score was 100, with 32 points for Facebook, 25 for Twitter, 18 for YouTube, 7 for Pinterest, 4 for Google Plus, and 14 for Flickr.
All libraries on this list are free to use our Top 100 badge distinction on your website, blog, or social media accounts.
#1) University of Texas Libraries – University of Texas at Austin
In addition to the main Perry-Castañeda Library, there are several specialized libraries at the University of Texas, including the Architecture & Planning Library, the Mallet Chemistry Library, and the Marine Science Library.
#2) Oviatt Library – California State University – Northridge
CSU’s Northridge Library has teamed up with the University of North Texas Department of Library and Information Sciences to create a Master’s in LIS program for students in the greater Los Angeles area.
#3) University of Kansas Libraries – University of Kansas
A post on the KU libraries’ Facebook wall alerts students that the submission deadline for the LibArt program is approaching. Winners will have their artwork displayed in the library for a full school year.
Albertsons Library uses its Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus streams to post about things that are happening at the library, such as an educational program celebrating National Wildlife Week and a reading by poet Alice Notley. There’s even a picture of a plastic coyote keeping guard over the library grounds.
In addition to the usual news and announcements, you’ll find author trivia, interesting articles, and pictures of strange books (such as Why There’s Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste) on Luria Library’s Facebook page.
#7) J. Willard Marriott Library – University of Utah
Students at the University of Utah can catch announcements for upcoming library events on the Marriott Library’s Twitter stream. Recent events included a lecture on genetically modified foods, a speech by the author of “Death and Transformation,” and a book sale.
#8) Syracuse University Library – Syracuse University
Through the Raymond Carver Reading Series, the Syracuse University Library brings about a dozen writers to campus each year for readings. Poet Dean Young and short story writer Diane Williams are two of this year’s guest authors.
#9) NCSU Libraries – North Carolina State University
The Hunt Library will be officially dedicated during ceremonies held on April 2nd to April 4th. The library features a creativity studio, music rooms, media production studios complete with a green screen and studio lighting, and even a game lab with a 20′ wide video display for game development or just for fun.
#10) William H. Hannon Library – Loyola Marymount University
During the month of April, check out the Le Point Vierge Mary & the Catholic Imagination exhibit at the William H. Hannon Library. The exhibit contains photos of the Virgin Mary taken throughout the Los Angeles archdiocese.
#11) Georgia Tech Library – Georgia Institute of Technology
Need a gadget? The Georgia Tech Library probably has it. You can check out items such as laptop computers, iPads, Kindles, digital cameras, camcorders, and audiovisual equipment for use in the library. Most items are loaned out in 4-hour increments, and there is often a waiting list for high-demand items such as cameras.
#12) University at Buffalo Libraries – University at Buffalo – SUNY
The UB Libraries make good use of their Pinterest account, with covers of books and films divided by category. Whether you prefer fantasy, mysteries, or women’s fiction, you can find a selection of books to suit your taste. There are also separate boards for the library’s digital collections the Health Sciences Library.
#13) Pollak Library – California State University – Fullerton
Right now in the Atrium Gallery of the Pollak Library, there is an art exhibit on sustainability. In addition to art, the exhibit includes a reading room containing hundreds of books from many disciplines that address the issue of sustainability.
#14) Earl Gregg Swem Library – The College of William & Mary
The Earl Gregg Swem Library will be launching the William & Mary Hip Hop Collection on April 19th. The collection features documents, recordings, and artifacts related to the state of Virginia’s hip hop history from the 1980s to the present. DJ Wyze will provide entertainment at the launch.
#15) UC Santa Barbara Library – University of California – Santa Barbara
The UCSB Library will be renovated beginning in June to add student study spaces and gathering areas for both students and faculty in a new three-story addition. The original two-story building and the eight-story library tower will be retrofitted as part of the renovation.
#16) Penn State University Libraries – Penn State University
Don’t miss “10 Things College Students Should Know about Money” in the Foster Auditorium on April 10th. This presentation by Dr. Cathy Bowen is part of a series to celebrate April as Financial Literacy Month.
#17) University of Washington University Libraries – University of Washington
The University of Washington Libraries’ Special Collection, Labor Archives of Washington, has been selected to receive the 2013 John Sessions Memorial Award from The Reference and User Services Association. The Labor Archives of Washington contains photos, papers, and records from unions, labor leaders, workers, and organizations that supported the labor movement throughout history.
#19) University of Southern California Libraries – University of Southern California
The USC Libraries house several special collections, including the 65,000-volume American Literature Collection, the Arlien Johnson Social Work History Collection, a collection of digital documents from the Chinese Historical Society, and the Lewis Carroll Collection.
#20) University of Hawaii at Manoa Library – University of Hawaii at Manoa
Each year, the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library hosts an edible book contest. Cakes, cupcakes, and other food entries are designed to look like books, and prizes are awarded. Tickets to taste the entries cost $1 or 1 can of food. The money and canned goods are donated to the Hawaii Food Bank.
#21) Montana State University Library – Montana State University
Get one-on-one help with your academic writing at the MSU Library’s Writing Center. Whether you need topic ideas, help finding research materials, or writing and editing help, the tutors at the Writing Center can give you the assistance you need to polish your research paper.
#22) Michigan State University Libraries – Michigan State University
The Faculty Book Exhibit features a selection of books written, edited, or translated by MSU faculty members. The full Faculty Book Collection can be found in the Main Library. The library tries to get two copies of each faculty-authored book, one for the library itself and one for the collection.
#23) Dick Smith Library – Tarleton State University
Films on Demand is just one of the services available from the databases page of the Tarleton University Libraries website. The service provides on-demand films from sources such as the BBC, CNBC, the History Channel, National Geographic, and PBS.
#24) Mississippi State University Libraries – Mississippi State University
The John Grisham Room at the Mitchell Memorial Library features a collection of photographs, correspondence, promotional materials, and other items celebrating the achievements of MSU alumnus and bestselling author John Grisham.
#25) Kent State University Libraries – Kent State University
The special collections at Kent State University include the Borowitz Collection, which documents criminal cases that have significantly impacted society, and the May 4 Collection, which documents the shooting of Kent State Students by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970.
#26) University of Iowa Libraries – University of Iowa
The University of Iowa is in the process of building a 37,000 square foot Learning Commons in the main library. In addition to tech-infused study space for more than 500 students, the Learning Commons will provide coffee and academic assistance.
Rod Library uses Pinterest for more than just posting new book arrivals. There is a Hunger Games board that includes a Hunger Games cheat sheet, Hunger Games themed nail decor, and instructions to help you braid your hair like Katniss.
#28) UTSA Libraries – The University of Texas at San Antonio
UTSA Libraries is giving away an iPad mini to the person who wins the design contest for the next Blue Crew giveaway button. The library gives out buttons at various times during the year—sometimes for special occasions and sometimes just for fun.
#29) Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center – Nova Southeastern University
The Alvin Sherman Library holds weekly storytime sessions for preschoolers and toddlers along with classes and seminars for children, teens, and adults. Some upcoming events include a genealogy seminar by Debbie Duay, Ph.D., a LEGO Builders Club meeting for ages 6 and up, and a class on starting a backyard vegetable garden.
#30) Virginia Tech Libraries – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
VT Libraries has a board on Pinterest dedicated to book art. The photos include books with paper sculptures erupting from them, folded book art, sculptures made by cutting or carving books, and a handmade book with a carved wooden cover.
Students can now check out Kindles from the Ford Library. The library offers best sellers in the business category for rental as well as career books. A new category, business classics, will be offered soon.
#32) UNC University Libraries – University of North Carolina
Upcoming events at UNC Libraries include a rare book acquisitions evening, a lecture on the Speaker Ban that prohibited communist speakers from speaking at UNC from 1963 to 1968, and a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon.
Alden Library has some interesting boards on its Pinterest account, such as “Famous Visitors to OU & Athens,” “College Life in the Movies,” “Hispanic American Heritage Month,” and “Top Banned/Challenged Books 2000-2009.”
#34) Albert B. Alkek Library – Texas State University – San Marcos
The Alkek Library Facebook page encourages patrons to check out new books, magazines, and other items available at the library. Some recent additions include video cameras, GPS units, The Backpacker’s Field Manual, and Bicycling Magazine.
#35) Gleeson Library – University of San Francisco
The Donahue Rare Book Room is currently exhibiting Walls: A Journey across Three Continents, an art book containing illustrations by Tom Killion, master printmaker. The book is on display along with some of the original watercolors and woodcuts.
#36) VCU Libraries – Virginia Commonwealth University
The 2013 VCU Tech Fair is coming soon to the Tompkins-McCaw Library. Other upcoming events include a simulcast of the TEDMED 2013 conference and a lecture on searching for the meaning of life at the Singleton Center for the Performing Arts.
#37) UCSF Library – University of California – San Francisco
Learn how to build online courses with Moodle 2, become a better presenter, or create and publish your own e-book for the iPad by taking a class at the UCF library. Other topics covered include EndNote, RefWorks, and digital video editing.
#38) University of St. Thomas Libraries – University of St. Thomas
The UST Libraries are having a Food for Fines food drive. For every can of food you bring in, you’ll knock $2 off your library fines. In addition to canned goods, you can also bring dry goods such as pasta or rice and personal care items. Food donations will help stock the Emergency Food Shelf at the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches.
#39) Eastern Kentucky University Libraries – Eastern Kentucky University
The Women on a Mission exhibit in the Main Library tells the stories of Beatrice Huguely, Anna Kadlec, Katherine Phelps Caperton, and Anna Lilly, four women who were involved in politics and the civil rights movement.
#41) Kansas State University Libraries – Kansas State University
Check out the “Book Crafts” board on the K-State Libraries Pinterest account for some creative things to do with books. How about making them into a dress, a chair, or a lamp? You’ll find plenty of ideas for books that would otherwise be thrown away.
#42) Z. Smith Reynolds Library – Wake Forest University
The oldest book in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library’s Special Collections is a manuscript codex that was created around 1240, about 200 years before the invention of moveable type. The book is a commentary on the gospels of Matthew and John.
#43) Baylor University Libraries – Baylor University
The Riley Digitization Center in the basement of Moody Memorial Library provides a high-speed book imager with automatic page turner, a large-format scanner, a sound booth for converting LPs and 45s, a cassette transfer system, and a video digitization system.
Due to the rising cost of journal subscriptions and budget limitations, the Albert S. Cook Library has been forced to cancel many journal subscriptions for 2013. An effort was made to switch as many titles as possible from print to electronic, but it was still necessary to cancel some subscriptions completely.
Now and Then: 1973 is a new exhibit coming to the Harrison Feature Gallery on May 1st. The exhibit will commemorate the most important events of 1973, including the Roe v. Wade decision, the Watergate scandal, the Endangered Species Act, and the return of POWs from the Vietnam War.
#46) Townsend Memorial Library – University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Townsend Memorial Library is having an infographic contest. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to use any tools at their disposal to create an infographic and share it on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #tmlinfographic. The winner will receive a Kindle.
#47) Falvey Memorial Library – Villanova University
Upcoming events at Falvey Memorial Library include “Chicago Style in 30 Minutes!” and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries Marathon. The Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts Club meets in the first floor lounge to play video games together on Friday afternoons.
Fletcher Library created a display to raise awareness of autism for World Autism Day, which was April 2nd. There is also a photographic exhibit on the 2nd floor highlighting the beauty of liquid. Named The Liquid Project, the exhibit includes 27 photos.
#49) Madison Area Technical College Libraries – Madison Area Technical College
The Madison Area Technical College Libraries are in the process of implementing a Print Smart program, which is intended to encourage students to be mindful of whether they really need a printout. Beginning June 10, students will be charged if they print more than the allotted number of copies per semester.
#50) IUB Libraries – Indiana University – Bloomington
The Vonnegut Collection at the Lilly Library has recently received a new donation: a transparency used by Kurt Vonnegut in a lecture on “How to Get a Job Like Mine” that was held at Indiana University in 1983.
If your school didn’t make the list, you can always try for next year. First, take a look at your library’s social media accounts and see if there are platforms missing. Pinterest is a great platform for promoting new media items, but only 23.4% of the libraries we considered use it. Once you have accounts set up at each of the platforms you plan to use, look for innovative ways to engage your patrons by checking out what some of the libraries on this list have done. You’d be surprised at how much progress you can make in a year.
Note: Please let us know if you notice any mistakes in your library’s social media stats.