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Houston Public Library: Social Media and Library Promotion

Houston Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Patricia Bustamante, Manager, Central Electronic Library Services , patricia.bustamante@cityofhouston.net

Problem Statement

Houston has a viable virtual community that is thriving outside the library walls. We wanted to connect with these virtual users by using accessible and fun social media to promote library services, provide new access points to online resources, and use new communication tools to connect with virtual library users.

Innovation

HPL’s Twitter account is primarily used to broadcast library’s events and programs. bit.ly (a URL shortner), allows us to provide links but also keep statistics of click-throughs. Our Facebook fan page has been customized by adding tabs that point to online resources. A suite of free editing tools helps create whimsical profile pictures which make the page more dynamic. Social media platforms allow us to engage with our customers through social reference by answering questions and providing feedback in a timely manner.

Progress

At the moment, HPL has more than 4,000 Twitter followers (ranks 2nd most followed public library in the United States in Twitter) and 1,000 plus Facebook fans.