Sunday, April 19, 2009

Twitter and the Library Catalog

So when we talk about libraries using Twitter, we tend to limit the discussion to ways in which we can market programs and services or reach out to new patrons. For many of you, that is most likely the only way that Twitter would be relevant to your work, and there's nothing wrong with that! However, I wanted to share a post from the Library Revolution blog, detailing the how one systems librarian used Twitter to keep both staff and patrons up to speed on OPAC downtime and other issues that might affect their searching and work. It's not too technical, but this Library Journal article sums it up even more neatly. She basically set up Twitter so that she can send a simple message which will appear at the top of the OPAC page to automatically let staff and patrons know what's going on...that way patrons don't grow frustrated when the OPAC doesn't respond and staff don't have to go searching through their emails for system alerts.

Again, this is probably well beyond most of your job descriptions, but I thought it might be nice to see a practical application for something that often seems like a silly tool only good for social purposes (and it is certainly great for those!). Happy Tweeting!