Darcy Del Bosque, Emerging Technologies Librarian, and Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian, recently received national recognition for their 2012 article, Libraries atwitter: Trends in academic library tweeting. Del Bosque and Skarl, along with co-author Sam Leif (International Academy of Design and Technology), focused their research on how academic libraries are using Twitter to communicate with library users from a random sampling of academic libraries.
The librarians’ article first found national recognition when the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013 announced the article as a Highly Commended Award Winner. This summer, on June 29th, the ALA Research and Statistics Committee selected the article for inclusion in the 2012 Reference Research Review bibliography and noted that “the findings have implications for reference units seeking data to determine a return of investment in Twitter feeds at academic libraries.” The Reference Research Review selects the best library studies published within the last complete calendar year, annotating items of importance to the practice of reference. The 2012 bibliography can be found here .
“It was a wonderful honor and surprise that our article received accolades from two national organizations. Considering many of our users communicate via social media, we were excited to discover in our research how other academic libraries are using applications such as Twitter and Facebook to reach out to their populations,” said Skarl, upon learning that a second organization had recognized their article.
Del Bosque, Skarl, and Leif began investigating the use of Twitter in academic libraries because they wanted to explore social media as an emerging way for the University Libraries to connect to our community. The trends they documented proved relevant as they informed the ways the University Libraries now promotes library services and resources to a group of followers on Twitter. Their analysis of tweet content revealed that the majority of tweeting libraries used the platform to educate followers about information resources. Del Bosque noted the recognition as an affirmation that Twitter is a beneficial communication tool for academic libraries: “Social media is often perceived as frivolous, so it was nice to be acknowledged for an article that shows it can play an academic role in university libraries.”
Hear the messages the University Libraries delivers to undergraduate students, our primary audience on social media, by following us on Twitter  (@unlvlibraries) and liking the Libraries on Facebook .
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Discover what all of the buzz is and read Libraries atwitter: Trends in academic library tweeting .