This past summer I completed an independent study on how archives and special collections use, could use, and should use social media. As part of the class, I sent out a survey asking archivists and special collections librarians how their repository uses these platforms (or why they choose not to use social media). I received 185 results from institutions all across the spectrum – large, small, academic, corporate, religious, etc. The answer to each question ranged from the expected to surprising answers. Sorting through the data took me some time (especially since a large portion of the survey was open to comments, rather than selecting an answer), but I am finally ready to share the results with you all!
The following document includes statistics on what types of archives and special collections are and are not using social media, what platforms they use and what they post on them, how they manage their social media presence, and whether or not they consider their program a success, among other things. I could not include all of the comments, so I chose a selection based on common answers or answers I thought would be particularly useful to other archivists and special collections librarians. The 2012 survey results are available here on my website, and I plan to repeat this survey regularly to track how repositories change their social media use and strategies.
If you have any questions or comments on these results, please feel free to contact me through this blog or at rchopman[at]gmail[dot]com.