Librarians and archivists in pop culture

Buffy, Barbara Gordon, and Marian the Librarian, oh my! There are plenty of librarians and a fair number of archivists in pop culture, and I put together a bunch of examples for a National Library Week ice cream social at my job. Here are just a few of them:

Thanks to all the librarians and archivists who suggested characters/libraries on Twitter and tumblr. Here are some of their favorites:

(Sorry the text is tiny – click to zoom!)

Librarians and archivists in pop culture

Who is your favorite librarian/archivist in pop culture?



Happy first day of spring!

Dance of the Stars, University of Maryland May Day, circa 1923-1931

Dance of the Stars, University of Maryland May Day, circa 1923-1931

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary and her Flowers. From the

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary and her Flowers. From the “Mother Gooseland” themed 1928 May Day celebrations. This image is also featured in the 1928 Reveille yearbook, page 273.

It’s grey and gloomy in upstate New York, but I have hope that spring is on its way!

Check out more University of Maryland May Day images here.

What Did You Do Today?

Check out my post on Librarian Design Share!

Librarian Design Share

Often we create a single design to promote a library event, but every now and then an event is so important that it deserves an entire marketing campaign.  This was the case for Maryland Day.

Rebecca Hopman, Special Collections Coordinator and Instruction & Outreach Team Member at the University of Maryland, says:

Each year our university hosts Maryland Day, an annual open house for the community, prospective students, and current students, faculty, and staff. The event is a chance for academic departments, campus offices, and local community organizations to connect with visitors. The UMD Libraries ran several events, most of which were held in Hornbake Library and McKeldin Library. Our team created promotional materials to advertise the UMD Libraries’ events and our “What did you do today?” social media campaign, including posters, a library website ad, TV monitor slides, and postcards for people to take with them or mail to…

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Archives on Facebook: A social media posting guide

This post expands on one of the guides I created for archivists and special collections librarians using social media.

Why Facebook?

Facebook, without question, is one of the most popular social media platforms today. People all over the world use Facebook to connect to friends, family, and people with similar interests. Because of this huge potential audience, many archivists and librarians consider it essential to have a Facebook page for their repository. Many worry not having a Facebook page marks them as outdated or out of touch with current technology. While I agree that Facebook is a good place to have an online presence, I strongly believe that repositories should make the decision to create a Facebook page based on their individual circumstances. Each repository should choose the platform(s) most compatible with their community of users and with the types of material they plan to post. So – as I say for every other social media platform – don’t feel like you have to have a Facebook page.

If you determine that Facebook is a good fit for your repository, it offers a number of options for sharing information and building an online community. You can post text, photos, links, and videos; share, comment on, and like other people’s posts; and host conversations on your own page. Currently you can’t customize your page much beyond your profile photo, cover photo, and “About” section, but this also puts everyone on an even footing regardless of time and technical know-how.

Using this Guide

The following posting guide is a quick, ready-reference guide for archivists and special collections librarians using Facebook at their repository. It is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things you can and should do as a repository, but it is a good basic guide for what to post and how to improve your Facebook presence. I created this guide with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, so with that in mind feel free to share, post, and print it! If you do use this guide, please provide a link back to

For a detailed breakdown of the guide and additional resources, continue after the break. Continue reading

Computers in Libraries 2013 wrap-up

28th Annual Computers in Libraries conference 2013

Earlier this week, I attended the 2013 Computers in Libraries conference in Washington, D.C. What an interesting conference! It was very different from the other professional conferences I have attended.

Most of the sessions I attended were focused on web design, UX (user experience), accessibility, and new web/technology trends. I learned about the seven deadly sins of library websites and how to ideally focus your site around your users. I found out about some cool new AR (augmented reality) projects, the Dane’s Digital Library, and a new app that Danish art museums are using.

Read summaries of all the conference sessions on the CIL 2013 blog.

Social media posting guides for archives & special collections

socialmediacollageThis past summer, I completed an independent study focused on how archives and special collections use social media platforms. As part of that course, I put together a series of guides targeted towards archives and special collections (although they could be equally useful to libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions). The guides are intended to be one-page, ready reference sheets for archivists using social media.

Each guide is focused on a single platform. Although much of the information could be transferred to any social media platform, each platform has its own uses and quirks. The guides include suggestions on what to post and when to post, tips for good content, a few projects to try, a few options for measuring social media success, and some repositories who I think use that platform to their advantage.

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Your company’s voice on Twitter

Twitter logoThis past week archivist and rare books cataloger Janine Veazue posted about managing her company’s new Twitter account, and her quandary over what ‘voice’ she should use when posting. This is something all organizations face when using social media – how do you represent yourself in an online community of people and organizations?

I ran my archives’ Twitter feed for about a year, and I had the same uncertainty about voice sometimes. I think it all depends on the kind of place you work at and the face they present to the public. I always advocate for an organization’s voice to be friendly, casual, and approachable on social media, so that users/customers feel like they’re interacting with a person rather than a faceless organization. You want to build relationships, and to do that you have to talk to people, not talk at people. At the same time, I know other people who’ve had to follow very strict rules about what they could post and how they could post on Twitter and other platforms.

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