How to Make Friends and Influence Students

Evening Access Services/Reference Librarian
University of San Diego
Lisa Burgert
Reference Librarian
University of San Diego
Alejandra Nann
Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian
University of San Diego


Have you tweeted, posted, uploaded, and updated until you are overloaded? Are you having trouble keeping up with all the latest web trends? Are you perplexed by status likes, shares, friending, unfriending, hashtags, and checking in? In the age of web 2.0 and working with digital natives, have we jumped off a cliff and into unknown territory? Everywhere we look libraries are launching into social media: blogs, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, Flickr, FourSquare, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, wikis, and more. In this interactive session, we will explore various social media tools with a focus on discovering best practices and creating a successful social media plan for your library. Learn about the numerous tools available, what is new, what is working, what isn’t, and how to implement it in your library. Content, advertising, timing, and analytics will be discussed. A successful social media presence involves support from the University Librarian, including an innovative team willing to take risks, listening to voices on campus, partnering with departments campus-wide, planning, making mistakes, and engaging students. Come prepared to share your experience and learn from your colleagues using web polling, Twitter, and small group discussions.


For many of our students, social media is one of the quickest and most convenient forms of communication.  Students heavily rely on social media to connect with family, friends, and even professors.  Libraries need to jump on the bandwagon to connect with our users.  Some of the many advantages for libraries of joining the social media world include connecting to users and marketing services and resources that many do not know exist.  This innovative approach expands the services of the library beyond those who mainly use the library as a study space.    

A panel of librarians from the Social Media Committee at the University of San Diego will demonstrate various social media tools including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and blogs. We will discuss practical ways for academic libraries to use these tools, the pros/cons of social media, and highlight our favorite features.  You will walk away with an understanding of the current social media tools, how to use them, and the advantages and disadvantages of various tools.

Putting a committee together with staff and students is one of the key components in creating a successful social media committee.  When creating a committee, it is important to find members who are actively involved in social media.  Find people who are willing to take risks, research current web trends, and seek out innovative ways to connect with our users.  Members of the social media committee can range from library faculty to student workers.  Having a wide range of members will give your library more opportunities promote your services to a larger population.

Evaluating social media tools is the first step and you also need to decide on which tools your library wants to use. Next, decisions must be made on content to upload, how often to post, how to keep current, what is the focus of the content, is there a purpose, when should you post, how often should you post, and how do you know when you users are visiting your sight.  Oh, the limitless questions!  We will look at the best practices and evaluate various sites to see what works and what doesn’t.  

Confused about what to post on your library’s Facebook page? Not sure what Pinterest can do for your library? Is a blog worth the effort? This panel will discuss all of these issues and also provide a demonstration of how to build a pinterest board, how to increase Facebook “Likes,” and how to convince reluctant colleagues as to the worth of engaging users through social media. We will also lead you through use of DropBox to share images and files with your committee and how to pay for advertising on Facebook.

Presentation Materials


Date and time: 
Sun, 04/06/2014 - 9:30am - 10:45am


San Martin [LL]