Meaning and Method Behind Public Library Micro-Blogging Practices

Assistant Professor – University of Ottawa
School of Information Studies Meaning and Method Behind Public Library Micro-Blogging Practices
Thursday, March 21, 12-1 pm
Dodson Room
Irving K Barber Learning Centre
1961 East Mall
University of British Columbia
Twitter is the most well-known microblogging social media application structuring public library-client information interactions. The goal of this multi-phase project is to understand how Canadian public libraries are engaging with their clients through micro- blogging and what effects these interactions may be having on the broader library-community relationships over an extended period of time. This paper reports on two preliminary content analyses of public library tweets on two separate “events” and on the research framework proposed for the next phase of research.
The platform supporting this project was launched in February 2012. is an open curated archive and web platform tracking micro-blogging activities by Canadian public libraries with institutional Twitter accounts. Currently 130 public library Twitter accounts representing 22% of all Canadian public library systems are tracked. Various Twitter typologies across different settings have been developed based on large data sets but few address organizational micro- blogging and in particular government agencies. We tested Lovejoy and Saxton’s (2012) information-community-action and early findings suggest this framework can illustrate new directions in how public libraries interact with their clients. Theoretical and methodological contributions to public sector social media and public participation research are anticipated.


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