Public library

Libraries are Social

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Image from Flikr shared with creative commons

Friends’ posts, pictures of funny cats, viral videos and now libraries are on Facebook.

Phoenix Public Library updates its page with posts about upcoming events at the library but also is a constant update of pop culture and updates with what is going on now. My favorite posts are the old pictures like one posted on the day king tut was found in 1922. Don’t let King Tut Day go by another year with out proper celebration.

Scottsdale Public Library always seems to have something going on and they always have a Facebook post to remind people about all their events.

My favorite posts are from Tempe Public Library’s Tuesday Trivia . Each Tuesday they post a question and people can reply to the post if they think they know the answer. I have yet to get a question right because they are usually very obscure but also fascinating.

Mesa Public Library focuses more on what is going on close to home. They post pictures of their library events, their librarians and people enjoying the library.

It was so cute looking at the kids in costume dressed up for Halloween visiting the library. And the librarians can put together a good Halloween costume as well.

Mesa’s Facebook page started as a page for teens in 2010 but became a page for the whole library in June.

Kate Griffin is a Librarian III at Mesa Public Library and leads their team of Virtual Community Specialists which also includes Shari Durst and Sara Lipich

Durst and Lipich said in an email interview, “Our goal is to raise awareness of the library and its offerings, as well as show our patrons that we’re a friendly, authentic place.”

Durst and Lipich said they know that their customers are online, so they need to be where their customers are. Not just to advertise but also to keep up with their interests.

“We want to be a part of the online conversation. We want patrons to be able to tweet at us or ask us questions on Facebook,”Durst and Lipch said.

Chandler Public Library is great at featuring new books and their librarian’s favorites.

Rosanna Johnson, Chandler Public Library’s Marketing Assistant said in a email interview they have been on facebook since the summer of 2011.

“We want to connect with [customers that] may not actually step foot into any of our four locations. They may download e-books and magazines, or if they place a hold on a book, they don’t go past the pick-up area at the front door,” Johnson said.

Most libraries are relatively new to social media. Johnson said they have regular followers who interact on different social media platforms but they continually get new followers too.

“In January we set a goal of getting 2013 followers on Facebook this year, and met that goal in July. Currently we have 2243 followers,” Johnson said.

Among Valley libraries, Phoenix has the largest amount of followers and Mesa has the fewest. They all post rather regularly but not to the point where the posting is so constant that it is overwhelming and a little annoying.

Most Libraries can also be found on Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and youtube.

Guantánamo Public Memory Project @ Phoenix Public Library

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people read the panels of the exhibit
people read the panels of the exhibit

The Guantánamo Public Library Memory Project @ Phoenix Public Library is collaboration with Arizona State University’s Public History Program.

The free exhibit is located on the second floor of Barton Barr Library in Phoenix.

Eleven panels explore the history of the United States Naval Base at Guantánamo (GTMO) from the beginning of U.S. occupation in 1898 to today.

Eleven universities collaborated to create a panel that explores a different component of GTMO.

The exhibit opened at NYU in December 2012 and is traveling to 9 sites including Rutgers University, Perdue, and NYU London.

The free exhibit is now located on the second floor of Barton Barr Library in Phoenix until November 24.

The Phoenix library periodically hosts traveling exhibits said Rita Marko, Phoenix Public Library Management Assistant.

They have hosted exhibits about the Holocaust in the past and will host another exhibit in the spring.

“It coincides with out goals as a library to introduce the community to a topic,” Marko said.

The library hopes to “shed light not heat” on a topic. The library doesn’t take a position but gives an opportunity to expand the topic.

In addition to the exhibit, Phoenix public library is hosting ten events to expand on the topic starting October 23 and going until December 8.

Events include a program with music by Victor Caldee, local Cuban architect, artist, musician and balsero who was detained on the base. The program will at 6:30p.m. and will include an opportunity for participants make clay pieces to add on the chain like fence of the exhibit.

photo of clay memory shared art
Clay memory shared art featured on a chain link fence in the exhibit

Nancy Dallett, contributor and Professor in the Arizona State Public History Program says she hopes the exhibit paired with the programs give “a sense of the complicated relationship” the United States has with GTMO.

“It has been used for very different purposes since the Spanish American war to now being used for detention,” Dallett said.

Subject Librarians at ASU

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Arizona State University has eight libraries.

Five libraries are located on the Tempe campus including Nobel Science and Engineering, Hayden, Architecture, Music and Law Library.

The other campuses, Polytechnic, West and Downtown also have library locations.

Every library has subject librarians to help students successfully find information.

Each library has the traditional book stacks to find information but there are also library guides found online that offer thousands of articles and journals available for students to use.

The university spends a lot of money for access to library guides. Subject Librarians are there to help students get their money’s worth and get the most out of the resources available.

Meg’s Library Survival Guide: Tempe

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Tempe LibraryTempe Public Libarary is one of eight local valley public libraries, including locations in Chandler, Glendale, and Mesa. Some Libraries like Phoenix and Scottsdale have multiple branches.

Tempe has one branch that is located at 3500 S. Rural Road. If you are in the Tempe area and are looking to get there by public transportation the library is a stop on the Orbit Transit, a free bus service connecting residential and shopping areas.

Most libraries are the same so that if you understand the inner workings of one you can basically find your way around the rest. Most libraries now have available for check out DVDs, CDs, magazines, Bestsellers, as well as nonfiction, fiction, large type and Spanish books. A lot of libraries even offer all these materials in a digital version that only require a library card.

Beyond the resources libraries offer, they also give an comfortable atmosphere available to the public. One of the most inviting atmosphere can be found at the Tempe Public Library.

Tempe Public Library Manager Sherry Waren says the Tempe Library is fun friendly atmosphere with something to offer everyone.

“People come for scones, coffee and to read the newspapers.”

Inside is a coffee shop called Tempe connections. They sell café items like coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and muffins. It has tables where food is allowed which pair nicely with the shelves of varieties of newspapers and magazines.

Tempe Connections
Tempe Connections

Current periodicals editions are available as well as up to a year of editions, so if you were bummed you missed the issue of Glamour that featured One Direction, don’t worry because the library has it available and can be checked out for 28 days.Magazine

The library is becoming a versatile location that accommodates social gatherings like meeting for coffee as well as meeting space and group study areas.

It is still offers an atmosphere of study, learning and knowledge. With the recent expansion to the library Warren says more seating and outlets were added to satisfy those looking for a space to study with their laptop or however they may chose.

“It’s not a shushing library anymore,” Waren said. But there is a Quiet Room that does not allow conversation, computers and is for those who want to sit in a quiet atmosphere

The library has events that hold book discussions, movie screenings and tutorials on computers and Internet use.

Warren is most proud of the children’s library. It is one of the largest that isn’t used for storage. The children’s library is located in the lower level of the Tempe Library. Just like the upstairs adult library there are computers for children to use. Shelves and comfy chairs that are short and easy for children to navigate.

There are sections of audio books, magazines and DVDs just for kids. Its also a great resource for teachers. I noticed a DVD of Grammar Schoolhouse Rock that I almost checked out.

Sections are divided into middle school, early reading and picture books. There is a play area perfect for parents to read aloud to kids.