Social Media for Rare Books

Current Faculty: Snowden Becker

Description: Do you want your collection to be more visible? To reach new audiences or attract new customers? To help people understand what goes on behind the scenes, in the stacks, and throughout the wide and wonderful world of rare books? Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr are among the most powerful tools collectors, conservators, special collection librarians, and booksellers can use to showcase their work and keep their virtual doors open 24 hours a day. But maintaining an active social media presence takes time and effort, and the rapidly changing landscape of social media can inhibit many from even getting started.

This course provides a timely overview of leading social media sites—what they do, how they work, and who uses them—and provides a structure for participants to start building a strategic, sustainable social media plan. Whether you want to bring your institution into the twenty-first century with a smart and sassy Twitter presence, give some oomph to your programming and promotional efforts, or craft a compelling online presence with a personal website or Insta feed that showcases your most recent acquisitions and featured items, this course will help.

Topics covered will include how to set up social media accounts; best practices for sharing access to those accounts with others; legal, ethical, and public relations considerations specific to social media; style and content considerations, such as what makes a blog post or a Facebook status update different from a tweet or a web page or an Instagram feed; which platforms to use for different purposes like sales, event promotions, and breaking news; developing an institutional or individual social media voice that’s consistent with your mission and brand; how to ensure your user engagement is effective and culturally sensitive; capturing and preserving social media communications as part of your institutional archives; setting realistic goals for social media efforts; tools and resources for managing multiple accounts; and using analytics to inform and improve your social media practices.

Who should attend this course: Anyone who is mystified, intimidated, confused, or fascinated by social media! We will be looking at effective strategies for a wide range of social media applications and accounts, from individual booksellers, collectors, curators and conservators to institutional accounts for large public museums, libraries, and special collections.

Social Media for Rare Books Syllabus CalRBS 2019

Requirements: No previous experience necessary.

Years Taught: None.