Current Research Projects

UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC LIBRARIES’
CONVERSATIONS: PROMISES AND CHALLENGES OF
MICROBLOGGING DATA

Project Team: Amy VanScoy and Mary F. Cavanagh

Project Overview:

The modern public library has long left behind its role of a warehouse of books and answerer of questions. Through outreach, programs, and other services public libraries now play a vital role as a community network. Recently, public libraries have been embracing social media as a way to connect to their clients and build community. Currently, one of the most popular social media applications is the microblogging service Twitter.

By combining two methods, content analysis and network analysis, this project probes further into the nature of the relationships libraries have with their communities online — exploring their interactions, how these interactions lead to relationships, and how these relationships can be characterized.

This project offers a methodology for studying public library engagement on Twitter. In addition, analyzing library social media feeds aggregated beyond individual libraries will provide context and direction for public library social media strategies.

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