25 Jul 2018


Highly Commended post in the Conul Training and Development Library Assistant Blog Award 2018. 
This post is by Emma Boyce, Maynooth University Library 

@Imgflip Meme Generator
I remember pausing so many times before clicking the publish/post button, wondering if social media would ever be something that I would get comfortable doing?

In May 2017, I had been asked to be part of the newly formed Maynooth University Library. Digital Communications Team (DCT) by our Librarian Cathal McCauley. The team is responsible for our web page and all our social media platforms.

 Settling into the role had its challenges - could I bring down the Library website with one wrong click? Will my snap on Snapchat smack of a 40 something trying to be cool? These are the kind of things that pop into your head when you are in that ‘voice of the library’ moment. Little did I know my role with social media and the web was going to take a leap. In February of this year, I was appointed Senior Library Assistant. Part of the role included becoming Library Web Editor.

An Assistant Librarian manages the team overall. Due to the quickening pace of social media, escalating number of events taking place in the Library, and growing number of followers alongside our regular work, I have introduced a rota based system for the DCT. Each member is now scheduled to check social media and upload content on particular days each week. We are currently sourcing a call logging tool to help us manage and streamline those requests to further add and glean statistical and other information on social media usage.


The Library at Dusk. ©Maynooth University Library
Accuracy and quality are a must when communicating on all our platforms. These values are imperative when we are reaching out via our website. Keeping within the guidelines set out on the MU University website is always at the core. Visual communication plays an important role in the makeup of the Library website. With this in mind I am working on devising a bank of quality images which will be used on our website and across our other digital platforms. Photographs will include: the Library building, it’s interior, various collections, specific books and any displays/exhibitions. This initial outlay of time will actually save time in the long term, for the team, as we have found that sourcing images and resizing can be time consuming. Here is an example of a newly added photo to our carousel section of the MU Student and Staff Support Page.

Niall O'Brien, MU Library and student Rachel Spillane. Photo: Alan Monahan @Maynooth University Library
MU Library are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and since last year Snapchat. These platforms work well to communicate informally with our audience. Being mindful of increased activities in social media and the need for quick, consistent and quality postings, effective teamwork is essential.


Emma Boyce, MU Llibrary & Easter Competition winner
student Kathleen Goldsmith
©Maynooth University Library
It’s a known fact that there is more engagement with our audience when there is a reward at the end. From time to time we run competitions to engage with our existing followers and gather new ones.
Examples of this were ‘Add us on Snapchat’ competition to increase our followers, which was very successful and a ‘Surprise Easter Competition’ which we ran through the website and promoted on social media.

Other methods of engagement at Maynooth University Library include our Annual Student and Staff Art Exhibition. Click on the image below to view our YouTube video.

‘Tryron’ by Mariia Skyba. Photo: Emma Boyce ©Maynooth University Library

Here is another example from our Africa Day which was promoted on our Flickr social media account.

Using humour in our images and gifs has proved very popular with the student body as a recent twitter posting shows.

Africa Day 2016 at MU Library. Photo: Alan Monahan ©Maynooth University Library

The evidence of engagement and impact is clearly seen from our current followers:
Twitter – 3,927
Facebook – 5,155
Snapchat – 400
Instagram – 307

The following steps have helped us to engage more proactively with our audiences:

  • Establishing the rota which helps even out the workload and gives members of the team certainty regarding their schedule and creates a sense of ownership. 
  • Creating visual content with a bank of images which ensures currency, vibrancy and interest for the website and are easily available for use. 
  • Devising new ways of engaging our communities via the website. 
  • Sourcing a call logging tool to help streamline our system of work and that will inform our service via the website and social media 

I am settled into my new role now and really enjoying it!


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