Our Library Facebook page

A brief summary of our Library’s Facebook experience so far …
There are plenty of academic libraries with Facebook pages. There are even several at Stanford that debuted before the Green Library page.

We waited until Facebook created Facebook Pages (distinct from personal Facebook profiles) before creating a Facebook presence for our library. The major advantage of a Facebook Page, rather than a person profile, is that it is a one-way relationship. Students (or whoever) who become a Fan of the Page get to see everything on the Page, but the Page administrators can’t see any of their Fan’s info (except Name, and other info that person has declared public). Our goal with the page is to provide patrons with another (perhaps easier, more familiar) path to get to basic information about the Library. Our hours, contact info, IM Us box, and blog posts are all there.

We put our Page up in June 2008, and immediately picked up about 30 Fans in the first month (mostly other library staff). We continued to pick up a few Fans a week, until the 3 weeks prior to the start of Fall Quarter. In those 3 weeks, we picked up 15 new Fans a week; mostly incoming Freshmen. Up to this point we had done no advertising.

During our new student orientation tours, we talked up the Facebook page as a convenient way to get hours info, blog posts, and to chat with a librarian. We picked up another 25 new Fans that week.

The 2nd week of classes, we ran a Facebook Ad for a week, and picked up another 40 Fans that week. We have 165 Fans today, and the page averaged 25 unique views this past week.

I put up photos of our last few library events, and sent updates to Fans that photos were there. I also added some old photos of the library during Reunion weekend. Page views definitely go up whenever I add photos.

That is our Facebook story so far. Relatively low cost in terms of both money (the Ad cost $40 total for a week) and resources (the blog is imported automatically, and everything else is easy to upload).

I would be very interested to hear other libraries experiences with Facebook. What are you doing with your Page? What works, what doesn’t? How are you counting success?

Edited to fix links

Update:  After a couple of weeks promoting our Facebook page during library instruction workshops, we now have over 200 fans (11/7/08)

Update: As of Jan. 12, 2009, we have nearly 300 fans
Update: As of Feb. 2, 2009, we have 400 fans. We gained 100 fans in the month of January, primarily by encouraging students in our Info Lit workshops to become fans.
Update: As of May 13, 2009, we have 700 fans.
Update: As of July 13, 2009, we have 809 fans, which (as far as I can tell) makes us the most popular academic library on Facebook. w00t!
Latest Update, August 2011: Update on our Library Facebook page.

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17 Responses to “Our Library Facebook page”


  1. 1 web design October 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

    • 2 Chris Bourg October 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I think it is because they link to ads that are not live anymore. Thanks for the heads-up, maybe I’ll switch the link to go directly to our FB page.

  2. 3 wayne piskin June 3, 2009 at 6:01 am

    Hello Chris. Very interesting Blog. I was curious how you felt about a new service I am planning to launch for libraries this fall. It is a book scanner with touch screen interface that makes scanning to pdf, jpg, tiff…very simple. I also want to provide users with the ability to upload to facebook and myspace as well as twitter. One business model we are looking at provides for a pay-per-scan concept as well as offer printing in color for an additional fee. This could help the library recover its investment. Other libraries I have spoke to prefer the no charge model if printing is removed since there are no consumables involved.

    I am curious what your initial thoughts on this would be Chris.

    • 4 Chris June 3, 2009 at 3:10 pm

      Wayne-thanks for the kind comments about the blog.
      Our library already provides free scanning to students, so we would not be interested in pay-per-scan model; but perhaps other libraries would.

  3. 5 Sue Myer May 1, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Hi, we’re just looking at setting up a Facebook page at the University of Teesside in the UK. We have Meebo on our web site, so wanted to include it as part of our Facebook page,but when I contacted Meebo for advice, they said it couldn’t be done. How did you manage to set it up on your page? Do you have any instructions/advice you could pass on?
    Many thanks for your help.

  4. 8 Kerri Carter March 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Chris,

    Your success with your library’s facebook page is truly inspiring. I’m working on a page for my library and debating whether to use a meebo widget for chat. I notice you have a meebo widget on your page. Would you mind sharing with me some of the advantages of that, as opposed to having patrons chat directly through facebook?

    Best,
    Kerri

    • 9 Chris March 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

      Kerri-
      Thanks for the kind comments about our Facebook page.
      We decided to go with the Meebo widget because that is what we are already using on our Information Center page (http://infocenter.stanford.edu) for Chat Reference. By dropping the Meebo widget into our Facebook page, we can provide patrons another place to go to Chat with us; without having to “staff” any extra chat program. All our Meebo chats are on the same account, regardless of where the user is coming from.

      Chris


  1. 1 2011 in review at Feral Librarian, courtesy of WordPress « Feral Librarian Trackback on January 3, 2012 at 10:09 am
  2. 2 Update on our Library Facebook page « Feral Librarian Trackback on August 22, 2011 at 10:00 am
  3. 3 Keep in touch, won’t you? « freshly minted librarian Trackback on April 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm
  4. 4 Facebook Fans are real fans « Feral Librarian Trackback on September 24, 2009 at 8:43 pm
  5. 5 Fear of flaming « Feral Librarian Trackback on September 16, 2009 at 10:23 am
  6. 6 Our Information Literacy Program « Feral Librarian Trackback on March 26, 2009 at 7:24 pm
  7. 7 What I Learned Today… » Blog Archive » Facebook Reading List Trackback on March 19, 2009 at 8:15 am
  8. 8 New look for Facebook pages « Feral Librarian Trackback on March 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

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