Library 2.0 - The 4Cs of Social Media

Arizona State University Library Channel

The 4Cs of social media of Web 2.0 are the following: collaboration, conversation, community and content creation with the addition of crowd-sourcing ( as an addition in the context of Library 2.0. Arizona State University's 'Library Channel' has incorporated these principles well in their creation of 'Library Minute Videos' which are 35 short videos aimed at students who require quick access to short, easily digestible, information bites. The Librarians at ASU are well aware that their viewship is after useful and practical information that needs to be delivered in a manner in keeping with 21st century learner technologies, methods and needs.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of ASU's use of social media, the 5 chosen 'Library Minutes' were based on the number of views by users. The top 5 viewed 'Library Minutes', therefore are:
  • The Library Minute: Fun Things to do in the Library
  • The Library Minute: Academic Search Premier
  • The Library Minute: Academic Articles
  • The Library Minute: RefWorks
  • The Library Minute: Top 5 Resources of Online Students

The types of information required by students at ASU is reflective in the particular Library Minutes which appear to get the most views. Appearing at the top of the list is the 'Fun Things to do in the Library' which is clearly about creating a community and inviting students to participate in what's on offer around the University. The 'Academic Search Premier' and 'Academic Articles' responds to the research needs of students and is a collaborative way in which the library can work with various academic departments to assist in scholarly research. The Library Minute on 'RefWorks' offers students bibliographic information and is a citation manager' and the 'Top 5 Resources of Online Students' which are:
  1. Library one search
  2. ebooks
  3. tutorials
  4. libguides
  5. last by not least, 'Ask a Librarian' which is access to a qualified Librarian via phone, email or 24/7 chat

Other social Web 2.0 tools other than Vimeo that the ASU Library uses to enhance services for their customers are:
  • Flickr - ASU's photostream
  • The ASU Libraries Facebook page which shares information regarding events, exhibits, archived photos and ASU news updates

The ASU Library epitomizes what Library 2.0 is and should be. It is up to the minute, state of art technology and customer service which responds to the needs of its users in many modes and formats. It appears to have achieved for its users what Meredith Farkas points to in her declaration about Library 2.0:
  • Working to meet changing user needs – get to know your users and non-users, develop a culture of assessment, examine any and all assumptions about how services and systems should “be”, visiting other libraries and remembering what it is to be a patron, and then changing once you’ve figured it all out.
  • Believing in our users – trusting them, listening to them, giving them a role in helping to define library services for the future
  • Getting rid of the culture of perfect – being able and willing to experiment, learning from failure, being agile as an organization, continuously improving services based on feedback rather than working behind the scenes for ages to create the “perfect” product or service
  • Being aware of emerging technologies and opportunities – looking for partnerships in your community or with other libraries, being aware of library and technology trends, giving staff time to try out new technologies and learn
  • Looking outside of the library world for applications, opportunities, inspiration – understanding the culture of the technologies and how they are used by the public, seeing how technologies are implemented in non-profit and for-profit institutions

Meredith Farkus, retrieved from

The ASU Library, I believe endeavours to achieve all of these things and does so by placing the needs of its users as the priority and not the technology.

A to Z of Social Networking


Consider this advice in terms of a library and information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select advice from five (5) letters of this A-Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 350 words in your OLJ).

Responding to this activity is quite easy for the main fact that the Library that I am associated with lacked any type of social networking when first stepping into the temporary position of teacher librarian. Practically every letter between A and Z would benefit this library but the top 5 would be as follows:

A-active, in order for your library patrons to view you as being serious about your social networking and for it to work for you and your library, you need to use it on a regular basis.
More than anything, a teacher librarian must model good practices when using social networking. In a library where there is no evidence of, or interest in, social networking it is difficult for patrons/students to gain knowledge of how to best utilize the many platforms and applications available.

B- Blog, does your library have a blog. This is a great way for you to offer value and content for your library and it has become the standard for libraries to have one.
Prior to becoming the TL at this library there was no intranet nor was there a Library Blog to share content and information about the Library and other events such as Book Week or the Premier's Reading Challenge. One of my first orders of business was to create a Library Blog to post student book reviews, library news, and other things such as a Slideshare of the school's Book Week Art Show. It is important for the entire school community to have an online hub where students, teachers, and parents can access news and information about the library and events such as these. Of course, you don't want to blog for blog's sake. As Farkas states, she notes that 'Library 2.0 led to a lot of librarians losing their way and you can see that in the huge number of library blogs, Flickr account and MySpace pages that haven’t been updated in months or years' (2008).

Meredith Farkas (2008)

H-Help- relying on only one or two people to build your library’s social networking presence will not work. It needs to be a whole team effort on behalf of your entire library staff.
A school library with limited staffing will find it difficult to get the kind of help needed to build a strong social networking presence, particularly where the value of a full time TL is not recognised. A vibrant and forward-thinking school library will have the support of, not just the TL and library staff but also teachers, leadership and students.

V-Video whether on youtube or elsewhere, use video to enhance and engage with your users via social networking.
Video is a fantastic way to connect with users, as seen with ASU's use of 'Library Minutes'. Students also love creating videos so there is a great opportunity to collaborate and create as part of the learning context.

Z-zeal, is your library staff excited about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library? If not, you will struggle to make it work for you.
Along with being 'active' one must also possess enthusiasm and zeal when exploring the possibilities that social networking has to offer a library in the 21st Century. The Library should be the hub of the school where collaboration and creativity meet. If the TL does not lead in this direction then the benefits that social networking can offer both students and teachers will be lost.