Social Media as Library Advocacy


If you know me, you know I LOVE Twitter, which is kind of funny because I reluctantly signed up when I started at Lamar. At first, I only posted pictures of books I read, and then when I applied to be a GET (Google Education Trainer) I was told that I needed to be active on Twitter if I wanted to earn the epithet.  Little did I know, my educational life was about to be transformed.  If you’re only posting on Twitter and not responding and conversing…. then you are doing it wrong!

I began learning from others during educational Twitter chats and finding great ideas from other #makerspace #librarians.

My friendship with Diana Rendina of Renovated Learning started over this tweet….

My students loved combining the low-tech of bracelets with the high-tech concept of binary coding.

At this point, I was still tweeting from the library, but I quickly realized that I really needed my own professional Twitter account for chatting, sharing ideas, etc. I’ve formed many friendships with teacher librarians and it’s the best place to go to get ideas.  If you don’t have a personal Twitter account as an educator, I’ve got a GHO Presentation I did with my staff here to help you start your journey of becoming a connected educator.

I also run a separate Twitter account for the library.  I mostly RT my pro account, but I also connect Vine videos to showcase what students are doing.  Now that students are starting to utilize Twitter, I’ll RT if they post something too.  Here is the lamar_library account that Kristi Taylor is now running and here is my new ryan_library account.

Who to connect with: Twitter will connect you with wonderful educators, rockstar librarians, and authors.  This is the place to find all your Skype connections and get real live authors to connect with your students! (Don’t follow students or people under 18- but it is okay to RT them. )

What to post: Book recommendations, library programming questions, lesson ideas, share your programming, share your ideas!


Ts @rhsraiders #tinkering w @littlebits & #makeymakey @ryan_library! #makered #Makerspace

A photo posted by (@makerteacherlibrarian) on

I wasn’t sold on Instagram at first either. This Facebook owned company just seemed like a filter happy picture posting place.  However, my students and friends just wouldn’t stop raving about it, so I reluctantly signed up for an account.  I ended up making so many international library friends that I couldn’t let go of my library account when I left Lamar.  So I renamed my profile Maker Teacher Librarian, and it’s now my personal professional Instagram. I still made an account for my new library, ryan_library, but I haven’t started posting there yet. Once I get an iPad, I’ll be reposting most of what I post from my main account or vice versa.  I follow trending library hashtags, promote books, and get great makerspace ideas from Instagram as well.  I started a #bookfacefriday tradition at Lamar that got our school mentioned in the New York Times! My students loved following this account and I even had kids come to the library BECAUSE of something they saw on the library Instagram account.

Who to connect with: Libraries! I follow libraries all over the world and it’s so cool to see what other libraries and makerspaces are doing across the globe!  I do not follow students, but instead advertise the library account so that students will follow the library.  Kids love Instagram and they love seeing themselves in Instagram pics. Some authors are now on Instagram, but I still have better success connecting with authors over tweets.

What to post: Pictures of your library, books, trending hashtags like #bookface or #libraryinhand, new signage about happenings in the library, engaged students, maker activities

I can see clearly now! !!! @ryan_library #librarylife #librarylove

A photo posted by (@makerteacherlibrarian) on


Vine is a video app that posts 6 sec videos to Twitter. It’s owned by Twitter, and I really only use it to post videos to Twitter. I don’t browse other videos because I’m just using it to advocate for our library. However, I love the ease of making these super quick videos to really show what the movement is like in the library during lessons, Maker Monday, etc.  I also love how easy it is for me to find a video I’ve posted by googling something like “lamar_library and space banana.” (Note: This account is now managed by the new Lamar librarian, Kristi Taylor.)

Who to connect with: Your Twitter friends!

What to post: Videos of engaged students, book checkouts of the day, 6 sec how-to videos


I didn’t really consider Youtube social media, until I realized how much my students get hung up on their amount of subscribers.  I love posting silly librarian videos like this video of me dancing with my first purchased book truck. (Here is my Channel)

It’s a great place to:

Who to connect with: I subscribe to expert makers, tech leaders, and TED talks.

What to post: Any videos you make regarding your library programming, tutorials, advocacy, etc.

Google Hangout

My buddy Michelle Colte is the master of using GHO in her library.  She’s connected her students with a volcanologist, students in Argentina, and Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame!

I started organizing mentor expert chats and author chats this way.  Videos upload directly to Youtube and it can give you a place to keep all the info about one event.

Who to connect with: Librarians, maker peeps, maker companies, educators, etc

What to post: Events, Hangouts, +1 lessons


A great place to organize book promo ideas, furniture plans, makerspace workshops, books, etc! I’m not great at Pinterest, but lots of people swear by organizing their whole school year this way!

Who to connect with: Other educators, maker bloggers, librarians, friends

What to post: Beautiful library pics, book displays, lesson ideas


I use Canva to create my presentation slides, but what I think is so cool about it is that you can share your designs as an editable design for others!

Who to connect with: I haven’t started using this to connect with others yet.  Just a way to make great signage, infographics, and presentation slides.

What to post: Signage, presentation slides, infographics, anything you want to design!

Create Cozy Spots

Create Cozy Spots



Tackk is another one of my favorite places to create presentations for professional development. You can make activities for students, you can use it to present and then add student work to the end of the Tackk. It embeds videos, tweets, Instagrams, Youtube videos, etc seamlessly in one place!

Who to connect with:  Not sure yet, I still mostly use this to make my own presentations and lessons.

What to post: Signage, presentation slides, infographics, lessons, make your own articles, etc.


Remember how you sign up for this one, because I seem to have more than one account- doh! Storify is a great place to log an event like Dot Day or a Twitter Chat.  I used it to share my Twitter chat with author Chris Barton. Lots of educators to create archives of Twitter chats like Txeduchat.


I haven’t started using Facebook for my library yet, but I do have groups I really enjoy learning from on Facebook.  ALA ThinkTank is a massive group with more than 13,000 members.  Although most are public librarians, it’s a great place to get an answer (and sometimes vent to!)

Makerspaces and the Participatory Library is another great Facebook group filled with library makerspaces both school and public.

There are lots of local library Facebook groups too, just search through groups and join ones you are interested in!

When I do sign my library up for a Facebook page, I’ll use an IFTTT recipe to automatically post from my Twitter and Instagram posts.

Who to connect with: Librarians, libraries, local library groups, educator groups, etc. As a library page, I’m hoping this is one social media that parents would follow.

What to post: Share what you are doing in your library, ask for help with tricky situations, or just read posts and learn from others!

About Me

Once you’ve made all your accounts, make sure you create your own so you can easily share all links!

Who to connect with: Make sure you sync with your Twitter friends!

Final thoughts

What would you add? What are your favorite ways to connect? Add a comment or tweet it to me @gravescolleen ! While I was writing this post, I stumbled across even more social media ideas for the library by Phil Bradley. Librarian Sue Fitz made a great infographic about this post.

From Sue Fitz’s blog Unpretentious Librarian

My Infographic of this post made in Canva


4 thoughts on “Social Media as Library Advocacy

  1. Pingback: New Recommended post: Social Media as Library Advocacy – Stephen's Lighthouse

  2. Pingback: Social Media Advocacy- Part Two | Create, Collaborate, Innovate

  3. Pingback: 2015 Wrap-Up | Create, Collaborate, Innovate

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