twitterbrary review: red deer public library

The Red Deer Public Library (RDPL) serves a smallish city and uses Twitter as one of its tools.

The RDPL main page has a simple clean two-column design with news information taking up the bulk of the screen. In the navigation column on the left hand side of the screen there’s a text link saying Twitter Feed, which does bring you to the library’s Twitter account. They don’t use a Twitter logo on the main page, but on the Teens page there’s a “Follow Us on Twitter” button in the main content section, along with a “Find Us on Facebook” button, both of which do use the logos.

If someone had never used Twitter before the link to Twitter doesn’t provide a lot of context. They don’t show any examples of what kind of information might be found in a Twitter feed or who it’s for, for example. Once you arrive on the Twitter profile any usability issues are Twitter’s problem more than the library’s. Like all Twitter accounts it’s easy enough to follow the library once you’re there.

RDPL does a good job with its tweets. They have a mix of tweets about general interest topics mixed in with library specific events and information. Like the Medicine Hat Public Library they use a hashtag for the community #reddeer so as to collocate information and generally be a part of the community (as represented in the social network).

They also do a good job of tweeting enough to be useful; no big recent gaps in tweetage. They also retweet and use @mentions to use the service in a communicative way, beyond simply pushing out press releases. If I was in the community the library feed would be a good resource of local information, which is what you want out of your local library.

My main suggestion for the RDPL would be to include a Twitter widget showing a few recent tweets on the home page. That would give the user a bit more context to see why this might be a useful thing to click on. Since they’re pushing good content through the feed, it would be a shame if patrons are missing it. Also, having something with the Twitter logo on it might help snag the eyes of their more social-mediacentric users.

(#609 藍鵲引離 image by John&Fish)

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