Building Communities: Special Collections in the Age of Tumblr and YouTube
Colleen Theisen, Outreach and Instruction Librarian, discusses the potential of different media platforms for expanding the audience for Special Collections, specifically focusing on Tumblr and YouTube.
Theisen aims to break the stereotype that Special Collections is inaccessible and boring by connecting with people via social media platforms and presenting the collections in original and artistic ways, including GIFs and photographs. Tumblr is particularly useful for Special Collections due to its emphasis on aesthetics, and the tag system it uses to organize posts by interests, making content easy to find for users. Due to the blogging backbone of Tumblr, posts never disappear, and often return to users’ dashboards after a few months. “A post is never forgotten, only dormant,” says Theisen. YouTube offers interesting opportunities for presenting collections as well by allowing the librarians to add their personalities to the seemingly impersonal books as seen on their YouTube series, Staxpeditions.
special collections, social media, Tumblr, YouTube
Copyright © 2013 Colleen Theisen