Renee C.Y.M. Gaillard deposited A look into public libraries’ social media use in their youth engagement efforts in the group CityLIS on Humanities Commons 2 months, 3 weeks ago
Responding to the prompt, “How is digital technology shaping the future of library and/or information services?”, this essay takes a higher-level, yet focused look at how public libraries in the United States have used social media in their youth engagement efforts. Starting with solid foundation of context regarding digital libraries, the emerging role of public libraries, and social media, this essay showcases that as technology and social media evolves, libraries must also follow suit to meet the needs of their young patrons who are the ‘digital natives’ of the world. While holding value in traditional in person services, research shows that there is also a growing importance and effectiveness in libraries using social media for the purposes of promoting the library, building the community and library programming, and prioritizing media literacy. That does not eliminate the challenges and issues that remain such as lack of time and funding and ever-evolving digital landscape. Nonetheless, the progress of social media use for libraries has already been seen over the last decade and continues to show great benefits as libraries move towards more active youth engagement and better consideration of larger societal topics such as civic engagement and equity. Given the nature of social media and its continual evolution, there will continue to be a place and purpose for further research on its use within libraries and their youth engagement efforts.