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Yesterday, Freshome (one of my favorite blogs) shared the book painting work of Mike Stilkey. I love his style, and it’s yet another fun way to library-ize your living space. On a marginally related note, I’ve been working on some table numbers and cake stands made from books for my wedding in March and will share those library links when that project is complete!

from Freshome


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When perusing Craftzine, I came across a great use for old books – as a counter! Click for pics:

In the post at re-nest, the author says, “for all of those don’t-destroy-books-for-the-sake-of-your-next-craft-project people, this is a nice creative reuse alternative that keeps all those wonderful books perfectly intact!” Coming from a library perspective, we weed books, guys! Libraries also don’t accept all donated materials that literally show up on our doorsteps. I mean, some books are gross or falling apart, but some of our weeded items would be perfect counter-building material.

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This video from the New York Public Library is a fantastic use of video/YouTube and text donations in a library advocacy campaign. Bonus: A library made a video with high production value. Doesn’t always happen.

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Stitches illustrationThe graphic memoir Stitches by David Small, a nominee for the National Book Award, is a fantastic and gripping read. for more information on the story, check out this website or any of the following links.

Not being from the publishing marketing world, I won’t embarrass myself by trying to compare and contrast things I know nothing of. Instead, I want to share what appeals to me about their marketing strategy.

Why does Stitches need an online marketing strategy?

It’s not your traditional graphic novel. I’m no expert, but I get the impression that the marketers assigned to Stitches knew that they had something unique on their hands. The book is full of amazing illustrations (as you’d expect coming from a Caldecott Medal award winner) and has an amazing story to share. I’m glad the book’s marketers didn’t just rely on award buzz to promote Small’s work. Here are some of my favorite Stitches promotional elements.


The PDF-sharing website, Scribd, was used to share the book’s first 23 pages, a great way to rope in potential readers.


First great social media marketing move re: Stitches: their Vimeo account. (Vimeo, like YouTube is an online video sharing site that tends to be used more by video professionals rather than amateurs. Read a great comparison of online video sharing services here.) The folks responsible for marketing Stitches chose to use a Vimeo account to share this cinematic graphic novel in moving form. If you’re unsure what I’m getting at here, just check out this video:


Last, but not least, the Stitches website rules. This post is getting long, so check it out for yourself.

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Earlier today, I received an email at work asking whether or not following all of your library’s Twitter followers is a good idea. Some think that following all of your followers is a hard and fast rule, others don’t. I personally land in the former camp. (Think about it – if someone whose Twitter handle is @hardandfast and their picture features prominent nudity or vast cleavage, do you really want conservative library moms thinking you’re in favor of such behavior online?)

Cigarette Pack Twitter

Flickr user: carrotcreative

I have managed social media for four organizations now. I’ve experimented with following everyone, following no one and finding the right balance in the middle. My library is currently following MOST of our followers, which I’m finding to be the right way to go. The problem with following everyone is that there are spammers on Twitter, and nearly as importantly, we really don’t need to be following people whose Tweets are completely without substance. No one cares about those users’ Tweets beyond their family and inner circle of friends.

One thing I would recommend to anyone using Twitter for their organization is taking advantage of the List feature. You can organize the people you follow on Twitter however you want. On my personal Twitter account, I organize them under the headings “librarities” (people who Tweet on library issues), “social medialites” (social media powerhouse users), and “Greater Lansing Bros.” If you’re on top of your Twitter base, you will quickly notice the major umbrellas under which your followers/the people you follow fall.

Here’s a guide from Mashable regarding Twitter lists if you’d like to learn more.

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This month, my Blog of the Month is In two recent blog posts, King explores: Foursquare and Libraries – Anything There? and Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!

For those of you not in the know (which is a vast majority of people at this point), Foursquare is one of the big websites under the location-based social networking umbrella. Location-based social networking is a stalker’s dream. Using mobile email, text message or smartphone GPS, location-based social networking allows users to share their location, find friends in their vicinity, and share reviews, tips or recommendations on an establishment they are visiting.

As a location-based social networking user, I have to say, it’s pretty fun. I get to compete with my fiance to check in at more places than he does. At the same time, I worry that advertising my location to the world could be dangerous. That gut reaction to the concept of location-based social networking is what kept me off of this family of social sites for a long time.

But here I am. A fully-addicted Foursquare user. What finally made me bite the bullet was finding my place of work on Foursquare, and as the social media specialist, I was obliged to hop on board.

Now I’m the Mayor of 7 places on Foursquare. Mayorships are earned by checking in more than anyone else at a given location. Becoming the Mayor of a location allows you to edit the location’s Foursquare listing, including correcting the spelling/capitalization of the location’s name and adding its appropriate Twitter account.

Hold On! Is it safe???

The short answer: yes. You’re listed by your first name and last initial. Sharing your Twitter and Facebook accounts with Foursquare users is optional, and sending your Foursquare check-ins to Twitter or your friends is optional. Pings are another option you can enable or disable for a given Foursquare friend. In my case, the only time I Tweet anything I do on Foursquare is when I become the Mayor of a location. The only pings I have turned on are my fiance’s, i.e. I get a text when he checks in somewhere that lets me know where he is. Sorry, other 4sq friends, I don’t care that you’re at the liquor store for the third night in a row.

foursquare image A brief run-down of what you need to know about leveraging Foursquare for your library or non-profit:

As with any social network, get on early, even if the network could fizzle in a year. Establishing a presence for your social network early (I hesitate to use the phrase “stake out,” but that’s kind of what you need to do here) can be important. Foursquare is a perfect example. If you don’t add your library/organization to Foursquare, someone else will. And they’ll probably add it wrong. Or forget to include your Twitter handle. Or get your address wrong, or worse, YOUR ORGANIZATION’S NAME. I speak from experience.

Become a “SuperUser.” On Foursquare, super users have  the ability to edit listings. Also, in the process of becoming a super user, it’s likely you’ll become the mayor of your place of work, which gives you the power to edit (read: correct) the listing. Wikipedia’s description of superusers. I’m willing to argue that being a superuser is more valuable to your organization than being the Mayor of its location(s). Having correct information about your organization and having a link to your organization’s Twitter accounts should be a priority with Foursquare. Think about it: having a direct link from your Foursquare listing that patrons can access right on their phone. They add you because you’re on Foursquare. Through that, they find your blog. And so it goes. 🙂

Add Tips & To-dos. This indicates to your patrons that you care that they’re on Foursquare and know what’s up with the latest social media trends. For-profit businesses use Foursquare to advertise specials for people who check in at their establishment on certain days. For-profit businesses in big Foursquare towns have also been known to offer free coffee or an appetizer for their latest Mayor. As a non-profit, don’t worry about the incentives unless you’ve got some old swag laying around to get rid of. Focus instead on using Foursquare to highlight the services you offer.

Related Blogs Worth the Read:

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Popular library myths debunked. When you think of a library does an old woman with her gray hair in a bun and glasses come to mind? Let us prove you wrong. We’ll let our hair down and take you behind the glasses and show you what our world is really like.

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Freshome strikes again! Soon, library-inspired interior decorating Links are going to have to be their own weekly feature.

This week’s links:

Bookshelf optical illusion painting

An entire building made out of books? I’m imagining this in some large, urban library, encasing their children’s section. A playhouse with reading nooks?

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barcode pillow

I did a post a few weeks back about bookshelves and making choices between aesthetics and organization. As a follow-up, I thought I’d share one or two more ideas/links (some of them I’m sharing for the ironic amusement they provide) on making your home more library-ey. Library Chair

Freshome featured some interesting decorative pillows the other day, not the least of which was this lovely barcode pillow. I’m imagining these pillows arranged on couches embroidered with RFID details.

The same blog featured three differentlibrary chairs” which have bookshelves built right into their structures (or at least look like they do). Where were these when I was in college?

Book ChairHome library eye candy:

Modern Interior Decorating Home Library

Typewriter-inspired Pottery Barn Wall Art

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In a previous post, I discussed my opposition to SLA’s proposed name change at length. Luckily, I found out this morning that the name change was unsuccessful. About 50% of SLA members voted, and the proposed change to “ASKPro” was rejected, 3225 to 2071. Say good-bye to this lovely logo:

More information from Library Journal.

@bookmobilize on Twitter

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