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Welcome to A Commonwealth of Libraries ~ Social Media in Context.

Have you ever stumbled across an organization that made you want to pack your bags, buy the first airplane ticket you can get your hands on, and depart from your hometown to a foreign country?

Have you ever experienced this sensation while searching libraries on the Internet?

I found the homepage of a library that made me do just that during a cold November night in 2010.  On that night I was exposed to social media containing information on the treasures of a national library far, far away from my little Canadian city.  The thought of seeing the ‘real’ Canterbury Tales, writings of Jane Austen, and the papers of Leonardo Da Vinci made my heart race.  A few months later, when I was in that country, I knew I had to make a stop at their national library and see the treasures for themselves.

A library’s use of social media brought me, a young Canadian girl, halfway across the world.  What else is social media in libraries capable of performing?

This blog seeks to provide a critical review of how national and public libraries within the Commonwealth of Nations utilize social media in order to inform and entertain users.

Public and national libraries of English-speaking members in the Commonwealth of Nations are examined in this blog.  Libraries may use a multitude of social media tools to address their audiences – we will focus on their use of blogs and YouTube.  I have typed the titles of public and national library blogs in bold font in my posts in order to highlight their presence.

Do libraries use social media as an instructional tool, a means to encourage tourism, or a way to promote their services?  Let’s find out!

A Commonwealth of Libraries ~ Social Media in Context was created for a LIBR 500: Foundations of Information Technology class (2011-2012, Winter Session Term 1) at the University of British Columbia’s School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies.

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