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Social Media Survey
Member Highlight:
Katie Elson Anderson
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Social Media Survey

Do you follow LibraryLinkNJ on social media? Whether your answer is yes, no, or “LibraryLinkNJ is on social media? I had no idea!” we want to hear from you! Please take 5 minutes to complete our Social Media Survey to help us use these tools to reach you, meet your learning & information needs and strengthen the NJ library community.

You can find the survey here:

The deadline to participate is Friday, November 1. Thank you for your insights!


Member Highlight: Katie Elson Anderson

Katie Elson Anderson is a reference and instruction librarian at Paul Robeson Library on the Camden Campus of Rutgers University. She is the Head of Web Development and Coordinator of Social Media.

Q: You do a lot of creative outreach work at the Paul Robeson Memorial Library. How did that become one of your roles, and what effort, event or outreach project would you single out as the most successful? What efforts do you find really speak to your students?  

Robeson Library Facebook Page

All of the librarians at Paul Robeson Library emphasize outreach as an essential part of the position, each in our own individual ways. My personal and professional interest in social media led me to embrace virtual outreach and I continue to search for new and creative ways to connect with our students and the community both virtually and in real life. Much of my research focuses on social media and society and I feel that the best way to understand how others are using these platforms are to use them myself. The libraries presence on Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and yes, even Google Plus not only provide a place to engage with our users, but also provide insight into how other libraries are using these platforms to engage with their communities.

It is difficult to choose one effort to single out as the most successful, as one of the bigger challenges with this type of outreach is determining what defines success. The number of followers for all of our social media sites continue to grow, some faster than others. Our engagement on these platforms also steadily increases as we connect with students, community members and other libraries. Our "Monday Memes" were popular, where we featured a new library or research themed meme every Monday throughout the semester. We were thrilled to see that many of the memes we created were being used and shared.

We have engaged directly with students on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by answering questions or responding to mentions. While much of social media's success is defined by impact and numbers, my own personal philosophy is that if a post reminded even one student that the library was here to help, provided information or just made them laugh that post was a success. The library has started a second year of outreach in the residence halls. Through a partnership with Housing and Residence Life, librarians provide reference help and light refreshments in the dorm lounges. Librarians provide quick information about the library to students unfamiliar with the services and in depth research help for those students who come prepared with challenging questions.

I think what really speaks to the students is that the library is putting the effort into being where they are, whether it is on any number of social media platforms, at the reference desk in the library, or in the lounge of the residence halls in the evening. I have had many positive comments from students regarding the library's presence on different sites and our growing followers show that they are interested in what we have to say.

The Robeson Library Tumblr is one of my favorites in NJ. When did you launch it? How do you decide what content to share there? Do you find students, faculty & staff use it to connect with your library’s services and events?

Robeson Library Tumblr

Thank you. The Tumblr page was launched in August of 2011. The format of Tumblr as well as it's ease of use was so inviting that I abandoned our Wordpress blog immediately. With the ability to link Tumblr to other social media sites, we are able to cross post when we wish, hitting all of our audiences. However, we do not always share our Tumblr content across all media. I see Tumblr as a place to be a little more entertaining and eye-catching with it's visual impact through photos and gifs.

We use Tumblr as a virtual extension of our displays, linking to the Tumblr page on our in-house information kiosks. The ease of discovery and sharing is sometimes a bit overwhelming. It is often hard to resist posting the multitude of images regarding a love of reading, libraries, books and cats that are shared by so many other libraries on Tumblr, but I do try to keep our content focused on research, writing, information literacy, higher education, technology and the local community. This does not mean there are no cats or Dr. Who references, because as with any social media, one's own interests and passions are going to shine through, and that is what makes it such an interesting means of communication for libraries.

As with our other social media platforms, it is not always easy to determine exactly who our followers are; students, staff, faculty, community members, other libraries/librarians etc. We have connected with other campus and university departments via Tumblr, providing yet another means for sharing information and providing support for each other. I did have one student at the reference desk tell us how cool we are that we had a Tumblr and another one was very concerned that I might get in trouble for looking at Tumblr when he saw it on the monitor of our reference desk!

What’s the best advice you’d want to share with librarians working on community outreach, regardless of the type of library they work in?

The best advice I can offer to other librarians working on community outreach is to be both persistent and flexible and have fun! When we started our information sessions in the residence halls, we did not have outstanding numbers of attendees and began to get discouraged. However, we kept contacting Housing, fearing that they would abandon the program due to the perceived lack of interest. Quite the opposite occurred and we have added more sessions this semester. The students that do attend the sessions are rewarded with the focused attention of one and sometimes even two librarians. The librarians are rewarded with challenging questions and an informal setting that often leads to more insight into a student's study habits and information needs. The numbers do not tell the whole story. It is easy to get sidetracked worrying about number of followers, likes and retweets, especially when attempting to measure success and impact. The definition of success with outreach is elusive and your own instincts must be taken into account. Facebook calls the numbers that break down your pages likes and comments and views "Insights". The real insight however is your own as you take part in different types of outreach and experiment with all the different ways to connect with your community.

Flexibility is also essential in being able to change course or abandon ship as libraries and their communities evolve. Finally, make sure you are having fun! If outreach is perceived as burden or just another item to check off, this will certainly show through to your followers. Social media's power lies in its ability to be personal and engaging and harnessing that power is an important part of virtual outreach.



LibraryLinkNJ would like to thank Kate Vasilik of Piscataway PL for posting to the Technology Exchange as our first TechEx Guest Contributor! Kate posted on Maker Culture throughout September - her posts are archived. We are especially pleased that Kate could post on this topic as it coincided with the launch of the Makerspaces project (deadline December 11). Tyler Rousseau of Monroe Township PL, home of the Studio M Makerspace, will post on Makerspaces in November.

Communication Tools for Schools

Theme of the Month:
Communication Tools for Schools

October’s Guest Contributor is Barbara DeSantis of Sayreville Public Schools’ In-Class Support Technology. She is posting throughout the month on Communication Tools for Schools. Here are her posts so far - continue to visit TechEx each week in October to keep up with Barbara’s other posts.

  • LiveBinders: An organizational and presentation tool - a web version of the classic three-ring binder
  • Symbaloo: Distribute websites using colorful tiles that will surely appeal to younger (as well as visual) learners

Additionally, LibraryLinkNJ members can find a monthly digest of TechEx posts on the member Forums around the middle of each month. If you are subscribed to our Forums and receive emails from the Announcements board, you will automatically receive the digest. You can edit your Forum preferences by logging into the LibraryLinkNJ website, clicking on My Account, then selecting Forum/email integration.



Featured Discount

RDA Toolkit

LibraryLinkNJ would like to thank members for your feedback about interest in the RDA Toolkit. Your response to our poll helped us decide to pursue this discount. Based on your input, we were able to secure a 10% discount for all library types.

RDA (Resource Description and Access) is the new standard for resource description and access designed for the digital world. RDA Toolkit is an integrated, browser-based, online product that allows users to interact with a collection of cataloging-related documents and resources.

This discount will work a little differently from our typical offers. All members can access a trial of RDA Toolkit through November 8, 2013. You can commit to purchase at anytime between now and November 8 by alerting LibraryLinkNJ. After November 8, the vendor (ALA) will begin the billing process. The discount amount may increase if enough libraries commit to purchase RDA Toolkit.

Please see our RDA Toolkit discount page for trial access and ordering instructions. We would like to extend a special thanks to Janice Painter of Princeton Public Library for suggesting this resource for our Discount Program!

New Discounts

  • Gale | Cengage Ebooks - through November 1, 2013
    Discount extended to November 1 for K-12 school library members.
  • ResearchReady - through December 31, 2014
    ResearchReady is an instructional platform for teaching information literacy from the creators of EasyBib. 15% off for public, academic and school libraries.
  • RDA Toolkit - through November 8, 2013
    See Featured Discount above.

Drupal - FY2014 Offer

Drupal is an open source content management tool that allows users to build complex websites without extensive programming, making it a proven option for libraries.

For FY2014, LibraryLinkNJ offers the following CE and related discounts and online service for our members:

Offer Name
Offer Type
Drupal Sample Website for Libraries (Online Training Videos) CE (No Charge!)
Drupal Users Group (LibraryLinkNJ Members Only) Online Discussion Forum
Mastering Drupal 7: A Six-Week Online Training Video Course Discount
Drupal Professional Support Discount

If you have any questions, please contact Mi-Sun Lyu at


CE Updates


Diversity in Children’s & YA Literature
with Shelley Diaz, Associate Editor at School Library Journal
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | 3:00-4:30 PM
Register Today! Registration closes Friday, 10/25.

It’s about time we talked about diversity in books for children and teens.

A 2012 study by the CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) revealed some startling facts:

Of the 3,600 books the Cooperative Children’s Book Center reviewed in 2012:

  • 3% were about Africans/African Americans; 1.8% were written by Africans/African Americans
  • 1.5% were about Latinos; 1.6% were written by Latinos
  • Less than 1% were about American Indians; less than 1% were written by American Indians
  • 2% were about Asian Pacifics/Asian Pacific Americans; 2.3% were written by Asian Pacifics/Asian Pacific Americans

Diversity in children’s and YA literature isn’t limited to race or ethnicity; it encompasses the inclusion of all perspectives, regardless of religious background, sexual orientation, gender, class, or disability.

Learning Objectives:
After participating in this webinar, library staff will be able to:

  • Explain why all librarians who work with children and teens should be aware of the lack diversity in children’s literature, and how this lack could be detrimental to a child’s development as a lifelong reader and learner.
  • Adapt and modify existing programs and collection development policies to better serve children of diverse backgrounds.
  • Identify groundbreaking works of children’s and YA literature that feature or are written by people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Identify print and online resources for staying up-to-date on new and upcoming diverse children’s and YA titles.

Register Today! Registration closes Friday, 10/25.


ALA TechSource Webinar Discount:
Gathering and Using Community Data: Making the Best Decisions for Your Library,

an ALA webinar with Marie Pyko and Thad Hartman
Wednesday, November 6 | 2:30-4:00 pm

Your Cost: $15

Register today! Registration for this webinar discount is now open and is online only.

LibraryLinkNJ is subsidizing the cost for 10 individual members to take this online training from the American Library Association. The price to you is just $15 -- a 73% discount off the list price of $55!

Decisions about library programs and services are typically made by library staff, using anecdotal experience as a guide to understanding community wants and needs. But marshaling hard data will give you a much more accurate picture. This workshop will show you how to gather community data in order to assess your library users’ needs and desires, and then plan services accordingly. The instructors will use their experience at the highly-regarded Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library as a model, highlighting sources of community data that are likely to already exist and ways that such data can be gathered by library staff. You'll learn how to combine your staff's expertise with concrete data so your library can make wise decisions, forgoing the need to hire an external vendor.

Topics include:

  • How to find the free sources of data in your community
  • How to gather data without spending money
  • Putting your data into action: big challenges and small challenges

Register today! Registration closes at 4 pm, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. A waiting list is available.


ALA Editions Webinar Discount:
Serving Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
with Lesley S.J. Farmer
Session 1: Wednesday, November 13 | 2:30-4:00 pm
Session 2: Wednesday, November 20 | 2:30-4:00 pm

Your Cost: $23

Register today! The first 10 members to register by the deadline of 4 PM on Wednesday, October 30th are eligible for this discount. A waiting list is available.

Please note: sessions are not available for individual purchase.

Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability, and the number of children identified as autistic continues to grow. In this workshop, Dr. Lesley Farmer will take you through the basics of autism, explaining the forms the condition can take and how diagnosed children tend to be unique.

Topics Include:

  • Identifying youth with ASD and understanding their developmental challenges
  • Making your library environment comfortable for youth with ASD
  • Strategies for successful one-on-one interaction
  • Understanding the print and digital resources available to librarians

LibraryLinkNJ is subsidizing the cost for 10 individual members to take this online training from the American Library Association. The price to you is just $23 -- nearly a 70% discount off the list price of $75!

Reserve your place today! Registration closes on Wednesday, October 30. - Motivating, Engaging and Mentoring Employees

Looking to raise the morale of your staff? An estimated 70 percent of employees are "disengaged." They aren't satisfied or productive. It isn’t necessarily about wages. Learn about the three keys to engaging and retaining members of your library team: strong relationships, a great work culture, and opportunities for employees to grow in Motivating and Engaging Employees with coach and consultant Todd Dewett.

Interested in mentoring a colleague? Take just 15 minutes to a look at Mentoring Others. When it's done right, mentoring helps people take positive steps forward in their career, which also helps develop the talent pool. So worthwhile!

This massive online training library is available free to all members of LibraryLinkNJ. Details on the program and our monthly registration procedure can be found on our website.