Social Library, Hashtag Edition

Jennifer Peterson /

Image courtesy Kirsten Bester on Facebook

This week's Social Library is a special Hashtag Edition, highlighting some of the ways libraries are leveraging the power of hashtags on Facebook. Though hashtags are more frequently associated with Twitter or Instagram, they are increasingly used on Facebook, with varying degrees of impact. Libraries are adding hashtags to posts to connect to their local patron communities, or to the broader Facebook community, often reaching different sectors, or with the widest meaning possible. These libraries use hashtags to fundraise, to motivate, for solving mysteries, for sharing histories and for recognizing volunteers. We hope you are inspired by these libraries and try some of these approaches to serving your community's needs and interests. If you'd like to see your library featured in the Social Library series, please let us know via or find us on Facebook.

  • Guelph Public Library in Ontario, Canada, invited the community, as part of this year's #GivingTuesdayCA, to follow the instructions to show their support of the library using the #unselfie hashtag, and to be included in the chance to win $100! Library supporter Kirsten Bester posted her #unselfie announcing her support of the library, along with a link for others to learn how to support the library.
  • St. Johns County Public Library used the #mondaymotivation hashtag with a photo of one of the yoga classes hosted at the library each Thursday. "Today's #mondaymotivation -- stay calm, breathe deep and enjoy the week." What a great way to remind the community of what's toImage courtesy Dauphin County Library System on Facebook come later in the week! And if you take a look at the other ways this hashtag is used on Facebook, you can see how it's most certainly not library-specific, and so an interesting way to showcase the work of the library with a general audience.
  • Dauphin County Library System in Pennsylvania uses the #CharacterClues hashtag to invite patrons to try and solve a monthly mystery. The library posts #CharacterClues every two hours until the mystery is solved, inviting patrons to post their guesses of the book character to the comments, with a promise of a  #LibraryCarePackage for the winner. The library also use a #LowCheckouts hashtag to highlight books that have a 4-star average on Goodreads, but only 1 collective checkout from the library's catalog. "Show these #LowCheckouts some much-deserved love!"
  • Providence Public Library in Rhode Island uses a #TransformationTuesday hashtag to showcase local history using "before and after" photos of a local landmark from the newly opened James N. Arnold Collection. Image courtesy La Crosse Public Library on FacebookThe most recent post received numerous likes, was shared many times and received many wonderful comments from community members with connections to an old family farm. The post includes a "before" shot of the 18th century farmhouse, along with a short history of the property, and an "after" shot from Google Street View shows the current site of the farm which is now a shopping plaza.
  • La Crosse Public Library in Wisconsin also leveraged the #unselfie hashtag, using this wonderful set of photos to profile library volunteers holding their #unselfies. "Thank you to all of the volunteers, like Erin, Greg and Amy, who give their time to support the La Crosse Public Library." The post also included a link to ways others can support the La Crosse Library.

Thanks to all of this week's featured libraries for such outstanding service to your communities!