Social Library Series Turns One

Jennifer Peterson /
From volume 16, yard sign announcing, "A Library Superstar Lives Here!"
courtesy of the Sandusky Library

A year ago this week, we began the Social Library series to highlight the wonderful ways libraries use Facebook and other social media. We didn't know how long it would last and wondered if it would be difficult to find enough fresh and interesting approaches to feature each week. We're pleased to report that it's become one of our favorite ways to "visit" libraries around the continent and the globe, to find quick inspiration, examples of innovative engagement, and stories of lasting impact. We've created a new area on WebJunction to collect our Social Library series, and plan to continue the series, but to mark this anniversary, we'd like to share some highlights from our first year of the Social Library.

In the 51 volumes published this year, we’ve featured 220 libraries and organizations, in 43 different states, and 3 Canadian provinces and representing more than a dozen different countries.

Though not intentional, yet a testament to their excellent work, the two libraries we featured the most were the Louisville Public Library in Colorado, and the Arlington Public Library in Texas. The state featured most often was Colorado, highlighted 25 times in the year.

With so many libraries, in so many places, doing so many wonderful things, we've collected them all into a sortable Social Library Series spreadsheet (xls) so you can sort by state, library, and topic, but...

The top 5 most popular editions in the Social Library series this year were:

From volume 35, Pine River Library- Bayfield's Public Library announced
Uptown Library Funk, a wonderfully welcoming approach to community

Volume 1

Featuring the Loveland Public Library in Colorado for their Download Coach program, the Meridian Library District in Idaho for their DIT (Do It Together) series, the Lodi Memorial Library in New Jersey for their custom tinkerCad classes, the Mesa County Libraries in Colorado for offering a 3-part bilingual Employment Workshop Series, and the Tulare Public Library in California for the grand opening of their Veterans Resource Center.

Volume 12

Featuring the Broward County Library in Florida for the kiosk they installed in the jury break room of the county courthouse, Louisville Public Library in Ohio for hosting a teen workshop on finding a summer job, the Roy R. Estle Memorial Library for their Healthy Snacks for Kids program, Braswell Memorial Library in North Carolina hosted the We Need to Talk Seminar, designed for people who need to talk with loved ones when it may be time to limit or stop their driving, and the Rio Grande City Public Library in Texas for their continued work supporting workforce development, including the workshop, Financing Options for Small Business.

Volume 17

Featuring the Loveland Public Library in Colorado for their Putt-Putt Golf Design Contest, the James V. Brown Library in Pennsylvania for their Library Card Design Challenge for Teens, the Milwaukee Public Library in Wisconsin with Book Bingo for Adults, the Kenton County Public Library for their #92daysofsummer summer reading club, and the Children's Department - Eckhart Public Library for the capes made at Superhero Camp.

Volume 23

The Patrick Heath Public Library in Texas shared about staff who provide tech assistance in the library lobby and in Teacup Techie Tip of the Week, the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library at West Virginia Wesleyan College on their unique spokesperson Boris de Bones, La Vergne Public Library in Tennessee for Career-Family Resources Day, the Marin County Free Library for the new patron-created and supported old school movie suggestions, and the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library who reached out to us to share their volunteer spotlights.

Volume 48

Featuring the Ottawa Public Library in Ontario with their Teen Exam Cram Contest, the Southeast Steuben County Library in New York for a 6 minute video showcasing upcoming library events, the Red Deer Public Library in Alberta for their Adult Colouring program, the Boise Public Library in Idaho for a powerful story of the important role the library has played in the life of a once homeless man, and ALA Think Tank member Karissa Alcox for her awesome blog post, Blind Date With a Book - Tips and Tricks.

And we want to remind you that if you’d like us to feature your library in the series, you can let us know us know via [email protected], or find us on Facebook. And we’d also like to thank all our readers who connect with us with questions and comments. When we shared (in volume 47) about Readopoly, the winter reading program at the Niles District Library, one of our readers asked if the library could share the template for their board. We reached out to ask, were thrilled to hear back, and we’ve now posted their Readopoly board for other libraries to use.

As WebJunction heads into its thirteenth year, it brings us great joy to know that we can continue to support library staff in making these connections, to help showcase innovative libraries, and expand our circle of learning.

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