ASU Libraries: do they achieve the 4C’s of social media?


The Library 2.0 movement is all about transforming libraries into participatory services based on the underlying principles of Web 2.0. These principles include collaboration, conversation, community and content creation (CSU, 2015, para. 2).   The Arizona State University (ASU) Libraries are an example of how one organisation is attempting to put these services into action using tools such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and online forms.

The Library 2.0 model is a customer driven service and as such, feedback is an essential component (Casey & Savastinuk, 2010). Investigating the ASU Libraries services reveals much evidence of engagement with users. Most particularly, the online suggestions box encourages input from users and the responses provided by the libraries clearly demonstrate they value this input and adjust services in response where possible and applicable. The libraries response in these forums is important and Schrier tells us that in order to build trust with customers, libraries must answer people’s questions out of a desire to help rather than a desire to promote the library (Schrier, 2011). In this respect, the example below, of the ASU’s online suggestion box, demonstrates the libraries use of collaboration and communication to receive feedback, to answer questions helpfully and to provide customer driven offerings.

Jan 21, 2015 · suggestion box

Submitted:  January 20, 2015
Regarding:  Online Catalog

Comment/Suggestion:  When viewing the list of checked out books, it would be really nice to have a way to export the list to a bibliography tool, such as BibTeX.

Library Response: Thank you for the suggestion. While the ASU Libraries does not support BibTeX, we were able to create a button to export checked out items to RefWorks, which is a web-based bibliography database manager that allows you to collect, organize and manage a personal database of book and article citations. You will now see this button in your library account when you are viewing checked-out items.

RefWorks Button

We hope this improves your research experience at ASU Libraries. 

A second example of the ASU Libraries incorporating the Library 2.0 model is their connection to community. The ASU Facebook page and Twitter contains a number of example of valuing community above collections, including providing charging stations for users and rewarding feedback in the form of prizes for completing surveys.

ASU Tweet 2015-01-24 at 11.47.05 am


ASU Facebook 1 2015-01-24 at 11.52.37 am ASU Facebook 2 2015-01-24 at 11.53.18 am

Meeting user information needs and communicating the usefulness of the collection to users is an essential role of libraries. Miller states that this communication must reach the user “where they happen to be, and in association with the task they happen to be undertaking” (2005, para. 18). The ASU Libraries Youtube channel – The Library Minute is a very good example of a library performing this role.

ASU Youtube channel 2015-01-24 at 12.54.07 pm

Despite searching the ASU Libraries website, I could not find any examples of the fourth principle of Library 2.0, that is, content creation. A more thorough investigation into the catalogue and twitter feed might provide some examples of this but there are no obvious user reviews, invitations to participate in tagging resources or user generated content on the site.

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2010). Library 2.0. Library Journal, (May), 21st ser. Retrieved January 24, 2015, from
Miller, P. (2005). Web 2.0: Building the new library. Ariadne, (45). Retrieved December 28, 2014, from
Schrier, R. A. (2007). Digital librarianship & social media: The digital library as conversation facilitator. D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8). doi:doi:10.1045/july2011-schrier
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