Queen's College Library

The Queen’s College Library launched a Facebook Page in May 2008. We envisaged the Page as a more relevant way interact with current users, as well as a way to keep in touch with Old Members and to raise the profile of the Library in the international academic community.
The Page includes general information about the Library, opening hours, useful links, search applications (COPAC, WorldCat etc) as well as the usual wall and discussion board. We also have a photo album although we have not really made good use of it yet.

[Note: in designing our Page I have made use of a Facebook application called Static FBML, which allows users to make completely customised boxes for their page using the Facebook Markup Language (of which I know nothing – FBML fortunately allows the use of basic HTML tags!)]

As of 2nd September 2008, we have gained 700 fans, which I think is more than we anticipated in the amount of time the Page has been live. The first 200 or so of these were our own students, Old Members, and a few other people with Oxford links. Since that early stage most of our new fans now seem to have no link with Queen’s or Oxford! We are still gaining about 5 new fans every day. (Update March '10: 2027 members, most of whom are not in the Oxford network)

At the moment, our daily numbers of visitors are only slightly higher than the number of new fans, indicating that fans are not making regular use of the Page. However, we are hoping that this will change after the long vacation when the Library will again be at the forefront of students' minds, although it may need a concerted effort to keep them aware of the Page’s existence. Since its conception we have sent out two ‘Updates’ to our fans, which I have envisaged as brief newsletters. However, it is not possible to tell how many fans read these!

As far as other interactivity goes, I can report the following:

  • I created an ‘event’ for our book return at the end of Trinity and seven students made use of it.
  • Fourteen comments have been left on our wall – all pleasant! The majority were left by our own students in the first few days of the Page going live.
  • No use has been made of the discussion board.
  • At least one person has arranged to visit the Library after seeing our page on Facebook.

It will be interesting to see how these figures change once we start the new academic year.

Lynette Dobson
Technical Services Librarian
The Queen's College