Building Library Community Through Social Media

  • Scott Woodward Hazard Young Montana State University
  • Doralyn Rossmann Montana State University


In this article academic librarians present and analyze a model for community building through social media. Findings demonstrate the importance of strategy and interactivity via social media for generating new connections with library users. Details of this research include successful guidelines for building community and developing engagement online with social media. By applying intentional social media practices, the researchers’ Twitter user community grew 100 percent in one year, with a corresponding 275 percent increase in user interactions. Using a community analysis approach, this research demonstrates that the principles of personality and interactivity can lead to community formation for targeted user groups. Discussion includes the strategies and research approaches that were employed to build, study, and understand user community, including user type analysis and action-object mapping. From this research a picture of the library as a member of an active academic community comes into focus.



Author Biographies

Scott Woodward Hazard Young, Montana State University
As Assistant-Professor/Digital Initiatives Librarian at Montana State University, Scott Young leads user experience research and web analytics reporting. His work focuses on front-end web design, digital library development, information architecture, search engine optimization, and social media, and he has presented research nationally and internationally.
Doralyn Rossmann, Montana State University

Doralyn Rossmann is Associate Professor and Head of Collection Development at Montana State University Library in Bozeman, MT. She has over 20 years of experience in academic librarianship. Her current research interests include building successful and strategic social media plans, Social Media Optimization, community building and engagement, and public budgeting and resource allocation in libraries.


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How to Cite
Young, S. W. H., & Rossmann, D. (2015). Building Library Community Through Social Media. Information Technology and Libraries, 34(1), 20-37.