New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Vine at the Library

By: Christi Sommerfeldt, MLIS, Canton, NY

Social media is now a regular part of everyday life and libraries are putting many of the most popular social media applications to good use.  Libraries market programming and events as well as other pertinent information via social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  The sheer number of new social media apps challenges libraries and their ability to pick and choose which ones are worth adapting and incorporating into their social media campaign.  Twitter’s new Vine application which allows users to post looping videos with a maximum length of seven seconds is one app that some libraries waited on to see how well it was received by the public1.  

After its release in January 2013 Vine became the most downloaded application in the iOS app store by April of that year2.   Related to GIFs (Graphic Interchange Format), short length videos provide quick information and can be posted on Vine or embedded on other websites.  In today’s fast-paced world, Vine effectively transmits messages for those short on time.

Libraries around the country including UCLA’s Powell Library, the New York Institute of Technology, and the Topeka & Shawnee Public Library have begun utilizing the free app.  Some of the most popular ways to incorporate this dynamic tool include introducing library staff and services, spotlighting programs and events, showing off new books and library collections, quick library tours, tutorials, library news updates, policies, technology assistance, and even more3.   Patrons can view these videos on Vine’s website and subscribe to receive updates in their news feed.  Libraries can also embed videos in their websites and other social media as well.

While social media continues to evolve and change, libraries will adapt accordingly.  Vine and other social media apps may not last, however it is important to embrace these new apps and technologies in order to reach more users and enhance library services.  To learn more about Vine and how some libraries have adopted Vine, visit the following links:

15 Cool Ways Libraries Can Use Vine to Create Social Videos  (Provides some how-to links)
Vine Offers Boundless Creativity For Libraries; Have You Heard?
Vine for Libraries: 6-second Tutorials for Patrons

1Morehart, Phil (3 Dec. 2013). "Libraries on the vine." http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/.  Retrieved 27 Feb. 2014.
2Souppouris, Aaron (9 Apr. 2013). "Vine is now the number one free app in the US app store." www.theverge.com. Retrieved 27 Feb. 2014
3Kroski, Ellyssa (23 July 2013). "15 Cool Ways Libraries Can Use Vine to Create Social Videos."http://oedb.org/. Retrieved 27 Feb. 2014