Building a Social Library

Ben Vershbow (New York Public Library), Michael Lascarides (The New York Public Library), Johannes Neuer (The New York Public Library), Angela Montefinise (New York Public Library)
Social Media
Location: New York West Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)

As collections increasingly turn digital and eBooks become ubiquitous, libraries
are also changing how they connect with patrons. The New York Public Library,
one of the largest in the United States, has become the number one public library in
the world in social media, leveraging staff and social tools to connect hundreds of
thousands of users with its collections and services.

Attendees will learn how NYPL:

• Increased its Twitter following in 2010 from under 10,000 to nearly 100,000 followers

• How the Library uses the new BiblioCommons presentation layer on the catalog, and social tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and blogs to make the 50 million items in its collections easier to discover

• Trains its staff on social media and blogging to equip them for a collaborative approach of social media engagement

• Develops and promotes applications that allow crowd sourcing of labor-intensive Digital Humanities projects such as transcribing 100,000 historic menu items in little over a week

• Taps into geo-location services to promote physical visits to its 90 libraries

• Uses tools such as Radian6, HootSuite, SocialFlow, and Google Analytics to measure and continually optimize its initiatives

Photo of Ben Vershbow

Ben Vershbow

New York Public Library

Ben Vershbow is the Manager of NYPL Labs, an experimental unit developing new ideas and tools in the digital humanities. Before coming to the Library in 2008, he was Editorial Director of the Institute for the Future of the Book, a small Brooklyn-based think tank exploring the future of reading, writing and publishing.

Michael Lascarides

The New York Public Library

Michael Lascarides is Senior Manager for Web Initiatives for the New York Public Library. Prior to joining the New York Public Library in 2008, he worked as a web programmer, designer and information architect for a wide variety of commercial clients. He teaches in the MFA Computer Art department at the School of Visual Arts and holds a B.S. in Information Systems Management from New York University.

Photo of Johannes Neuer

Johannes Neuer

The New York Public Library

Johannes Neuer, a 10-year veteran in online marketing and new media, manages corporate eCommunications and social media programs at The New York Public Library. Prior to joining the Library in 2009, Johannes worked for regional and national non-profits as well as SMEs and global players in the electronics and software sector. Recent awards include MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Viral and Social Marketing Hall of Fame and a PR News 2010 Nonprofit Award for Use of Twitter. A frequent speaker, he has appeared at the MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Summit, Social Media Week, and Social Media Weekend at Columbia University. Johannes holds a Master of Music in double bass performance and a Master of Science in e-Media.

Photo of Angela Montefinise

Angela Montefinise

New York Public Library

Angela Montefinise is NYPL’s Public Relations and Marketing Director. Before joining the Library, she spent a decade as a reporter and editor in the New York media. At NYPL, she has tripled press mentions, launched a highly successful Tumblr blog, increased the Library’s social media presence, and authored numerous articles for NYPL’s blog channel in the Huffington Post. She also helped lead two successful advocacy campaigns to fight city budget cuts — one of which netted a PR News Nonprofit PR Award for best advocacy campaign — and played a key role in the public celebration of the Centennial of the Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.

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Picture of Karin Tracy
Karin Tracy
10/12/2011 11:51am EDT

Wow! Fascinating. I dropped in on this not knowing what to expect and it was one of my favorite sessions. Especially enjoyed Angela and Ben’s discussions – the restaurant menu restoration/archiving project is amazing!!

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