Other than using Twitter for environmental scanning and real-time interactions with users (as shared by Aaron and Karryl), I also see the role of the library in curating and archiving important information obtained via social media channels (including tweets) and using and assisting teachers to use tweets for teaching.
Curating and Archiving Stories
Tweets sent from the time of March 11, 2011 disaster in Japan up until present day was one of the collections being archived by Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters. This collection of tweets was one of the very important information that documented the process of the disaster as telephone lines weren’t working, and people were using Twitter to connect and share information.
A group of students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) used WEIBO (equivalent of Twitter in China) to share Singapore culture using local jokes. The microblogging site went viral and the students were interviewed by the local papers. NTU Libraries saw this as a valuable community spirit that should be archived. We manually recreated selected content from the students’ sites (with their permission) to the university blogs site for archival.
There is also this interesting trend of rotation curation by countries, as people see the 140 characters as a way of curating culture and thoughts of a nation at particular moment in time where people from all walks of life will take turns to tweet and have their tweets archived in a single account. Find out more on what is rotation curation with hellofrmsg project in Singapore.
National Writing Project (NWP) shares examples of use of Twitter in classrooms. With the digital natives using Twitter, Facebook, blogs, wikis, these seem to be a more comfortable type of medium for them to share ideas and engage with other students and teachers.
Joan is a Senior Librarian (New Media) at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and has been in the profession for nearly five years now. Her forte lies in using social media and mobile tools. She graduated with a BSSc from National University of Singapore and held a Master in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.