How’s Twitter working for us?

Kitchener Public Library jumped on Twitter in November, 2011. Since then, we’ve tweeted more than 12,000 times and we now have almost 6,000 followers.

We love Twitter for many reasons: it’s a great way to promote our resources, events, and services, and an easy way to quickly share photos of all the cool stuff that happens here. We use it to check out what our community partners are up to, and what kinds of things are going on at other libraries. It’s also where we share our Book of the Day, using #KPLBotd.

But I absolutely love it when you reach out to us: sharing photos of your kids in the library, photos of events or resources, chatting, bantering, and asking questions. I don’t monitor our Twitter feed 24 hours a day, but I do try to answer questions as quickly as possible.

Now, Kitchener Public Library is going to be part of a study on social media and libraries. Here’s a message to you, our customers, from the researcher:


My name is Mary Cavanagh and I am an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies. I am also a former public librarian – I worked in municipal and regional libraries in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec between 1986 and 2006.

My current research focuses on how 2.0 public libraries connect and engage with their communities – with individuals one-by-one, and with community organizations, agencies and businesses. In a series of case studies, I am looking at how social media and specifically Twitter contributes to a library’s success in relationship and community-building. I am very pleased that your library has accepted my invitation to collaborate on this project.

The main elements of this project include:
– Staff observation and interviews
– KPL Twitter follower survey
– KPL Twitter follower interviews
– Sample tweet analysis

I will be coming to Kitchener Public Library from April 14th to 18th to do some of this work. If you would like to know more about me or about this project in particular, please visit my personal website or get in touch directly. I look forward to meeting some of you in person and to seeing your library in action!

Mary F. Cavanagh
École des sciences de l’information | School of Information Studies
Université d’Ottawa | University of Ottawa

You’ll see Mary’s KPL Twitter follower survey soon (on Twitter, obviously!) It’s a voluntary survey, and your privacy is assured. We hope you can participate. Hopefully, we’ll find out what we’re doing well and how we can improve.

2 thoughts on “How’s Twitter working for us?

  1. Hello Charlotte, I am not your true target audience, but I enjoy following your twitter feed. I get some good programming ideas for my library. (The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is in my community and I saw that one of the researchers will be at your library for a program on World Crops. There will be great interest in my community on the topic.) The tone is very friendly which results in some great patron feedback. Continued good luck with connecting with Twitter!


  2. Thanks for your feedback, Jill! Anyone who loves libraries and community connections is a member of our true target audience. Sharing and stealing ideas from other libraries is one of my favourite ways to use Twitter.
    Regarding our session last night with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre – We partner with the Kitchener Horticultural Society to offer our Get Set to Grow lecture series, and it is very popular.


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