A university library’s use of social media during a time of crisis
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight how North Western University (NWU) Library used Facebook and Twitter to inform, educate and communicate with library users during the students’ protests #FeesMustFall Campaign. Design/methodology/approach – This paper follows a case study approach to examine how Facebook and Twitter were used to inform, educate and communicate with library users during the #FeesMustFall Campaign. Data was obtained from the NWU Library’s Facebook Insights, the Facebook page itself and Twitter account, after which content was analysed. Findings – The paper provides insights that the teaching and learning (educational) aspect still lags behind on social media usage in libraries. Given the period in question, the expectation would have been a higher percentage of posts that could be categorized as educational. Research limitations/implications – The study is confined to one campus library of the NWU Libraries and the results cannot be generalised to theNWU. Practical implications – Social media use policies should be developed and awareness created on their availability and meaning/implications to users. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need to study how social media can be used by academic libraries. The literature currently focuses on how Twitter has been used in library campaigns. This paper shows how Facebook can be used in a university setting during crises time.
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