Creating content for your Library social media feeds and blogs can feel a lot like feeding a very hungry, very demanding giant. You want your audiences to know that you are the source for all kinds of rich and valuable information but, let’s be honest, when you are doing the entire job of marketing for your library by yourself or with a small staff, keeping up with the audience’s expectations can be exhausting. And the more exhausted you get, the more your original content suffers. You can’t put your best work out into the world when you are feeding the beast.
That’s where content curation comes in. Content curation is the idea that you can share the blog posts, infographics, case studies, and interesting posts created by other organizations on your platforms. Now, I know this sounds counter-intuitive to marketing. Why would you share the good work of someone else with your audience? Shouldn’t we take every opportunity to engage OUR followers with OUR stuff? That would be ideal, but I know darn well you don’t have a staff of 20 writers to fill your content needs every day. Neither do I. The expectations of your audience are the same for you as they are for big brands. You simply can’t keep up, no matter how hard you try.
But here’s the really surprising thing about sharing curated content. If you do it right, by sharing content that aligns with your library’s brand and image, curated content actually helps to strengthen your library’s brand. At my library, we have a strategy which includes sharing curated content related to books and the literary world. That’s a pretty wide definition and it allows us to fill our content needs with posts about authors, new books, books being made into movies, anniversaries of books being made into movies, health news related to reading, beautiful libraries around the world, and a lot more. This strategy has positioned us as a news source for all things related to the book world, and our followers and fans think of us as more than a library. They turn to us for information on all things literature.
I want to share eight websites we use to find content to feed our curation strategy so you can find the same success.
BuzzFeed Books: We pull something from this fantastic BuzzFeed spin-off nearly every day. One word of warning though: check the posts for inappropriate language. BuzzFeed is loose in their writing style and occasionally, they’ll allow an obscenity or two.
reddit Books: This list of user-generated content on books, libraries, and the literary world is pretty invaluable. It also gives us ideas for polls to ask of our followers or original content posts, based on popular discussion boards. It’s a good way to put your finger on the pulse of the reading world in real-time.
NPR Books: Another place where you can find high-brow literary news and lots of book reviews. I use this site when I’m trying to decide which books I should highlight for individual promotions on social media and through email.
HuffPost Books: Similar to NPR Books but with a lot of news about book-related movies.
BOOK RIOT: A slick and modern website with more in-depth articles and interesting angles on literary themes. Scroll down to the bottom for links to a host of podcasts on every kind of literary subject. This website really warms your soul when you just want to immerse yourself in the world of books and think about how literature affects the lives of everyone.
Books – Flavorwire: The posts here are less frequent but are more varied than other sites. Their writers are very cultural and their perspectives are rare.
Electric Lit: A high-brow website with a fun, cultural perspective on literature. I also just love the look of their website.
NoveList: I’m pretty sure you all know this one exists but if you are like me and you didn’t come to this line of work from library school, this is THE go-to list for librarians who want to learn about new books or find reading recommendations for cardholders. I love their blogs and newsletters, which can be a rich source of content curation or promotional ideas for your library.
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