Social Networks

Congratulations on completing the first week! In week two, we focus on Social Media as we explore three online communities: Twitter, Pinterest and Skype. Social Media is a phenomenon where users are taking the Internet to amazing places and creating content, sharing information and collaborating instantly. Instead of passively “surfing” the net, now more than ever the Internet allows users to engage with others as we create our own stories.

This week our learning objective is for you to explore these popular social media sites: Twitter, Pinterest and Skype. Remember, you don’t have to do all three activities. You can choose to do only one, or two or three if you are feeling adventurous.

Tool: First off, we look at Twitter.

What is it?

Twitter is a communications tool that allows you to “Follow your interests, discover your world”. When you join Twitter you are embarking on an information network where instant conversation can take place across the world. Twitter allows you to “micro-blog”, or to relay short messages of up to 140 characters. It is an instant source of news and it allows for quick and succinct conversations. With Twitter, you have the potential to reach millions of users. “Tweets” (the messages or mini-blogs) are short and sweet. You can “follow” people you are interested in and listen in on the virtual conversation.

To make things clearer, have a look at this short video on How to Use Twitter.


Twitter Lingo: Twitter has its own vocabulary.


Using the @ and the person’s user name indicates a person’s twitter account. If you send a tweet and include “Hi there @twitter”, then that Twitter profile will be linked and receive your message.


Used to mark keywords within a Tweet, use the # symbol before the word to highlight it. This is a #hashtag.  We are coining our own hashtag, #projectconnect to spark and link our conversations to that word. Also you can search a hashtag to retrieve any tweets that have used it. The most used #hashtags each day become Trending Topics.

You may learn a few new words that are specific to Twitter. Take a look at the Twitter Glossary

Twitter for Libraries:

Libraries are connecting more with their users, and Twitter provides a fantastic way to advertise programs, show pictures of displays, give information, or ask questions and engage our users with almost anything. Twitter lets libraries not only be a part of the conversation but also lead the chat.

Check these libraries out!

Toronto Public Library

Pima County Public Library

For even more ideas on how Twitter can be used by your Library, here is a great resource for 100 ways to use Twitter in your library.

Discovery Activity:

Step 1. Go to and create a free account. Click on the yellow “sign up for Twitter” button. Fill in the form to create an account.

You can Follow our group Twitter account @projconnect1.

Step 2. Set up a profile and start tweeting. Discuss what you are interested in. Share a thought. Search for and follow someone. Tweet one of us:

Joanne @joannepeace5; Melissa @melliestar; Carleen @cs_lawson; Abe @kolila; or @4clscybermoblie

And tweet us with the Hashtags #Projectconnect

Step 3 Reflection:

We would like you to Tweet one comment to our #projectconnect hashtag this week and one per week for the duration of this project. Think of this as your micro-blogging assignment. Also, for your reflection write one brief blog post on this course site and share your thoughts about Twitter. Have you had a good experience with this so far? How can libraries use this tool?

Any Questions or Concerns:

Email joanne at or ask your question on the ProjectConnect site.

Tool: Pinterest

What is it?

The second tool we explore this week is Pinterest. If you’ve ever kept a scrapbook or cut out pictures of magazines and newspapers to collect, then you will likely love Pinterest. This is a virtual bulletin board that allows you to pin your favorite images and ideas from websites to your own board.  Part social networking site, Pinterest allows you to follow people, make comments, “like” something, find friends with similar interests, and share your pins. It is also part visual bookmarking site where you are the curator pinning the things you love to your site. Pinerest is also a great tool for organizing your stuff on the Web. Some teachers, for example, will add lesson plans as boards. You may also spend time pursuing others’ boards and discover something magical perhaps.

Growing in popularity, Pinerest is the third most popular social media site in the U.S. , following Facebook and Twitter. With ideas on all sorts of things from recipes, crafts, hair styles, and even Halloween costumes, Pinterest makes ‘surfing’ the web more fun and interesting. If you come across a website you want to keep, you just ‘pin it’ to your board.  Stunning pictures, creative ideas everywhere, people are getting ‘hooked’ on Pinterest.

Take a look at this video: [youtube]

Just Pin it!

For more on pinning and creating your own boards, look at Pinning 101

Pinterest is easy!

Discovery Activity:

Step 1. First sign up for an account, either with Facebook, Twitter or just an email, and Pinterest will give you a homepage with boards to get you started. Explore. Have some fun with this. Spend about ten minutes searching anything you feel like.

If you like you can install the Pin it button, so you can pin images from websites as part of your curation on Pinterest.

Step 2. On the blog, post a comment, picture or website that inspired you while looking through Pinerest. Comment on whether you agree with millions that Pinterest can become habit-forming.

How are libraries using Pinterest?

A great opportunity exists for libraries with Pinterest. As naturally good organizers, libraries can help people curate their lives using this amazing social tool. Take a look at these examples.  showcasing loads of fantastic books, etc.


Share on the blog any thoughts you have on Pinterest? Do you think libraries can make good use of this site? How?

Any questions or concerns?

Please email or post a question to the blog.

Tool: Skype

What is it?

All the world’s a stage… and Skype is making that so.

The magic of technology to break down geographical barriers, to allow us to connect and communicate from near and far is evident with Skype. Using a computer, laptop or smart phone, Skype is a technology that allows you to have free face to face communication.  Friends and family are only a click away. Imagine!

Video call — If your contacts are online, or you have arranged at time to meet, within just one click you are visiting and talking via the video chat.

Voice calls Use Skype like a telephone for voice-only calls

Chat — instant messaging is easy with Skype.

File sharing Send your contacts files from your computer easily by dragging and dropping them into the screen. Great to do while on a conference call with up to 25 people.

This video provides a good explanation of how Skype works: [youtube]

Discover Activity:

Step 1.  Go join Skype. Follow the step by step instructions to importing contacts and creating an online profile. If you need help at any time, there is a link to Skype help.

Step 2. Play!

Find contacts and have a video chat.  You can Skype me at joannepeace5. Or find some contacts within 4cls.


With the magic of Skype you could potential to find many ways to use it, or just use it to stay in touch. Here’s some clever ways public libraries are enjoying Skpye.

Students enjoying virtual author visits in School Library Journal.

Here’s how to set up Skpe for your library

Skype room for library users:

Skype family and friends from your public library.


Write a blog post about your experiences with Skype. Have you used it to stay in touch with family or friends? Do you prefer the video chat or voice? Have you ever used it in your work? What are some possibilities for libraries and Skype?

Questions and Concerns

Please send any questions to Joanne at or post them to the blog.


This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael StephensTransformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was authored by Joanne Peace for Four Corners Library, Binghamton, N.Y..  It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation

Skip to toolbar