This fall, students, staff, and faculty will find Mississippi State University Libraries in more places than simply on MSU’s campus. MSU Libraries is actively establishing a noteable online presence, and its services are reaching a broader audience than ever before.
MSU Libraries is at the forefront of the research and technology worlds, right next door and at its users’ fingertips. Via online media, social networks, and even mobile phones, MSU Libraries is reaching out to its patrons wherever they may be. The Libraries’ Facebook page currently boasts over 400 fans who find information daily on workshops, hours of operation, special events, contests, and more. Facebook is arguably today’s most popular Internet site for social connections, and its academic applicability is steadily on the rise.
"We answer questions from the MSU community all the time through our individual Facebook profiles, as well as from the Libraries Facebook Fan page,” said reference librarian Amanda Clay Powers. “Faculty, students, staff – lots of people at MSU use Facebook to communicate daily, so that's naturally one of the places we're going to be. Our goal is to be where our patrons are, when they need us."
Photographs galore are on display at the Libraries’ Flickr site. Patrons who may have missed a Collins Speaker Series or who couldn’t attend the latest MegaResource Workshop can still feel a part of these events and many more by viewing page after page of photos from MSU Libraries events. Additionally, photographs from select University Archives collections are featured throughout the year.
For quick, concise answers to the question “What’s happening at MSU Libraries?,” patrons can visit the Libraries’ brand new Twitter site. Students, staff, faculty, and community members can follow the MSU Libraries’ tweets to stay abreast of the most current services being offered.
“Subscribing to the Libraries’ Twitter site paid off for me big-time,” said Matt Crane, a MSU junior communication major. “While on Twitter, I read that the Libraries had just purchased the software I needed to create my final class project this summer. That saved me so much time and money.”
The Charles Templeton Ragtime Jazz Festival is gearing up for its 4th annual event in March, and one virtual way the Libraries advertises the event across the country is via its MySpace page. Ragtime enthusiasts can visit the page to view footage from previous years’ Festivals and to find information on the artists and dates of forthcoming events.
The Libraries’ YouTube and Google video sites currently feature over 100 videos highlighting Libraries events, news, software applications, and more. Patrons can take a virtual tour of the Libraries’ Instructional Media Center, enjoy performances from the Templeton Festivals, and even pick up tips via tutorials on Microsoft applications.
“I just recently received and email from a lady in London who found our Microsoft mail-merge tutorial on our YouTube site,” said Thomas La Foe, instructional technology specialist with the Libraries’ Instructional Media Center. “She’d struggled with the application for months, but after viewing our tutorial she said she felt much more confident – confident enough, even, to teach it to her co-workers!”
Patrons can also stay up to date with what’s happening at MSU Libraries by subscribing to its This Week @ Your Library podcasts. These short audio/video files are distributed on the Internet via RSS feeds which let patrons stay informed about an array of services, resources, and events.
Patrons can even view popular MSU Libraries webpages on their mobile devices via the Libraries’ mobile-optimized website. With the mobile-optimized website, patrons can utilize countless resources via their phones to assist in research needs, and if questions arise the Ask-a-Librarian service is built right in.
For more information on MSU Libraries and all the ways they are reaching out to patrons on and off campus, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/.
About MSU Libraries:
Mississippi State University Libraries is a premier research library providing its communities of users an ongoing, creative, technologically advanced library program that provides new and emerging technologies; enhances and inspires teaching, research, and service of the highest caliber in an environment of free and open inquiry and with a commitment to excellence. For more information about MSU Libraries, please visit http://library.msstate.edu/ .
MSU, Mississippi's flagship research university, is online at www.msstate.edu.