Libraries and tumblr.


tumblr is a microblogging platform where bloggers post text, links, quotes, audio clips, videos, and images to a community of followers and outside readers. These posts can be commented on, “liked,” or “reblogged” by other tumblr users. In terms of blog size and scope, think of tumblr as falling somewhere between Twitter and traditional blogs like Blogspot or WordPress. tumblr users create their own blog in order to follow and be followed by other bloggers. Then, similar to Twitter, posts made by other users you follow will show up on a constantly updated “dashboard.”

Many businesses, organizations, and companies use tumblr to promote themselves.  Included in those are publishers, libraries, authors, librarians, and readers in general.  tumblr is a great platform to use to reach multiple audiences because of its simplicity.  tumblr is not as formal as a traditional blog like WordPress or Blogspot, and many members of the younger generations tend to use tumblr as a place to like, reblog, and write their own personal thoughts and beliefs.  It is easy for librarians to reach these users on tumblr, as it doesn’t take much effort from the follower to click “follow blog” — leading them to obtain the library’s posts right in their dashboard.

Libraries have begun utilizing tumblr in many different ways.  tumblr posts and blogs are best discovered by tagged content. There is no search within tumblr for specific blogs or bloggers. Rather, users search by tagged topics of interest, just as users follow hashtags on Twitter.  There is a tag on tumblr that many librarians have begun to use.  The tag is “tumblarians” and it brings up all posts that have been posted by libraries using the “tumblarian” tag.  You can also find library related posts by searching things such as “librarians” “public libraries” “libraries” and more.

One library that seems to have a good tumblr following and seems to be posting regularly is the Darien Public Library in Darien, Connecticut.  The library posts funny quips such as a reblog of a Parks and Recreation gif with the caption ” ‘GPOY’ Me after every patron checks something out today“.  Another post is their regular “You Are What You Read” post which features recommendations from Darien Library staff members.  The library tumblr also features things that their patrons have done, funny things that happen in the library, and reblogs from other libraries.  While this tumblr blog seems to be quite informal and focuses mainly on their Children’s library section, it seems to have a great following and posts frequently and regularly.

The following are a few libraries that utilize tumblr effectively:

The New York Public Library

Chicago Public Library

Music Arts & Literature Department of the Detroit Public Library

Oregon State Library


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