Document Type



Purpose – This paper aims to present an overview of how libraries are using Twitter in an academic setting.

Design/methodology/approach – This study analyzed the current state of 296 Twitter accounts from a random sample of academic libraries. A total of 19 different criteria were explored, with an emphasis on the following three categories: layout and design, content and number of tweets, and account followers.

Findings – Only 34 per cent of libraries in the study had a Twitter account and characteristics varied widely among libraries, however it is evident that it is possible to successfully communicate with patrons via Twitter.

Research limitations/implications – A primary limitation for this study is the frequency with which Twitter can change.

Practical implications – This paper provides a snapshot of how libraries are currently using Twitter, which can be of assistance to libraries seeking to implement a Twitter presence.

Originality/value – The paper presents an overview of trends in academic library Twitter accounts, which could be useful to librarians who are considering launching a Twitter account for their library.


Communication Technology and New Media | Information Literacy | Library and Information Science | Social Media


Used with permission, ©2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Published version available:

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