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Social Capital

June 14, 2018

social capitalWhile it’s great to highlight library services and collections, it is called “social” media for a reason. At Bishop Library we’ve found that audiences want to learn and relate to people in the library. Sure you may have spent hours making the perfect Canva ad highlighting a library event, but you will most likely get far more feedback spotlighting people. Not all staff are up for this, but most are willing to participate and enjoy the attention. We’ve tried to highlight staff with short biographies, interests and fun facts.

The best part this is often an easy thing to do ahead of time and with a small staff this is crucial. We use the social media management platform Hootsuite to schedule out as many posts as possible.

Highlighting staff members during national or college-wide events draws attention from alumni and current members of the college community. Your post or tweet may also be shared by the college and wider audience. Staff member Becky Chanas’ unique shirt (in the Instagram post seen here) on election day was a hit on Instagram.


If you have student staff members this is a perfect way to connect to your student workers’ social capital. We created a series of posts spotlighting student workers. The example below of student worker Tyler Miller was scheduled to be posted on the opening night of the college theatre group’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not only did this create more engagement and comments than a typical post it also gained us some new followers.   


Also don’t underestimate the power of your alumni. Working off the momentum established with  student worker profiles, we reached out to former library student workers for a “Where Are They Now?” posts. The majority of former student workers reached out to responded within a few days with a photo and short update on their lives, leaving just editing and scheduling for me to do. I worked hard to tag all their respective departments and former student activities in the posts. Former student worker Leo Kyte, seen here with his wife Cornin (also an LVC grad), created the most buzz we’ve seen from this series of posts.  


So when in doubt on what to post, leverage the appropriate social capital (including your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend) and reap the rewards.

Photo credits in order of appearance.

  • Lebanon Valley College Archives. “Library Staff.” Quittapahilla Yearbook, Internet Archive, 1969,
  • Bentz, Maureen. “Library Staff Catching Up and Keeping Cool.” Facebook, 2017, .
  • Bentz, Maureen. “Meet our Library technician, Becky.” Instagram, 2016,
  • Miller, Tyler. “Meet One of Our Student Workers, Tyler Miller.” Facebook, 2017,
  • Kyte, Leo. “Where Are They Now?? After Graduation Business Major Leo Kyte ’13 Set-out with His Girlfriend, Corinn Shute ’13, to Tackle Washington, D.C.” Facebook, 2018,



One Comment leave one →
  1. Christina Steffy permalink
    June 17, 2018 4:10 pm

    Maureen, this is great! I wish my institution would allow us to have our own social media so we could do this.

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