Digital Presence Strategy Washington and Lee University School of Law Library

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1 Digital Presence Strategy Washington and Lee University School of Law Library The Law Library at Washington and Lee University School of Law engages with users on the web in four distinct capacities. This includes the law library website, the Washington and Lee University School of Law Scholarly Commons, social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook, and video programming on the law library YouTube channel. Each of these four components reaches users in different ways and thus requires separate consideration of goals, audience, tools, content and publicity. In addition, communicating with users in any capacity on the web requires adherence to basic guidelines for professional conduct and content. I. The Law Library Website i. Effectively communicate with the law school community and larger audiences regarding the library s available resources and services. ii. Provide quick and easy access to the most frequently used resources and services from the library homepage. iii. Feature special library services and web applications such as Scholarly Commons and the Law Journal Rankings Project i. The primary audience for the law library website is the law school faculty and students. The law library website targets information to faculty and students separately considering their widely varying needs. Both groups have dedicated space in the website that features services specifically offered to them. ii. The secondary audience for the law library website is the public at large. The website identifies the library and its affiliation with the law school and university. It informs the user about the library s holdings and services offered. i. The law library website content is maintained by the Electronic Services Librarian with the advice of the law librarians and staff as to appropriate content revisions and additions. ii. Updates to the law library website design and structure are planned by the Electronic Services Librarian in collaboration with the law school s communications and web design staff. i. The content of the law library website is dedicated to communicating with the website s audience regarding resources and services offered by the library. ii. The library website informs the user about the library s physical spaces and operational policies. 1

2 e. Publicity i. Publicity for the law library s website is limited to major changes and new features. Announcements of such changes are distributed via law library spotlight blog and social media platforms. II. Scholarly Commons i. Promote W&L faculty scholarship ii. Preserve the law school s scholarly work product iii. Promote open access to academically valuable documents to the public. i. The primary audience for Scholarly Commons is the legal academy. The Scholarly Commons provides legal researches worldwide access to archives of the law faculty s publications, the law school s publications and the documents of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives. ii. The secondary audience for Scholarly Commons is the general public. Scholarly Commons promotes the scholarship of the law school generally and showcases the work of the students and faculty to the broadest possible audience. i. The Electronic Services Librarian manages Scholarly Commons with the advice of the law librarians regarding content planning and new projects. Specifically, the archivist managing the Powell Archives will be essential in planning the addition of archival materials to Scholarly Commons. ii. Library staff will assist in the copyright permissions process and with basic uploading functions as required. iii. Detailed descriptions of content planning, workflow and staff participation may be found in the Scholarly Commons Working Plan [ i. Archives of the law journals published at W&L including the Washington & Lee Law Review, Washington & Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice 1, the Washington & Lee Journal of Energy, Climate and the Environment 2 and the Capital Defense Journal. ii. Scholarship of participating W&L law faculty, past and present. 1 Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Digest, ; Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal, , Washington and lee Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal,

3 iii. Documentation of the history of the law school. iv. Content from the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Archives. e. Publicity i. Scholarly Commons is promoted via the law library s spotlight blog feature, website and other social media platforms. ii. Major changes and additions to Scholarly Commons are featured in live presentations and demonstrations or by screencast and distributed through the library s YouTube channel, see below. III. Social Media/Twitter The law library uses social media to establish a continuous stream of communication to inform library users about library materials and services and to increase use of those materials and services. i. Increase awareness of new acquisitions and databases. ii. Increase awareness of faculty publications and scholarship internally and externally to students, alumni and members of the academy. iii. Increase awareness of the Powell papers. iv. Introduce librarians and library staff to students to encourage frequent interaction. v. Market the expertise of the librarians and encourage reference transactions. vi. Use social media for instruction, disseminating legal research and productivity tips. vii. Use humor and entertainment to encourage use of library service materials via trivia and games. i. The primary audience for the library s social media feeds will be students, faculty and staff at W&L School of Law. These users have the greatest need for current information and are in the best position to take advantage of the information immediately. ii. The secondary audience for the library s Twitter feed is alumni of Washington & Lee Law School, the larger W&L community, the legal academy, and the general public. The library s twitter feed is a stream of information open to the public. Postings should be appropriate and useful to this broader audience. i. The library s social media will be managed by the Electronic Services Librarian. 3

4 ii. The library will use the social media management tool Hootsuite to distribute content across multiple platforms and facilitate scheduled postings after business hours and on weekends. i. Content for the library s twitter feed will fall into four categories: 1. Library News and Information a. Basic library information (hours, policies, etc.) b. New acquisitions, print and electronic c. New services d. News from LawTech e. Law school news and information, tweeting and retweeting postings f. Events and instructional sessions g. Faculty publications, tweeting and retweeting postings h. Postings at the Powell archives online i. Contests, trivia, and prizes j. People, photos, and humor 2. Legal research tips and resources, productivity and study tips 3. Legal news and headlines 4. Legal education news ii. Content will be mix of original postings and shared content (retweets). The target is to produce 30% original postings and 70% shared. e. Publicity i. The library promotes its twitter feed using signage in the library and law school to encourage students to follow the feed ii. The library s twitter icon is featured prominently on the library s homepage and in the sidebar of each page of the library s website. iii. Contests and giveaways are used to encourage student followers. For such special events, small flyers are distributed at the circulation desk with each item at check out. iv. The library s twitter feed will also gain followers by following related twitter feeds including W&L School of Law feeds, faculty member feeds, and other law library feeds. IV. YouTube i. Provide instruction to students and faculty over the web via video screencasting on topics such as electronic resources and mobile research and productivity. ii. Use video to introduce students and faculty to the library, the librarians and library staff. 4

5 iii. Use video to introduce and explain library services. i. The primary audience for the library s YouTube channel is law students and faculty. Students and faculty may take immediate advantage of the services offered or have immediate access to the resources introduced. ii. The secondary audience is the general public. The YouTube channel is public. Thus, the videos are viewable to anyone on the web. i. The YouTube channel will be maintained by the Electronic Services Librarian. ii. Content to be created by the Electronic Services Librarian and other librarians as topics suited for video are identified. i. Screencasts providing instruction for performing specific tasks in the library s electronic resources; ii. screencasts providing instruction in the use of mobile apps for tablets and smartphones; iii. video featuring the library and librarians including library tours and introductions to staff; and iv. topical playlists created from law library videos and videos from other YouTube accounts. e. Publicity i. New videos will be publicized in the library s Spotlight feature on the website homepage and via social media platforms. ii. The library follows other law libraries and vendors on YouTube to attract reciprocal followers. V. Conduct and Content Guidelines a. Accountability: Everything we contribute to, or receive, on the web is in the public realm. We are responsible for the information we post. b. Thoughtful: What is posted on one platform may show up elsewhere on the web through no action of our own. Never post anything that the library would not want to see on the front page of a newspaper or online news site. Remember that postings from the law library web platforms represent the law library and the law school to the world. c. Respectful: Always treat others on the web (known individuals or strangers) in a respectful and positive manner. 5

6 d. Active: Social media feeds need frequent attention to provide timely content that is valuable to our followers. Be diligent and utilize available tools to make planning and scheduling posts manageable. e. Engaging: Monitor user-generated content that addresses the law library and respond appropriately. Do not delete a comment or post that disagrees with the law library s point of view. Respond professionally and politely and avoid antagonistic statements. Do delete comments that are offensive or obviously spam. f. Secure: Know and understand privacy and security settings in all web applications and social media platforms before posting or participating. 6

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