Teaching Social Media: The Can-Do Guide

I recently read “Teaching Social Media: The Can-Do Guide” by Liz M. Kirchhoff and found it very readable.  A slim volume of 121 pages, the title lives up to the descriptor that it is a road map for librarians (and others) who want to offer instruction on various social media sites but aren’t quite sure how to cover the topics in an instructional setting. It is also a useful resource for those  needing to brush up on their own social media skills.

Although there are many books that cover social media, a strength of this title is that Kirchhoff offers complete teaching scripts that can be adapted for various classroom situations along with general guidelines and tips.  The discussion section of each social media site covered is well-organized and laid out in a visually useful way. (Headings with short paragraphs of discussion allow the reader’s eye to scan the page and read about various topics (e.g. privacy settings).

Because the primary audience for this book is librarians, there is general advice on social media as well as suggestions for getting support for offering such a social media training program, for creating a syllabus tailored to community needs, and planning class format and logistics. Entire chapters cover the most well-known  social media sites, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ and  Yelp, explaining how these sites work. With each site covered, privacy and safety concerns are also covered for those sites discussed in depth. Some discussion is also given to how the sites are trending.

Variations for classes are also discussed, e.g. Twitter for Business. Other popular sites or online activities such as How to Plan Your Trip Online  (Trip Advisor) are also discussed, as are other classes to consider–for example, Tumblr, MyFitPal and Ravlry –and how to develop them.

The one thing that did puzzle me were the pages reproducing  Krichhoff’s handouts. The typeface was smaller and at first I was not sure if the intent was that readers could copy/reproduce them as is. As I read on, I concluded they were models only that tailoring them to the users needs was desirable and necessary.

In sum, this is a very useful ready reference/catch-up book for professionals to use. No assumptions are made that either the library professional  or the student/patron is fully knowledgeable about social media. Readers will benefit from the strategies, applications and techniques presented in this volume this book offers. Recommended.

Cover ArtTeaching Social Media: the Can-Do Guide, Liz Kirchhoff, ©2014,
Libraries Unlimited,
xv, 121 pages ; 24 cm, English
ISBN: 9781610695565 1610695569

Also available as an eBook.





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