Applications of Social Media in Academic Library Services: A Case of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Library

Applications of Social Media in Academic Library Services: A Case of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Library

Elaine Wei San Kong (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong), Dickson K. W. Chiu (Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong) and Kevin K.W. Ho (School of Business and Public Administration, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSOE.2016040103
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Abstract

In recent years, social media have had a vast number of users and attracted academic libraries to use this new media to connect with their user communities. It allows librarians to communicate and share information with, and even provide services to users. This study examines the Pao Yue-kong Library at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyUL) that has been using social media to promote their information resources and services. However, throughout websites observations and tracking records on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube of the PolyUL, it was found users are not as numerous as other commercial organizations. Some recommendations were suggested to the PolyUL for enhancing communication with its users.
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Hong Kong Polytechnical University Library

The PolyUL was established in August 1972 to serve the Hong Kong Polytechnic, which was granted the full university status and renamed as the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU) in 1994. In December 1995, the PolyUL was officially named after the late Sir Yue-kong Pao in appreciation of a generous donation to the University by the family of the millionaire (PolyUL, 2012). Currently, the library building is a six-storey purpose-designed building with an area of 16,662 square meters, providing the storage areas of archives, books, and other library materials, as well as approximately 3,600 study places for its users. The PolyUL also houses a 24-Hour study center, group discussion rooms, teaching and learning labs for library instruction classes, group rooms for use of audio-visual materials, study carrels for private study, and a special room for the visually disabled (PolyU, 2014).

The PolyUL comprises of one of the largest collections of scientific, engineering, and business materials in East Asia. Other areas of strength are its collection in areas such as information technology, computing, nursing, textiles and design. The present holdings exceed 2.4 million items, to which more than 24,000 volumes are added annually. Around 2,700 active print serial titles are held in the PolyUL. Via the Internet, the PolyUL provides round the clock access to near 46,000 unique full-text e-journal titles, over 370,000 e-books, and a wide array of multi-media and e-learning programs. The PolyUL also maintains several special collections and a self-developed databases, including a comprehensive Standards Collection, the PolyU Examination Paper Database, a Digital Image Gallery and a Slide Collection. In addition, the PolyUL provides access to a unique and heavily used collection of over 28,900 local Chinese and English language television programs (PolyU, 2014). In brief, the PolyUL is one of the most important academic libraries in the territory.

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