Voices for the Library – now available on Foursquare!

Now, you learn fairly early on when working with me (especially on VftL) that I like to play about with stuff and try out new things.  I’m all for experimenting and trying things out.  My attitude is generally: if it works – great!  And if it doesn’t?  Well, I just keep it to myself and no-one finds out about it.  Well, a few people find out about it but I make them swear on pain of death not to tell anyone anything.  So it was with this spirit I took to exploring the wonder that is Foursquare.

Now, to be clear right from the off, I was very much anti-Foursquare.  I thought it was a complete waste of my time and was nothing more than an opportunity for people to shout about where they are.  I was very reluctant to even give it a try.  Until I discovered that there was a rudimentary facility for adding brands and creating pages.  Now this intrigued me so I signed up and played around to see how it could be used.  After a bit of playing I had some ideas but needed to get a page up and running to see for myself if it would work.  Then, yesterday, the page making facility was markedly improved and I decided to give it a whirl…

Voices for the Library - Foursquare Page

Our new Foursquare Page

So here it is, the Voices for the Library Foursquare page – which just so happens to now be featured on the Foursquare page gallery.  So, what is my thinking about how it will be used?  Well, initially I thought it would be good to highlight libraries that earmarked for closure and suggest making a visit to show support.  If they follow the page and login to Foursquare on their mobile device whilst in the area of the library, the tip should automatically pop up and suggest they make a visit.  Now, I know that this alone won’t save the library in question, but I thought highlighting it would at least be a start.  Every little helps as (another) well known brand might say.

But then I got to thinking, maybe it should be more than just visiting for what is essentially a negative reason (albeit with a positive outcome), why not highlight positive stuff too.  Well, I say I got to thinking, it wasn’t me at all but a tweet from @stephthorpeuk got me thinking…

That’s what a library advocacy Foursquare account should be doing…highlighting the many great and unique things that libraries offer.  The reasons for visiting should not just be about saving the library, they should be about what the library can offer – truly positive reasons for paying a visit.

Of course, all this isn’t without its own problems.  Adding 500 libraries and the appropriate ‘tips’ to Foursquare is not easy, let alone looking up the other 4,000 odd and seeing what makes them unique and special.  So, if you are able to do either of the following it would be greatly appreciated 🙂

  1. If your local library isn’t on Foursquare but you are, please add it.
  2. If there is something special and unique about your local library and you aren’t on Foursquare, email contact@voicesforthelibrary.org.uk and tell us and we’ll add that information onto that library’s Foursquare page.

I have also put in a request for the development of a VftL badge awarded when a certain number of libraries are visited (ideally libraries marked for closure but if not possible then any library).  I’m not sure the badge will actually happen as they seem to be very strict on adding badges, but hopefully they’ll back it.

Of course, what I should have said (and I have forgotten until right at the end!), is that if you are on Foursquare, look us up and follow us!

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