Saturday, November 12, 2011

Google+ Pages for Your Library: A How-To

Many libraries have taken advantage of the popularity of Facebook to create and maintain a presence on the social networking site as a way to connect with patrons. Now that Google+ is the new kid on the social networking block, a growing number of libraries are setting up pages there as well.

The Muppets have a Google+ page. Why shouldn't libraries have one, too?
image credit:

Yet some librarians may be at a loss as to how to set up a Google+ page for their libraries. Thankfully, David Lee King, who works at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, Kansas, has provided a simple set of instructions on how to do just that. * November 9, 2011

Setting Up a Google Plus Page for Your Library Is Easy

By David Lee King

A day or so ago, Google Plus finally opened up organizational Google Plus “Pages” to everyone. These are similar in concept to Facebook Pages: a Google Plus Page is for brands, organizations, and businesses, and a Google Plus Profile is for individuals.

I just set up my library’s Google Plus Page, and it was really easy to do. Here’s what I did:

  1. First, you need a personal Google Plus Profile. Just like Facebook, Google wants you to be a real person (here’s a link to mine if you’re curious).
  2. Go here - - to set up the Page
  3. Choose a category for your library. I chose “Company, Institution or Organization” for ours.
  4. Fill in your Institution’s name and URL. I chose to put in our full name (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library) rather than the shortened “topekelibrary” that we often use for social media sites, because our full name shows up on the account.
  5. Select a Category – really, a subcategory of the “Company, Institution or Organization” thing you picked up in #3 above. This gives you a lot of suggestions … none of which are Libraries. I ended up choosing Institution (though Government Agency, Education, or Other would have worked ok too).
  6. Click Create.
  7. Then, you’re given the option to Share your new Google Plus Page with all your Google Plus friends (I did that, but you don’t have to).

After that, I fleshed out our account info a little bit by doing these things:

  • Added a photo for the G+ icon (our library’s logo for now)
  • Asked our Marketing dept for some pictures to add on the Photos tab
  • Created some Circles – I kept the Following circle for random follows, then created these additional Circles: Customers (for library patrons), Staff (for library staff), and Librarians (for librarians who don’t work at my library but want to follow)
  • Added links to our Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Flickr accounts
  • Finally, I sent out our first status update message – “Just setting up Topeka Library’s dandy new Google Plus Page for organizations. Let’s explore it together!”

That’s pretty much it. What will we do with it? For starters, I’ll probably post a couple things a week there, to see if other people in our service area are interested in using Google Plus to connect with the library. After that (I’ll give it 6 months or so) we’ll see.

A couple other examples of Google Plus Library Pages:

UpdateJoe Murphy has a great post on Google Plus Pages for Libraries. Check it out!

Cool! Now the question is … what will your library DO with a Google Plus Page, now that they are available?

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