At the recent Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), several sessions were dedicated to the creation, curation, and advertisement of digital collections. The overwhelming opinion of the presenters was that the most important component of outreach was to meet library users where they are. In pursuit of this ideal, Special Collections has been focused on establishing a presence on popular social media platforms, each ideally suited for transmitting information in a variety of different formats. These platforms include Wordpress, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Special Collections recently migrated its previous blog, Sages of the Pages, to Lehigh’s new hosted Wordpress solution. Our current blog, The South Mountaineer , retains all of the content previously posted on Sages of the Pages and now features a fresh and responsive design. Transitioning to a new installation of Wordpress has enabled more robust customization, greater extensibility through plugins, and consistently up-to-date software. The South Mountaineer will continue to be the home of stories about the unique and exceptional items held by Special Collections, presented as longer form, well-researched articles written by our staff and student assistants. The South Mountaineer name and logo is a tribute to an Alumni Council publication of the same name, which dates back to 1931. While this publication ceased being printed in 2000, Special Collections’ resurrection of the South Mountaineer is representative of our mission to preserve and make accessible Lehigh’s institutional memory.
Tumblr, on which Special Collections has developed its largest number of followers, is used primarily for visual content with short descriptions. Similarly, Instagram is used to quickly capture, edit, and post images of anything interesting that catches our eye. Twitter is used to quickly and succinctly disseminate links to featured content. Facebook will be used both to publicize upcoming special events and to host albums of these events as well as classes taught by Special Collections. Information distributed on these platforms can reach a wide and varied audience including:
Special Collections will continue to stay abreast of popular social media trends and consider novel ways to use them to publicize our exceptional holdings. Help us spread the word about Lehigh Special Collections by following us on one or all of our social media outlets!
Library & Technology Services
Bethlehem, PA 18015
27 Memorial Drive West, Bethlehem, PA 18015