Social Media Marketing Example #12: Library of Congress

Continuing with the series, 26 Social Media Marketing Examples in Detail , I will cover The Library of Congress. Perhaps you may think that this isn’t the most exciting example to showcase on a Friday, but hopefully you will be just as pleasantly surprised as I was to see the neat ways the largest library in the world is sharing some of its unique content. And if you are a library geek like me, you’ll find yourself subscribing to some of these tactics by the time you are finished discovering them.

Here is what they are doing:


Apparently the Library of Congress has been blogging for more than 2 years now, and while they don’t post very frequently, the manner in which they write content is fun, engaging, and puts some personality and humor back into the Library. Most of the posts are made by Matt Raymond, whose humor and relevancy keeps audiences engaged (with most posts experiencing double digit comments). Who knew that library’s could have a sense of humor?


The Library of Congress just started this Flickr page in January to upload historical pictures from their collections. At first, I thought that it wasn’t as populated as I thought it would be, but then I realized that for many of the pictures uploaded, this is the first time they have been available in digital format (which is really cool!). Interestingly, because the staff uploading these pictures are relying on information that came with the photos (that can sometimes be incomplete/inaccurate), they “welcome your contribution of names, descriptions, locations, tags, and also your general reactions.” I’m completely in love with these collections already, and from the 80+ comments from other Flickr members on just one album, I think this is a crowd favorite and a huge success.

You Tube

To provide users with its historical video content, the Library of Congress also has a You Tube channel, LibraryofCongress . Within this channel, users can currently watch around 75 videos ranging from historical videos from Thomas Edison to speeches from the National Book Festival. The blog announced the reason why the Library started this channel by stating, “When you’re the stewards of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts and sound recordings), nothing less would be expected of you”. They also noted on their blog that, “We have made a conscious decision that we’re not just going to upload a bunch of videos and then walk away.” I love that 🙂

Social Networking

Facebook: It appears most efforts on Facebook are made from the fans of the Library of Congress, because I couldn’t seem to find an official page. It seems I’m not alone, as one user within one of the fan pages I reviewed noted, “Is there an official Library of Congress fan page?”. While I don’t think it is a mandatory that they have one, I think there are plenty of patrons who would be happy to join.


So far, the Library of Congress is offering podcasts from the National Book Festival for 2008 and 2009 through its website and its iTunes account. I expect that this may expand to offer more content, but for now it is great that it is an option.


In case you are wondering if the Library has explored Twitter,they are also there as well! They seem to use this account to share events happening at the Library of Congress, and to update users on fresh and relevant content. Currently they have a following of more than 5k followers, so it seems as if people are responding well to the effort.

Do you have any reactions to the Library’s initiatives in social media marketing? I think that they are doing a great job using the social media tools to share content in a new way. It’s likely that other librarys will begin to follow in their footsteps.

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