Google Communities for Libraries

Google Communities for Libraries is a great new way for you to connect with other librarians across the state!

Like other social media tools, Google+ Communities allow you to create public and private groups centered around a common interest.

Are you looking to give away or sell surplus materials to another library? Posting a job ad? Working in your library’s ILL department? A school librarian?

The Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries and Technology will be creating various Google+ Communities where you can share images or videos, post messages, and connect with the Wisconsin Library community.

If you have questions, please contact Ben Miller ( or John DeBacher (

Why Google Communities?

Google Communities serve as powerful and flexible venues for two-way communication that offers more robust and nuanced notification settings, searching, archiving, discovery, and storage. You’ll still get message notifications in your inbox, but only for the communities you want. And unlike a listserv, you have the ability to mute individual threads if you aren’t interested. DPI has noticed remarkable growth in the use of Google Communities in the K-12 community over the past year and we think this solution will work for libraries as well!

Why not use Facebook?

While Facebook is a popular tool, its terms of service don’t allow users to participate with multiple accounts. Individuals would have to participate in a Facebook group with their personal account rather than a work account. Also, Facebook groups don’t offer the same level of organization and content retrieval as Google Communities.

Why not just stick with Email?

Listservs can be incredibly inefficient. Every message comes to your inbox, whether you’re interested or not. Replies to topics you are interested in may or may not come to your inbox, forcing you to follow up with the original poster to get an answer. If a conversation happened before you joined the list, you’re left out of the loop. Viewing photo attachments requires you to download the image to your computer. And perhaps worst of all, you are constantly taunted with Out of Office replies each time you post, reminding you that you aren’t lucky enough to be on vacation.



Comments are closed.