What is the meaning of social media?

Good morning, colleagues:

My name is Robert Janiga and I am a mid-career professional who has been using social media, personally, for the last 10 years and, professionally, for about five years.  I tweet at the following handles: @BecomingVintage and @BecomingSign (although I haven’t been using them much lately).  I also briefly blogged via WordPress @BecomingHike, which tracked my walking (about 700 km) and hitch hiking (about 5,000 km) adventures from British Columbia to Ontario in 2015. I also had a Twitter handle, @BecomingHike, for this adventure, which I no longer use.

I hold graduate degrees in environmental studies and public policy.  My professional career includes the following:

  • Policy Analyst – Ministry of Community and Social Services (2006 – 2010)
  • Dispute Resolution Officer – AMAPCEO (2010 – 2014)
  • Library Clerk – Brighton Public Library (March 2015 – Present)

I also did a brief stint in the Canadian wine industry, between 2014 and 2015, working in both the Niagara and Okanagan Regions.  Consider that shift being prompted by a mid-life crisis of sorts.  However, my desire to work in the public sector was greater than that of the private-sector.  So here I am.

In addition to performing typical library work, like circulation, readers’ advisory, and research, I manage our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  This library has had a FB page for about two years or so, and a Twitter account for about the same time.  I set up the Instagram account in October 2016.  Thus a key interest in this course is to acquire a deeper understanding of the role of social media for a smaller public library that has about 6,500 patrons.   At this point, I see social media technologies as enabling users to develop an online community for sharing information, promoting activities and services, and providing entertainment.

These days I don’t seem to read a lot of blogs due to work, but one that I check out every so often is agnosticmaybe.wordpress.com.  He’s a librarian in New Jersey and his blogging includes other library blogs, which is helpful.

Where do people see social media technologies heading in the next ten years?  What are the key differences between public sector and private sector use of social media?