The University of Iowa Libraries celebrate and promote their digital collections on social media

With OCLC’s CONTENTdm, libraries can increase the visibility of their digital collections and make them more discoverable. CONTENTdm enables the storage, editing and display of digital collections, making them accessible online for searchers worldwide.

The University of Iowa’s digital collections are powered by CONTENTdm, and The University of Iowa Libraries use social media to promote their collections in many different ways. They strive to share with users the breadth and variety of their special collections.

Tumblr is the social media tool the university libraries use the most. One of their pages, Iowa City Past, shares digital collections from the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Public Library. The libraries like using Tumblr because it accommodates many types of content, including video, images and audio.

The University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections department also uses Instagram. They focus on their own photographs of items in their digital or special collections, and their rare books are very popular when they are featured. The libraries house a digital collection of International Dada Archives that they frequently highlight on Instagram with links to their digital collection.

The university libraries also use Facebook and Twitter for collection promotion, and they have a Throwback Thursday partnership with the University of Iowa Archives and University of Iowa as a whole. These posts are the most widely viewed across all of the university’s social media channels. The posts provide a glimpse into university history or links to commonly identified parts of campus. The featured images are often photographs from the early 20th century.
The University of Iowa has realized many benefits of using social media to promote its collections. These promotions have helped draw patrons to the libraries and have helped the libraries to work with faculty to embed digital content and physical objects into class sessions. The university libraries have also enjoyed the collegiality of connecting with other institutions that share their collections on social media. These connections have helped with research, collaboration and the formation of links between shared types of materials.


University of Iowa news item image

Frederick W. Kent Collection, University of Iowa Archives