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Going viral: Using Tumblr for special collections advocacy and outreach
Among the myriad social media tools in use at special collections institutions, Tumblr has emerged over the past several years as a dominant platform rich with collections-based content from an ever-expanding community of archives and libraries. What makes Tumblr a unique resource for special collections outreach and why should such institutions add Tumblr to their social media repertoire? This paper details how the Othmer Library of Chemical History, a small research library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, uses Tumblr to enhance the visibility of its collections and promote itself both to external audiences and within its parent organisation. First, the authors outline the initial steps taken by the Othmer Library to create and subsequently manage its Tumblr blog, Othmeralia (othmeralia.tumblr.com). This paper also provides a more in-depth discussion of practical tips and techniques for developing a successful Tumblr blog. The paper concludes with a summary of quantitative and qualitative strategies for measuring the effectiveness of social media outreach at special collections institutions.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.