Morrin Centre Library

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any public libraries in Quebec that have an English homepage and/or that use social media in English. The Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Quebec use Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and YouTube, but in French. They do have a strong following (6,279 likes on their Facebook page). The Bibliothèques de Laval uses Facebook but in French, too.

The Morrin Centre, an English cultural centre in Quebec City, has a Victorian library that is open to the public but lending privileges are for members only. You can see photos of the charming library here. Although it is not fully public, I thought it would be worth taking a look, as they do have an active Facebook page with 206 likes, not outstanding but not bad for a small cultural centre. The link to their Facebook page is easy enough to find on the Morrin Centre homepage:

Morrin Centre homepage

But, this is the only place on the site to link to the Facebook page. So, if you land on the library page, you might never know they have a Facebook account. It would be better if they had a little Facebook button at the bottom of each page near their contact info.

The Morrin Centre’s Facebook page announces both upcoming events at the Morrin Centre (such as Irish fighting stick classes), but it does include library events and a weekly book review. I was a little disappointed by the Weekly Book Reviews or Book of the Week (as they were called previously). They are usually only a couple of sentences or quotes from other reviewers and a photo of the book.

The tone of the posts is friendly and conversational. In his article, “Facebook for Libraries,” David Lee King writes that libraries “need to work on being personable online. Make sure your status updates read like something you’d say out loud. Sometimes, it helps to actually say your status updates aloud. If it’s not phrased like something you would say in conversation, edit away. The more conversational you sound, the more opportunities for conversation you’ll have.” This is great advice.

A post like the following from the Morrin Centre is both conversational and friendly. The emoticon adds a nice touch:

“Still looking for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift?

Why not go off the beaten track and buy your beloved bookworm a year’s membership to the charming library of the Morrin Centre? We have the most up-to-date and comprehensive collection of English-language novels, to keep the thrill going ;)”

Sometimes, the Morrin Centre asks for user input. For example, “Enjoyed a book from our library? Send us your review!” King writes that it is important to “share really interesting stuff about your library and the information found there. … asking about books really encourages comments. People love sharing their favorite authors, or which books they’d want if they were shipwrecked on a desert island.” The Morrin Centre does make an effort to ask these kind of questions occasionally, but I think they could be a bit more creative and ask more often to encourage participation. I can say that if I lived in Quebec City, I would definitely visit this library simply to witness its charm. If I was interested in events at the Centre or the library, I would join the Facebook page, but I probably wouldn’t do so for the book reviews. As King points out, it’s important to share neat facts about the library or its contents. The library must have an interesting history, but  no one’s writing about it on Facebook.

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