Last week, I wanted to show the programming director at the library I’m interning at some ideas that I’d posted to my tumblr. I like to archive cool ideas, snippets, and more informal thoughts on tumblr, and the quick like/reblog format makes it easy for the community of Tumblarians (yes, that’s a thing) is relatively active in sharing and interacting with each other.
And I couldn’t get to any of it on my work computer.
It was explained to me that due to some of the questionable content on tumblr, the network provider had decided to block the entire site. All tumblrs, no matter how useful, were inaccessible to the library. I was a bit taken aback.
Especially since Yahoo! bought tumblr and essentially blacklisted all of the “Adult” sites, tumblr is increasingly dominated by TV gifs, fandoms, and teen rants. And of course tumblarians.
Over at “The Digital Shift,” they’ve figured out the tumblr is the place to be, too, especially for teens:
In the past year, though, it became clear that my teens were no longer on Facebook—or if they were, they weren’t using it to connect with the library. During that time, I searched for ways to invigorate the teen section of our library’s website—to post more content daily and engage more readers. I sought a streamlined, visually exciting site. But the traditional blogging options were hampered by clunky interfaces and an outdated look; I knew that the posts weren’t reaching many patrons, let alone teens.
Tumblr is known, too, for its fandom bases – Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Harry Potter, anime, and (!) books. This makes tumblr even more appealing from a library marketing perspective. Aren’t we trying to get people to embrace their geek? Running an entire ad campaign on “Geek the Library” seems to indicate so. Tumblr is a group of geeks waiting to be shown how the library can fit into their passions.
Want to reach teens? Better yet, want to engage an already-active group of people with easy-to-use, attention-grabbing posts? Use tumblr. (Start with checking out the “tumblarians” tag and explore from there.)
Just make sure it’s not blocked at your library.
Author bio: Tamara Rice from Hopefullyknown.com, she is a lover of words and Jesus and family, though perhaps not in that order. She is the editor of over forty books, contributing writer to two books and two Bibles, author of three film-based discussion guides, and a former magazine editor and book reviewer who sometimes blogs. She’s also known to speak loudly about breast cancer, sexual abuse and mental health issues—having lived with and through all of the above.