What you need to know about “Follow an Archive” Day on Twitter (other than that it’s Friday, Nov. 12)

Following the example of the successful “Follow a Museum” day on Twitter (Feb 1, 2010) and “Follow a Library” day (Oct 1, 2010) a group of European archivists have started a campaign for a similar, “Follow An Archive” day, to be held on November 12. The purpose of these kinds of Twitter events is to increase public awareness of cultural heritage organizations in general, and to increase the number of followers for individual archives around the world. What else can they achieve? Here are some thoughts from the Follow A Library page:

The results
Overall more than 7000 tweets were made. We found 12 inspiring videos on YouTube from librarians about the day that attracted a 1000 views in a short time span. Our seven promotion films on YouTube attracted 3000 views. A lot of blogs worldwide paid attention to the subject. All impressive numbers that reached far above our expectations. But just as remarkable were the tweets that we read that day and afterwards.

It was fascinating to read what impact libraries have on peoples lives. And they were not only talking about the twittering ones. Besides patrons finding new twittering libraries, librarians also met each other that day. We saw quite a number of tweets of the new connections that were formed. Finally libraries were promoting each other. This meant to us that it wasn’t just about individual organisations looking for online promotion. It was about forming a united front to emphasise the importance and impact libraries have on peoples lives and society.

Want to be a part of it?

What everyone on Twitter can do:

– Send out a tweet a day or two ahead of the 12th letting your followers know about #followanarchive day and asking them to help promote it. (Remember the 11th is a Federal holiday in the U.S.) You can also promote the day via your Facebook pages and accounts.

– On the 12th, send out a tweet or two talking about the day (please use #followanarchive hashtag) and point people to the list of archives on the Follow An Archive site so that they can find new archives to follow, or you can suggest some of your favorites. Oh, and you can also start following some new archives on Twitter yourself.

What archives on Twitter can do:

– Make sure your account is included on the appropriate Follow An Archive list. If you are not there, send a tweet to @followanarchive and they will get you included. (Be smart and don’t wait until the last minute to do this, please!)

– Prior to the 12th, make a note of how many followers your Twitter account has, so that you can report how much success #followanarchive has meant for you. After the event is over, post a comment on the Follow An Archive site or here and report your experiences.

– If you’re getting new followers, tweet about it and thank them (and once again, don’t forget to use #followanarchive when you do it!).

If you’re not on Twitter:

– Well, now would be a fine time to join!

– If you don’t want to do that, you can follow the fun by setting up an RSS feed for the #followanarchive hashtag or check in the “archived” tweets in the TwapperKeeper account.

– Whether you’re on Twitter or not, if you have a blog, whether it’s about archives, history, genealogy, family history, museums, libraries, your dog, knitting, or whatever, please consider giving this event some promotion to try to draw in new followers for archives.

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