Top Ten (10) Social Media Competencies for Information Professionals

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An evolving typology, The social employee
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Last Update

This entry is out of date, and will not be updated, June 2017


See also Digital liaison | Emerging technology librarian | Health librarian competencies (draft) | Social media evaluation | Media literacy

This wiki entry is an out-of-date listing of the competencies for social media-literate librarians and archivists who are providing access to collections and services using social media. However, it provides a broad perspective on issues related to media literacy. The competencies should be viewed, circa 2017, as talking points rather than prescriptive competencies; they undoubtedly branch off into all kinds of other competencies, knowledge and skills. All of this is worth (re)consideration as we move further into developing our social media literacy knowledge and skills. Murphy & Moulaison (2009) have written a fine document on this topic, and related the framework back to the ACRL information literacy competencies.

See Vanwynsberghe H, et al. The librarian 2.0: identifying a typology of librarians’ social media literacy. J Librarianship Info Sci. 28 January 2014: 0961000613520027.

Top Ten (10) Social Media Competencies for Information Professionals

  1. Understand, explain and teach others about the principles and trends of social media, web 2.0 (and library 2.0 / archives 2.0)
  2. List major tools, categories and affordances of social networking
  3. Apply social media to solve information problems, and communicate digitally with users
  4. Use social networking sites for promotional, reference and instructional services in libraries
  5. Navigate, evaluate and create content on social networking sites
  6. Follow netiquette, conform to ethical standards and interact appropriately with others online
  7. Explain copyright, security and privacy issues on social media to colleagues and user communities
  8. Understand the importance of digital identity and reputation management using social media
  9. Explain related terminology such as collaboration 2.0, remix and open source
  10. Renew social media competencies, advocate for institutional strategies and policies and build evidence base in social media


A word of caution to librarians: "...Don't use any social media to provide library service if a majority of users cannot access the tool in the first place. I would only add that you can't plan for a sustainable service using the volatile tools of the social web. Many tools are best used for short bursts of contact and communication with your user groups or for professional networking..."Dean Giustini


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