Oatmeal is Good for You

Kevin King —  June 14, 2013 — 3 Comments

The-OatmealIt’s very dangerous to read The Oatmeal at work.  Matthew Inman’s hilarious and irreverent online comic has been known to induce spit takes that can ruin a desktop computer.  His brand of humor is definitely not to be shared in storytime, but that does not mean you can’t learn from the unique wisdom within the comic strip.

Recently the post titled How to Get More Likes on Facebook caused me to rethink how libraries should use the social media tool to gain a following.  Have you wallpapered your library website with Facebook icons?  Do you pander to your patrons for “Likes”?  These moves will most likely cause your fans to think you are desperate for attention.  Inman suggests that instead of begging for attention, use that energy to actually do something “likeable.”  Craft posts that are “hilarious, sad, beautiful, interesting, inspiring or simply awesome” like:

  • Book Haul videos
  • Impromptu patron interviews
  • Vine videos about the library
  • Behind the scenes pics of staff having fun
  • Interesting facts and trivia

Setting aside all the insidious reasons Facebook exists, it is an inexpensive (practically FREE) way to market to your patrons.  It is one of the best ways to promote what the library is doing in a less traditional marketing way.  If patrons always encounter a plea for attention when they visit your Facebook page you’ll eventually drive them to “unfriend” you.  Remember Inman’s sage advice when it comes to posting on Facebook, “More tanks.”

Kevin King


Kevin King is the Head of Branch and Circulation Services at the Kalamazoo (MI) Public Library. Previously Kevin led Teen Services at KPL, where he helped build a nationally recognized program. Kevin has presented all over the country on many topics including teen services, innovation, graphic novels, and programming. As a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA and the Michigan Library Association, Kevin has served on various committees and has luckily won a couple of awards. In his spare time Kevin obsesses over the Detroit Tigers, listens to music and does his best to be a kick ass dad to Abigail and Rachael.

3 responses to Oatmeal is Good for You


    Good advice. I launched a new middle school library twitter feed and as much as I love my colleagues in the library world, my purpose is to communicate with my students, teachers, administrators, and parents LOCALLY, all the good things that go on in my libraries. I’ve started taking more photos of our students and teachers, not always in the library, and letting them know that I will be tweeting the photos. I figure that’s one of the best ways to pick up the followers I want for this account.

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