Tumblr is a microblogging site where users create their own blog, and post links, quotes, audio, images, and videos. Users also follow other blogs, and they can view posts from people they follow in a never-ending stream of updates called "the dashboard." Tumblr users interact with one another through commenting, liking posts, and reblogging posts. The subject matter on Tumblr includes anything and everything, but it has become a particular gathering place for "fandoms," communities of super fans of Harry Potter (Potterheads), Doctor Who (Whovians), Star Trek (Trekkies), and more. As Robin Brenner describes in her article for School Library Journal, Tumblr is a “sea of wacky photos, pop-culture commentary, and gifs – snippets of moving images.” Like this one.
But does Tumblr have a use for your library? That depends on who you're trying to communicate with. Brenner believes Tumblr can be especially effective at reaching teens, who are moving away from traditional social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Indeed, the vast majority of Tumblr users are teenagers and young adults. You can use Tumblr to post about things teens are interested in, to share new materials available in the library, to promote events, and more.
Why not give Tumblr a try! If you do, be sure to check out Brenner's article and her eight tips for successful tumbling. And be warned... some people have found Tumblr's endless scroll very addicting.
Tkacik, Kate. Tumblrarian 101: Tumblr for Libraries and Librarians. Library Journal, 27 August 2012.
McCardle, Molly. The Library Is Open: A Look at Librarians and Tumblr. Library Journal, 25 June 2013.
Greenwalt, R. Toby. Every Day I'm Tumbling. Public Libraries Online, 7 June 2013.
Childers, Christy. Best Tumblrs for Bookish Types. Book Riot, 14 July 2014.
Tumblrs to Follow:
Harper Collins: harpercollins.tumblr.com
Your Public Library: yourpubliclibrary.tumblr.com
The Lifeguard Librarian: thelifeguardlibrarian.tumblr.com
Book Riot: bookriot.tumblr.com
School Library Journal: schoollibraryjournal.tumblr.com
Library Journal: libraryjournal.tumblr.com
I Work At A Public Library: iworkatapubliclibrary.tumblr.com
New York Public Library: nypl.tumblr.com
You can also follow Alex on Tumblr at newtumblarian.tumblr.com.