Social Media Management with Sara Leavens

Sara Leavens from the Penn Libraries Advancement team and I met recently to have a 15-minute chat about what social media work means in 2017. We covered how Sara came to the libraries, what it looked like for her to compile all the Penn Libraries’ social media accounts under one umbrella, and what she thinks is the next big social media trend / need!

Some fun facts from our chat:

  • Sara has one of the longest titles in the library: Communications, Marketing, and Social Media Coordinator at the Penn Libraries.
  • Social media is 1/3 of Sara’s job.
  • Anytime you read text from any of the Penn Libraries social media handles: @upennlib or The Penn Libraries, you’re reading Sara’s original copy or copy from colleagues that Sara has curated.

Here’s a screenshot of the Penn Libraries Twitter account that Sara coordinates:

  • Social media at the Penn Libraries is curated across platforms.
  • The Penn Libraries has an account with Lynda.com which is part of LinkedIn. The certifications there were hugely helpful for Sara. Having a basic LinkedIn profile is so important because it gives you access to so many digital tools and allows you to keep up with platforms and social media how-to’s beyond the classroom.
  • The Penn Libraries offers photoshoots for LinkedIn profile photos.
  • 1/3 of Sara’s job is marketing, so she spent a lot of time in our chat talking about all the resources the libraries can provide to student to learn about media in the online landscape.
  • More and more students are looking outside of their traditional classroom settings to learn about digital and social media production.
  • The Penn Libraries has been a warm and welcoming space for its interns to create new media. Sara’s background in creative writing and her MFA helped her curate an equally warm voice for the Penn Libraries text output.
  • Creative writing experience + Sara’s generational experiences allow her to feel like the libraries is the best place for the merger between text and digital media.
  • I mentioned that you need fundamental skills and keystone lessons in communication to become a good writer, but once you’ve taken those core classes, it’s fun to riff off of those basic skills and create new texts (digital, video, & audio texts).

Check out the full interview for more of our discussion:

On Social Media Burnout and Embracing Minimalism

Does your social media presence bring you joy? Do you deliberately curate your feeds and timelines to only show you things that you want to see or are you, like many, at the mercy of endless algorithms? When you post on social media, is it once a month, once a day, or every time you think of something witty to say?

In 2014, Marie Kondo published a now famous book about decluttering your physical life. One of her pieces of sage advice was to hold objects up, take a moment to assess how they make you feel, and then remove them from your life if they no longer bring you joy. After years of letting my social media overwhelm me, I’m starting to approach my personal social media philosophy in a similar way.

Continue reading On Social Media Burnout and Embracing Minimalism

Spreadsheet Wisdom: Teaching and Learning with Excel

What I’ve learned from working with the Penn community – students and faculty – is that Excel can be customized to projects across vastly different disciplines. If you’ve been to one of my workshops, you’ve probably heard me say that the best way to deal with Excel is to learn to “think like Excel.” Approaching problems like a computer program can not only help give you new perspective but it can also provide a practical method for troubleshooting Excel’s functionality on your own.

If you can figure out what Excel is missing or misinterpreting that is making your data look funny, you can go in an quickly fix the isolated issue. This takes some initial practice but can be accomplished with a bit of patience and the help of Penn Libraries’ newly updated Excel guide. Here you’ll find sample files and notes to guide you through performing tasks ranging from basic to advanced.

Tips and Tricks

Below is a list of spreadsheet wisdom covering frequently asked questions and a few tips and tricks for optimizing your Excel workflow.

Hidden Commands

  • In Excel, commands can often be found in multiple places. If you can’t find the button you’re looking for in the top ribbon, try right clicking to see what Excel suggests.

Chart/Graph/PivotTable

Resize 01---Chart
To add a graph to your sheet, simply click and drag to select the data, navigate to insert on the top ribbon and choose whether you want a table, chart, or PivotTable.

Paste Special

Resize 02--PasteSpecial
Remember when pasting charts into other Office programs that they remain dynamic using a simple paste, meaning the chart will change if you edit the spreadsheet data. To create a static chart, go to paste special and choose a picture format (JPEG or PNG).

Freeze Panes

Resize 03---FreezePane
Freeze panes to allow a header row or column by navigating to view in the top ribbon and selecting freeze panes.

Functions

Resize 04---Fx
Insert a function by clicking on the fx button beneath the top ribbon. You can select cells by clicking and dragging after choosing the mathematical function you’d like.

Autofill

05 - AutoFill
Autofill data by hovering over any corner of a cell until you see a black cross then click and drag to where the cells you’d like to populate.
  • Autofilling formulas automatically adjusts the cell references.
  • Autofilling number series or days of the week automatically fills in the next member of the set.

Filters

Resize 06---Filter
Add filters by selecting the first cell in the column you’d like to sort and then selecting filter from the sort & filter menu on the home ribbon.

When using Excel, keep in mind that this program can function as a calculator, chart maker, list creator, and more! If you think there should be a way to perform a task in Excel, there probably is. Be patient while exploring and experimenting with different ways to manipulate the data. Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from WIC if the problem becomes too time consuming. We can always be reached at wic1@pobox.upenn.edu.

Join Us as an Intern at the Penn Libraries!

Are you a graduate student?  Do you love libraries?  Are you interested in learning new skills and being part of a great team?  If you said yes then you may be just who we’re looking for!

This summer we’re excited to introduce a completely redesigned graduate internship program offered at the Penn Libraries.  This year-long program begins on June 1 and will bring together 10 interns whose work will focus in on 8 distinct specializations:

Interns from multiple departments in the Teaching, Research, and Learning directorate, including WIC and the EC, will come together as one cohort under a unified internship program.  We believe that this will create a better, more comprehensive educational experience for all of our interns but also provide them with a sense of community among a group of peers that can enhance the internship experience.  

All interns will spend one-third of their time serving as the front line on the Van Pelt Library Information Desk.  The other two-thirds of their time will be devoted to tasks and projects dedicated to their specializations.  Throughout the year, they’ll also be given opportunities to meet other librarians and library staff so they can learn more about the diverse range of knowledge and skills that are employed in the library.  

We’re looking forward to giving our interns a full and well-rounded experience of the library while providing them with a chance to build upon their strengths and interests.  Creating opportunities for them to collaborate more closely with library staff, work on projects that align to their future goals, and potentially discover new avenues for their career is an exciting prospect for us.  

Please don’t hesitate to apply if you do not fit the mold of a traditional library student! With so many different intern positions, there are options available for both library school students and individuals pursuing other graduate programs.

We are accepting applications through May 15 so apply today if you want to be part of our first cohort!  And if you know of someone who may be interested, please share the word!

Links:
Penn Libraries HR Internships
Promotional Flyer

 

Van Pelt Study Breaks

Study Breaks are once again hitting Van-Pelt Dietrich Library Center and the Education Commons to close out the semester and get you through finals. This end-of-semester tradition is designed to provide a fun outlet for the stress finals and papers can bring. This year you can find a variety of activities and snacks throughout the library.

Snacks and beverages will be available to refuel study sessions in the Weigle Information Commons Seminar Room (Room 124) and at the Education Commons. There will also be board games and adult coloring books to help you relax. Come de-stress at WIC and the EC all week. Study breaks are held as follows:

  • At the Education Commons: Every day Sunday, 4/30 to Saturday 5/6 at 3pm 
  • At the Weigle Information Commons:
    • Sunday, 4/30 at 1pm
    • Monday, 5/1; Tuesday, 5/2; and Wednesday 5/3 at 4:30pm
    • Friday, 5/5 at 2pm
    • Saturday, 5/6 at 1pm.

Dog Days are back as well! Therapy dogs will dog_days_april_24be in the Meyerson Conference Room on the 2nd floor of Van Pelt on Monday, 5/1 from 1-3pm and Tuesday, 5/2 from 1-3pm. In addition to dogs and snacks, Student Health Services will provide non-canine relaxation tips. You can find more details about the events here. Remember – The dogs love seeing you as much as you enjoy petting them. Be sure to stop by and make these dogs’ days!

No registration is necessary for any study break and all members of the Penn community are welcome.

Students, We Want Your Voices!

focusgroups

WIC is turning 11 years old this month, and we’re planning to give the space a refresh! If you are an undergraduate who studies at WIC, we’d like to hear your voice. We are holding student focus groups throughout April to get feedback on how we might improve our spaces and services to better accommodate student needs.

We will have Insomnia Cookies and giveaways for all who attend! Please register for a session below. All focus groups will be held in the WIC Seminar Room (Rm 124).

Digital Fluencies / Web Design / SEO workshops at Weigle this month!

This month is packed full of workshop goodness at Weigle!  To help you build your web presence and take control of your digital footprint, graduate interns Chava Spivak-Birndorf and Jaime Marie Estrada are teaching a series of complementary workshops on social media, digital fluencies, and web design.

Here’s are some quick tips to give you a small preview of the topics we’ll discuss:

1. Use consistent branding.
Name and image recognition is very important online when you’re competing with so many millions of other people and brands for milliseconds of attention.  For personal branding, pick a variation of your name and stick with it across your social media accounts and/or personal website.  If you’re building a web presence for a professional brand, create a recognizable logo and choose one name to use across platforms.  Learn more about how to do this in Jaime’s series of Digital Literacy workshops, which starts on April 8th with personal websites and LinkedIn.

2. Keep things up-to-date.
Nothing gives away that you’re not committed to your brand or that you don’t have time to maintain it like an old copyright date or an “updated date” that’s months or years old.

3. If you have a blog, keep it active.
If you’re going to have your blog showing up on your personal website, it will immediately alienate your visitors if they see your blog is not regularly updated.  It’s better to have a more static personal website with no blog than a static personal website and a static, old blog that’s not kept up.

4. Watch out for broken links.
Broken links kill your credibility and drive your visitors to set out in search of better resources, which can hurt your ranking in Google and other search engines.  Search engines want to deliver relevant results to their users, and when people don’t stick around on your site, it looks like your site isn’t one of them.  Chava will teach you how to keep your “bounce rate” low in her web design and search engine optimization (SEO) workshops.

5. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
You don’t need to establish active profiles across every platform immediately.  Pick the platform you feel most comfortable with (e.g. Instagram, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc.) and develop your skills and quality content there.  You can always broaden your reach after you get going.

Ready to get started?  Register at the links below!

 

Feature image: “The Art of Social Media” (CC BY 2.0) by  mkhmarketing