What Do the US West Coast Public Libraries Post on Twitter?

Document Type



Twitter has provided a great opportunity for public libraries to disseminate information for a variety of purposes. Twitter data have been applied in different domains such as health, politics, and history. There are thousands of public libraries in the US, but no study has yet investigated the content of their social media posts like tweets to find their interests. Moreover, traditional content analysis of Twitter content is not an efficient task for exploring thousands of tweets. Therefore, there is a need for automatic methods to overcome the limitations of manual methods. This paper proposes a computational approach to collecting and analyzing using Twitter Application Programming Interfaces (API) and investigates more than 138,000 tweets from 48 US west coast libraries using topic modeling. We found 20 topics and assigned them to five categories including public relations, book, event, training, and social good. Our results show that the US west coast libraries are more interested in using Twitter for public relations and book-related events. This research has both practical and theoretical applications for libraries as well as other organizations to explore social media actives of their customer and themselves.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Karami A., Collins M. (2018). What do the US west coast public libraries post on Twitter? Proceedings of the 81th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIST), Vancouver, Canada.