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#LibraryLoversMonth February 2022 – highlights from #LibraryAtoZ on Twitter and Instagram

Latest Library Blog post. In February the Library participated in the Library Lovers Month social media campaign, here are the most popular activities and collections we highlighted.

The library took part in the #LibraryLoversMonth social media campaign with an alphabetical #LibraryAtoZ listing which showcased some of our activities and collections here at the Royal Irish Academy. Being new to the library, it was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the library by searching its collections and thinking about what services are available to readers and researchers. It was a fun and creative – but also very useful – exercise that involved planning, sourcing images, researching, and writing to create the daily content to be shared online. Here is a small selection of some of the most popular posts. For more, look back at the all the posts from #LibraryLoversMonth #LibraryAtoZ on Twitter and Instagram.

Ordinance Survey (OS) Collections – maps and much more

Fig.1 Ordnance Survey map – Dublin with close up of Dawson Street

Fig. 2 Antrim – Galway OS maps shelved in reading room

On 16 February, two posts about the Ordinance Survey (OS) collection of maps, memoirs, and letters generated the most likes in total on Twitter during the campaign. It had the second highest number of likes on Instagram. The library holds a full set of first edition OS maps drawn on a scale of six inches to one mile. Began in 1824, they were completed by 1842 and the full set includes each Irish county. Manuscripts by the survey’s researchers contain their correspondence and descriptions of topographical details and antiquities. Additional drawings and sketches complete this collection. The OS200 project aims to create a new digital corpus of historic OS records for Ireland using material from this collection.

Now and then – the Library’s reading room

Fig.3 (L) Vintage photograph of reading room; Fig.4 (R) Reading room – February 2022

Shared on February 15th, spotting differences in the reading room was the most liked post on Instagram. The challenge was to find changes between the library’s reading room then as represented with a vintage photograph and now with one more recently taken. Although the library looks pretty much the same, several changes stand out in the comparison. Readers and researchers might have noticed the addition of computers and staffed desks, changes to the location of card catalogues, different book supports and the colour of the lamps. These snapshots in time capture the library’s efforts to support our readers and researchers now and into the future. What will the reading room look like in 20 years?

Irish History Online – a collective national bibliographic catalogue

Fig.5 Irish History Online logo

February 9th featured the Irish History Online catalogue hosted and managed by the library. Part of a fourteen country European network, it is Ireland’s national bibliography and lists Irish history publications from the 1930s to the present day. On Twitter, this post had the highest number of retweets and generated the most impressions during the month.

Haliday Collection – centuries of pamphlets and tracts

Fig.6 Bound volumes of Haliday collection pamphlets

The tweet with the highest engagement rate during the campaign was about the library’s extensive Haliday collection of pamphlets and tracts posted on 8 February. This fully-catalogued collection of approximately 35,500 items is the most used resource in the library for studying Irish history – social, economic, political, and cultural – literature and antiquities from the late-16th to mid-19th centuries. The entire collection is organised chronologically with the pamphlets also arranged thematically. There is so much more to explore with this collection!

Fig.7 Thank you to all our followers!

From this retrospective review, the Library Lovers Month campaign gave us an insight into what our social media audience liked the most and found engaging. We take this opportunity now to thank our existing followers and welcome our new followers on Twitter and Instagram. Keep telling us what you like!

Anita Cooper
Assistant Librarian