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Following the Yik Yak: Using Social Media Observations to Understand Student Needs on College Campuses


What can social media tell us about our patrons? We look at Yik Yak through the lens of library ethnography, suggesting that anonymous social media can reveal not only complaints and commentary about library services and spaces, but also uncover students’ emotional and social experience with research and study space. Looking at social media posts on Yik Yak, we uncover common threads of social dynamics, expectations of quiet space, and frustration with studying, all of which increase our understanding of student experiences in US and international libraries.

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