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Exploring academic libraries’ use of Twitter: a content analysis

Sultan M. Al-Daihani (Department of Library and Information Science, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait)
Suha A. AlAwadhi (Department of Library and Information Science, Kuwait University, Kuwait City, Kuwait)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 2 November 2015




This research aims to analyze academic libraries’ Twitter content and present a categorization framework for the study of their tweets.


The research adopted a statistical descriptive analysis in addition to a content analysis of the tweets. Consequently, many categories and subcategories were created to classify the tweets according to different aspects. A total of 17 academic library accounts were examined.


The findings show that academic libraries used Twitter as a multifaceted tool. “News and announcements” received the highest score as the type of information most often posted on Twitter by libraries, followed by “library collections” and “library services”. The subcategories that received the highest scores were “library marketing and news”, “answers and referrals” and “books”. Academic libraries showed a penchant for posting links more often than other content. Other results show different patterns of communication and interaction between libraries and their Twitter followers.

Practical implications

The categorization of tweets provides a framework for understanding how academic libraries use Twitter.


As little research can be found in the library and information science literature on Twitter content analysis, this research is expected to contribute significantly. It will also support academic libraries and librarians in using Twitter more efficiently and effectively.



The authors are grateful to Maali Al-Ghnimi for her contribution and assistance in the initial data analysis.


Al-Daihani, S.M. and AlAwadhi, S.A. (2015), "Exploring academic libraries’ use of Twitter: a content analysis", The Electronic Library, Vol. 33 No. 6, pp. 1002-1015.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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