Did you get that thing I sent you? (A Reference Case Study)

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the use of social media as and access an reference tool


You work at a business archives. Your company has a well known brand that has existed for nearly a century, and has a very active following of collectors who seek out your company’s branded products. You’re organizational archive is very active of face book, with posts automatically being placed onto twitter. Two post that you’ve recently put up have caused a bit of a kerfuffle. One post involved a recently acquired set of products that bear the company logo that your archive wasn’t sure what they were used for or if they were actually created by your company. These items were purchased from a very active and well known collector. Your social media followers got into a heated argument over the provenance of the items. The other incident was sparked by your archives sharing an image of a female scientist who worked for your organization during women’s history month. The comments don’t bear repeating here, but they were not things you’d want your daughter to read.


  • How would you handle these situations? Do they make you rethink your social media strategy?
  • What policies and procedures could you put in place to minimize these types of incidents?
  • How would you try to minimize any damage done to your organization by these incidents?


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