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BU Libraries creates TikTok account to inform students about available resources

Boston University Libraries aims to provide help for students in their research and academic studies. However, BU Libraries has recently turned to a new form of promoting their resources: TikTok.

bu libraries tiktok
The BU Libraries TikTok account. BU Libraries created the account to promote their resources in a more trendy way to match growing student interest in the social media platform. ILLUSTRATION BY CONOR KELLEY/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Michelle Niebur, a librarian who oversees BU Libraries’ social media, said that while BU Libraries is active on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, they decided to create a TikTok account, @bulibraries, to connect more with students.

“We saw a growing interest in TikTok among students, and BU is starting to move more into the TikTok area,” Niebur said. “It has its own humor and a very simple straightforward way of communicating that’s a different style than platforms that we’re already on.”

Although the TikTok account only recently just started posting content, Niebur said the account was created more than a year ago.

“Right now we only have two videos that are live, but again, we’re just tiptoeing in,” Niebur said.

Sophie Falkenheim, a College of Communication senior who creates content for BU Libraries’ social media, said the main aim of the content posted on TikTok is “connecting students with the resources in a way that will kind of meet them where they live.”

Niebur said one way BU Libraries assists students is by offering them free-to-use sources for their academic papers.

“If you were trying to write a paper and you didn’t have access to the library, it would be hundreds of dollars to get access to that information just for one paper for one class,” Niebur said. “and so we were trying to find ways to reinforce that value that we provide our community with, in a funny, approachable way.”

Falkenheim said most of the content on the TikTok account will connect information on the libraries’ resources with popular trends or songs on TikTok.

“People are usually more receptive to new information if they’re having a good time and so we will try to make them smile, as always, and have fun,” Falkenheim said. “Especially these last few months or these last few years, people have been really stressed out and feeling isolated so whatever we can do to kind of entertain them and provide a funny moment in their day.”

Niebur adds that the BU Libraries will also be holding a fair to spread awareness about how the library can help students throughout the semester.

“There are librarians who specialize in different areas, different majors,” Niebur said. “You can connect with a librarian who specializes in research in your area and that can be somebody that throughout your time in college, can be a huge assistance to you in research.”

BU Libraries Fair will be held Oct. 6 in the George Sherman Union Courtyard.

Niebur hopes that through the TikTok account, BU Libraries will appear more accessible and approachable to students.

“One of my former colleagues always said, ‘librarians don’t give grades, but we love to give help,’” Niebur said. “We just want to tell you all that we’re so eager to help you with your research and we want to connect with you, and we want to make you laugh.”

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