Alumna Tanya Koukeyan Develops Social Media Tools During Virtual Internship

Koukeyan spent the Spring 2011 semester working with Web 2.0 tools to expand the Yuba College Library’s Facebook and Twitter presence and to transform its print newsletter into a library news blog. She applied skills from her Social Media course to research and select a blog platform, design a layout, and develop story ideas and interactive content.

“Since I had learned about different social software tools in my LIBR 246 class, I suggested that the library update the newsletter to a blog format as a way to reach more students and to increase engagement,” Koukeyan explained.

In addition to developing the library’s blog and social networking platforms, Koukeyan created subject research guides using the library’s catalog and database resources. She also designed a section on the blog where she and a fellow intern could post their pathfinders and bibliographies, and produced an online tutorial to help students learn how to access library databases from off-campus.

Koukeyan originally applied for the internship because she wanted to gain experience working with community college students. The opportunity to develop social media tools also appealed to her, and she found that she enjoyed the independence of working virtually.

“It’s a lot like being an online student in the MLIS program,” said Koukeyan, who lived more than 400 miles away from Yuba College during her internship. “You already know how to work in an online environment, and you have the freedom to manage your own time and decide when and how to complete projects.”

Koukeyan said that her coursework in Meredith Farkas’ LIBR 246: Information Tools and Technology: Web 2.0 class led directly to her internship, which in turn has provided another opportunity closer to home.

Based on her internship experience, Koukeyan was asked to develop a blog portal for the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden Library, where she works as a volunteer.

“The class taught me how to promote library services using social media and other technology tools, which is a very timely, needed skill,” Koukeyan said.

Koukeyan chose to pursue librarianship as a career after working for ten years in the non-profit development and fundraising field. In the course of her work she developed a skill and reputation for locating and organizing relevant information, which she came to realize was the basis of librarianship.

“It surprised me, because I don’t think of myself as a bibliophile,” she said. “But the job is about so much more than reading and shelving books; it’s about using technology to organize information. It sounds simple, yet it is an essential skill that every profession relies on.”

Koukeyan enrolled at in our School’s MLIS program in Fall 2008. Many of her electives focused on reference and research services. She graduated from our School in May 2011.