2019 Spring – Europe in Bits & Bytes

WESS Newsletter

Spring 2019, Vol. 42, No. 2

Exploring ESS and How We Use Social Media

In order to understand ESS and the needs of its members, a brief social media survey was recently sent out to the ESS listserv to learn more about what types of social media ESS members use and recommend, particularly since we all cover a wide range of different subjects and territories. If you would like to add suggestions, comments, and information about your social media use, please feel free to respond to this ongoing survey; your experience and recommendations are very useful, particularly for those new to the profession.

Preliminary Results

  • Out of the 16 ESS members who responded, Facebook is used by 50% of ESS members, while 6.3% of respondents only follow some pages and do not actively post, and the remaining 43.8% do not use Facebook in their professional life at all. Those who responded positively all recommended the ESS Facebook page, and some listed specific project pages, other groups such as universities, and other ALA/ACRL groups as useful sources of information.
  • Twitter is used by 50% of respondents in their professional life. Respondents recommended many accounts, including library and university accounts, professional organizations, scholars in relevant areas of interest such as Erik Kwakkel, publishers, funders such as the NEH, DH groups, and other accounts.
  • Tumblr is used by 0% of respondents in their professional life.
  • Instagram is used by 31.3% of respondents, mainly to follow vendors, libraries and special collections, and publisher and book fairs.
  • Additional social media platforms used by respondents were LinkedIn and individual library blogs.

The initial survey results reinforce the importance of social media channels in library outreach and information dissemination; they also suggest that, moving forward, ESS faces significant challenges in creating a cohesive identity while also reflecting the wide variety of areas and subjects covered by European Studies writ large. What does ESS represent? How can and should ESS be represented in the spectrum of online platforms?

What You Missed on the ESS Facebook Page; or, What Do We Post About When We Post on ESS?

Above we looked at social media use in general among ESS members, and now let’s take a closer look at Facebook use in ESS. In the Spring 2018 column, we analyzed the ESS Facebook page.

Now, one year later, it’s time for a refresher. The section below covers our activity during the previous six months, grouping the articles into subjective categories for ease of reading. By far, Spain is the most frequently-posted geographic area, with El Pais the most cited source of information. In addition to articles related to specific countries or territories, ESS members also share articles on topics such as reports and articles on language-learning and are extremely fond of interactive maps.

Yet this represents only a small area of the geographic and linguistic territory covered under the rubric “European Studies.” How could the broad scope of ESS and its resources be represented on Facebook?

Elections and the Legacy of War
“Zipcode check: How did your neighbor vote in the 2019 Spanish election?” includes a fabulous interactive map.
“Fear and fury: a divided Spain goes to the polls” on 28 April 2019 (the results are covered here).
“The most explosive legacy of the Spanish Civil War” includes an interactive map of the thousands of bombs and unexploded devices found every year in Spain
“Fitting Civil War photos into images of modern-day Madrid” looks at photos from 1936-1939 and today
Language and Identity
“The Catalan Paradox: Writers, Editors, and Translators on the Literature of a Stateless Language: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi interviews Quim Monzó”
“The Bosnians who speak medieval Spanish” (aka Ladino).
“How to use English to sound more Spanish”
“How second-generation immigrants are transforming the landscape of Spanish society”
Cultural heritage and education
“Barcelona school removes ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ for being sexist”
“A Colorful Walk through Valencia’s Fallas Festival” joins the celebration at this festival that was declared UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2016.
“One woman’s mission to document the Madrid bars that time forgot”
“Spanish academic gets €1.5m EU grant to rescue ‘women’s writing’ “ between 1500-1780.
“Poor spelling rife among Spain’s prospective teachers” and the experts blame social media.
Reports on academic publication, open data, and immigration
European Union: Future of scholarly publication and scholarly communication
Zenodo: Visibility of Open Access Monographs in European Context
LIBER: LIBER Europe Strategy 2018-2022: Research Libraries Powering Sustainable Knowledge in the Digital Age
Open Data Maturity in Europe Report 2018
Pew Research Center report on Global Views of Immigrants (updated 2019-05-02): “Around the World, More Say Immigrants Are a Strength Than a Burden”

“Notre-Dame: Massive fire ravages Paris cathedral” on 16 April 2019.
In Paris, the bouquinistes (used book sellers) along the Seine received recognition as part of France’s cultural heritage:
“Paris – Les bouquinistes des quais de Seine entrent au patrimoine culturel immatériel français
“France is bidding adieu to Google in favor of a more private search engine” known as Quant.
“French poet Baudelaire suicide letter fetches €234,000 at auction”
Second-Language Pedagogy in North America
“Teaching Languages in Primary School: Is Younger Better?”
“Colleges Lose a ‘Stunning’ 651 Foreign-Language Programs in 3 Years”
Using Twitter in world language classes
“The incredible benefits of learning a foreign language “

“23 EU Member States Sign Up to Cooperate on Digitising Cultural Heritage”
“Why Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Was Found in a Saint’s Coffin”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is pessimistic about the future after “EU’s Parliament Signs Off on Disastrous Internet Law: What Happens Next?”
“Americans and Germans Disagree on the State of Bilateral Relations, but Largely Align on Key International Issues: Germans see ties worsening as Americans remain positive” (with a report available).
“Facebook Can’t Gather Users’ Data From Other Websites, German Antitrust Office Says”
“The German Book Market in 2018, and a Look Ahead to 2019”
“’It was the best year of my life’: Former Erasmus students on what could be lost with Brexit”
“Brexit uncertainty sparks unease among Erasmus students planning to study in UK”
“Spain plans to grant residency to 400,000 Britons in the case of a hard Brexit”
“The Man behind the ‘New Man'” discusses Otto Weiniger’s influential 1903 work Sex & Character.

“5,000 Pages of Verdi’s Drafts, Long Hidden, Will Be Made Public”

The Netherlands
“Inside the Belgian Library That Tore Itself Apart” and the lessons it may offer for those coping with Brexit.

Please submit notifications and/or reviews for inclusion in the upcoming issue of Europe in Bits & Bytes, as well as any comments, to Kathleen Smith.
NOTE: links are those in effect at the time of publication and are not systematically updated.