July 16, 2007

Librarians on Facebook

Writing about web page http://userslib.com/?p=74

Every day I learn something new about how these social networking technologies can be or are being used in libraries. It definitely still feels like early days, though.

This poll illustrates how even Facebook users are reluctant to contact their librarians through Facebook. I note that the survey was carried out in July this year, but there is no mention of whether any Facebook Librarian application was available for the University of Michigan Library, who carried out the survey. It very telling that most people want to see a librarian face to face, though.

This particular blog posting is a follow up to an earlier one about their experience of using a Facebook flyer and a Facebook marketplace ad to advertise the library home page. The marketplace ad is free, and to my mind it sounds like a better idea than creating a library “profile” on Facebook.

I’m not keen on a library “profile” because I don’t think that people are realistically going to make “friends” with the library, and that is what the profile is supposed to be all about. Using this technology in a way that is so obviously not what it’s supposed to be used for would make us look like embarrassing old people! Besides, the terms and conditions prohibit me from signing up for a library profile as I have to agree that I’m creating a personal account.

So I might investigate the marketplace ad idea, as well as the Librarian application, and a catalogue search application that I am currently in favour of trying out.

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