Thursday, September 27, 2012

A-Z of Social Networking for Libraries: Embracing a Library 2.0 Ethos

I have selected 5 letters from the A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries and considered how they could be applied to the library to help it to embrace a Library 2.0 ethos.

The library I work at currently uses no Web 2.0 technology. Although I would love to jump in use them all for the sheer joy of splashing into social networks, unless I have a clear idea of what I want to accomplish then it is meaningless. What I have to do is assess what needs the library has, what patrons have and how Web 2.0 technologies can fill those needs. This will effect the direction I will go with social networking.

I think that a Facebook page is what most libraries start off with when they enter into the social networking environment. It is flexible as if offers lost of ways to create content with text, photos and videos. Because so many people now use Facebook it may be easier to get a following than other social media. Facebook features allow for promotion of the library, especially its events app. Facebook also has lots of opportunities for dialogue with patron though post and comments.

G-Good Reads
Promoting Good Reads on the library website might be a way to start promoting Web 2.0 technologies to our patrons was well as adding a great readers' advisory tool. It would be important to get staff enthusiastic about promoting it too so that .

Staff have mixed feelings about social networking and some staff have had little experience, and see it more as a personal tool rather than professional. There needs to be more exposure to how effective social networking can be for a library, otherwise help will not be forth coming. I'd like to see a team assembled, one at each branch, to direct social networking and to make it a legitimate service.

One of the ways staff could see the professional usefulness of Web 2.0 is to see how it can be used effectively in reference services. Patrons could ask questions via facebook or the library could have an app containing FAQs. Twitter also lends itself to ready reference questions. If staff could see how easily these reference supports could be implemented it would help them to embrace Web 2.0.

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