Social Networking Software
Social networking software is a new approach in some academic and public libraries today in order to make libraries not only "cool" in the public's eyes, but also as a third space in which potential library users can participate in an collaborative exchange with their libraries. It also may allow users to build relationships with the library staff and other library users.
Examples of social networking software include MySpace.com, Friendster.com, and Facebook.com. These sites allows users to create pages in which others (potential library users) can view and provide feedback. Some academic and public libraries have created MySpace or Facebook pages in an attempt to promote and extend their library services such as reader's advisory.
Examples of libraries using social networking software include:
- The Steele Creek Library: http://myspace.com/steelecreeklibrary
- The Denver Public Library: http://myspace.com/denver_evolver
- The Stoneham Public Library: http://www.myspace.com/stonehamlibrary
- The Brooklyn College Library: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=42712933
- Worthington Libraries: http://www.myspace.com/worthingteens
- Lancaster Library (UK): http://www.myspace.com/getitloudinlibraries
- Arapahoe Library District
- DeKalb County Public Library
- Hennepin County Library
- The Houston Public Library
- Manchester Library and Information Service (UK)
- The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
- UMASS Boston Healey Library
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute Gordon Library
- Worthington Libraries
- DeKalb County Public Library, GA Flickr page
Not all libraries, however, use social networking software to promote their services, some libraries view social networking software as too new, too trendy. Some libraries even have the websites for MySpace.com and Facebook.com banned in their libraries. This may be due to funding issues (See the ALA's site about DOPA http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/WOissues/techinttele/iwa/iwa.htm) or it may be due to a library's management.
Blogs/Websites to Watch
For more information, opinions, and links about social networking software and libraries, please see the blog Information Wants to Be Free's May 10th 2006 entry at http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/index.php/2006/05/10/libraries-in-social-networking-software/
LibraryStream Steve Campion
The Ubiquitious Librarian Brian Matthews at Georgia Tech
Social Networking Librarian AnnaLaura Brown's blog all about social networking in libraries and library 2.0
Will Richardson's blog - Great information/ideas from an educator's perspective. Will did a recent article in Technology and Learning 2005 called Blog Revolution on the educational benefits of blogging for/with students. Richardson, W. (2005). Blog Revolution. Technology and Learning, 26(3), 48. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from the Wilson Web database.
This webinar, entitled 10 ways to make your library great in 2008 – Using web 2.0 focuses on the basics of social cataloging sites libraything.com and del.icio.us along a professional development theme. It also has a 10 ways Blog associated with it.