Keep in touch, won’t you?

13 Apr

I am constantly wary of Facebook. For example, I am wary of the time that it takes from my life, the way that it feels that it “owns” my personal pictures and the information that is shared each time you join a group or add an app or a game. Because of this I tend to limit the ways that I use Facebook. I simply skim through status updates, look at people’s pictures and keep tabs on my sister who lives in California.

Richardson (2010) and much of the reading that I have been doing for this course over the past months (many random blog posts and articles) heralds the use of Facebook as being more than I am using it for.

There has to be a better way for me to use Facebook. As David Lee King (2008) suggests, there are many ways for a library to use Facebook. This week I decided to branch out and create a Facebook page for the library. This is a different option than a profile because Facebook pages don’t have friends, they have fans. It was tricky to set up the page because the set up of a page for an organization is different than establishing one for a person. I called my brother to help me with some of my questions and the rest I learned through use. Even though I muddled my way through, in the end the McMath Library officially has a social networking presence!

My goal for the Facebook page is to help give the library more relevant, to inform students of new books and draw them in with YouTube book trailers, to give students updates about events in the library, and to provide them with Web 2.0 links that might interest them or help them in their classes. 

It was difficult for me to publicize our new Facebook page just because I have a fear of rejection. I am afraid that I will only have 3 people “liking” the library for the rest of the year. But in the end I put up a new window display to share our new Facebook page with the students. I will also be putting it into the announcements after Spring Break. I think that the most important part of making this work in the school is updating the page frequently with things that the kids are interested in. It will be important to keep my audience in mind as I’m thinking of my updates. Chris Bourg (2008) gives me hope that my Facebook page may become a relevant part of the school community but I know that it will take awhile. As of right now, I still only have 3. Sigh. 

Shelfari and LibraryThing are also helpful social networking tools for librarians. I have created accounts with both and primarily use Shelfari for personal use and LibraryThing for our school library blog. In LibraryThing you can create a widget for Blogger that is a rotating slideshow of book covers that you want to highlight. We use this to highlight new books that we have added to our collection. The best part is that under “Add Books” you can simply scan the ISBN and the system is able to locate the book to add the cover to your widget. The widget is directly linked to Blogger and the covers are updated automatically. Less work = Library love!

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