As social networking becomes more integrated into the lives of community members, activities which previously took place in person are now regularly conducted online. And with the advent of Web 2.0, these activities are more interactive, user-generated, and open to sharing. Yet these characteristics are not entirely new. Libraries have long been spaces for community interaction. Their respect for individual and minority perspectives naturally translates into supporting user-generated content. Also, libraries have always been about the sharing of information.
At the end of 2011, the Social Networking Librarian blog released ten predictions for social media and libraries. The list states that “we will see an increase in libraries using social media to educate rather than just to market resources and services” (Brown, 2011). But it is clear that in the world of social media, the marketing of services & the services themselves are becoming less separated.
The example of an interactive library book club that takes place in a social networking environment will illustrate some aspects of the interaction between social networking and library activities. How might social networking activities serve to market the library? What issues might arise from using social networking for library programs and services?
Libraries have always been societal institutions, but as some community functions transfer from physical to digital spaces, libraries must be prepared to adapt to the changing geography of service without sacrificing their shared identity and values.
Brown, A. (2011, December 29). Top 10 social media and libraries predictions for 2012. In Social networking librarian: Exploring social networking and technologies in libraries. Retrieved February 5, 2012, from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2011/12/29/top-10-social-media-and-libraries-predictions-for-2012/
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