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/

Image courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu/profile/deafstar

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2 responses »

  1. Michelle John says:

    Richard- I’ve been doing research for another assignment about google+ and libraries. The librarians that I’ve corresponded with have all said they really like google+ and found it to be another useful tool for sharing information with users. One library, Dakota County Technical College Library, had double the followers for google+ than Facebook. Google+ has only been available for institutions such as libraries since November 2011. It will be interesting to see what happens with its use in libraries. -Michelle John

  2. Mary Ellen Harris says:

    I’ve looked at the Social Networking Librarian blog as well and have found many of Ms. Brown’s posts to be quite interesting. She makes many valid points about the uses of web 2.0 in libraries…

    I do wonder, however, for those members of the library community not actively participating in the digital revolution (and we know that there are those who continually resist change!) how the library will continue to reach out to them as the changes and the market dictate more and more towards the digital age? Will librarians be forced to leave behind as the demands increase for e-books, online support, etc?

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