Saturday, November 01, 2008

Thing 51: The State of Library 2.0 - Social Networking Comes of Age

Libraries have been using Myspace and Facebook to market programming to teens and adults for a while now. Since we are on our patrons' friends lists they can know about programming they are interested in instantly. Handing out flyers that include these URLs to these sites begins the PR but then it becomes word of mouth as patrons browse each others pages. Ning and Facebook in particular seem to keep librarians in touch with each other and conferences and continuing education.

There have been blogs created for all sorts of things to reach out to patrons and library staff and get their feedback. Everyone uses them--library directors, bookclubs, children's programs, brainstorming resources, you name it. Meebo along with Questionpoint has really put reference librarians right where the students are. When they try it the first time they are overwhelmed with the ease of use. The library in Secondlife is pushing this envelope further with bringing the community to the patron where ever they are.

Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube have been used to good effect for library PR and presence on the web. Wikis have been used as archives and repositories of information that is difficult to find by conventional means. has made library bookmarks of useful sites transportable no matter the computer upgrade and LibraryThing has been used by bookclubs and librarians alike to promote and archive books with a theme.

I've used image generators and wayback machines for student assignments. I've referred patrons to use web based productivity tools as an alternate to software the library didn't have--GoogleDocs, Zoho, Zamzar, and Letterpop to name a few. Since everybody knows me as the gamer librarian for adults, teens think I'm cool enough to ask for help with their Myspace page. If anything, discovering social networking tools have helped me up my credibility with library patrons. And if that happens then they'll come to ask for help about other things--like research papers. ;)

For myself, I wondered if there was a Web 2.0 gizmo that would help something that I've been frustrated over. And I found it--GMeta's recipe card generator. This generator will let you add a recipe to either a 3x5 or 4x6 recipe card--front and back. It will save the file as an adobe document and you can save it either on site or download to your computer. If I print out a recipe from the computer on a regular 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper--I will not use it. So this will certainly keep my recipe box happy.

I see libraries and social networking becoming more and more intermeshed. If the community feels they can communicate directly with the library and have a stake in its development then they will feel more invested in it and feel it is a vital resource.



blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online