The case for facebook


I have been working on a facebook page for our library. A number of other libraries have entered into the social networking realm and I think it is past time for us to do so.

When I walk through the computer lab in the library to grab some coffee, every other computer I see has facebook up on the screen.

The other day I tried to imagine if any student was not on facebook at the college (I am sure there are some). Facebook is a whole separate life that intersects and meshes with everyday physical life. And if there are students not on there, it seems like they are missing out on half of what is going on. The same is true of the library. Right now we are missing out on half of what is going on.

I feel it is important to not always make students come to you. “Go to the library website.” “Come to the library.” We should also meet them where they already are. A vast majority of them spend a lot of time on facebook, and I think it would be worth our time to have a presence there as well.

Not only would it allow us to help students thorough things like IM reference through the Digsby widget I hacked together, but it would enable us to show a more human side of the library. I’ve added pictures of the librarians and staff and also pictures of different events like the Chili Cookoff or when T.C. Boyle came and autographed our library books. The library is made up of people. It’s not just a building; it has a life of its own.  Hopefully we can show that through facebook.

I hope to continously add content. Our amazing Information Literacy Librarian Sarah Cohen proposed that we have a Scrabble tournament sometime which would be a lot of fun and yield some excellent pictures/videos. I also would like to use it to converse with students and try to find out their thoughts and feelings about the library. A number of other library pages I have looked at don’t do so hot on this front. They have great content but the conversation is often lacking. I wonder how this can be better facilitated.

Other than that I have to keep brooding on the best ways to promote the page, but I hope to get it published by Spring Break.

Andy Burkhardt

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