Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thing #20 - Libraries and Social Networks

I spent some time on MySpace because I didn't want to set up a profile on Facebook in order to simply look at it. After checking it out, I'm not sure about a library page on a social networking site. I know I'm going to sound extremely old fashioned and prudish, but so manyof the pages I saw were crude and full of profanity. However, I did look at Hennepin County's page and it looks like it offers a lot of reading lists, new book suggestions, programs of interest to teens, photos, etc. It looks good, but all the comments that I saw on the page were from authors pushing their books. Most of the "friends" on the Dakota County Library page also seemed to be authors. Are we really reaching the group the page is directed at? Lots of libraries around the US have pages. Is there a way of tracking who is accessing them?

Is this more appealing than a web page? Is it just because it's on MySpace that makes it more appealing to teens? I suppose they might be more likely to access the library from that point than from any other entry point, so if that's the case it does make sense to have a presence in MySpace or Facebook. (However, after looking at a few library pages, I can see room for improvement on many of them...misspellings, lack of ability to connect to the library catalog, etc. My own library system is at fault here, too. I don;'t know who is responsible for it, but I suppose after learning all about Library 2.0 we should be able to make improvements...)
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