As usual, I found this week’s readings very interesting and so relevant to what I am thinking about in libraries in the “real world”. As noted in this week’s lesson, over 90% of Canadian women online have a Facebook profile and almost 80% of Canadian men do too. I found this report for Parliament quite interesting (although the government doesn’t seem to be using social media to its full advantage like I think it could), and one that libraries should consider when deciding if it is worth the time and effort to create and maintain vibrant social media spaces.
I was initially unsure about which “new” social network I should join. I use several already. These include:
- Facebook – personal
- LinkedIn – professional
- Google+ – I don’t post updates on here – yet – but I really like Google Hangout and use it quite often now with family far away as well with my group for our 9763 group project.
- Twitter – only to tweet items of a professional library and/or technology nature. I don’t use it for personal/friends as I don’t think I would use it enough due to lack of time at this point in my life (school, work, husband/kids, personal and professional volunteer commitments) and I think that a little used profile is worse than no profile at all. I’m sure the day will come when I will use this more for personal/fun use.
- Pinterest – I’ve just joined this one since starting this class. I’ll admit it – I joined it and have done nothing more to it. I just heard so much about it that I felt I should join, if nothing else to be able to understand what other people are talking about. Small as this might seem, I thought if Pinterest is the “next big thing”, then I as a librarian-to-be better be in the know. I can see how this site could take up quite a lot of time. I do have some concerns with the copyright issues and will be watching this closely.
That’s it. I know there are lot more, but each one adds more time to an already full day of time management! Since our assignment was to join something new, I decided to go for something that I think about every day – Library 2.0! I didn’t know about this one before this week’s readings, but I am intrigued by it. I signed up and filled out a fair bit of information (I assume they want to verify that I am who I say I am) and am now waiting to be accepted by the site administrators. It seems somewhat exclusive, but I suppose this is to maintain the professional library nature of the site. I spent some time looking at what I could without being an approved member yet. It looks quite interesting, with different forums and groups (I want to join the public library group), news, notices for international conferences, and more. I saw a description for the BIBLIOTIC IV Congress, Access of Information Management and Research” in Bogotá, Colombia, an event I doubt I would have heard about anywhere else. I have family in Bogotá and have been there many times, and am always looking for an excuse to go. Time will tell if this site proves to be useful to me professionally, but I’m looking forward to exploring it more.
In order for libraries to “effectively hold their place in the larger conversation that we’re having with each other online” (Neal, 2012), I think one of the most important things for a library is to know and understand its audience. Who is it trying to reach? How is its community using social media? What does it hope to accomplish by establishing a social media presence? The answers to these questions, in addition to creating an effective social media policy, will begin to answer the question of how to be effective in our online conversations.