Module 3 OLJ Task: Activity: A-Z of Social Networking for Libraries

READ the post A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (22 January, 2010) on the Social Networking for Libraries blog.Consider this advice in terms of a library and information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select advice from five (5) letters of this A-Z list and consider how these may be applied to this library to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write up your findings as a post (of no more than 350 words in your OLJ).

After reading A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries I have chosen advice from 5 letters from the list that I consider may be applied to XYZ Library to embrace a Library 2.0 ethos.  According to Casey and Savastinuk (2006) at its most basic level, the Library 2.0 model gives library users a participatory role in the services libraries … the model seeks to harness our customer’s knowledge to supplement and improve library services. Thus considering this view I have selected the following (5) advice from the list:

D-Direction: What are you planning to accomplish for your library with social networking?

H-Help: Relying on only one or two people to build your library’s social networking presence will not work. It needs to be a whole team effort on behalf of your entire library staff.

M-Mobile: More and more your library’s social networking needs to be able to be accessed via mobile devices. There are also more options than ever for making this a reality.

R-Reference: You may think that offering reference services via social networking is impossible but the reality is that so many of your patrons use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that you can offer the answers to frequently asked questions as a form of reference services on these sites.

Z-Zeal: Is your library staff exciting about the possibilities that social networking can offer your library? If not, you will struggle to make it work for you.

First and foremost I think the library staff as a whole must understand, acknowledge and accept social networking, Web 2.0 services and applications and the Library 2.0 model and be willing to adopt this service model. The world of libraries is changing. The learning habits of library users are also changing. A lot of their learning takes place in social spaces and this is where libraries should be pushing some of their services to. To enable staff to have a common understanding of Web 2.0 services and applications there should be some form of team professional development. Allow staff to play with these tools and technologies to become confident in their use. It requires a team effort and zeal on part of staff to effectively use social networking as a means to connect with users. For this to happen the library must plan carefully what services it will target for ensuring that the library uses this form of communication successfully and achieve its goals. Start with something simple like SMS for library overdue loans and expand gradually. Start a library news blog and add more features gradually. But do market these new services as well.

Mobile devices are used by majority of our library users as their main source of communication, Internet browsing and social networking so it is vital for any library to embrace Library 2.0 ethos to ensure that some library services can be accessed using mobile devices such as having a mobile interface of the library catalogue so services can be accessed remotely anytime anywhere. As majority of our users have mobile phones the library can use text messaging as a form of reminding users when library items are overdue.

By looking to offer some reference services via social networking sites, the library can connect with patrons on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube as many of our users are already familiar with these sites and spend a lot of time using them (OCLC Report, 2007). A library’s presence on any of these social networking sites as shown by ASU libraries is vital in this day and age. These social learning spaces will allow them to engage with us and participate in our services so we can offer assistance in an environment familiar to them.


Casey, M. & Savastinuk, L. (2006). Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library, Library Journal, 1 September.


De Rosa, C., Cantrell, J., Havens, A., Hawk, J, & Jenkins, L. (2007), Sharing, privacy and trust in our networked world: A report to the OCLC Membership, Dublin, Ohio: OCLC




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