flickr image by laihiu
The terms social networking and social media are often used interchangeably and can be viewed as part of the wider Library 2.0 environment. Stephen Abram describes Library 2.0 as allowing libraries to “...create a conversation that creates the next generation of library websites, databases, OPACs, intranets and portals in a way that is allows the end user to thrive and survive (and libraries along with them).” From this it is clear that social media encompasses three important aspects:
- Conversations, communication and interaction
- Content in the form of website, databases, and multimedia formats
- People who use these tools to meet a variety of needs
Social media can provide libraries with opportunities to extend their presence to a wider audience, interact with their community of users in new and innovative ways, and develop new ways of meeting user needs. In particular social media facilitates:
- Extending services to a wider audience including non library users
- Provision of value added services which result in more benefits for users
- An equity of service to a wide range of users
- Gathering of feedback to inform future library activities and services
- Collaboration to remain relevant, dynamic, and innovative
This is the first of a series of articles examining the place and value of social media in school libraries from the broad concepts through to the use of specific tools to meet specific needs. In the next posting we shall look more closely at planning and implementing social networking within a school library context.
Abram, S. (2007). Online information proceedings 2007. Web 2.0, library 2.0 and librarian 2.0: preparing for the 2.0 world
Farkas, M. (2007). Building academic library 2.0.
Grabowska, K. (2010). Social media best practices for libraries.