Facebook Frenzy

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Do you think libraries should be building presence and providing services in MySpace and/or Facebook? Why or why not?

In my opinion, it would be antiquated of a library to not consider an online presence in either MySpace or Facebook. Though, by the year 2012, MySpace may not be the direction for a library to follow. It seems that MySpace is becoming outdated. However, when perusing the examples of MySpace pages given in the weekly readings, I found them to be more interesting, customized, and varied, than the Facebook counterparts. Simultaneously, I have found that most businesses prefer to create an online presence in the Facebook arena over the MySpace domain. Perhaps, one reason attributed to this trend is the more sophisticated feel to the Facebook forum, and another may be because of the constant news feed. Recently, I ‘fanned’ or ‘liked’ Kohl’s, and now I see advertising-like postings in my news feed from them. It’s a great marketing ploy within Facebook.

Whenever I visit an online site and notice their efforts at social networking, I am impressed. It tells me that the company wishes to present themselves as a ‘with-it’ and trendy business, and as a customer I appreciate that effort. This concept would play out similarly for a library creating an online presence in the social media forum. Part of ‘Library 2.0’ is taking the library to the users. Therefore, by setting up a Facebook page, the library is in essence divulging their desire to be a part of this new Web 2.0 process. Most users nowadays spend a tremendous amount of time online; some would even posit that our entire lives are online. We pay our bills online, look up our banking online, socialize online, get invited to events via online e-vites, and┬áretrieve a lot of our everyday information online. Thereby, it would only be logical for a library to utilize that marketing corner and join its users online. Facebook assists the library in engaging its patrons, essentially joining the library goers in their commonly used cyberspace.

Ideally, a library may want to email their patrons every day with information of booklists, new items among their holding, and new events being held. However, this is not a possibility. A library would require their patrons to submit their email addresses, and then send out a mass emailing. However, many patrons may be unwilling to provide the library with their email. Facebook conquers these issues in one swoop by posting all this information on their page, and allowing anyone who is a Facebook user to access that information. Furthermore a sense of belonging to a group is produced, a tiny online community within the library’s confines, where users can interact socially. This is the beauty of Facebook.

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