Before using social software tools, libraries should study them

Just like I mentioned last week in my posts, Meredith shares the same points with me. She pointed out that simply blocking a website is not the way we suppose to go and libraries should play a critical role in helping parents monitor what their kids are doing online. I gave schools some recommendations last week, which could also be used by libraries. One thing in Meredith’s article really caught my eyes is that she mentioned that libraries should be useful to patrons where they are. A lot of people would like to use the newest technology and think it’s very cool. I still remember millions of companies built their websites back to 1997 or 1998, because that’s the coolest thing to do. Same things are happening all the time. Building library profile in Myspace or Facebook is not cool. If you don’t put yourself in patrons’ shoes, your expectations will fail for sure.

Although I totally agree what Meredith said, I am still skeptical about her solutions. I am not sure if anyone has done a research on why teens use facebook or myspace, but I am pretty sure their purposes would not be to look for a library. They all know how to find their own library website, even they could not explicitly remember the URL address, but they can google it. Therefore I think even if libraries present a well organized profile, these teens won’t bother to read or use it. It’s going to be interesting to see how many clicks a library profile has everyday and how many clicks are from teens instead of other libraries or the owner. Therefore, I would say that we, as librarians, should spend some time studying these new social networking tools, before we start using them. As Helene said that “the trend of using Myspace shouldn’t be ignored by libraries, but rather studied. After all these current Myspace users are our future”.

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One Response to “Before using social software tools, libraries should study them”

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