How can AnnaLaura Brown’s A-Z of social networking for libraries be applied to a library I know to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos?
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar Library currently serves 300 students, faculty and staff, plus approximately 300 public patrons. The collection of nearly 50,000 volumes started in 2005 will increase by approx 10,000 annually until maximum capacity of 125,000 is met. Its online catalogue is shared with the university’s main campus library. Marketing and promotion tends to rely primarily on word of mouth. The current library website is functional but offers little in the way of Web 2.0 technologies, and no social media. So where to start to help this library embrace a Library 2.0 ethos to connect more fully with its users?
D- Direction. Before installing or applying any social networking (SN) tools, the library needs to be clear about how they will help it meet its goals. Will a Facebook fan page help attract new patrons, for example? What is also vital if it wants to embrace Library 2.0 is that the focus is user-centric, so it’s important to establish what the community wants and expects from interactions with its library before then installing the appropriate SN tools to help satisfy these user needs (Casey & Savastinuk , 2007).
Z-zeal. Now it needs to get all the library staff involved and excited about Web 2.0 and social networking. Offering the 23 Things program would be a good start.
Y- Youth. With a Higher Education Research Institute survey finding 94% of first-year university students visiting SN sites in any given week, the library must seriously consider using social networking to go where the users are. As Sophie Brookover notes in Library Journal.com, connecting and interacting with students by using tools with which they are very comfortable, demonstrates an awareness of and participation in trends that matter to them.
B- Blog. Regular blogs from library staff on various subjects, eg., new title reviews, promoting new databases, and tips on searching, would provide an excellent way to communicate and share information with users. Social media consultant Victor Lavrusik observes that inviting users to comment starts conversations, an important component of Library 2.0.
G-Good Reads. A simple way of creating content and sharing information to provide an added service to readers. Even better, collaborate with users and get them to write reviews!
With just these 5 letters the library can take its first steps on the path to becoming a Library 2.0.