Take that, Google!

June 3, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Kim Photo-- Ladies in redI’ve become accustomed to my Uni students handing in assignments liberally peppered with references to Google and/or Wikipedia, as though they’ve lost the ability to undertake research in journals or primary resources. I rant and rave at them regularly about how to conduct research and their eyes glaze over.

So we were discussing social media. I have a Facebook presence but I’m a bit cold on the whole thing. I decided I should get into it more as my Uni students (a whole class of Gen Y) were carrying on about how great Facebook is and talking like major authorities on the pros and cons of Facebook over MySpace. And one of the international students mentioned LibGuides on Facebook. So I checked it out (can’t have Gen Y knowing more than me!!)

And I found LibGuides. I was momentarily stunned – libraries on Facebook? This is what the Facebook page says:

LibGuides enables you to access the content from your library inside of facebook. Read your course-related library Guides, get research help, chat with reference librarians, or search the library catalog using LibGuides”.

It seems that the LibGuide application was developed by Springshare – so I found them to suss out more information and this is what they say:

“LibGuides is the first library application available within Facebook. Your users simply need to select LibGuides from the list of applications in Facebook in order to access your LibGuides content. LibGuides will recognize the user’s school affiliation and present them with their “home” LibGuides system.

Distributing library content across the web, and “meeting” the customers wherever they are (a lot of them are on Facebook these days) is one of the hallmarks of library 2.0. Now your customers can access LibGuides content, chat online with reference librarians, and even search your library catalog from Facebook.”

And:

LibGuides enables libraries to share information with users in a web 2.0 world. Using LibGuides, librarians can effortlessly create content-rich guides, share knowledge and information, and promote library resources to the community. The system is integrated with Facebook, and LibGuides widgets distribute library content to other websites, blogs, and courseware systems. LibGuides connects you with patrons, wherever they are.

Any type of content (including web 2.0 media) can be put into LibGuides. Your LibGuides can be subject guides, information portals, class handouts, community guides, research tips, or any type of useful information you wish to share with users. The possibilities are endless. Really!

Stunning!! Who knows better how to conduct effective research – a librarian or Google? I’m betting on the librarian. And so LibGuides can help the librarian to deliver modules or pathfinders that will lead patrons off to reliable resources. Users can even “ask a librarian”. And how smart to integrate with Facebook since most of the world these days seems to be on Facebook!

I’ll be checking this out more but seems that every library can have a profile page listing all the guides available. All of this is available via Facebook. So far 160+ libraries worldwide and 3000+ librarians are sharing content and ideas. I haven’t ferreted around enough to know if Australian libraries are part of this.

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Entry filed under: Facebook, Libraries, Library 2.0, Useful resources. Tags: .

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