Librarianship 2.0

April 8, 2007 at 3:31 am Leave a comment

photo from NicaraguaWell, everything is 2.0 something these days, so why not Librarianship 2.0?! Came across this interesting piece – 7 Great Careers for 2007- and look….Librarianship is right up there as a great career (we librarians have always known it’s a fab profession). Today’s librarian is described as “a high-tech information sleuth” (mmm..explains why I like CSI and NCIS), who is “a master of mining cool databases (well beyond Google) to unearth the desired nuggets.”

Librarians are engaging in patrons’ online social worlds such as MySpace and Facebook. And this has caused me to reflect on just how far a library’s role should extend into cyberspace. Online social networks are spaces where today’s youth hang out and build their profile, chat with friends, link to peers, comment on issues, upload their photos etc. So I wondered to what extent patrons, particularly young library users, would object to librarian’s posting comments on, for example, their MySpace page. Are these social worlds closed off to librarians because young patrons assume a heightened level of privacy that is not to be invaded by the library? Or is it more a case of in today’s online environments, privacy isn’t so important to people: but community is? Maybe librarians and libraries have held themselves back worrying about patrons’ privacy when patrons are not worried at all.

So I decided to have a look at whether there are examples of libraries venturing into social worlds. I found a number of libraries who are building profiles in MySpace and Facebook. The Brooklyn College Library has built its presence on MySpace and offers a blog, links to research tools, and Ask-A-Librarian facility. They also use MySpace’s calendar to display the library’s calendar of events; and a Brooklyn College Library’s Friends Comments area. This library has 3231 friends. The Morrisville College Library also has a MySpace presence, which links back to all sorts of library services.

What a great way of meeting your users in their social networking environment and allowing them to know where to find the library. And have a look at Denver Public Library’s MySpace – very cool.

I wondered if any Australian libraries have put their toes in the proverbial water and launched themselves into MySpace to meet users. There seem to be few: Mosman Library Teen Zone and Playford Library Service. If you know of other libraries in Australia or elsewhere, leave a comment as I’d like to build up a list of libraries with a MySpace or Facebook presence.

I also found some interesting resources: 5 Weeks to a Social Library where librarians can learn all about blogs, social bookmarking, Flickr, MySpace – complete with step-by-step instructions; plus the important traits of a Librarian 2.0 here.

Entry filed under: Libraries, Library 2.0, Reflections, Useful resources.

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