I was working on a Facebook account for the library for a while before the 23 Thing’s opportunity came up, trying to create a forum for chat and recommendations amongst the patrons themselves, particularly the YA crowd. However, I have had the worst time getting Facebook to accept the library as a “real name” – every time I tried (even attempting to open a whole new account), it was automatically, and frustratingly, rejected. I knew it was possible because I had seen several other libraries on Facebook – it’s just a matter a finagling (it finally consented to take a hyphenated version of the library’s name for further consideration).
I am a little worried about the time factor in keeping up with all of these hyper-interfaced conversations, though, as most days it is all we can fit into a few hours to keep up with the face-to-face exchanges. Doubtlessly, it’s a completely unfounded concern. Intended to foster dialogue between patrons themselves, both the Facebook account and the blog (established as an open forum) should be relatively self-sustaining discussion groups. And as I am finding, it’s not the overwhelming response I ought to concern myself with, but more likely the lack thereof.
I do hope that some of these technological things are useful to our patrons, and that some of them may take the space and time to talk to each other, ANDDD hopefully somewhere in the process find a good book or two, which is still what the library is all about to me….
The particular question posed for this assignment was: What do you think of libraries using social networking sites? I think that nothing will ever displace the satisfaction of picking up a real book made of touchable paper with flippable pages and sitting in a circle with a group of 8 or 10 other women who have read the same book they also hold in their hands, and talking about what happened in the pages, out of the pages, in and to the characters, and in and to us as readers. Nothing will displace the satisfaction of meeting new people coming in and asking “how do I get a membership?,” or checking out a stack of books to people who can barely wait to get home to crack them open, or sitting in front of the 520s with a little girl who has a newfound fascination with astronomy and wants to know how stars are born. This is what I find most meaningful.
So what do I think? I think “social networking” is a lower form of human interaction. But, unfortunate as it is, I also think that since social networking has so virally spread, if we as libraries want to best reach our patrons, then, like it or not, we must traipse ourselves to the hyperworld of linked friends, status updates, and the choppy delays of message board conversings….