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One of the main points that has come across in this weeks reading is that Facebook is a commitment. Libraries that seek to make a presence on Facebook need to be ready give it some time and energy to make it work. You can’t just set up the Facebook site and let it do its thing. As a fellow student, Stephanie Mantz, explained in her blog post entitled “Facebook is a Must,” the Facebook site must be maintained and run by someone savvy enough to know how to generate interest in the site (Mantz, 2012, http://slmantz.wordpress.com/). Andy Burkhardt, in his blog post entitled “How to Grow Your Library Social Media Presence,” provides a list of ideas all geared around generating “fans and followers,” and one of his main points is that you have to reach out to your community online and began to befriend and follow fellow Facebook users so that they can do the same to you (Burkhardt, 2009, http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/09/22/how-to-grow-your-librarys-social-media-presence/). Facebook is a very proactive resource that requires putting energy into it to get anything out of it. The moment people have the sense that you don’t have any presence on your Facebook site, they’ll no longer make an effort to visit. It’s like having a friend that you call all the time that never calls back.
“A Facebook profile is an excellent mechanism for communicating with our students because it allows us to go where they already are,” explains Mack, Behler, Roberts, and Rimland in their article, “Reaching Students with Facebook: Data and Best Practices.” This applies to public library patrons as well. You can become more than just a physical building they visit, or a stagnant website they visit only when they need information, by reaching out on the social networking sites they know, love, and most importantly, use. It allows the potential to proactively provide services to patrons who would have never thought to seek out the library’s help. As Meredith Farkas explains in “Social Software in Libraries,” potential library patrons “may never visit their library’s web site, but libraries can build presence and services within the online space their patrons do use” (Farkas, 2007, pg. 123).
Burkhardt, Andy. (2009). How to Grow Your Library Social Media Presence. http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/09/22/how-to-grow-your-librarys-social-media-presence/
Farkas, Meredith. 2007. Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online. Medford, NJ: Information Today.
Mack, D., Behler, A., Roberts, B. & Rimland, E. (2007). Reaching Students with Facebook: Data and Best Practices. http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v08n02/mack_d01.html