Should libraries be building a presence and offering services through online social networking sites? Yes! That is, if they want to stay relevant to the communities they’re supposed to be serving. I’m mainly referring to public libraries here, though, high school and middle school libraries could also greatly benefit from jumping on the social media train. I’ve heard places complain that they don’t have the staffing for it, and that excuse says to me that they don’t realize it is a necessity.

That video blows my mind every time I watch it.

I want to stress that it is important for libraries to not just choose one social networking site and run with it. Sure, I like Facebook. You like Facebook. What about MySpace? Rebecca Tolley-Stokes tells us “the more affluent you are, the more likely you are to frequent Facebook.” Isn’t it interesting that many libraries seem to have Facebook pages over MySpace pages? I can tell just by clicking around, and Tolley-Stokes’ article supports this idea as well. And if we follow the trend examined by Pew Internet, many young adults and teens, as of a year ago, still have and maintain MySpace profiles. Not so many teens did the Twitter at that time, though.

Are we as librarians leaving out a large chunk of our patrons simply because we are more comfortable with certain platforms? It sure seems like it. Social media needs to be done thoroughly, consistently, and whole-heartedly. Yes, it’s work. But hey, being a librarian is a job (as well as a state of mind, for some of us).

Many thanks to Kyle Cox for introducing me to the Tolley-Stokes article!

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