Social Networking Software
Social networking software is a new approach in some academic and public libraries today in order to make libraries not only "cool" in the public's eyes, but also as a third space in which potential library users can participate in an collaborative exchange with their libraries. It also may allow users to build relationships with the library staff and other library users.
Examples of social networking software include MySpace.com, Friendster.com, and Facebook.com. These sites allows users to create pages in which others (potential library users) can view and provide feedback. Some academic and public libraries have created MySpace or Facebook pages in an attempt to promote and extend their library services such as reader's advisory, and third party applications can add increasing usability to to pages.
Examples of libraries using social networking software include:
While most libraries have switched from MySpace to Facebook, the libraries listed have kept their MySpace pages active by connecting it to both their Twitter and Facebook pages.
- Arapahoe Library District: http://www.myspace.com/arapahoelibrary
- The Denver Public Library: http://myspace.com/denver_evolver
- Arapahoe Library District
- Alden Library (Ohio University)
- Allen County (IN) Public Library
- DeKalb County Public Library
- Harris County Public Library by Lily Hinrichs
- Hennepin County Library
- The Houston Public Library
- Lane Medical Library, Stanford University by Shannon Meaney
- Livermore Public Library
- Manchester Library and Information Service (UK)
- Martin County Library System (FL)
- National Library of Scotland
- The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County or Charlotte Mecklenburg Library by Lily Hinrichs
- Marathon County Public Library (MCPL)
- UMASS Boston Healey Library
- University of Pretoria Library Services
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute Gordon Library
- Worthington Libraries
3rd Party Facebook Application for the Library
Increasingly, applications are being developed by third party software companies which add greater functionality to Facebook pages. For the library, these applications can create legitimate research portals out of their Facebook pages, transforming what was once a marketing tool into what can now be a research tool.
- Libguides is an official Libguides application which freely adds a library's Libguides to their Facebook page.
- JSTOR app allows patrons to search your library's JSTOR account directly though Facebook.
- San Francisco PL has created a Widgetbox to allow users to search their OPAC through Facebook, and other libraries are following suit.
- Allen County (IN) Public Library Flickr page
- DeKalb County Public Library, GA Flickr page
- National Library of Scotland Flickr page
- Denver Public Library Flickr page
- Nashville Public Library Flickr page
- Seeley G. Mudd Library at Lawrence University Flickr page
Not all libraries, however, use social networking software to promote their services, some libraries view social networking software as too new, too trendy. Some libraries even have the websites for MySpace.com and Facebook.com banned in their libraries. This may be due to funding issues (See the ALA's site about DOPA http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/WOissues/techinttele/iwa/iwa.htm) or it may be due to a library's management.
- University of Iowa Special Collections 
- Somers Library 
- W.P.I. George C. Gordon Library 
- Westerville Library 
Blogs/Websites to Watch
For more information, opinions, and links about social networking software and libraries, please see the blog Information Wants to Be Free's May 10th 2006 entry at http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/index.php/2006/05/10/libraries-in-social-networking-software/
LibraryStream Steve Campion
The Ubiquitious Librarian Brian Matthews at Georgia Tech
Social Networking Librarian AnnaLaura Brown's blog all about social networking in libraries and library 2.0
Social Media at the Mudd Library Seeley G. Mudd Library at Lawrence University has created a web page where all official social networking accounts are listed along with the library's social media mission statement.
Will Richardson's blog - Great information/ideas from an educator's perspective. Will did a recent article in Technology and Learning 2005 called Blog Revolution on the educational benefits of blogging for/with students. Richardson, W. (2005). Blog Revolution. Technology and Learning, 26(3), 48. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from the Wilson Web database.
This webinar, entitled 10 ways to make your library great in 2008 – Using web 2.0 focuses on the basics of social cataloging sites libraything.com and del.icio.us along a professional development theme. It also has a 10 ways Blog associated with it.