Librarians Face Online Social Networks

By Breeding, Marshall | Computers in Libraries, September 2007 | Go to article overview

Librarians Face Online Social Networks


Breeding, Marshall, Computers in Libraries


An important part of life is developing social and professional networks. It's not something we necessarily think about overtly, but we each live in a fabric of relationships of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and professional colleagues. Opportunities increasingly present themselves to interact with those networks through online social networking sites. The natural early adopters tend to include two groups: the millennials that gravitate to all forms of media and communication and those with techie tendencies. In the last year or so it seems that online social networking has suddenly exploded beyond these groups to the mainstream, attracting Web users of all generations.

Online social networks have been a common fixture of the Web for quite some time. Sites such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Friendster rank among the most popular. Many sites focused on other types of content sport social networking features. Flickr, for example, while devoted to sharing photos, embodies the full spectrum of social networking features.

Facebook.com, originally established as a site for college students, has recently burst beyond its roots and captured broad interest. In its brief history [Editor's Note: See the Facebook feature, page 21.], Facebook has expanded from a network for a few schools in the northeastern U.S. to all colleges and universities, to high schools, and is now open to everyone. As of July 2007, Facebook claims more than 30 million active members and now ranks as one of the top Web destinations in the world. This installment of The Systems Librarian takes a closer look at Facebook and explores some of the ways it might make a difference for those of us working in libraries.

In academic libraries, Facebook plays a part in the lives of almost all of our student clientele; with high school students now joining Facebook in droves, it's also a factor for public and school librarians. As social networks become more ingrained in the lives of our younger patrons, it behooves those of us in the library profession to learn as much as we can about them.

It's more than an abstract interest. Many in the library profession have discovered that Facebook is well suited as a tool for developing their own social and professional networks online.

Facebook.com Features

The best way to learn about Facebook is to join and explore it for yourself, but I'll sketch out some of its basic features here to help spark your interest.

In Facebook, members have Profiles, they make Friends, they belong to a Network, and they create and join Groups. Each member has the opportunity to set up a Profile that provides information to other members. Your Profile can contain as much or as little information as you choose. Some choose to provide only a few basic facts, while others flood their Profiles with full details of their activities, personal preferences, and their personality. While my Profile currently lists only scant information (the city where I live, where I work, and where I went to school), more expressive users include their interests in books and movies, hobbies, travels, favorite sayings, and the like.

Facebook centers on the concept of Friends. Becoming Facebook Friends involves two steps: one member sends an invitation, and the other has to confirm the invitation. This mutual process goes a long way toward preventing unwanted intrusions into your online social life. Since accepting a Friend request also provides access to view your Profile, those concerned with their online privacy will want to be a bit selective.

Unlike many other online environments, in Facebook a member's online presence usually reflects his or her actual person. On sites such as MySpace, members often create virtual personas quite apart from their own demographic. Such isn't the case with Facebook, where almost all members use their real names and include photos that don't misrepresent their age, gender, or species. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Librarians Face Online Social Networks
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.