Monday, November 17, 2008

Exercise #21 Facebook, etc

I have had a facebook spot for a few months - mainly set up so people who want to can look at my photos, i.e. I don't have to send them whopping great folders by email or force them to look at my computer screen and admire my handiwork when it is mostly average!
I can see from younger people who are my friends though that they use it to organise gatherings and invites to parties/gigs/clubs/exhibitions, all sorts - which is brilliant - like your own personalised social club. So I can see if you check it every day or so you would be reaching a lot of people - and the link to community and library events is logical for those who are into it. I suppose there are the rest of us though who would prefer email notifications or google searches.

Anyway I have recently discovered also that you can store or link to your favourite music, books, etc and build up collections ..... so given a bit more development it could probably take over from some of the other applications like Library Thing [oh wash your mouth out].
I am wary of revealing too much about myself of course and of how there are limits to what one communicates to others.
The North Shore Library group required me to ask to join so I didn't carry on with it but it would be a great way to share general news that wasn't just the official stuff. Yes, I really would like to hear what some of the sessions at the LIANZA conference were like - not just look at the endless flickr photos which really didn't tell me anything much. [In the end I did join and there were a few comments posted about maybe 2 sessions at the LIANZA conference but then they petered out - so I assume people were only impressed by those 2 or that's all they had time to comment on.]
So my conclusion is - along with my next post- that we and the public still depend on [and value highly] person to person contact- it takes up less of our time and doesn't require us to become journalists. Patrons can take advantage of it while they are in the library picking up books - so there can be a combination of checking a website for recommendations, reserving online but still having human contact. If someone asks me to provide a book recommendation or review I can do that at the drop of a hat as I have worked on this for many years but not everyone is comfortable in doing this in public or in writing. Lots of librarians can do this verbally on a one to one basis with no problem at all and library users feel comfortable with this as it is an individual service, i.e. they can interpret body language and work out whether you are someone who might have similar tastes to them. It also means that anyone on a counter , doing shelving or working on a desk in the library needs to be versatile and to be able to switch from reference type queries to issuing a book, to accessing internet facilites when the queues allow.

[Still working on this]

Auckland Library's bebo looked like a good experiment but you do get some really irrelevant comments on the friends page. A nicer way to get feedback on library services eventually!