Coffs Harbour City Library & Information Service is my local library. Through the library’s website, its clients can access the online catalogue and reserve titles as well as access databases. As far as I am aware, however, the library has yet to develop a social networking presence. For this reason, I would suggest the following ideas from A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries (Brown, 2010) would be the most useful beginning points for this library to begin developing it’s social networking presence.
D = Direction – The library needs to decide upon its social networking direction. Why is it engaging in social networking? What is it planning to accomplish? This will help the library to determine it’s next social networking steps.
B = Blog – According to Brown, it has become standard for a library to have a blog (Brown, 2010). It is also one of the easiest social networking tools to use and to set up. Interaction with users may be managed simply by moderating comments, thus making it relatively easy to control.
F = Facebook – Again, Brown suggests that a Facebook fan page or group is almost expected from any organisation involved in social networking due to the widespread popularity of Facebook. One advantage of Facebook is the wide age range of its users. According to latest statistics, Facebook now has 500 million users, 50% of whom log in every day; the 18-24 year old demographic is growing at 74% per year and 48% of this group check Facebook when they wake up; the 35+ demographic now stands at 30%; and significantly, 48% of young people say they now get their news through Facebook (Hepburn, 2011). Although these are global figures, it could be assumed that Australian figures are similar.
Y = Youth – based on the above Facebook statistics, it is easy to see why Brown asserts that using social networking allows a library to connect with young people. According to statistics from the 2006 Census, greater than 1/3 of residents in the local area are under the age of 29 (Council, 2009, p. 12).
R = Reference – with so many library clients using Facebook, and other social networking tools, it makes sense to offer some reference services through these means.
Brown, A. L. (2010, 29 January 2011). A to Z of Social Networking for Libraries. http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2010/01/22/a-to-z-of-social-networking-for-libraries/.
Council, C. H. C. (2009). Coffs Harbour City Population Profile 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2011. from http://www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/www/html/2221-statistics-and-reports.asp.
Hepburn, A. (2011, 2 February 2011). Facebook Statistics, Stats & Facts for 2011. http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/facebook-statistics-stats-facts-2011/.