Social Networking: Never mind the students, what about us? Use of social networking software for professional networking and development for library staff

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Presented at Beyond The Hype Web 2.0 Conference, QUT Brisbane Australia, Feb 1-2 2008

Presented at Beyond The Hype Web 2.0 Conference, QUT Brisbane Australia, Feb 1-2 2008

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  • 1. Social Networking: never mind the students, what about us?  Use of Social Networking Softwares for professional networking and development for library staff Jennifer Creese, Jacky Cribb, Jo Spicer The University of Queensland Library
  • 2. What is Social Networking?
    • “ Use of a website to connect with those sharing personal or professional interests…” – Webster’s dictionary (2006)
    • “ Creating community, sharing content and collaborating with others” – OCLC (2007)
  • 3. Purpose of the Project
    • Social networking for professional networking/development
    • “ In students’ space” not a popular idea
    • Poor knowledge & confusion over SNSes among most staff
    • A few staff already actively using SNSes
  • 4. SNSes in the Workplace
    • Widely used in business
    • Suit modern work styles/cultures
    • “ Companies that do not embrace social networking are making a huge mistake” – Jeremy Burton, CEO, Serena Software
  • 5. The Library Staff Survey
    • Conducted online. Three pages, 22 questions. Anonymous, no compulsory questions.
    • Surveyed from 6-20 December
    • 60 respondents in total; 63% from direct customer-service departments, 37% “back of house”.
  • 6. Results: Age groups Only 1 respondent (<2%) identified as “Generation Y.”
  • 7. Results: Users of SNSes
  • 8. Personal vs Professional Use
    • Reasons for not using SNSes professionally included:
    • Privacy concerns (identified by 33% of respondents)
    • Innapropriateness of technology for work (identified by 23% of respondents)
  • 9. Results: Professional Networking
    • Main reasons for not participating outside regular work:
    • Lack of time (identified by 50% of respondents)
    • Activities not convenient times or locations (identified by 50% of respondents)
    • More comfortable with professional development internal to the workplace (identified by 30% of respondents)
  • 10. Online Professional Networking
    • Benefits of professional development online included:
    • Reaches more people (identified by 60% of respondents)
    • No time/geography boundaries (identified by 60% of respondents)
    • Online communication ‘easier’ (identified by 21% of respondents)
  • 11. Other major themes
    • Openness to potential
    • Information/technology overload
    • Comparison with face-to-face: auxilliary, not replacement
    • Confusion over what is and is not an SNS
  • 12. The Training Program
    • Part of overall “UQL 2.0” program – based around ‘23 Things’ programs
    • Non-compulsory; flexible structure; basic level of Web 2.0 familiarity.
    • Uses Facebook as the SNS of choice
    • UQL Staff Facebook Group
  • 13. Purpose of training in SNSes
    • Addressing barriers and concerns raised in the staff survey:
    • Privacy
    • Appropriateness for work
    • Time
    • “ Tech Overload”
  • 14. Guidelines for SNS Use
    • Monitor/limit private information shared
    • Careful outreach on an individual level
    • Limit ‘time-wasting’
    • Keep up-to-date; ‘Scrap and Run’ if necessary
  • 15. Potential future developments
    • UQ Liaison Librarian “e-Forums”
    • Use by project groups & working parties
    • Potential outreach to academics, researchers and students
    • Facebook marketing – fan pages, applications etc
  • 16. Conclusion
    • Potential in SNSes for professional use evident to staff AND management
    • Training can assist in overcoming barriers to use
    • Great potential for further development
    • Cautious use is necessary