Facebook for Children's LibrariesPresentation Transcript
Reaching Out with Facebook Veronica Rutter Collection Development Librarian @ New City Library [email_address]
Quick Background on Facebook
In 2004, thefacebook was created by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg.
In the beginning, you could only get a Facebook profile if you had a college e-mail address. As a result, the tone of Facebook was different from MySpace or Friendster which had open signups.
In 2006, it switched to open registration.
In 2007, Facebook opened it's code to the public so they could create applications or 'apps'. The most popular are addictive games that require your friends participation to climb the ranks.
What about the children?
"Facebook does not knowingly collect or solicit personal information from anyone under the age of 13 or knowingly allow such persons to register. If you are under 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or send any information about yourself to us, including your name, address, telephone number, or email address. No one under age 13 may provide any personal information to or on Facebook. In the event that we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us through the form on our privacy help page."
This is not enforced.
There's no easy way to monitor anyone's actual age on the internet.
So why should you make a Facebook page?
Parents, guardians, babysitters and every other adult in a child's life may be on Facebook.
The fastest growing age group on Facebook is 35+.
If a patron chooses to follow or join your group or page, they will receive regular updates in their 'feed' whenever you add information to your page.
A group is a lot like a club in the online world.
A group can have privacy limits. For instance, some alumni groups will only allow you join if you have the college listed as a network.
Groups have administrators that manage the group, approve applicants or invite others to join.
Created by going to www.facebook.com/groups/create.php .
One very popular group is People Who Always Have to Spell Their Name for Other People
A few Children's Libraries have groups:
The Loft Children's Library
25 Members. Notice their 'events' tab.
Thoreau Children's Library Project
Pages (not the kind that shelve books)
When Facebook was created there were many issues with people posing as celebrities. Pages were designed so that celebrities and companies could join Facebook in a slightly more authentic way.
They have the ability to have friends, add pictures, and they have walls that fans can post on.
Pages communicate by “updates” which show on the update tab or a person’s wall if they’re a fan and have allowed the page to show updates.Just like a personal profile.
Create a page by going to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
An example of a popular page is: Donkey
Note the sp am advertisements that might not be appropriate for kids.
Pages in Children's Libraries
Here are some great examples of Pages created by children's libraries:
Westbury Children's Library
18 Fans. They advertise upcoming events in a feed, show pictures of past events and clearly display their hours.
Whitehall Children's Library 44 Fans. Another well kept page.
Benjamin Children's Library
118 Fans. A very simple page that is used primarily for program or closing time announcements.
And! Our very own Valley Cottage Library .
Where are the fans?
So you've started up a Page. You're doing everything right! The information is clear, you post regularly, including pictures of all your events. But...no one's paying attention. Where are your fans?
Fans Generate Fans.
Facebook is about connections. Encourage your co-workers, friends and family to become fans of your page. When they do, this will show up in their feed which may encourage their friends to become fans.
Offer exclusive content.
It's great that you're reporting on upcoming events, but this may already be covered in newsletters.
Consider adding short book reviews, craft project recommendations or other creative touches.
Where are the fans? Continued....
It's ok not to have thousands of fans as long as the fans you do have are engaged. Consider running a Facebook exclusive contest.
For example, think of a tie in to your summer reading group.
Have realistic goals. Create a Facebook Page with a specific intent. Is it another way to advertise events? Do you promote services or talk about the upcoming budget vote?
If you have a presenter coming in, ask if they have a page or group and join it. Ask them to join yours.
Update. Always Update. Even if you are your only fan, maintain a regular update schedule. Any user who comes to your page and finds the last post is three years old, will not join.
Even more on the fans…
All together now:
Do you have a blog where you do book reviews?
Do you have a great new website?
Link all these services together. If you update your blog, post the link to Facebook. If you want to expand on something on your website, post it on Facebook.
Remember your goals. Treat your various media like departments in a virtual library branch. Facebook may be your community relations department while your blog is reference.
Creating a Facebook page or group offers a conversation starter with parents and guardians: Online Safety.
Despite the age limits on Facebook, many young children do have profiles. Some may be asking to join.
The largest issue on social networking sites for children is cyberbullying.
Make your page safe for the kids you serve. Check for and delete advertisments regularly.