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  • 1. Add Me to Your MySpace! Social Networking for Libraries Cliff Landis, Reference Librarian/Instructor Valdosta State University 9/21/2006 COMO 2006
  • 2. Before We Even Begin…. Addressing the MySpace Fears
    • Predators 1 :
      • Only 7% of those teens interviewed were ever approached by anyone with a sexual intent and nearly all of them simply ignored the person and blocked him from their page.
      • Two-thirds of the parents were sure that there were many sexual predators on MySpace, while only one-third of the teenagers shared this concern.
      • When asked about media coverage, 66% of the parents felt that it was either understated or close to the truth.
      • Conversely, 58% of the teens felt it was vastly overblown.
    • Is MySpace safer for teens than for predators? 2
  • 3. Addressing the MySpace Fears (cont’d)
    • DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act (H.R. 5319)
      • Passed the House of Representatives July 26, 2006 (still has to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President).
      • Broadly defines social networking sites as:
      • Sec.2(c)(J) a commercially operated Internet website [sic] that-
        • (i) allows users to create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users; and
        • (ii) offers a mechanism for communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, email, or instant messenger.
      • DOPA is not yet law! Write to your Senators!
  • 4. What are the questions we should be asking?
    • What is the nature of this technology?
    • How are my patrons using this technology?
    • How can I use this technology to benefit my patrons?
      • Traditional services
      • Innovative services
    • How will this technology improve my service?
    • How should we represent ourselves?
  • 5. What is the nature of the beast?
    • Profiles as Identity Performance 3
      • Dynamic and static
    • Social Networking 4
      • Connections between individuals create a network (Vizster)
    • Groups and Identity
      • 4th Floor Odum Library Bathroom Users (active)
      • Odum Library Is Only Good For One Thing and That Thing Is Facebook!! (group identity)
      • I Like To Hang Out In the Library after Hours (failed group identity)
  • 6. How are patrons using social networking websites?
    • Image representation (the Profile)
    • One-on-One communication
    • Communication in Groups
    • Writing on Walls/Comments
    • Sharing pictures
    • Linking to other social networks and websites.
  • 7. How can I use social networking websites to benefit my patrons?
    • Traditional Services
      • Reference
        • Consultations
        • Groups
      • Marketing
        • Photos
        • Flyers
        • Events
      • Instruction
        • Groups
        • Links to traditional resources
  • 8. How can I use social networking websites to benefit my patrons?
    • Innovative Services
      • Acquisitions
        • Asking the students on their own turf (Crossett Library at Bennington College). 5
      • “ Ubiquitous Librarianship” 6
        • Using a student’s public information (blog) to meet their information needs.
  • 9. How will social networking websites improve my service?
    • The user-centric approach
      • “ The User Is Not Broken” 7
        • Meet people where they are—not where you want them to be.
      • Point-of-Need service
      • Effective marketing
        • Using the market that is already in place
  • 10. Choosing your Identity
    • How should we represent ourselves?
      • The living library
        • Kresge Library
          • Relationship Status: It's Complicated with Biomed Library (Minnesota)
        • Tisch Library
          • Interests: Watching kids cry, admitting sketchy old men to late night study, amusing myself by eating souls at late-night study, pre-meds, engineers, finals period
          • Favorite Music: silence
          • Favorite Books: Everything... clearly. I have millions of volumes over here, how can I pick a favorite?
      • The librarian collective
        • UIUC Undergraduate Library, Maryland Engineering Library
      • The librarians ourselves (stranger than fiction)
        • David Free, Michael Stephens, Sarah Steiner, Brian Matthews, etc.
  • 11. What if your Identity is chosen for you?
    • Profiles
        • From: Brown Library (UVA)
        • To: Cliff Landis
        • Subject: <no subject>
        • Message: I'm actually just a student so I don't have any actual connections to UVA's library system. I just made the facebook profile for fun.
        • (personal communication, Jul 26, 2006)
    • Groups
      • I Be On My Cell Phone In the Library
      • Odum Library Is Only Good For One Thing and That Thing Is Facebook!!
    • Events
      • Hide and Seek in Odum Library
  • 12. Who “owns” the library?
    • We like to think of the library as “mine” since we work there.
    • For academic libraries, the University likes to think of the library as “mine” since it is part of the larger institution.
    • The patrons think of the library as “mine” because it is designed for their use.
    • Take the compliment, and work with the patrons to get the word out about the Library!
  • 13. Seeing it in action: Lansing Public Library MySpace
  • 14. Seeing it in action: UIUC Undergraduate Library MySpace
  • 15. Seeing it in action: UIUC Undergraduate Library Facebook
  • 16. Seeing it in action: Ask-A-Librarian Group Facebook
  • 17. Footnotes
    • Rosen, L. D. (2006, June). Adolescents in MySpace: Identity Formation, Friendship and Sexual Predators. California State University, Dominguez Hills, Psychology Department . Retrieved July 13, 2006 from
    • boyd, d. (2006, April 20). Is MySpace safe for predators? Retrieved August 10, 2006 from is_myspace_safe.html
    • boyd, d. and Heer, J. (2006, January 4-7). Profiles as conversation: Networked identity performance on Friendster. Proceedings of the Hawai’i International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS-39), Persistent conversation track . Kauai, HI: IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved August 10, 2006 from
    • Heer, J. (n.d.). Vizster . Retrieved August 10, 2006 from
    • Farkas, M. (2006, May 4). Re: MySpace. Message posted to LIBREF-L electronic mailing list, archived at
    • Mathews, B. S. (2006, March 13). Intuitive revelations: The ubiquitous reference model. Retrieved August 8, 2006 from
    • Schneider, K. G. (2006, June 3). The user is not broken: A meme masquerading as a manifesto . Retrieved August 10, 2006 from