Social networking in academic libraries: the possibilities and the concerns

Social networking in academic libraries: the possibilities and the concerns Purpose – The goal of this paper is to examine the use of the major social networking tools in academic libraries in the USA. As college students are heavy users of social networking, such efforts provide academic libraries with outreach possibilities to students who do not use the physical library. The paper also seeks to examine the concerns about their use both from students and within the academic library. Design/methodology/approach – The paper summarizes findings from articles published since 2006 found in the Library Literature and Information Full Text database. The first author also examined librarian blogs and library accounts in various social networking sites. Findings – Social networking can be an effective method of student outreach in academic libraries if libraries take care to respect student privacy and to provide equal coverage for all subject areas. Research limitations/implications – Most information about social networking is anecdotal with very little statistical analysis of its effectiveness. The popularity of the various social networking sites can change quickly. Practical implications – Academic libraries should consider using social networking as an outreach effort but take care to avoid the potential negative consequences. Originality/value – This paper provides a snapshot on the use of social networking in academic libraries through a thorough review of the available literature and an examination of the libraries' presence on the most popular social networking sites. It also provides help for academic libraries wishing to implement social networking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png New Library World Emerald Publishing

Social networking in academic libraries: the possibilities and the concerns

New Library World, Volume 111 (11/12): 12 – Nov 23, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0307-4803
D.O.I.
10.1108/03074801011094840
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The goal of this paper is to examine the use of the major social networking tools in academic libraries in the USA. As college students are heavy users of social networking, such efforts provide academic libraries with outreach possibilities to students who do not use the physical library. The paper also seeks to examine the concerns about their use both from students and within the academic library. Design/methodology/approach – The paper summarizes findings from articles published since 2006 found in the Library Literature and Information Full Text database. The first author also examined librarian blogs and library accounts in various social networking sites. Findings – Social networking can be an effective method of student outreach in academic libraries if libraries take care to respect student privacy and to provide equal coverage for all subject areas. Research limitations/implications – Most information about social networking is anecdotal with very little statistical analysis of its effectiveness. The popularity of the various social networking sites can change quickly. Practical implications – Academic libraries should consider using social networking as an outreach effort but take care to avoid the potential negative consequences. Originality/value – This paper provides a snapshot on the use of social networking in academic libraries through a thorough review of the available literature and an examination of the libraries' presence on the most popular social networking sites. It also provides help for academic libraries wishing to implement social networking.

Journal

New Library WorldEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 23, 2010

Keywords: Social networks; Academic libraries; Students; Social networking sites; Wikis; United States of America

References

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