Facebook’s Fit with Other Services (MCL)

Interestingly, Multnomah County Library does not try to provide access to traditional library services through their Facebook page. There are no links to e-mail forms, IM or chat services that redirect the user to their website. At first, this decision seems odd and self-defeating. Don’t they want to connect users with library resources?

In his blog, The Other Librarian, Ryan Deschamps emphasizes the importance of building rapport in Facebook by reconciling the aspects of this social tool that clash with library culture. “Facebook wants the World Wide Web to be ‘outside’ Facebook; libraries want to try and bring such resources ‘in.’” The goal is to be on “the same wavelength as Facebook” and yet not sacrifice what makes “libraries unique and important.”

Multnomah County Library has chosen to play by Facebook’s rules and kept resources out in the World Wide Web, in its website. It chose instead to share information appropriate to this social tool such as YouTube videos, links and an abundance of photos. All of these are not merely frivolous and relate back to the library. In other words, they showcase what makes it “unique and important.”

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