My Opinion on SPL’s Facebook

If I were a patron of Seattle Public Llibrary, I would use its Facebook page but only sporadically. Recall that a link to this service is hard to locate on the home page. If I had overcome that impediment and made it to the site, I would be expecting something wonderful. After all, I worked hard to find it. I want my reward.

But I won’t get it. The services offered on the Facebook site are not much different from those offered on the library’s website. I could find most of them by looking around. My feeling is that the main selling point of maintaining the Facebook site is the convenience it affords to users. I am already on Facebook connecting with friends. If I have an information need, I don’t have to look far for help since my local library is available.

However, my main point of contact with the library would be as a commentor and contributor as mentioned in Derek Wenmoth’s Four C’s Diagram. I would mainly comment on other’s posts and contribute some insights of my own. It would be more of a social activity with like-minded, information-seeking individuals. Josh Boyer and Joseph Ryan’s Considering Facebook in the Library essay supports this position. They concluded that “focusing on helping people connect with each other, rather than on providing another entry point to library resources, may be a more successful outreach strategy for libraries in Facebook.”

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