What's on the Library's Mind?
3 Pages
English
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What's on the Library's Mind?

Gain access to the library to view online
Learn more
3 Pages
English

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What's on the Library's Mind?

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Language English

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What’s on the Library’s Mind? Facebook’s place in the law library By Jaye A. H. Lapachet and Andrea Rubin n the recent past, library literature Itprovides a way to keep in touchusers. In addition, the relatively public encouraged librarians to stop hidingwith alumni or former employees,details that attorneys and staff choose mIove out into the stacks where thetravel interests, and reading habits) helplibrary has developed a good especially those with whom theto share on Facebook (e.g., hobbies, behind the reference desk and to relationship. librariansto connect with users. Face library patrons are. As noted in “Getting time, while important, is scarce— Personal,” an article in the February partners never have enough for associates 2009 issue ofSpectrum,most librarians and even less for librarians. By are introverts, so perhaps this is why they commenting on photos or contributing sometimes need prodding to enter the useful content, librarians are able to hubbub of the library stacks.supplement face time by being present Despite the constantwith staff, attorneys, and discussion and conflictingmanagement in a different opinions about online socialway. Like an office party networking, it’s clear that theor social outing, Web—and Web 2.0 inFacebook provides a particular—enables neutralterritory for librarians to roam thecoworkers to express stacks virtually, reachingthemselves in a out to library usersmore relaxed while simultaneouslymanner, allowing sitting in the comfortcoworkers to interact zone of the reference desk.on a more personal In other words, now thatlevel than is possible at email and other electronicwork, where they must means of communicating withfocus on deadlines and patrons have become as familiardetails. as the reference desk, socialIn a profession that networking represents a new wayrequires proficiency in to “get out from behind thethe latest technologies, reference desk.” In this sense,librarians benefit from Web 2.0 is one of the bestknowing how to use opportunities that has come toFacebook and other online librarians in years.social networking sites just Though the focus of this articleas much as they do from is Facebook, other social networkingmaintaining relationships with sites and their potential to improvecoworkers on the sites. Knowing how your visibility and the library overallto use Facebook and other social should not be ignored. They includenetworking sites also combats the still Flickr, Goodreads, Twitter, FriendFeed, Itfacilitates telecommuting.prevalent stereotypes that frame Squidoo, Delicious, Stumbleupon, andJust as Facebook’s potential to bringlibrarians as stern old ladies with buns many others. Even Amazon.com can betogether the private, the public, theand glasses. By developing expertise in considered a social networking site becausepersonal, and the professional is stillthe latest Web 2.0 technology, librarians it has a review function. Facebook isemerging, so is the law library’s place oncan also assist management in an simply an easy and accessible place to start.Facebook. As library use of the socialadvisory capacity. The CPDB law library media platform increases, questionsstaff has been able to play a crucial role The Magic of Web 2.0in training their coworkers to interactand dilemmas arise as well. Web 2.0 offers the following benefits:The authors of this article sawsuccessfully in this space.  Itpermits librarians to havethat these questions were becomingBecause the online environment is contact with users in a publicimportant for staff and attorneys atso visually oriented, Facebook is a good space without always having toCoblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLPplace to promote any branding images leave the reference desk.(CPDB) and decided it was time to joinassociated with the library simply by  Itprovides an opportunity fortheir users in the social networkinguploading them in the place where librarians to help users improveworld. Many of the observations in thisFacebook requests a picture of a person. their technical proficiency in anarticle are gleaned from this experience.The CPDB staff has been branding emerging technology.library workproduct, notepads, and A Versatile Toolother items with the same simple logo  Itallows librarians to learn more about library users and to findThe benefits of Facebook are easyfor seven years. The logo won’t win any points of contact for startingto see. For example, the library staff nowgraphic design awards, but when people conversations. hasan additional point of contact withsee it, they know the information came 20AALL SpectrumJuly 2009 © 2009 Jaye A. H. Lapachet and Andrea Rubin  image © iStockphoto.com/Russell Tate