I recently read a blog entry about libraries’ use of social networking sites and the mention of Facebook. I then realised that I had only recently become a “fan” of one library’s Facebook page. This made me want to search out more to see what was out there and to see how libraries were using Facebook. The library I’m a fan of is our very own Michael’s Tararua District Library’s page. Michael has the library’s blog posts displaying there so it’s an active page. A search of library on Facebook brought up the very active Dunedin Public Libraries Facebook page. The only other New Zealand library in the search results page was a public library whose page I couldn’t access without first becoming a friend.
Firstly I thought that this wasn’t great advertising for the library concerned. The idea, surely, is to be available and accessible to potential customers online. Having to apply for “friendship” seemed counterproductive.
The second thing I thought was that the search facility is not user friendly. When searching for people you can limit your search to your own country, but this did not seem possible with “fan pages”. I wasn’t inclined to search through piles of results to find local libraries. Even searching “library zealand” didn’t come up with anything particularly useful.
Once the local libraries are found though they appear to have useful information. The Facebook page seems a good way of communicating with customers, informing of events, happenings and book reviews, etc.
For those of you who work in libraries with a Facebook page, how do you publicise the fact that you have one, considering that searching within Facebook isn’t the greatest? Do you have many followers? Do you receive feedback?