Does The Library Have Enough MySpace for Another Facebook?

So who’s in your MySpace top 8 friends? How many videos have you posted to YouTube? What’s your current mood on Facebook? Ask a college student and they probably have an answer for all three questions.

Online social networks, groups in which one creates a profile and interacts with others, are one of the most exciting features of the internet. An article in Searcher (brought to my attention by Tom Rink) enthusiastically pegs such sites as areas for ideal areas for entrepreneurship and information. A Nielsen graph displays a remarkable 367% growth in users on MySpace between April 2005 and 2006.

But how can this information explosion translate to the library? Posted by Michael Habib to a Librarians group on Facebook, the image below acts as a theoretical model of collegiate information-gathering. The Venn Diagram show just how fluid socializing and academics are when it comes to learning. Libraries are jumping at the chance to provide new kinds of services for new kinds of technology/thinking.

Here’s an article from Penn State detailing their successful outreach to students on Facebook. Facebook runs on a collegiate grouping system. Did you know that approximately 7766 people are in the NSUOK Facebook network? University of Tulsa’s McFarlin Library has a Facebook page for the library, complete with WorldCat and PubMed search widgets. Clearly it’s time for the library to get in line and online.

Posted by Zac Thorp 


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