Thing 12 - Social Networking - Facebook

The last thing for this week is to investigate how libraries are using Facebook. Due to some concerns that have been well covered in the media, we are not asking you to sign up for a Facebook account, although you may already have one and may wish to use it find more information for thing 12. If you are concerned about online privacy and have not already watched it, visit the presentation in Emma's earlier blog post on managing your online identity, or give one of the 23 things team a shout and have a chat about it. And if you are considering signing up to Facebook read their privacy policy first.

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a social networking site where members can contact other people, share information, post photos, plan events, set up interest groups, play games, chat online and more and more and more. The range of functionality offered by Facebook is quite bewildering and increases all the time.
Individuals on Facebook have "profiles" which they can add personal information to in order to share it with others. Organisations have "pages", these are very similar to profiles but can have multiple administrators and have slightly different functionality. If a person on Facebook likes an organisation on Facebook they can register this by "liking" that organisation's page. People who "like" an organisation's page will receive information posted by that organisation in the feed or "stream" they get from all the people and organisations they are connected to on Facebook, every time they log in.

Organisations can measure how successfully they are attracting people to their page because Facebook gives them information about the people who "like" them, including basic demographics, numbers of people liking (and "unliking") them, how many people comment on the page "wall" and so on.

Is Facebook relevant to libraries?

I'm not going to tell you if or how Facebook is specifically relevant to Libraries because thing 12 requires you to find that out :)

Thing 12 - Investigate how libraries are using Facebook

You could start by having a look at some library pages, here are a few examples, you will be able to find more by using google if you don't have a Facebook account, or by seaching inside Facebook if you do.
There are even Facebook groups for libraries and librarians using Facebook. And if you want some serious reading there is a case study on the subject by Jane Secker from the LSE.
In your blog post for thing 12 perhaps you could outline if and why you think Facebook is relevant to libraries, or perhaps how you think libraries are using Facebook, or what the benefits (or perhaps costs?) might be from doing so.