Sunday, November 2, 2008

Socialising with Librarians

After much reading and talking and thinking about whether libraries should have a presence on social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook etc., I find myself agreeing with many others: yes it probably is a good idea as a way of engaging potential library users, and not necessarily only teenagers. The real test would be whether it actually worked in the long term. Do our young people, for example , want a librarian intruding on their social space?
Maybe this would be a great opportunity to show the community what libraries and the people who work in them are really capable of ! (we don't all wear cardigans and sensible shoes ,or do we?)
It's pretty obvious that simply having a presence is just the start. Success would depend on the way it was managed and made interesting and relevant.
Of course our library is a community library not an academic one and our 'patrons' are far more diverse: babies to seniors, many different cultures and many different expectations of what we can and should be offering them. Sure, most people can get all the information they need and more from the Web. We can offer them what? Real people, real conversations, the pleasure of books, the pleasure of just 'browsing', access to technology, our experience and care and a safe place to just be yourself.

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