A side note on Facebook

As I started to gather links for a post on how Wayne State uses social networking, I was shocked to find they did not have a Facebook page. This lead me to pause for a moment, to consider how big Facebook has become in my own life.

I read news on Facebook, several news sites deliver updates throughout the day on my feed. I keep in touch with most of my friends via Facebook, while I do use email, phone, and texting, for a decent size group of my friends, I go to Facebook first. I even speak with my mother on Facebook. While the revelation of just how much time I spend on social network sites terrifies me, it also fascinates me. How did this website come to consume my internet social life? However, that is not a question for this blog.

Briefly I would like to make a few notes on statistics of social networking use, to properly put a scope on just how many people that libraries can reach in their use of Facebook.

A quick look on Facebook’s Statistic page shows that there are almost 800 million active users and 350 million active users who use mobile devices to access Facebook. These users have an average of 130 friends, along with friends, this average user subscribes to about 80 different pages, groups, or events. Only 25 % of these users are located within the United States.

As a website platform for a library, it also has potential. The features offered to “Page” creators, that is someone not creating a personal profile, are tremendously powerful. With the features offered, a library could allow a user to link their library card to their Facebook page.

While I can’t speak to the practical cost and development aspect of it, the potential for access to library catalogs could be opened, as well as allowing users to share what they check out and what they are currently reading could also be set up through Facebook. I’d love to hear how your library uses Facebook, or if there are any libraries out there using Facebook as a link to their website proper, or perhaps even in lieu of a website?

Further Reading:
http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/05272011/facebook-libraries

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