By Meredith Farkas | August 30, 2009
I get asked a lot of things via email from librarians, but very few actually make it to this blog. This question was so interesting and probably better answered by the “hive” than just by little old me. I am also curious how others would respond.
I was wondering if you had any advice or links to websites or professional literature that deal with this issue. That issue is: how do libraries deal with the roles and responsibilities of 2.0 technology? Some of it crosses borders and/or job descriptions. Who is in charge or responsible for tweets on twitter, the library marketing director, the reference librarian, the library director, etc. I suspect this is something that we will just have to work out as an organization. I’m just wondering if anyone else has any wisdom they might share in this regard.
My take on this is that there probably isn’t much professional literature on this topic because how the roles and responsibilities are assigned depend very much on organizational size, organizational structure, and who is really interested in doing it. At a library with a very small staff (like the Luria Library at Santa Barbara City College) it may be an interested director who takes responsibility for these 2.0 initiatives. At libraries where the lines between tech and public service are very clearly delineated, it may be the tech folks who are in charge of the Twitter account, whereas, at a library (like mine) where tech librarians do reference shifts and public service librarians are well-trained in library technologies (and every line is extremely blurred), it may be a joint responsibility or the responsibility of the public services librarians. In some libraries (perhaps most?), people have taken this on because they’re simply the ones most into marketing and/or web 2.0 tools. In bigger libraries where there is a marketing director or an outreach librarian or a digital branch manager, that person may be in charge of these initiatives.
But I’m curious, what are your thoughts on this? Especially with regards to 2.0 tools that are created in an effort to reach out to patrons, who should be responsible? What makes the most sense? Should it be the person who has the most contact with the public? The most tech-savvy person? The person with the most authority (the Director)? This is one of those questions that has myriad answers, so I wanted to open it up to see how other libraries handle it (or how you think libraries should handle it).