Harnessing the Power of

Social Software in Academic Libraries

Vermont Library Conference

Meredith Gorran Farkas
Norwich University

May 16 , 2006
slides | printable

Who am I?

Currently finishing up writing my book Social Software in Libraries to be published by Information Today in early 2007.

What are your patrons doing online?

teens online

What are your students into? And where is the library in all this?

[image source]

What is social software?

Wikipedia: "Social software enables people to rendezvous, connect or collaborate through computer-mediated communication and to form online communities."

Social software...

Examples of social software

What is a blog?

How do you define a medium that is used by teenagers, Nobel Prize-winners, car companies, rock bands and libraries?

Different blogs

Blog: Definition

A blog is "a frequently updated website consisting of dated entries arranged in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first."

--Jill Walker, Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory

Blogs can be

Blogs are really easy to use

What a blogging interface looks like

Blogs are also easy to create!

easy set-up

How libraries are using blogs

Blogging basics

For more information about blogging

Librarians can also use blogs for professional development

But there are so many blogs... how can you keep up?

easy set-up

RSS: The antidote to information overload

RSS is format for syndicating content on the Web.

RSS Aggregators

Web site or desktop application used for displaying multiple RSS feeds (from 2 to 2,000 and more)

Most common way of using RSS

Most people have used an RSS aggregators and don't know it (Example: MyYahoo!)

Popular Web-based aggregators

My Bloglines feeds

How libraries are using RSS

For more information about RSS

What is instant messaging (IM)

Allows a user interact synchronously over the internet with anyone in the world

IM Example

Why instant messaging (IM)?

Setting up an IM reference service

  1. Register accounts
    • You can use one popular service like AIM or multiple (MSN, Yahoo, AIM, GTalk, etc.)
  2. Choose software (it's free)
  3. Determine hours of service
  4. Develop policies
  5. Train staff
  6. Market service to students

For more information about IM Reference

What is social networking software?

social networking sites

Anatomy of a profile

Facebook Profile

Anatomy of a profile (cont'd)

Facebook Profile

Here's an example of a MySpace profile

Why should libraries care?

Norwich Students on MySpace
Norwich Students on Facebook

What libraries are doing in MySpace and Facebook

For more information about social networking software



Meredith Gorran Farkas
Distance Learning Librarian
Norwich University
mfarkas at norwich dot edu
AIM: librarianmer
Information Wants To Be Free

This presentation was created in HTML using CSS. There was no PowerPoint involved in this presentation. The layout and stylesheet are available to borrow via a share and share alike creative commons license. Template created by Jessamyn West. Thanks to Aaron Schmidt, Jessamyn West, and Dorothea Salo and many others for the inspiration.

slides | printable