Facebook used in public libraries

Are you a frequent facebooker? I facebook once in a while, but am not particularly a fan of it. When it comes to libraries, why they need to use Facebook? How they are using it? Here is some interesting writing by David Lee King talking about Facebook and libraries.

I recently visited the central branch of Vancouver Public Library, and I really loved it! So I went to Facebook, found their page, and became one of their fans.

VPL at Facebook

Their Facebook wall posts mainly consist the schedules and information about different events going on in the library branches, surveys to patrons to help improve the library services and miscellaneous information about the library that patrons might be interested in knowing. Their Facebook page also lists some of their favorite pages such as Facebook pages of AskAway and InfoCamp. Photos of a few new branches of VPL are also displayed on their Facebook page.

I think Facebook helps create a friendly and more casual environment where patrons could be more involved in the library community. However,  I had hard time finding the information about their Facebook presence in the VPL website. On their “Ask a Librarian” page, listed contact methods are “Chat with us,” “Email us,” “Call us,” and “Visit us.” I could not find the information about Facebook in their “Contact us” page either. After browsing the website for a while, I still could not find the place in the website saying that the library actually has a Facebook page and that patrons can connect to the library that way. Or that information is rather too hidden to be found by me. I found their Facebook page simply by searching for “Vancouver Public Library” in Facebook. I think there needs to have more advertisement of their Facebook page in their web site. 

Facebook is a fast emerging social media tool. Many younger population are very familiar with it, while older population might not be savvy of using it. So library’s Facebook page might be more accessible to younger patrons than older ones. This might be one of the drawbacks Facebook has in library setting.

According to the content on VPL’s Facebook page, they are using Facebook to promote their library services as well as to keep patrons up to date about their ongoing events, workshops, new branches work-in-progress news and other miscellaneous information about the library services. I think VPL’s Facebook page is acting as a very handy place for library patrons to find out more about the library. Patrons can also post their comments in VPL’s Facebook wall and do the thumb up/down quick review of the library’s posts. I found it fascinating that the library and the patrons are growing closer while they interact on a virtual wall 🙂 And the library’s Facebook page also provides a venue for patrons to network with each other. The “social” part of social media comes into play in various ways.

I can totally picture myself benefit from the information on VPL’s Facebook wall, if I would become a regular patron of VPL. Even now I am not a regular patron of VPL, I can still find some information there that interest me and make me want to go back to the central branch again for events and workshops. I can also keep track of their updates posted in the wall and see other patrons’ comments in a single place. How cool is that!

My only suggestion here is for VPL to better market/advertise their Facebook presence on their website.


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