Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm taking an online class through Simmons College, and it's got me thinking a lot about Social Networking and my junior high library. Currently, my social networking efforts are rather limited, though not totally non-existent. I do use Twitter, and a link to follow me is included on the library's home page. Twitter isn't blocked at school, so I thought it would effective in reaching students - but to be honest, most junior high kids just don't have Twitter accounts.

I've been nervous about making a foray into other social media avenues because I'm not tenured yet, and I'd love to keep my job (as I do have a fabulous one!) smile This is my tenure year, so I'm willing to branch out a little bit, though I'm promising to be SUPER vigilant. I decided I wanted to create a Facebook Page for our building's library.

My first step was to do TONS of research. I began by investigating other school libraries with Facebook pages. Here are some of the ones I looked at:

I also asked a librarian friend in Albany, New York for suggestions, as she recently created a school library page. She used Buffy Hamilton's "The Unquiet Library" page (Creekview High School) as a template for her own. It's the second link in the above list.

After seeing what others had done, I needed to decide what TYPE of Facebook page I would create. I know the whole point of social networking is TWO-WAY communication, but until I have tenure, I don't want the stress of worrying about inappropriate comments.

I initially thought I would create a fan page, as that's what MOST other schools have done. A fan page doesn't allow people to write on your wall, BUT it DOES allow them to comment on your posts -- which, in my mind, is the same thing as writing on your wall -- because, DUH!, it shows up on your wall! This option made me nervous -- at least for right now.

The alternative was to create a regular "person" page for my library. Although a little atypical from what most libraries are doing, a person page has a lot more options for control -- I can prevent ALL posts on my wall from showing to the public, and better monitor the content.

After deciding on the type of page to create, I had to decide what content I would include on the page:

  • I think links to the library's Google Calendar and databases are a must.
  • I'd also like to include photo albums featuring projects and programming at the library - I'll need to double check our district's photo posting policy.
  • I'm most excited to use the wall feature. I plan to use it to announce contests (which we host regularly), book reviews, announcements, news items, etc.

The final step would be to actually CREATE the Facebook page, but there's one hitch in the plan -- I decided I need permission from my building principal. smile We haven't had a chance to sit down and chat yet, but hopefully will be able to soon, now that school's starting again. I'd love to have it up and running for Orientation, so I can talk about it with the kids. FINGERS CROSSED!

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