Two terms that you probably cannot go without hearing these days –particularly so if you are in the library and information field - are social networking and Web 2.0. The two terms, of course, go together, where one, i.e. social marketing, essentially explains what the other, Web 2.0, is about. Professionals and corporations have come to realize that Web sites such as Facebook and Second Life are not only for college students but can be key tools for building connections and for customer base generation. Perhaps social networking applications and Web sites can also be called 'Cocktail Party 2.0' because, in a sense, they do operate like the cocktail party of our age, where people can meet, make connections and maybe also advance careers or causes.
For libraries, there are obvious connections to be made with groups such as educators, legislators and policy makers, community groups, nonprofit organizations, students, book publishers, book sellers, mothers and children. However, it is good to try to think outside of the typical and apparent to the not so typical and unapparent. It needs to be remembered too that an advocacy message can be tailored to any which way you see that an audience can be defined. This is what corporations do by developing customer profiles in seeking to clearly identify exactly who is their target audience.
Social networking then has worked well in bringing librarians and readers together. And readers or better put, patrons are perhaps librairanship’s stongest ally for eliciting funds out of city, state, federal and corporate coffers. It is however, yet a new phenomenon which provides lots of opportunity for librarians and friends of libraries to come up with their own and novel ways of promoting this so important service and profession we all love so well.
Library 2.0 Interest Group