Well friends, this is the final post for 9763. I have learned a lot about social media and libraries. I initially started out thinking that social media would have this evolutionary effect on libraries, hence my blog’s title and design. After 13 weeks I don’ think it is anything as drastic as that though.
I see these new modes of communication as supplementing what has come before them. Just as television did not replace the radio, Twitter is not going to replace email. The library can use these new tools to provide more services to their users and thus be a more usable and relevant organization. These social media tools can be used as methods of communication, service delivery modes, and resources for the library.
I think of all the tools we have explored, I see the most potential and use from RSS feeds, wikis, and Twitter. These tools allow people to stay informed on the information they want and to be able to collaborate on projects with others.
While adopting new tools is important for libraries, it is essential that it be done according to a specific policy. This is to ensure a focused vision as well as to protect the library from legal concerns. Any use of social media must also be evaluated periodically to ensure it is used effectively and efficiently, so that we don’t have a situation like this one. Also, different libraries have different clients and purposes. One tool that would be essential for a public library would be completely inappropriate in a legal library. These issues must be kept in mind when implementing any social media tools.
I can see a lot of potential with respect to these tools, but I can also see a lot of harm. Social media tools must be implemented in an appropriate and effective manner in order for their use to be justified. Well folks, thanks for following my musings on social media and the library during this term. I have learned a lot and I hope you enjoyed the journey with me!