Greetings! This morning I attended my first ACRL program--"From Midnight Breakfast to Facebook.com: Social Networking and the Small College Library." The speaker was Liz Wavle, director of the Elmira (NY) College Library. Elmira is a small liberal arts college with an enrollment of 1200 students. With such a small student body, faculty and students get to know each other pretty well, and there are a number of traditions that bring them together. For example, once a year, faculty serve students a hot "midnight breakfast."
Liz Wavle and other library staff are enhancing their relationships with students via Facebook profiles--a smart move, considering that over 1000 of Elmira's students participate in this social network. Liz reported that within a few minutes of posting her profile, several students asked to be her friend. Liz uses her profile to enhance communication about the library and to notify her "friends"--who now number over 200--about library events and news.
Liz's tips for librarian Facebook wannabes
1. Be authentic. Share a few personal and professional facts about yourself.
2. Post photos.
3. Be a friend: respond to friends, send birthday wishes, join Facebook groups.
4. Keep your profile updated.
5. Remember that information you post is "public."
Did you know?
Liz says the time committment to remain her profile is small. Since Facebook uses a template, it's fast and easy to set up and maintain a profile. Liz spends a "few minutes" each week to post information to her profile.
Any profile should be about a person, not an institution or a library. In summer 2006, Facebook pulled all institutional profiles for that very reason. However, as an individual, you can include lots of information about your library.
Food for thought
Could LCC librarian profiles help us build relationships with students and help us tell the library's story? What do you think?