Why SNS useful for library services ? | By Abid Hussain


Why SNS useful for library services ?

LIBRARIES are true guarantor for preserving humans records whether in printed or electronic formats. Modern libraries abreast themselves with the latest tools.

Librarians are experiencing different methods to facilitate the end-users. Gone are the days, when librarians were confined to four walls.

As we know that technology has brought tremendous development in different spheres. Library is one of them which deals with acquiring, preserving, organizing and dissemination of information. In traditional setup, Libraries used manual methods.

Now people are getting smarter day by day. They use different technologies to grasp information quickly.

To know the taste of readers, libraries introduced coffee bars, entertainment corner, medical facilities, and gyms to facilitate users.

Librarians have opted different Social Networking Sites (SNS) such as Facebook, Linkdein, Google +, Youtube, Twitter, Blogger etc. Albeit some websites are not fully adopted, however, some social networking sites have been brought into use for patrons.

To meet the information needs of the users, social networking sites are highly commendable tools for end-users and librarians both. In the past, people used telephone while getting help from the librarians. Now library professionals serve them with different dimensions.

Among social networking sites, Facebook is one of the most extendable technology that helps the users to capture latest updates from their parent organizations.

Libraries introduced Facebook pages to engage users with opening and closing times, websites information, advertisement etc. WhatsApp is the fast growing technology for last few years.
Instant messages can be shared with users through this medium.

People connect themselves with librarians directly and demand their desired material, even outside the library working hours. Through this technology, Librarians can share quick information without any difficulty.

Blog or Weblog is commonly used technology in these days, Blog is a place where one can express himself to the world, whether a participant or a co-creator.

Through this technology people build information, a librarian, however, can promote and project their services via this technology.

Wikis is yet another important powerful tool that can be used for knowledge management. Librarians can utilize this technology to share their knowledge with extensive audiences.

Twitter is the fastest growing technology for the last few years. Many Libraries have created their Twitter pages which attract millions of users to know about their respective services. Only Library of Congress has more than one million followers.

Librarians can introduce their libraries through this technology to attract their patrons without spending a single penny. Flickr is the greatest tools for sharing and distributing images.

In day-today life, numerous events are taking place inside and outside the libraries. These events can be utilized and archives for future use with date tags.

A Librarian can also share the cover pages of new arrivals for the audience. Flick offer free services to entire community including libraries. Flickr is an excellent tool for marking to sensitise the users on general library services.

Some other social networkings like Ellg, Ning, Google + , Myspace etc are most usable social networking sites that can project library services in the right direction. Librarians should use these technologies without spending amount to reach their patrons.

Library Thing is the fastest growing technology among librarians of different geographies. It helps the librarians to catalogue their books , share them and connect the users on general library services.

YouTube is widely used technology in different spheres. Libraries around the world can utilize them for useful information like events organized in their respective departments.

Lectures, seminars, workshops can also be shared at this platform. Eminent figures can capture more audience while uploading on YouTube. This technology can be utilized to reach the patrons for their desired goals.

LinkedIn has become the largest growing network after Facebook, but, still many librarians are not fully aware to utilize this technology to reach their patrons, fellow librarians and other prominent figures. This technology can also be utilized to project the library services for larger audience.

Many social people prefer this technology instead of Facebook, because it offers sober contents and avoid irrelevant contents at this platform. A Librarian can use it for Selective Dissemination of Information etc.

—The author is library officer at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad.

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