Lawyers have been cautious about using social networking but are gradually embracing the use of social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Web 2.0 continues to challenge lawyers as they realize that opting out of this new system of connection may equal opting out of business
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Book Wish Foundation's holiday campaign for 2009 asks book lovers everywhere to contribute one of the 5000 bricks we need to build a library for Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad. Since Dec. 5, it has raised raised 821 bricks, 16% of its goal. Please join the effort, even with a single brick, by visiting: http://bookwish.org/library-builder
Please share with your friends and, especially, on Twitter. Book Wish can easily reach its goal if many people each give a little, so please spread the word if you have a moment during this holiday season. To make your donation a gift, make sure you fill in your honoree's email address in the donation form. Book Wish will then notify him/her, sending details about the project and a link to videos from the refugee camps where Book Wish works (you will receive a copy of the email).
Books for Darfur Refugees certainly appreciate your helping to spread the word, too. It is a 100% volunteer staffed; 100% of funds raised by this campaign for direct book related aid for Darfur refugees. The good news story here is the inspiration of Darfuris who self-organized their own English classes in refugee camps. For example, they view learning English as their "road to freedom."
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I recently presented on social media in academic libraries at the SLA Western Chapter's Annual General Meeting on a panel with social media expert Rob Cottingham. (See above for a preview of Rob in action). Personally, this was one of the most rewarding panels I've been one as it bridged the two worlds of academic and corporate libraries. We touched on issues that are relevant to both types of settings: how is social media faring in the world of information professionals? Here are some thoughts of the evening:
(1) Librarians Are Only Using Social Media Among Themselves - A common argument is that only librarians care about these social media tools. Can librarians ever measure the ROI on social media? If the average Twitter user is 31 years old, then why would it be used for outreach with a non-Twitter using college audience? Are social media tools used among librarians for their own amusement? There are two parallel themes here: librarians are even better connected to each other in the social web - so wouldn't that mean social media offers distinct advantages? Second, if statistics show that social media (like Youtube, Facebook, and Flickr) is heavily used, then why wouldn't librarians use them for outreach? Wouldn't it be an opportunity otherwise missed if unexplored?
(2) Small Special Libraries Are Understaffed - It's easy for large libraries and institutions to implement Web 2.0 technologies and policies, but many smaller institutions can't afford the manpower to consistently adopt such standards. It's important not to spread ourselves thin. However, great challenges offer greater opportunities. Social media flattens the information landscape, and outreach tools such as Twitter and Facebook bring branding where none exists before. It's a matter of how one uses such technologies that maximizes their exposure.
(3) Generation Y Is Important - Much has been written about this generation born post-1980's. It's crucial to note that our upcoming wave of students, colleagues, and staff will be from this generation. Technologically sophisticated, well-connected on the social web, entrepreneurial, and oftentimes, impatient. It's these qualities which will define how information professionals will align their programs and services. This is important for all librarians: academic, public, and special.