Instructional Design Resources

Librarians sharing cool stuff

Session D104 — MySpace & Facebook: Pros & Cons October 29, 2007

Filed under: IL2007 — ellenh @ 3:57 pm

Aaron Schmidt, Director, North Plains Public Library, & Author,



  • Putting ourselves out there in social networking sites puts us in the user’s realm.
  • Libraries are unfriendly in our web spaces, as well as our physical spaces
  • Google doesn’t yell at you, it gives you good suggestions
  • Social networks take “story time” to the digital stage
  • Newsflash: MySpace is teaming up with Skype? Wow – big news!
  • MySpace accounts by different libraries:
  • Brooklyn College Library
    Denver Public Library
    UIUC Undergradute Library
    London Public Library (if you like the way your site looks, teens probably don’t.)

  • It’s not just enough to have a profile – you have to have content! This is the most important point.
  • Have a plan before you announce your profile
  • facing resistance from administration about setting up a profile? It’s an intellectual freedom issue.
  • Senator Matt Murphy of IL, wanted to block all social networking sites in IL libraries. He used a blog to get out the word! Doesn’t get it.
  • Yalsa has a good page on social networking sites and DOPA.
  • Bookspace – MySpace for books and adults


Susan Herzog, Information Literacy Librarian & Meredith K. James, Assistant Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University

“The Facebook Phenomenon: What Our Students Need to Know”

  • How do students use facebook? (80% of college students use it because their friends do, 1/4 of students who use it say that their personal information is more private than it was two years ago, 22% say that such data is less secure)
  • Facebook is 8 times better read than the New York Times
  • Good blogs about Facebook: fbTown, Global Neighbourhood
  • Statistics show that a lot of students accept friend requests uncritically
  • How do students use facebook? party notices, embarrass friends with pictures, procrastinate, people watch, post announcements. Why? funny, sexy, for attention, easy, free, part of their culture
  • So many security issues with Facebook – graduate schools, administrators & professors reading profiles, students posting inappropriate pictures
  • University of New Mexico (?) has banned access to the site
  • Our job is to educate students about the dangers and uses of putting up personal information on Facebook – this is her main point.


Ok, I would have liked to hear more about what university libraries can be doing with Facebook, if anything. The Facebook session was more about “Ooh, how dangerous! Let’s warn them of the dangers…” and that’s about it.


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