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Facebook and Libraries

There’s some emerging consensus on how libraries might use Facebook. I am no expert but, as usual I have an opinion.
You have a choice. You can create a regular Facebook Page or a Facebook Group (sometimes called a Facebook Fan Page). Simple really. What would work best in which situation?
As other’s have noted (here and here), it can be very problematic if you use a page for your library institutional presence. (“Facebook ties a page to the account of the person who originally created it and I quote” and “the original creator of the Page may never be removed by other Page admins.” So, if your original creator leaves under a cloud your organization is at risk.)
Groups let you own your presence on an institutional level and allow the creator to be removed and assigned to others. For comparisons of pages and groups see this and this.
Of course the creation of a Facebook Group for your library does NOT absolve staff from having individual Facebook pages. Staff and management are individual experts and the key competitive advantage your library has against the generic search engines. If they’re not marketed well, and marketing themselves and building relationships with their key user groups then your library is just vanilla.
So, my opinion is that the library and it’s important segments have group pages and that librarians and key staff have their own pages. Try it.

Posted on: May 27, 2009, 11:59 am Category: Uncategorized

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  1. When my library was deciding whether to use a group or a page, we came down very firmly for the page: we saw it as more professional-looking, letting us have more control, and particularly as giving us far more options in terms of applications, events, etc. We didn’t look at the ‘creator’ issue but I’m not overly worried about it – of course I’m the one who created it and trust myself not to leave in a huff. 🙂