As I along with millions have jumped from trend to trend in Web 2.0, my biggest challenge in navigating social media has been having a purpose that would make my content interesting or relevant to anyone other than myself and a handful of my friends. After considering the uses of social media in the context of libraries, my personal use of social media is expanding into a realm that will motivate me to generate relevant content throughout my career.
In the current economic environment, rife with budget shortfalls in both the public and private sectors, social networking offers affordable, simple alternatives for libraries in all settings – public, school, university or corporate. Social networking offers free ways for anyone to begin sharing information or promoting library services to their community of users. Services like Blogger, free wiki providers and Facebook allow customizable content to be published instantly with no web development skills required (though you may pick some up the more you delve into these sites). As librarians stay networked on the web, they are better able to reach potential patrons who may be less likely to walk in the door, and they are better able to demonstrate how savvy information professionals and the institution of libraries will always be relevant as information technology continues to evolve.