Providing possible Library Services through Social Networking Sites
The benefits of social networking sites can be used as the best tools to provide library services to its users. But most of the users of the library are not aware of such services. The LIS Professionals can create awareness of these services to be provided to the users. The benefits of SNSs can be used to provide the following services. The LIS literature reveals that there is less number of papers emphases on the services point of view. The adoption of this SNSs in Indian Libraries is sluggish. However, Hadagali and Kenchakkanavar (2016) in their paper tried to give in detail about the possible library services to be provided using this SNSs. The SNSs are mentioned in the bracket against the possible services to be provided.
1. SNSs help the users to visit the libraries virtually without visiting the libraries physically (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube).
2. SNSs allow the librarians to link the users to videos, online tutorials, how to use a device, education programmes, about services etc. (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter,).
3. It provides a public forum in which the process of information, refinement, application, and revision is fully visible to student peers, researchers, and teachers (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
4. SNSs can be used to announce the programmes or activities of the library by flashing the news; (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube).
5. Helps to advertise library events and create online library study groups for students (Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, YouTube).
6. ‘Ask a Librarian’ (reference service) service using SNSs can help many library users (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
7. The library can use the SNSs as a platform for user education or library orientation programme etc. (YouTube, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
8. SNSs help the librarians to provide service on new arrivals of Journals, textbooks, and other reading materials. (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
9. SNSs help to provide newspaper clipping service; (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
10. Online reference service can be provided using social networking access tools; (Google Plus, Facebook).
11. A user can reserve, cancel or renew his / her documents; (Google Plus, Facebook).
12. SNSs allow the users to send their feedback; (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter). and
13. SNSs facilitate access to Question paper bank (Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter).
Challenges posed by the Social Networking Sites to Library and Information Centres
The potentiality and credibility of an LIS professional is a question mark in the age of the information landscape where technology is changing drastically. The increase in the quantity and quality of information access, easy and quick retrieval of information are the most crucial issues in the twenty-first century. The implication of web 2.0 and its tools in libraries have posed many challenges to LIS professionals. On the other hand, it would be a unique opportunity to show their existence and raise their visibility in the information world by integrating these new technologies in library activities. Hadagali and Kenchakkanavar (2015) in their study focus on the challenges posed by social networking sites.
1. As an information facilitator an LIS professional has to access timely, easy retrieval of information and dissemination expeditiously;
2. An LIS professional should equip with knowledge on the latest trends/technology in the profession especially web 2.0, web 3.0 and its tools;
3. An LIS professional has to have the ability to examine how social networking sites can be used to improve library services and provided to the patrons;
4. A professional has to convince the management/authorities for providing minimum infrastructure.
5. The ultimate goal of an LIS professional is to make library resources available to the users. If SNSs help to achieve that goal, it should be actively pursued;
6. The LIS professionals should create their account on SNSs and disseminate academic information required for users;
7. A professional has to monitor the usage of SNS. Sometimes users may misuse the information.
8. An experienced professional has to be deputed to handle these activities. But only a few institutions/organizations can afford for it.
9. The professionals have to ensure the issues related to their privacy information on social networking sites.
10. The information literacy/orientation programmes should be conducted regularly for their users to make more effective use of SNSs (Singh and Gill, 2015).
Adah (2012) enumerated six reasons why libraries should use social media are as follows:
1. To build awareness and promote the library and its programmes and services;
2. To manage the library’s brand and reputation which include the accuracy of information shared about the library;
3. To establish leadership as the community’s provider of choice for research and readers’ advisory;
4. To improve library services based on customer feedback;
5. To provide an avenue for customer-contributed content; and
6. To reach new and inactive patrons or customers.
Original Reference Article:
- Anand, K. (2018). Use of Social Networking Sites and Web 3 0 Tools by the Research Scholars of State Universities in Karnataka A Study.