How do you feel about social networking sites in general? Do you have privacy concerns and/or concerns about keeping your personal life separate from your professional life in the online environment? Is your library already using some of these social networking tools and if not, do you see potential uses for any of these tools in your library?
I had a Myspace and Classmates account. I let both become inactive. I no longer use the email account that links updates or notices. I enjoyed Myspace. It was fun to play on the site. I changed the layouts and added video and music clips quite often. Used the sites to look up old friends, ex-boyfriends, ex-employers, etc..... Myspace felt juvenile.
I have an active Facebook account now. It has been used for entertainment purposes only. I actually only use it occasionally. It is an easy way to see my relatives' updates and photos: 1st day of school; dance recitals; etc..... I did become a fan of Library Development on Facebook. I also posted a comment on my wall about 2.0.
I do have privacy concerns, however, I feel it is my responsibility to decide what and when to post and make available. I feel that the social networking tools allow me an adequate amount of control of my privacy.
Our library advisory board and city council decided to restrict access to Myspace and Facebook using CIPA as their basis. (http://www.fcc.gov/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act) The software we utilize does allow us to suspend the restriction when an adult patron needs to access employment, financial or educational needs. In fact most of our distance learning patrons must have the software turned off to access their school's site.
I see the potential uses for Facebook. I'm still leery of Twitter. I was eager and pleasantly surprised to see a local presence of a public library in Facebook. The initial objection I had to establishing a Facebook presence was the "friends". Depending on privacy settings on your account, you can connect to other accounts from someone you "friend". The potential for exposure of minor patrons seemed insurmountable. I hadn't explored the different ways a site can be established. The potential customer base becomes almost unlimited when accessed through Facebook. All I have to do is persuade the director, library advisory board and our city council. I think I will be choosing my battles very carefully.