Checking Out The Impact of a Digital Trend on Academic Libraries

Laurie Charnigo, Paula Barnett-Ellis


While the burgeoning trend in online social networks has gained much attention from the media, few studies in library science have yet to address the topic in depth. This article reports on a survey of 126 academic librarians concerning their perspectives toward, an online network for students. Findings suggest that librarians are overwhelmingly aware of the “Facebook phenomenon.” Those who are most enthusiastic about the potential of online social networking suggested ideas for using Facebook to promote library services and events. Few individuals reported problems or distractions as a result of patrons accessing Facebook in the library. When problems have arisen, strict regulation of access to the site seems unfavorable. While some librarians were excited about the possibilities of Facebook, the majority surveyed appeared to consider Facebook outside the purview of professional librarianship.

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