Social Media and Library Services

Social Media and Library Services

Nowsheeba Ashraf Asmi (University of Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJLIS.2017070103
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Abstract

The digital age has crept over the present generation. Digital tools and warehouses are more and more being used by the organizations to manage the collections. Today's librarian faces the problem of managing and sharing the information and delivering it to the right person before it is outdated. In this regard, social media sites have emerged as an important communication tool for the librarians to reach their users and promote their products and services. The present chapter explores various social media tools and their application and usage in the libraries.
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Introduction

Libraries are service centres aimed at providing focussed, current and apt services to its users. Technology has emerged as a key component in attaining the goals of libraries. Libraries have always been on the forefront to incorporate the emerging technologies in their set up. With the rise of web 2.0 libraries too shifted to the concept of library 2.0. Library 2.0 incorporates Web 2.0 tools, thus facilitating an environment that is user centered and connects various academic communities, eventually advancing towards a crucial organization designed to satisfy user needs and current information cultures (Scott, 2013). Latest in the trend is social media. Libraries are already set in the race to accept this new technology. Smart screens packed with features and social media apps have already reached billions of people across the globe. Social media are Web 2.0 tools that are based on user generated content, that is to say that anyone can publish and access information, collaborate, or build relationships on a single platform (Jue, Marr & Kassotakis, 2010). Social media is a powerful new form of communication that continues to grow at exponential rates (Cross, 2014). Social media utilization in libraries has grown exponentially. This service has been used by libraries for outreach and promoting services, programs and new resources as well as providing general information. Other benefits may include distance learning and knowledge sharing (Sahu, Nanda, & Baral, 2016). Social Media is a sharing space aimed at providing a better or more informed choice (Evan, 2012). Social media has the allure of seeming simplicity, the hype of popularity, and the element of having little or no cost (Crawford, 2013). Social media communities have emerged recently as open and free communication platforms to support real-time information sharing among members (Cao, Lu, Dong, Tang & Li, 2013). Social media is increasingly becoming a significant fraction of the content retrieved daily by Web users. However, the potential lack of quality of user generated content poses a challenge to information retrieval services, which rely mostly on textual features generated by users (particularly tags) commonly associated with the multimedia objects (Figueiredo, Pinto, Belem, Goncalves & Moura, 2013).

Social media are inexpensive and economical tools best suited to the library’s increased need of services and dwindling budgets. These tools are used by libraries to deliver a blend of customer service, news and updates, content/collection promotion, dissemination of the institutions’ research output, provision of educational tools and resources and for building relationships both within and outside of the institution (“Use of social media by the library current practices and future opportunities Why study social media in the library?,” n. d.). Social media utilization in libraries has grown exponentially. This service has been used by libraries for outreach and promoting services, programs and new resources as well as providing general information. Other benefits may include distance learning and knowledge sharing.

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