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The Value of Social-Networking Sites for Libriarans

Librarians may be “chasing a white whale” in trying to get students to communicate with them via social-networking sites, according to Sarah Houghton-Jan, digital-futures manager for the San Jose Public Library.

She made the observation on her blog this week after digesting the results of a University of Michigan survey on its students’ and faculty and staff members’ views of library Web services. Students made up 60 percent of the respondents.

Half those answering the survey said they were not interested in communicating with a librarian via Facebook or MySpace. Another 23 percent said they would or they might be interested in connecting with a librarian that way. And 27 percent said they didn’t use social-networking sites. Has your library been able to connect with students and scholars using social-networking sites?

Meanwhile, a British professor says people have only fleeting attachments to social-networking sites.—Andrea L. Foster

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