Library School + Life Tip #8: Give Social Networking a Try

Social networking, it’s nearly everywhere now. It’s not just for individuals anymore, either! Businesses, clubs, and even libraries are in on the act. Speaking of which, if you become a librarian, social networking for your library could become part of your job!

Facebook is the most popular social networking site, at least best I can tell. Personally, it’s a great way to keep up with friends and acquaintances, and it’s been a fun way to reconnect with old friends from various activities, jobs, schools and summers at camp too. But it’s generated a lot of complaints from a lot of people, from being a time waster to having questionable privacy practices.

While I haven’t worried as much as I probably should about the privacy issues, I do check my Facebook privacy settings periodically, and tweak them as I see fit. I can certainly relate to the time factor, though. Facebook can definitely create a black hole in which free time disappears.  I started limiting my time on Facebook a bit (believe it or not!) this past semester, once I started library school.  One the plus side, though, I’ve been able to connect with more library students, both within my program at NCCU SLIS, and beyond.

Whether you’re into Facebook or not, I’d encourage you to explore social networking websites while you’re in library school, for professional development if nothing else.  Among my favorite social networks are DailyMile, a combination exercise log/social network, Goodreads, where book reading meets social networking, and Flickr, a website for storing digital pictures where you can tag people, add descriptions and locations. What I like about each of  these three websites, is that they stand alone as useful utilities to track particular hobbies and passions, but expanding your network on any of these sites may  enhance the experience.

If you’re in library school like I am, I’d suggest checking out LinkedIn, for sure. In my mind, it’s the working professional’s version of Facebook, a place to get your resume out there among connections. Like Facebook, you can control who sees what on your profile. I’ve enjoyed seeing the educational and work histories of the connections I’ve made there. If you’re in job-hunt-mode, and want to follow the advice to “let everyone you know” that you’re looking for a job, this is a good way to provide pertinent information for your contacts.

For those of you already into social networking, what are your favorite social networking sites?

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About Lesley Looper

I'm a full-time library employee. I enjoy reading, photography, travel, blogging, and geocaching.
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7 Responses to Library School + Life Tip #8: Give Social Networking a Try

  1. Twitter is my favorite social networking site.

    • Lesley says:

      I like Twitter too, but have an on-again/off-again relationship with it. Whenever I do a keyword search on Twitter about something I’m interested in, I’m often amaved by the people, resources, and discussions that pop up!

  2. Teresa says:

    I admit I’m addicted to Facebook. I’ve reconnected with so many people! By the way, great job on the blog. I’m a new NCCU library school student as well…like you I work full-time and taking classes part-time. Looking forward to more of your posts!

    • Lesley says:

      Nice to meet you, Teresa! Are you taking classes on campus or online?

      Reconnecting with people has been my favorite thing about Facebook, and I’ve reconnected more there than any other social networking site. Sometimes I hear people say they’re deleting their Facebook acccounts because of the time or privacy factors, but when I consider that for myself, I realize I don’t want to lose contact with so many! (I’m not the pen & paper letter writer that I once was.)

  3. Teresa says:

    Funny, I’ve noticed the opposite, where friends who were not on Facebook previously have now joined. Apparently the privacy thing doesn’t scare them!

    I’m taking classes online. I love the flexibility a distance program offers! Perfect for a full-time worker like myself. I live in Raleigh but couldn’t fathom myself to commute again (did it for undergrad and it was exhausting). I do want to get more involved with organizations though, as I don’t really have the chance to interact with other students. Is there some sort of listserv for the ALA student chapter on campus? The website for that looks a bit outdated.

    • Lesley says:

      I’m happy to hear you enjoy the online program! Everyone I’ve met who’s taking the NCCU SLIS classes online enjoys it!

      Funny you should mention the website! Updating the student group websites was a project for one of the MIS classes this past semester, so I met with the student assigned to update our ALA Student Chapter website to go over changes that could be made. Now the semester’s over, but no new webpage (yet). Perhaps the professor just needs to upload it. I’ll follow through after the new year if we don’t see it soon. 🙂

      Meanwhile, our ALA student chapter DOES have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/146284736103/ Please join us! 🙂 We’d love to have you at on-campus meetings/events as they fit into your schedule, as well as in the Facebook group!

  4. LibGirl09 says:

    My favorites are Facebook and LinkedIn. I also use Twitter sporadically. I spend way too much time on Facebook though…. :p

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