Facebook…opinions on timeline for Libraries

So as I had stated in my Promoting page I manage the Facebook page for my current library position. I enjoy it greatly and love creating a source for students in finding materials and updates on the library. One thing that has been on my mind is the new Facebook timeline and will it affect how the business Facebook page works for patrons. There has not been much word on whether the timeline will transgress into business pages. The reason why I mention it is because I feel that the look will make business pages confusing. I am not necessarily a fan of the new timeline with the exception of the display of the picture. I feel that is a creative way of creating a fun look for your page. The bigger picture can be a nice picture of the library, or some of the materials and what not. The smaller picture can be of something relevant to the library or a manipulative that we may have for the students.However, the rest of the page is a scramble of items. I am curious how this will be for other libraries. Right now I mostly work with younger generations, academics, students that are in the education field. Public libraries work with many different generations and teaching a whole new method of Facebook I am sure will be challenging. But I am curious if the new look with either be appealing to patrons or confusing.

The main objective of a library maintaining a library page is to promote itself, reach out to patrons and be up to date with the community it serves. Its a great way to promote events and I personally feel that the new flow of posts on the timeline Facebook is not user friendly and can really confuse a patron. This is of course a matter of opinion and I know that patrons can of course visit the main webpage, however, the purpose of using Facebook is be right there with the patron. Its one less step that the patron has to make online ( kind of like a one stop shop).

I am curious if other librarians have thought about this and whether it will affect the usage. Its important to have other media outlets like twitter and such to promote. Our patrons are literally everywhere it seems. But this was just something I have been thinking about and curious how it will take shape.

“A library’s function is to give the public in the quickest and cheapeast way information, inspiration, and recreation. If a better way than the book can be found, we should use it.”

Melvil Dewey (1851-1931)
American Librarian and Educator

Florida Library Day

Today in Tallahassee Florida librarians from across the state are meeting together to promote library advocacy in the state of Florida. I have to say that I am extremely jealous of a couple of my friends that were able to go. There is so much to learn in regards to the cause. Mostly because I am not big into the government aspects of it. That is where it all begins of course, government and the need for money. I currently work in a library and unfortunately was unable to get the time off due to saving vacation time for my sisters wedding. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like its not as important because it is to me.

Anyway, getting off track. The main reason I wanted to go is because I feel that there is so much to learn. I only know little in my mind and the itinerary for the day seems to be filled with knowledge. I am in the basic stages of library advocacy in my mind. I know I love libraries and I wish more and more people would appreciate them as much as I do. It goes beyond even a love I feel. Much of what FLA strives to achieve with the advocacy program is letting people know what libraries have to offer. We of course know that there are books, but this document from the FLA page explains some of the other benefits.( Click on FLA page to see)

I personally loved looking at this PDF because sometimes we really do forget other things that libraries help within the communities. Currently jobs are difficult to come by and people do not necessarily have the funds for computer access. The first reference shows that they can help people within the community find jobs. There is public access to the computers where they can job search. Plus some libraries have events on resume building and how to prepare for the interview.

I am sitting here promoting FLA and I am feeling like a horrible person because I have not joined FLA. My reasoning is, is because that I may not be in Florida once I graduate. If I stay then most definitely. They do a lot to promote libraries. For example this years Florida snapshot library day! It was libraries from across the state taking snapshots throughout the day, and not just pictures but results of how many patrons were serviced. My University library where I work participated and it was really exciting to see our pictures at the beginning of the slide!!

Off on a tangent, but we all get the picture. Florida Library day is right there at the Florida Legislature. Just wish I could be there!

(pictures and information cited from the FLA webpage.)

Ensure that every child in America has access to an effective school library program.

When I first began studying for my MLS, I wanted to be a Media Specialist. I wanted to work in schools, especially elementary schools, teaching children to read, promoting the use of the library and how to use it. Unfortunately, job stability within schools are not the greatest at the current time and brought me away from the field. Recently, Librarians and I am hopeful other community members came together to sign a petition to make sure that children have access to a school library program. The had until Feb 4 to have a minimum of 25,000 signatures. Today they reached 25,878!! Neil Gaiman was even someone who supported the petition and promoted it on his tumblr! What this petition entails is that the government while reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), that they ensure that proper funding is still available to school libraries. Without funding, it makes it harder and harder to keep school libraries afloat and provide the necessities students need.

I remember when I had visited a couple of media centers here where I live. Many of them spoke on how library positions are being taken away from the libraries, where the teachers access everything. Well to me that made no sense. Yes, teachers are trained to well..teach, I understand that. However, librarians are also taught that in a sense. We are trained to do the research, and have the skills necessary to teach students how to use the library properly. Take that away and a teacher in all honesty can only do so much.

These days schools should have proper libraries. Teachers are also not getting enough funding but having a library accessible for materials and such is a great asset. We of course know they are so much more, with teaching literacy, technology, how to research and much more. The school librarian, also may be the first librarian that a child meets. Sometimes their parents unfortunately do not take them to a public library. There is just so much that a school library can do for a child. I am so happy that we managed to get this many signatures. I myself signed it and I hope that many of you signed as well.

“Libraries and librarians have definitely changed my life — and the lives of countless other Americans…they deserve the support and patronage of every single one of  us who values education.”
— Former First Lady Barbara Bush

(information and picture cited from https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions)