Facebook and GW Librarians

My custom Google News RSS feed picked up this story from the George Washington University student newspaper:

Gelman finds a new book. Librarians make resource out of Facebook

The article talks about an effort by GW librarians to promote their profiles on Facebook and make themselves upon to interacting with students in that space.

There is an anecdote about a student needing last second virtual reference assistance. She did not have the particular IM software (AOL) the library uses installed on her computer. She also mentions a lack of enthusiasm for email as a form of communication, saying she does not check it that often (those wacky millennials aren’t ‘down’ with email). So she got in touch with one of the GW librarians on Facebook and got the help she needed.

You can see on the article an image of the poster they use to promote the service. I tend to fall on the side of the fence that finds library staff trying to “friend” students a little creepy. But, the connection to the librarians grows out of the fact that students in a course at the school are assigned a personal librarian so there is a personal connection to start with.

There is not a lot of evidence of promotion of the service on the libraries web site with the Ask Us part of the site providing information on the conventional ways to contact them. However, this librarian provides a link to his Facebook profile on his blog.

It looks like they are taking time to evaluate how to evolve their services using tools like Facebook. They are asking for student feedback via an online survey.


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