A different kind of valuation: Facebook is, "worth the value it brings in connecting people to each other, exposing the limitations of old media and allows for something of a true information society to flourish." - Lawrence Johnson, facebook user.
*Libraries can use Facebook as a tool to connect our communities and serve up vetted and accurate information to our patrons.There were 103 million US based users in 2009 with the largest growth being in the 55+ age range. The largest portion of users are 35 -54 years old. You can use Insights on your fan page to see the age/gender/ geographical makeup of your library's facebook fans.
The Butte-Silver Bow Public Library uses Facebook to share both physical and digital collections, market programming, build community support, and connect with patrons.
Here are some links on how to create your own facebook fan page:
"Humanizing Your Facebook Pages," David Lee King, 02/09/2010.
"How To: Set Up a Winning Facebook Fan Page," Mashable, 09/22/2009.
"Facebook Pages Basics - A Screencast," David Lee King, 07/08/2009.
"Setting Up Your Facebook Page," Tech for Luddites, Elizabeth Kricfalusi, 07/07/2009.
Tip - Creating a vanity url - Increase your pointability! First, you must have 25 fans! You can create a user name based url for your own profile and your fan page by going to (http://www.facebook.com/username/). Be careful when choosing a user name and spell it right. User names cannot be changed, you would have to delete your fan page and start over to create a different user name based url. The Butte-Silver Bow Public Library vanity url is http://www.facebook.com/buttepubliclibrary. Now you can use your vanity url in emails, marketing, signs, business cards, etc.
Tip - Linking Facebook posts to Twitter - Automate, Automate, Automate... Automatically tweet your facebook posts. Go to http://www.facebook.com/twitter/ to link your fan page to your twitter account. Everything you post on your facebook fan page will then be tweeted automatically. No double posting! Interested in further automation on facebook and twitter, learn about twitterfeed.com, my favorite social tool right now.
Con - Notifications and Moderation: Facebook will not provide notifications (by email or on facebook) of activity on your fan page. If a fan asks a question, posts a picture, likes an update; you won't know unless you go to the fan page and see it there. There is also no moderation feature, comments go live immediately, though you can always delete a comment if you ever had to.
Con - Communication: Private messages cannot currently be between a fan and the organization. If you send a fan a private message it will come from you not the organization.
Butte-Silver Bow Public Library (http://www.facebook.com/buttepubliclibrary) Want your own vanity url? See the tip above to learn how.
Montana Office of Public Instruction, Superintendent Denise Juneau The OPI has over 600 fans in less than a month of being on Facebook (03/02/2010).
Montana State University Libraries The MSU Libraries have incorporated Flickr and Worldcat into their page.
Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library The Topeka Library has created facebook aps that allow you to chat with a librarian and search the catalog right from facebook. You might also note the "Donate" tab where a donation to the library is just a click away.
BCR Their vanity url is cute: (http://www.facebook.com/bcrluvslibs).Do you want endless examples of library facebook fan pages? There's a facebook group for that: Libraries Using Facebook Pages.
Next Post: Tool: Twitter