Librarian’s Use of Social Tools, a brief report from the OCLC Symposium

At the OCLC Symoposium, we used an audience polling mechanism that allowed on the spot feedback and answers. I was able to contribute a question as was Howard Rheingold. The OCLC folks sent me the results that were displayed in the room so I could include them here. It’s fascinating and might be viewed as a reliable data set/cross section of the profession. We had between 350-400 people in the room. One bit of data that would help is a breakdown of what types of librarians were present.

Library Blogs?

Over half of the crowd said “no” (my work is not yet done) but the leading group that did offer blogs were the academic folk, followed by special libraries and then public. School media folk must have not been present in too great numbers. This seems to follow the graph that Amanda Etches-Johnson put up last summer detailing the types of blogs included at her Blogging Libraries wiki.

Howard Rheingold’s questions included:

Read a blog?

Write a Blog?

Interesting answers as well… folks are starting to read Biblioblogs and other blogs more and more. Anecdotally, I can verify this: the increasing number of conference presentations devoted to 2.0 tools, online courses and most importantly the Learning 2.0 programs at various libraries and library systems have lead a lot of folks to get aggregators and start reading that way.

Forums and Chat Rooms

Facebook or MySpace

We probably could have guessed that most folks are using established tools such as mailing lists, etc, but 36% is rather notable as well for use of MySpace or Facebook. Possibly a higher percentage of academics might mean they are all using Facebook. Just this week there has been an insurgence of folks joining Facebook mand “friending” me. I think it might be the Abram effect!

Conclusions? I think we’ll see these numbers change again as more folks find how useful the online communities of practice represented by Biblioblogs, wikispaces and learning programs can be. I’d urge the curious to explore the tools and maybe adopt one or two for use if it works for them.

Thanks to OCLC and Howard Rheingold for allowing me to publish the questions and data here.