Facebook

I am often asked about my library Facebook page, so I’m going to talk about how it came to be in today’s post.

I have been a fan of Facebook social networking for a long time. I am on Twitter. You can find me on LinkedIn. Follow me on Instagram. I use FourSquare. Before Facebook, I used MySpace; before MySpace, I used Friendster; before Friendster, I was in AOL chat rooms and on message boards…I think I’ve done it all (or at least have an account) – needless to say, I’m not on MySpace and Friendster anymore (nor do I really ever find myself in a “chat room”), but Facebook has stuck. I have had a personal page for years. I am “friends” with people I have never met in person, but who are part of my professional “network.” I am “friends” with people I’ve known for most of my life and people I’ve know for ALL of my life (mom and dad). What I like most about FB is how I am “friends” with restaurants, stores, and brands that I like. I get information about sales, coupons, special events all by following them on FB. I follow lots of blogs via Facebook. To me, it is easier than any reader I’ve ever used (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.). So, this story starts with the fact that I am a bit obsessed with FB and social networking in my personal life.

My principal is not on FB. When our school opened (we are getting ready for our 4th year), lots of our faculty became friends and got to know each other through FB. Many of the faculty at my school are real life friends with parents at our school and are therefore, of course, FB friends with them as well. I would notice the connections. At school, the only mention of FB by my principal was how he wanted the staff to be careful about what we said and what we posted. He made it clear that he was not a fan of FB, but he knew that we were on it and just sort of reminded us about behavior online…then, at some point, we had a meeting where he asked something like, “what can we do that is a step ahead of the curve and good for our parents?” I suggested a FB page for our school. I knew that I was getting information from pages that I followed (sales, meeting information, etc.) and that I thought it might be a good idea for our school to have a page to promote school news (when a PTA meeting is, information about upcoming events, etc.). I knew a lot of our parents had FB pages. I think that our district had a FB at that time, as well, which I mentioned. He agreed that our school should have a page and I volunteered to be the “face” behind our school FB. Before creating the page, my principal asked permission/guidance from someone at the district office. After he was given the go ahead, I created the page and started asking parents to be our friend. I know the login as does my principal. We both post to the school FB page.

About 6 months later, I realized that there were lots of book related things and library related things that I was posting on my personal page (details about upcoming bookfairs, good books to share with kids, etc.) I was also posting this information on our school page, although I tried to be careful about only posting library-related info on the school page. However, since that’s where my head is all the time, that was hard to do! The more I posted stuff on FB for school, the more I thought about how a library page would be a natural extension of our school page. I think at this time, I also noticed that one of my library superstar friends, Carl Harvey, had a page for his library. So, I asked my principal if I could have a FB page for the library and he said YES. By that time, many of the other schools in my district were getting on FB and Twitter – this type of PR is now encouraged in my district.

So, that’s how my library page came to be. It’s not hard to create or keep up with. It is linked to my personal page and to our school page. I have it set where folks can comment on my status updates, but they can’t write on my wall. I get an email message when someone posts something, so I know when to check it and reply, if needed. However, most of the time, I don’t have to wait to check my email to see if someone has posted something, because I tend to check it everyday anyway.

I would not recommend it if you aren’t into FB to begin with. You won’t update it and there will be no purpose. If you really think you will use it to promote your program, but aren’t share where to start as far as getting permission for it goes (and DO GET PERMISSION), I say start with your principal. If he or she is not for it, share with them other schools and districts that ARE using FB. In my area, I know of Lexington 1, School District 5 of Lexington and Richland Counties. I know Richland 1 is on Twitter. Most of our schools in Lexington 1 are on FB. A few of our library media centers are too (Gilbert High School LMC, Pelion Middle School LMC, to name a couple).

As far as updating it goes, make sure you are consistent. Make sure you promote it and let others know it is there. If it is blocked at your school, update it at home. Update it with information that you share ANYWAY (newsletter stuff: new books, sites you like for teaching and learning, bookfair information, etc.).

If you have any questions, I am happy to help! Just ask! And, become my friend on FB!

VBF

PS-That was a long post. Sorry 🙂

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About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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One Response to Facebook

  1. Sharon M says:

    Very helpful! My school is thinking of getting a FB page and I want to add a media center page too.

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