Thursday, 31 July 2008

Request for Advice

One of the things Roxanne Missingham gave me when she handed over the ALIA presidency in May this year was the ALIA Facebook Group. Go to and then to the group ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association). We have 272 members and nine photographs. This is about 5% of our membership (assuming they are all members) – a start, but a long way to go.

I was hugely impressed to hear of the success of Michael Geist’s Facebook group, Fair Copyright for Canada, which has grown to 88,000 members in a short time. The group has been so successful that members have actually met in, well, groups of people, physically. The Facebook group now has chapters. Have a look.

I asked Kathryn Greenhill, Murdoch University’s - and Australia's - online guru, and she suggested that photographs might work. So how about it? One of the features of the more lively Facebook groups I belong to is the proliferation of photographs, which bring people together.

In fact the liveliest group I belong to is the Swinburne Chapter of the Golden Key Society. This is a student society, and its members are mostly undergraduate students (my role is Advisor, liaison with the University). It is quite clear that they use Facebook in quite a different way to the way, er, librarians do. They use it daily as a primary means of communication.

But bear in mind how librarians use Facebook, and please send me your suggestions as to how we can make the ALIA Facebook group lively and relevant.

Why not start by putting a nice photograph of a horse in a library onto the site on Friday? Its their birthday (horses, not libraries), and you'll have great fun taking the picture, too.


Polyxena said...

Why don't you feed this blog into it, or at any rate an ALIA blog? With FB something needs to happen all the time be it posting photos or people writing on the wall or feeds coming in.

Nothing ever comes from ALIA to my Facebook newsfeed so I never go to the ALIA page/group whatever it is. Seeing things in newsfeeds is the main way people join up and network on Facebook.

Polyxena said...

PS Are you using it to post ALIA events? This is another way of keeping people in the loop. You have the events in Incite that you could post.

Derek Whitehead said...

Thank you Polyxena. I'll organise for us to feed an events listing into the Facebook group. Lots of people, I know, monitor Facebook very regularly (daily or more often) and like something to be happening.