Facebook: how does it fit in your professional life?

As a hospital librarian, I work in an environment where Facebook and other social media tools are blocked by an Internet filter. I have a personal account, but I’ve never considered it as an outreach tool, though my parent organization (a health system) has a corporate Facebook presence.

So I found Hilary Davis’ article reflecting on the pros and cons of a professional Facebook presence very thought-provoking.  Reconsidering Facebook (at In the Library with a Lead Pipe) discusses the issues of the personal-professional separation, privacy and data ownership concerns, the need to offer access and services where the patrons are, and the increasing business and corporate use of Facebook to reach out to customers.

Facebook is becoming “mainstream,”  a trend we’ll need to keep in view.

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Marketing ideas from Gale

Gale’s blog, The Sizzle, offers 10 ways to help you drive usage, a Powerpoint presentation (in PDF format) of marketing suggestions.  Many of the “rules” have application beyond promoting Gale databases.

For example, “Rule #1: Unleash your databases with widgets.”   A few widgets to consider adding to your library webpage:

Michigan libraries, including hospital libraries, can access Gale databases such as the Gale Virtual Reference Library, Health Reference Center Academic, and Health and Wellness Resource Center through Michigan eLibrary. Contact  Michigan Library Consortium for assistance in setting up your library’s access.