Get Social Media Savvy This Summer – Part Two: Facebook

iStudent Blog

Published: July 16, 2018 by Priscilla Ameneyro

Welcome to the second chapter of the summer series Get Social Media Savvy. Last week we talked about many of the great resources available on Twitter. This week we’re going to discuss another popular social media platform: Facebook. It’s not just for looking at pictures of your cousin’s puppy in Wichita anymore; you can leverage the platform to expand your professional network, keep up-to-date on changes in your field and discover upcoming events and job opportunities.

If you haven’t seen The Social Network, Facebook first launched in 2004 as a social media platform exclusively for Harvard students. It wasn’t until 2006 that it became available to the public. Over the next decade, it evolved into a place for friends to share photos, videos, stories and news. In this article, I’m going to explore the parts of Facebook outside of your algorithmically generated news feed. I’ll be sharing LIS relevant Facebook pages for you to “like” and follow and I’ll also be diving into Facebook groups.

Facebook is for Friends
I’d like to briefly mention that “friending” someone isn’t what it used to be. For years most people I know had relatively small friend counts compiled primarily of close friends, family members and a few select colleagues. You can actually add up to 5,000 friends on Facebook, which means you probably have a few empty spaces available for networking. Of course, if you decide to loosen your personal Facebook friending policy, I’d recommend doing a quick scan of everything that would be visible to them to make sure you’re not sharing more than you intended. Whatever you decide, it’s never a bad idea to become familiar with Facebook’s privacy settings and tools.

Facebook Pages
Facebook pages look just like your Facebook profile but are designed for businesses and organizations. You may have “liked” a few pages already, such as your favorite local coffee shop or your friend’s band. Liking a Facebook page is an easy way to incorporate their content into your main feed. Doing this also saves it to your “liked” pages so you can find it easily again in the future. Take a look below at a list of recommended pages for library and information professionals. Unlike Twitter, you won’t find many individuals with pages but rather professional associations and other groups or companies.

  • American Library Association – the largest and oldest library association.
  • Society of American Archivists – the largest and oldest association dedicated to the archives profession.
  • Association of Research Libraries – ARL’s mission is to “influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve.”
  • ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship – “to officially represent the diversity of women’s interest within ALA and to ensure that the Association considers the rights of the majority (women) in the library field.”
  • Internet Archive – a “non-profit library offering access to millions of free books, movies and audio files, plus an archive of 400+ billion web pages.”
  • Public Library Association – “enhances the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.” 
  • The Archivists and Archives of Color Section – to identify and address the concerns of archivists of African, Asian, Latino and Native American descent, promoting wider participation in the field.
  • Librarians Without Borders – LWB is a non-profit organization that strives to “improve access to information resources regardless of language, geography or religion by forming partnerships with community organizations in developing regions.”
  • American Association of School Librarians – a national association focused on school librarians.

Facebook Groups
There are countless Facebook groups just waiting for you to join. These are micro communities with niche content and are generally less formal than pages. If you search Facebook for groups with the word “librarian” in the name, you’ll come up with results for tattooed librarians, librarians with pet rabbits and even librarians that play ukulele. I’m only going to share Facebook groups that are relevant to LIS students but I encourage you to find other groups that might fit your individual interests as well.

School of Information Related Groups and Pages
I couldn’t finish this post without plugging the various iSchool groups and pages you’ll find on Facebook:

As I mentioned in the last article, you don’t have to be on every social media site or join every group. It’s better to have a focused social media approach that serves your personal interests and career goals, otherwise you risk social media burnout (a real thing)! Finally, please share if you have any Facebook groups or pages you recommend for iSchool students in the comments.

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