Connectivity and Organization: Libraries using Social Networking by Stuart Maddocks

Libraries use social networking daily. It is a great way to share information and post articles just like social media. I have used social media myself. This is the first time I heard about social networking and bookmarking in a personal and professional setting. Tagging and bookmarking make this connectivity and knowledge sharing much more accessible. Common tagging and bookmarking sites include and Pinterest. According to Wikipedia, social networking is a hub which users connect through similar interests. Social networking and social cataloguing became a new phenomenon for libraries, and its use is changing rapidly.

Let’s dig into social networking!

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Social Networking in Plain English

The video explains why social networking is important:

  1. Social networking makes connections with others more comfortable.
  2. Help us find jobs, homes and partners.
  3. You are able to be part of someone else’s network, contact them more easily.
  4. Networking with others becomes more visible than physical connections.
  5. Use of social media by the library.

70% of libraries are using social media.

Libraries and their patrons benefit from social networking because it helps:

  1. Promote purposes
  2. Collection management
  3. Outreach
  4. To enhance teaching and learning
  5. How patrons use social media and how successful it is.

Taylor and Francis examined social media behaviour in libraries in the US, UK and India. They found five trends:

  1. Current social media practices: variation of social media used in a library setting, including challenges and benefits associated with it
  2. Social media policies and management: with usage time increasing exponentially, libraries introduced rules limiting tone, timing and content.
  3. Effectiveness: Taylor and Francis looked into the data of social media activity in libraries and what users they are reaching out to.
  4. Promoting library social media channels: How libraries showcased their social media profiles, studied popular practices and how staff go about their patterns.
  5. The future for social media in the library: focused groups agreed that libraries use social media as a communication tool.

Here’s the infographic for more information.

Social Bookmarking and Social Cataloguing:

Wikipedia definition, “Centralized online service which allows users to add, annotate, edit and share bookmarks of web documents.”

 Social Bookmarking in Plain English:

With 15 billion web pages, it can be difficult to pick out the best ones The old way through one web page on one computer is an inefficient way to find the best pages. makes bookmarking useful and fun.

  1. Go to, create a profile and add the button to your homepage.
  2. Click tag to save web pages on delicious. Adding tags and bookmarking organizes sites with all information and labels are listed.
  3. Because Delicious is public, others can share and add their sites.

Social Cataloguing: Users can catalogue their belongings: books, music, movies and more to manage and organize them more efficiently.

HLWIKI Canada defines social cataloguing as, “kind of social networking site where crowd-sourced content, commentaries about books and reviews of reading materials found in library collections are shared.”

Some examples of Social cataloguing:

“Good sentences” From the University of Michigan Law Library

How to write proper sentences. Different writers use different styles.

Series of excerpts to creating legal memos and documents. To be a good writer, you need to read good writing.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter

There are other sites dedicated to social networking, bookmarking and cataloguing in libraries.


  • Stay connected and expand ideas, network and promoting service
  • Connect with others you know, join groups, be an active user.
  • Promote the library with a company page, programming using events and share updates with groups!


  • Businesses, non-profits and libraries are sharing ideas, work and connecting with people.
  • Creative and cutting-edge way to engages with users.
  • Ways libraries use Pinterest: Sharing new acquisitions, promoting library activities, research, encouraging active reading for kids and teenagers, ideas for displays and programs, highlight staff achievements, provide learning material for students and parents, etc.

Social Bookmarking and Cataloguing Types and their use in Libraries

Do I prefer one site over another? Or do I use a different place altogether?

StumbleUpon: A discovery engine of entertainment personalized. Helps discover web pages never seen before, advertiser-friendly.

Digg: Marketing friendly. Users submit and share content under the sites main topics: Business, Entertainment, Gaming, Lifestyle, Offbeat, Politics, Science, Sports, Technology, and World News. Content is decided by other users, giving one a chance to connect with others.

Reddit: Useful for jobs, personal life and hobbies. Great for obtaining information through subscribing to different pages. Best to have an account, so I don’t fall into the rabbit hole. Best way to do that is to find topics interesting to you and subscribing to RSS feeds.

I prefer Reddit because I am able to look up and post whatever I want freely on any topic, anytime.

Social bookmarking and cataloguing for libraries.

Folksonomies and Social tagging :

  • Around in the 21st century to allow users to create tags.
  • Tagging is the creation of keywords and sorting them with similar information, picture, even a library record.
  • Folksonomy system arises from tagging.
  • Tagging helps find books easier.
  • Able to find what’s out there
  • Critics point out the lack of precision used to find books.

Creates a foundation and pool of information/tags for patrons to find.

Libraries use frequently like the Missouri River Regional Library.

Allows librarians to add or edit from any source.

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Lab 5 Q&A:

  1. Which tool did you choose to explore? Social cataloguing.
  2. What is the name of the library using that tool, and what type of library is it? (Public, academic, school, special) North-central library, it is an academic library.
  3. What is the purpose of the use of that tool? (For example: Are they using it to market the library, themselves, a specific aspect of the library, an event at the library, a service the library offers, etc..?) “Research process” by a Northcentral library provides resources to do proper research. Ranges from brainstorming to Scholarly publication. By hovering the mouse over gives a preview of in the topic and clicking on it reveals the themes. Clicking on ‘Brainstorming’ it opens up steps, graphs and different methods of coming up with ideas. For Scholarly publication: provides resources, copyright notices, how to avoid predatory articles and how to publish an article.
  4. In your opinion, is the library using the tool effectively, and why or why not? Yes, it uses social cataloguing effectively. The library organizes topics by a step by step approach with its subfolders arranged that way as well.
  5. Do you use any of the social cataloguing or bookmarking sites mentioned in this lab? No

a- If so, what do you use?

b- If not, do any of them interest you or would you consider using one? I have been interested in Reddit due to the way people post and share news after it came out.

6.- What do you think are the pros and cons of social cataloguing and bookmarking from a library perspective? The pros are being able to share information based on commonality and relevancy. Another one is anyone can add their own links to the bookmarking site. Cons are the difficulty organizing them in a structured format from important to least important.


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