Twitter- maybe not yet…

Twitter seems like a really cool tool that is useful for many things. Obviously, libraries can make short announcements about what’s happening in the library and what sorts of new material are available. Twitter can also help libraries create an online community as kelly dallen and “Twittering Libraries” points out. However, I think that this community only goes so far before it gets a little too invasive for today’s users. Twitter’s usefullness peaks at announcements and tweeting reference questions and their answers. Stepping beyond this involves following others’ personal tweets and responding to them, as is recommended by Kelly Dallen. While, yes, it would get libraries and patrons actively involved with each other and allow the library to fulfill information needs in an entirely new and convenient way, it seems more than a little “big-brother-ish” to me. I know that if I personally tweeted about being at my local library or even asking a question about the library, and then have my tweet answered by the library, I would be slightly put-off, and perhaps change my plans about going there. Often, people who go to the library a lot are not seeking much social interaction, and this kind of interaction by the library with personal tweets may put off others as well. In addition, while twitter is very popular, it is not widely used enough to merit massive library incorporation. However, having a web presence is of paramount importance, and the internet is used by just about everyone; thus, a web site would fulfill the need to announce library events without having to establish a twitter account.

Sorry, twitter! Maybe personal information will be ubiquitous enough in the next generation to dispel any creepy feelings from having your library reply to your tweets.

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