We've all heard of Facebook, that site begun as an online face-book for college students. Like its print counterparts (if they still exist), it allowed students to put names of their classmates with their faces. It also allowed them to form online groups, message each other, and post information. For some, it became there Internet "interface".
Facebook describes itself as:
...a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.
After captivating college students, Facebook opened itself up to high school students and then to those who are not in school. The eligibility requirements are:
Once "real" adults were allowed to join Facebook, people jumped in "with both feet." Like college students, we've found Facebook to be cool and captivating. We're networking, playing and -- yes -- learning. We learning about each other, about social networking tools, about events, and more.
If you haven't tried Facebook, I would encourage you to give it a whirl. If you can't try it at work, then do it at home. It is free and setting up an account is easy.
Concerned about privacy? Only those that you connect to as friends can see your profile in Facebook, and no one outside of Facebook can see your profile.
Concerned about revealing too much of yourself? You control what you say about yourself, so you can say a lot of a little; that is up to you.
Afraid that being in Facebook makes you less professional? Fear not! Yes, it is a place to network and learn, but it is also a place to have fun...and even professionals need to have fun. We also learn more if we're enjoying what we're doing.
There is a growing number of SLA members in Facebook and we've formed groups there. Our groups include:
- Special Libraries Association (SLA) Members on Facebook
- Information Technology Division of SLA
- SLA PAM
- Kentucky Chapter of SLA
- SLA Arizona Chapter
- SLA Toronto
- Upstate New York Special Libraries Association
- SLA Student Chapter (University of Maryland)
- Special Libraries Association (student group)
- Brown SLA (student group)
- SLA@SLAIS (student group)
By the way, there are two images on this page. The first is of the home page I see when I sign into Facebook. The second is my profile. Unfortunately, static photos don't show the power of Facebook, but hopefully they do show that Facebook is not scary.
Perhaps you'll jump into Facebook? Come on...the water's fine!