what are we reading


book cover of Google This, cover image used with permission from bn.comGoogle This!

Reviewed by Shawn Behrends, State Data Coordinator

Google This! Putting Google and other social media sites to work for your library by Terry Ballard (2012)

Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, mobile apps. How can libraries take advantage of these free and nearly free applications? Terry Ballard's Google This! Putting Google and other social media sites to work for your library reviews a number of Google tools including Google Scholar, Blogger, Google Maps, and Google Earth as well as several of the more popular social media apps. Ballard walks the reader through these tools. Most chapters begin with a brief history of the application, a visit to the company's headquarters, and then feature case studies of how individual libraries are using the application. Readers might not want to bother with all of the background information in Google This!, but the book offers library staff good ideas for harnessing these web-based tools, for example:

  • Libraries are using Facebook to do readers' advisory and sharing photos of library events on Flickr.
  • Some libraries are setting up blogs to share reviews about new library materials.
  • Google Maps is being used for geo-tagging images from a library's photograph collections.

One other useful aspect of Ballard's book is that it suggests resources from social media sites that librarians can share with patrons. Did you know...

  • The Library of Congress, New York Public Library, and the National Library of Ireland share their photo archives on Flickr?
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) provides a richer source of information about films than your library catalog (and that you can link to it in your MARC records)?
  • YouTube hosts a myriad of educational video collections including videos from the Smithsonian and math and science lessons from Kahn Academy?

Ballard says that the next generation of librarians should be able to use the latest communication tools and develop social networks to the library's advantage. It's important that we are where users are.

This book is available for loan at the South Dakota State Library.






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