Tag Archives: social media

Libraries and COPPA

Social media researcher Danah Boyd has a question for librarians regarding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)Why are some libraries choosing to restrict children’s access to public information?

We understand that abiding by CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) is required to retain federal funding & discounts, but why COPPA? Boyd says:

I don’t know how popular online library access is with under-13s, but it depresses me to no end that libraries aren’t going out of their way to welcome children to their communities. I think it’s super important that children are free to be accessing library information, with or without their parent’s permission. What they can get through their public library is so much richer, so much better curated, so much better contextualized than generic online information. Why aren’t libraries actively inviting and encouraging children to join them? Why aren’t they targeting young people directly?

Seems like a broad overstatement, but is it true? I’m sure there are librarians out there who have a better grasp on this topic than us, so please go comment on her post. The discussion is lively and librarians need to join in!

Are Librarians Encouraging Public Libraries to Abide by COPPA? | Danah Boyd


New Skills for 2012

Here at WAL we usually speak of using “traditional” library and information science skills in new arenas. In today’s post, we’ll focus on skills that you might not have learned at library school — either because you had no room for tech-heavy electives or they simply weren’t offered.

While this may seem like the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions post, think of it as a post about generating new opportunities for yourself in the years to come. So in addition to signing up for that gym membership this January, give your brain a workout and familiarize yourself with these skills. Then stay tuned for more in-depth posts about many of these topics.

Please let us know in the comments about skills we may have missed.

(via w3.org, mashable.com, ixda.org, perceptualedge.com, upassoc.org)

Keep It Simple

(via Mashable)

Anthony Ha’s Adweek article,  Twitter Redesign Emphasizes Simplicity, Brand Friendliness discusses Twitter’s decision to redesign the site in order to compartmentalize the symbols that represent Twitter-actions. Twitter has a lot of exposure with more than 100 million users, but the redesign is geared toward better engaging their users by making # and @ the center of their design layout.

Simplicity. This is an inspiring concept, particularly in a world that is saturated with a streaming flow of information and media. Librarians, like any brand, need to focus on a simpler, minimal approach to communicating their identity and goals.


This past weekend, the New York Times wrote a spotlight on Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn. While the article is primarily a profile of Mr. Hoffman’s life, career path, and subsequent fortune, the end of the article hits on some of his core beliefs that lend insight into the future of the Internet and information as we know it today. Hoffman made his career cultivating the social media power of developing professional connections, but he believes we are on the verge of yet another change. We are embarking on an advancement that will impact us the same way that social media changed the Internet and the very essence of how people communicate. The change will be “data-driven” and we will begin to see new start-ups working with data in innovative ways with websites able to “aggregate a huge volume of information.” As librarians, educated and trained to handle, organize, and curate large amounts of information, we fit perfectly into this new landscape. Without renaming the title of “librarian,” how do we begin to redefine the field as a group of data managers, analysts, and researchers?


Rusli, E. M. A King of Connections Is Tech’s Go-To Guy. The New York Times. http://tinyurl.com/ceudn22

Brand Sociability

Mashable shares an infographic created by Weber Shandwick and Forbes Insights that asks the question, “How social is your brand?” Whether you are a global company, local organization, or even a freelancer, branding is what creates a consistent identity. This infographic illustrates why social media is important in branding and lists the 9 drivers that effectively socialize a brand.

How can information professionals rebrand the field and themselves? Social media is one of the driving forces changing our professional identity. Not only do librarians manage many of the social media accounts for their organizations, but these platforms leverage one of our core values — the ability to create content and share information freely and instantly.