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"OK, This is Just Too Weird": Identifying Outreach Opportunites in Facebook Open Access

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The tremendous popularity of social networking sites like Facebook presents libraries with unique opportunities for reaching students. What many organizations fail to recognize, however, is that Facebook is perceived by its users as a primarily social space, and that the presence of professors, librarians, or parents can be intrusive, unwelcome, or just plain "weird" for the very students they're trying to reach. The George Washington University's Gelman Library decided to take a step back and ask a critical question: what do our students want? How do our students really use Facebook, and what part can the library play in this social environment? This presentation will offer an overview of this study and its findings in light of contemporary thinking and practices among librarians.

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