be social – explaining social networks to librarians and parents

I did a short tour of some New Hampshire libraries over the past few days. I did a little talk called MyWhat? Decoding social technologies.. It’s only about five slides but most of it was doing a tour of some of the more popular social networks [Facebook, MySpace, Flickr] and showing how they worked, how kids were using them and what parents and librarians should know.

Remember that a lot of the digital divide that we deal with now isn’t that people don’t have computers per se, it’s that they’re not in networks and groups of people that understand them and can answer complex questions about them. The library is often an integral link in this equation. A lot of my time at these talks is spent answering questions about how these social tools work, how I use them, how librarians might use them, and how kids and teens can use them safely and effectively. A lot of the print materials I’ve come across err on the side of caution which is not a bad idea but often there’s no “Hey you really SHOULD try this” couterpoint. I hope I was able to offer that somewhat.

6 thoughts on “be social – explaining social networks to librarians and parents

  1. As someone who tried blogging b/c you said “try it,” I am grateful also for this information.

    What you do, you do well. THANKS for that.



  2. You definitely succeeded, as the librarians at the Nubanusit Co-op were most thankful. Especially after that AccuCut discussion.

  3. I am an undergraduate student studying education at a university in Michigan. I am currently taking a class called “Computers in Education,” and we have recently been discussing the “digital divide.” I truly feel that the answer to this problem lies in education. If we can expose students to computers and technology as young children, they will be more comfortable using those types of things in adulthood. We can also offer night or weekend classes or workshops for adults who would like to learn more about using technology and computers. If we educate people about how to use these tools and why it is important for them to use them, maybe we can lessen the digital divide. Who knows, maybe it would even improve our economy to have more people that are technologically literate. So, in conclusion, I support this program, and I hope to see many others like it in the near future.

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