Social Media power is no joke.
Forbes magazine contends that it was an unintended consequence of the internet. It considers those who tinkered with the great wide web and it’s prodigies (social media) have greatly been rewarded. Those great pioneers are the geniouses of the marketing world, giving everyone an equal oportunity to be an individual maraketing force.
I consider my Faceless life tinkering with Social Media.
It has helped me really access my “Social Media footprint”. It, I believe, was rather larger than I could fathom.
According to the same article by Forbes, one does not have to be famous or well known for something to go “viral”. A plumbing company’s video or your neighbor’s mishap with a water hose can bring in millions of “hits” on YouTube.
Social Media has essentially made everyone a marketeer in one way or another. Rather you are selling Pampered Chef or showing off your newest mini vacation, you are marketing yourself. You are saying Hey everyone! Look here! My life is________. You fill in the blanks.
One can assume, with previous Facebook exposure, that the blanks will be filled in with things like: My life is beautiful, sucks, is tragic, or worth mimicking.
Regardless, depending on your influence on Facebook depends on your Faceboook image. Unfortunately, people do indeed judge a book by its cover. Which is a difficult concept for a paraprofessional librarian such as myself. Librarians grow up thinking all books are equal and all books should have a home but this is just not the reality of it all.
Our patrons go for the books who have the more youthful covers. Our patrons want the newest book by the hottest author and they are very rarely interested in books with no covers at all. Books must be appealing visually in order for one to stop and even consider reading further into its content. This is a proven fact and plenty of statistics to back it up. I only buy into this thinking because I myself have just recently purchased a Joyce Meyer’s book that is a renamed reprint of a book she wrote a decade ago.
Would I have bought the old copy? Most likely not. I would of assumed the content was as old as the cover was (and the more wrinkled Joyce).
So, when the director of my library came into my office to tell me my department’s patrons were going to be restricted in having those very pretty and new books, I was astounded by the attittude that sat before me.
Literally, these professionial librarians were fighting over books.
Basically, the Main library was concerned with new book statistics and trying their best to ddsiguise it with what they thought was best for “their” patrons even though my patrons ARE “their patrons”. My department is just a program of the Main library and is poorly underfunded to buy new books, especially the Large Print versions my elderly and disabled patrons need.
You see, the attitude was that my elderly and disabled patrons were taking too long with the 7 day check out items. They felt my department, in the past when it was a bookmobile, had a priviledgeg of extended check out dates due to our 28 day route rotation and that priviledge shouldn’t exist anymore.
My question was: When did it become a privildge to be elderly or disabled?
I realized right than that the influence of Social Media was no longer apart of the equation for people in dealing with me and what I do for the community I live in. When people don’t have to factor in their Facebook image, they feel freer to be and do just about anything they want with no fear of reprecussion.
The director’s response to some of the rebuttles was this: “if we don’t get picketed we’ll be fine”.
Hmm..is that really one’s moral compmass? Is that really how you should determine the quality of your service to your community? I personally don’t believe so.
I now have to put my patrons last, even though it was something I was doing already, it is now overly enforced. The Main library that funds my program is putting my patrons last on their list for new books while the other branches in the county have not requested this. They know what I do and are in full support of giving while the branch who funds me rather look at the check-out statistics.
If I was even consulted in this decision, they would of found that I am fair in my decisions on keeping new books from other libraries and I am overly considerate. So considerate that I will give back new books and put my patrons back at the bottom of the list again. My patrons seem very ok with this and are very understanding even considering some of them won’t be alive to read this year’s new Nora Roberts or Wanda Brunstetter. Therefore, for the main library to go as far as putting my progarm as an “unpreferred borrower” shows the moral fiber of their hearts.
Why do I say this?
Because your true heart is what you do for others while no one else is looking.
I suppose being a paraprofessional librarian vs a professional librarian (20,000 dollar difference in pay while doing the same amount of work) they believed I couldn’t be trusted to have everyone’s interest at heart.
Maybe they thought my heart was just like theirs. But it’s not. I’m actually not going to do the same to them, as the director has suggested. No ma’am I will not.
My goal has always been for my department to be the heart of the library system in our county so I’m sharing my new books while the very library I reside in does not share at the same rate.
The director commented today about social media. She said if people would just stop and read or watch the whole thing on certain topics they see on Facebook they wouldn’t jump to so many false conclusions.
Ma’am, I compoletely agree. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll consider doing that in your own library.
Am I concerned with library retribution for my opinions on this matter? No. Because without Social Media to propell my thoughts they pretty much stay where they are: On my blog.
The video my sister and a friend posted of me on their Facebook had 66 hits and 77 views.
If they had not put that on their Facebook pages? It would of been as silent as a tree falling in the woods with no one there. Does the tree actually make a noise? Sure does, but what does it matter if no one hears it.
Ah, food for thought.