This paper seeks to challenge how librarians conceive a number of relationships – between themselves, social media tools, and end‐users, and to argue that this determines the boundaries of service innovation.
The paper develops themes and ideas derived from research projects on deployment of social media by library and information professionals completed within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University.
Librarians currently demonstrate more sophisticated use of social media for personal professional purposes than for services delivery; a number of challenges currently limit the extent to which librarians are able to exploit social media to full advantage; fuller exploitation of social media is possible when librarians transfer the good practice exhibited in personal professional use to applications for services delivery; service innovations are considered before tools; and end users are treated as collaborating clients rather than consuming customers.
The paper is of interest to those keen to take advantage of the opportunities offered by social media that extend beyond replicating existing service delivery.
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