The practice of using a social network to establish and enhance relationships based on some common groundâ€”shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic locationâ€”is as old as human societies, but social networking has flourished due to the ease of connecting on the Web. This OCLC membership report explores this web of social participation and cooperation on the Internet and how it may impact the libraryâ€™s role, including:
- The use of social networking, social media, commercial and library services on the Web
- How and what users and librarians share on the Web and their attitudes toward related privacy issues
- Opinions on privacy online
- Librariesâ€™ current and future roles in social networking
The report is based on a survey (by Harris Interactive on behalf of OCLC) of the general public from six countriesâ€”Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United Statesâ€”and of library directors from the U.S. The research provides insights into the values and social-networking habits of library users.