Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sharing, Privacy, Trust in Our Networked World: Forthcoming OCLC Membership Report

The practice of using a social network to establish and enhance relationships based on some common ground—shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic location—is as old as human societies, but social networking has flourished due to the ease of connecting on the Web. The next OCLC membership report will explore this web of social participation and cooperation on the Internet and how it may impact the library’s role in the public sphere, including:

  • An overview of social networking and social media Web sites
  • Evaluation of the behaviors, values and expectations of participants
  • Review of related privacy and trust issues
The report is based on a survey ... of the general public from six countries—Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and of library directors from the U.S.
The purpose of the research is twofold: to assist librarians in understanding the values and social-networking habits of the people they serve; and to present the origins and history of “privacy” as a core professional value in librarianship.

The report’s release is expected in October 2007.


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