In my last entry, I talked about how simple it was to find the Seattle Public Library blog, and how it had two easy to spot links right on the homepage. Because of this, I thought that all of the SPL’s social networking tools would be just as easy to locate. Well, I was a bit hasty with my assumption. Earlier in the day I had searched through my own Facebook account to find the Seattle Public Library’s page, and to my delight it not only existed, it was also quite popular and regularly updated. Yet, when I tried to find a link to their account through their homepage, it was rather difficult to spot. During my first attempt, I gave the homepage a quick skim, but then decided to just use the link to Facebook that they post on their blog. However, when I decided to go back and look over the entire front page again, I was able to locate a Facebook icon in the very bottom corner of the site. I can understand why they don’t want to put their Facebook icon right in the middle of the page, where it could detract from other possibly more useful features like the catalog and the ask a librarian feature, but it definitely could be put in a more prominent place if most patrons are even going to realize the SPL has a Facebook page.
Besides the difficulty in locating their Facebook account, their actual page is quite popular, with over 14,000 likes and 8,000 visitors. The SPL also does a great job of interacting with their followers instead of just stating opinions or re-posting stories. They will often pose questions to the public, like asking them what their favorite young adult books are, and then reply to the extensive conversations that ensue. While looking through all the posts on their page, there was an outpouring of affection for the SPL, and there was even another library science student from SJSU who said they were studying this page for her class because it was such a success. After such a glowing recommendation, it’s hard to find fault with the SPL’s Facebook page, especially when a host of other users keep posting their appreciation of the SPL’s services. Because of the overwhelming positive vibe and the variety of information they post, I would certainly friend them if I ever move to the Seattle area. The only slight issue I have with the site is one of personal preference; this is due to their decision to switch to Facebook timeline, which might be a little more difficult to use for those who are new or reluctant Facebook users.