Saturday, January 3, 2009

How to create a Facebook fan page for your library

Since opening itself up in late 2006 to anyone with an email account over the age of 13, Facebook has exploded. 2008 seemed to be the year of Facebook with everyone setting up an account. The Facebook culture changed from college students sending pics back and forth of the party on Saturday night, to a bunch of parents trading kid pics. While this may be an oversimplification, the reality is that Facebook has turned into one of the most important social networking tools on the internet.

Because of this, 2008 was also a year when a number of libraries set up Facebook "fan" pages to create a presence in Facebook for their libraries. If your library hasn't set up a Facebook fan page you should consider doing so. It's easy, quick, and a great way to connect with your patrons in the Web 2.0 world.

Step 1: Create a Facebook account. If you haven't done so already you'll be amazed at how many of your friends and family are already on Facebook. You'll also need to do this so you can be the administrator of the fan page.

Step 2: Find another library's fan page. In the upper right hand corner of the Facebook page type, "Skokie Public Library" in the search box, and you'll see a link to their fan page.

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom of that page. You should see a link that says, "Create a Page for My Business". Click on this link.

Step 4: At this point you should see a page called, "Create New Facebook Page". The "local" category should be selected and highlighted in blue. There is a drop down menu. Click on this and you'll see that one of the options is "Library/Public Building" Select this option.

Step 5: Click on the box titled "Name of Library / Public Building" and put in the name of your library.

Step 6: Click on the "Create Page" button at the bottom of the page.

Step 7: At this point you should be presented with a new template page for your Facebook fan site. At the very top you should see a box that says, "Your Page has been created. To start, add information or upload a picture". Click on the "add information" link in this box.

Step 8: You should see a page where you can now input basic information about your library. Fill in the Address, City/Town, Zip, Phone, and Hours fields. There are also tabs for "Picture" and "Detailed Info". Click on the Picture tab and upload a picture of your library if you have one available. Clicking on the Detailed Info tab will bring up a page where you can put in your library's web address and field for any general information about your library.

Step 9: At this point you should get a message that your changes have been saved. Click on the link for your library's fan page that should appear in the upper left hand corner of the page. You should be back at your Facebook fan page template and you should see any information or pictures or links that you created in the previous step. At the top of this page you should see a message that says, "This Page has not been published. To make this Page public, publish this Page." Click on the "publish this Page" link.

Congratulations! You have just created a basic Facebook fan page for your library. In our next post we'll go into more details about other information and features you can add to your library's Facebook fan page.

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