For my LIS 768 Brand Monitoring Assignment, I intend to shine a brighter light on conversations about The Human Library in Web 2.0 media sites and social networks.
Why are conversations important?
Lankes, Silverstein, and Nicholson (2007) believe they know one answer: “Knowledge is created through conversation. Libraries are in the knowledge business. Therefore, libraries are in the conversation business.” Conversations can occur between 2 people, between groups of people, or within one’s self. The Human Library surrounds us everyday! Living Books are people. The Human Library blends “conversations… sparked by a book” and conversations that “center on the foundations of ourselves and our humanity.”
In the first chapter of The Cluetrain Manifesto, Christopher Locke states that, “Networks greatly facilitate the sharing of relevant knowledge within a community joined by like interests.” The Human Library’s online network could catalyze a global movement. A movement designed to help people confront, converse with, and clear-out superficial prejudices. Let us convert our prejudices to acceptance. Let us learn through conversation.
Social Media and other Web 2.0 sites facilitated excited conversation about Toronto Public Library’s first Human Library event – taking “place simultaneously at five branches across the city.” TPL provided people with information about reserving their time with a Living Book for November 6, 2010.
The Toronto Community News began advertising on their website
The Human Library visits Toronto Public Library
People were updated via The Human Library’s Facebook Page.
Also, the Bloor Gladstone Branch Public Library in Toronto created a Facebook Event for the date. Followers of The Human Library Facebook Group receive updates directly from founder Ronni Abergel. Although the group’s most recent update states that it is suspended (in favor of the Facebook Page), I believe that the new features of Facebook Groups would facilitate more centralized collaboration and communication between Human Library organizers and followers in the future.
The Human Library on Twitter: 93 Tweets, 125 Followers
The Human Library’s Twitter page is still young. So far, this Twitter page is primarily used to update Followers about articles and events. If The Human Library provided a link to their Twitter via their website or Facebook, people might direct updates @TheHumanLibrary more often.
The Bloor Gladstone Public Library in Toronto tweeted about the event:
About a week after the event, Toronto Public Library continues to Tweet about The Human Library (#humanlibrary)!
Blog from a Living Book!
Visual essayist, Franke James, wrote a blog entry informing her “Green Conscience” followers, and other curious web surfers, that she was volunteering to be a Human Book! Below her blog entry, people can view others’ tweets about Franke James at The Human Library event on November 6th.
The Human Library posted an entry describing the successes of the Toronto event. They cite a remark made by one Living Book borrower:
“It felt like a conversation with an inspiring and interesting new friend.”
If rap music makes you uncomfortable, confront your prior judgments! Be sure to check out the Human Library Introduction, via TheHumanLibrary YouTube Channel, for DIY statement of The Living Library’s mission. The number of YouTube videos about The Human Library is growing every year! As The Human Library continues to inspire healthy conversation about important and sensitive issues, more people will search for this alternative library online! For example, the video posted above has over 2,500 views!
The Human Library’s web presence is growing. March 21, 2010 was the first day anyone bookmarked The Human Library on del.icio.us. Today, this alternative library has been bookmarked 52 times! Over time, The Human Library will develop closer connections to people in both local communities and virtual communities; and the conversation will continue to grow.