Privacy and Online Social Networks: A Proposed Approach for Academic Librarians in University Libraries

Greg Hutton


This paper analyzes the ways in which academic librarians in university settings can educate the staff, students, and public involved in the library community of both the risks and benefits of involvement in online social network sites such as Facebook. The concerns addressed range from maintaining users’ basic privacy and protecting themselves from physical and mental harm, to making users aware of how the information being shared on these sites may be used in newly emerging marketing practices. The paper recommends that academic librarians utilize social networking sites themselves in order to provide current, relevant information to the relevant parties in the university library community.



Academic Libraries, Social Networking, Privacy

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