Will You Be My Friend? Social Networking in the Workplace

Document Type



Purpose – This paper aims to provide an overview of the perceptions of librarians regarding the use of social networking in their professional lives.

Design/methodology/approach – A survey was administered to a random sample of librarians at academic institutions.

Findings – Adoption rates for social networking were high, with 85 percent of the 765 respondents reporting an account in at least one social networking account. Responses reveal opinions about privacy, boundaries, and professional relationships within social networking, suggesting that it does influence relationships within the profession.

Research limitations/implications – The paper presents a snapshot of users' perceptions. Since social media changes rapidly, it is likely that perceptions will also likely change over time.

Practical implications – The paper presents a snapshot of the perceptions of librarians towards social media. This article could be useful to librarians who currently use or are considering creating a social media account.

Originality/value – This paper looks at social media and how it changes interactions between co-workers, which have been little studied in the past. This can be valuable to organizations who create policy and also to employees, who need to consider privacy issues as they become involved in social media.


Academic librarians; Librarians; Online social networks; Privacy; Social media; Social networks


Communication | Library and Information Science | Social Media


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