One of the attributes that makes Hennepin County libraries stand out is their excellent service to teens. Various teen groups meet on a regular basis at several branches, including teen anime, chess, and gaming clubs. Responding to today’s teen’s love of online social networking, they have created a MySpace page.
In recent years, more and more libraries are venturing into the world of MySpace, and Hennepin County’s page stands out as one of the best. Typically, library MySpace pages have two functions. They act as a means of communication between library employees and library patrons and they act as a portal to the library’s main website. Hennepin County accomplishes both of these aims, in addition to providing access to the library catalog, directly from the page.
When visiting the Hennepin County MySpace page, you will find a neat, clean, and logically laid out design, complete with fun, vibrant colors. Their friends section includes a healthy mixture of library patrons, indie rock bands, and young adult authors like John Green and Meg Cabot. Visitors can view lists of new books and DVDs; join MySpace groups like Teen Lit, Young Adult/Teen Books, and Readergirlz; link to the wonderful TeenLinks portion of Hennepin County’s main website; view a list of upcoming events; and connect to the Hennepin’s “Ask a Librarian” service. The General Interests section includes reading, homework, library, music, movies, anime, books, blogs, bands, gaming, and manga. In short, there’s something for everyone.
Not surprisingly, other libraries have taken notice of Hennepin’s high quality MySpace page. In response to this, Hennepin has created a page, on their Extranet for librarians, giving tips on how to create a MySpace page, including an explanation of how to add a search box for the library catalog. According to Jody Wurl, Teen Services Librarian in HCL's Web Services, “We received so many requests from libraries interested in developing a MySpace presence that we found this to be the easiest way to share our experience…. It's exciting to see our colleagues exploring the possibilities of this online environment.”
Visit the Hennepin County Libraries home page at http://www.hclib.org/.