OCLC has released their latest membership report Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World.
The practice of using a social network to establish and enhance relationships based on some common ground—shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic location—is as old as human societies, but social networking has flourished due to the ease of connecting on the Web. This OCLC membership report explores this web of social participation and cooperation on the Internet and how it may impact the library’s role, including:
The report is based on a survey (by Harris Interactive on behalf of OCLC) of the general public from six countries—Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and of library directors from the U.S. The research provides insights into the values and social-networking habits of library users.
- The use of social networking, social media, commercial and library services on the Web
- How and what users and librarians share on the Web and their attitudes toward related privacy issues
- Opinions on privacy online
- Libraries’ current and future roles in social networking
Among the report highlights:
- The Internet is familiar territory. Eighty-nine percent (89 percent) of respondents have been online for four years or more and nearly a quarter have been using the Internet for more than 10 years.
- The Web community has migrated from using the Internet to building it - the Internet's readers are rapidly becoming its authors.
- More than a quarter of the general public respondents currently participate on some type of social media or social networking site; half of college students use social sites.
- On social networking sites, 39 percent have shared information about a book they have read, 57 percent have shared photos/videos and 14 percent have shared self-published information.
- Over half of respondents surveyed feel their personal information on the Internet is kept as private, or more private, than it was two years ago.
- Online trust increases with usage. Seventy percent (70 percent) of social networking users indicate they always, often or sometimes trust who they communicate with on social networking sites.
- Respondents do not distinguish library Web sites as more private than other sites they are using.
- Thirteen percent (13 percent) of the public feels it is the role of the library to create a social networking site for their communities.