Gerolimos, M. (2011). Academic Libraries on Facebook: An Analysis of Users' Comments. D-Lib Magazine, 17(11/12).
This article analyzes student interactions with academic library Facebook pages and finds that many of them have unclear goals and are ineffective as research or outreach tools.
The author cited several Facebook in education interview-based studies that found students looked to Facebook primarily as a social tool. Many of these studies were taken before some of the successful Facebook marketing campaigns of recent years, so it’s plausible that users’ opinions toward the tool have changed. The study also looked at papers surrounding the basic issues of Facebook in an instructional setting: professionalism, leisure, and privacy.
The study examined nearly 4,000 wall posts among 20 university Facebook pages and coded communications by content as “library related” or not. Most of the comments were complimentary towards the library, but a striking few represented useful interactions between library staff and students. Even sites that identified reference assistance as a goal for their Facebook outreach had very few interactions on the site. Sheer volume of content on the Facebook page was the single best indicator of student activity and appropriate responses to posts.