Sivasothi (@sivasothi) and Ivan Chew (@ramblinglib) tipped me off on the Singapore National Library Board‘s new Facebook app, simply called ‘myLibrary‘. What’s interesting about the app is that it integrates much of our typical library transactions right into Facebook.
At first we might wonder, “What’s the big deal about a Facebook app? Can’t we already access the same services by going to the library’s web site?”
True that, but more than just a matter of accessibility, it’s about being “within reach” to users, and extending their library use into the third place. Allowing users to recommend books to friends or posting what they’re reading directly onto their Facebook profiles is very much for the library’s win (i.e. word of mouth).
Since the Facebook app does require an NLB account to play with, I’ve made a quick five minute screencast above for the benefit of our international librarian friends (also on Youtube for the kiasu ones). If you can’t or hate watching videos, you can also read all about ‘myLibrary’ at NLB’s Facebook FAQ page, which includes a user guide (PDF) complete with annotated screenshots.
So far, the tweets about the ‘myLibrary” has been largely positive (many of whom were surprised!), so I do hope NLB keeps up the great work. I love our innovative librarians, and this in turn makes me proud of Singapore.
UPDATE 1: Some folks have asked if NLB has plans for mobile apps, and while there’s no official word, my sources have quietly hinted in due time. Meantime, we can always point our iPhones to http://m.nlb.gov.sg