Research Output

Relationship and role transformations in social media environments.

  Based on a keynote paper presented at Internet Librarian International 2010 this article argues that the way in which librarians conceive a number of relationships – between themselves, social media tools, and end-users – determines the boundaries of service innovation. The discussion is set against a context that considers how social media currently provide additional platforms for traditional information services delivery, the characteristics that social media share with other technological implementations, and the corresponding challenges that these present. It is argued that the sophisticated deployment of social media exhibited by librarians in their personal professional use of tools is yet to be extended into mainstream services to end-users. Moreover, the potential of social media as a platform for collaborative working where end-users and librarians develop services together remains to be exploited. This work draws on recent research on collaboration in online environments completed at Edinburgh Napier University. The perspective is that of a researcher with a background in information services provision, who is also a regular consumer of information delivered over social media platforms. The social media implementation at the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition ( is deployed to illustrate points made in the discussion.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2010

  • Publication Status:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    302 Social interaction


Hall, H. (2010). Relationship and role transformations in social media environments. Electronic Library. 29(4), 421-428. ISSN 0264-0473



Communities; Information sharing; knowledge management; library and information science; social informatics;

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