Libraries & Foursquare – There’s too much “there” there

foursquare.com-logo I’ve been playing with Foursquare for about a month now ever since they released their Android app. So far, I’m the mayor of the Nebraska Library Commission (I am there five days a week), the both the Starbucks and Subway around the block. (As far as I can tell, I’m the only one who’s ever checked in at all three places.) Hey, it’s Lincoln, NE, there’s not a lot of population to work with.

A few weeks ago David Lee King wrote a blog post titled “Foursquare and Libraries – Anything there?” and beat me to the punch on writing an article Introducing librarians to Foursquare. Kudos to David for a wonderful article. Then, something started to happen: I started getting Foursquare friend requests from libraries. Not, librarians. Libraries.

If you’re wondering why I’m making the distinction let’s consider the suggestions David made. They are:

  • Add your library as a place, or edit the entry if someone else has already added it.
  • Add tags relevant to the library.
  • Add Tips and To Do lists.
  • Add your big events.
  • Shout outs.

These are all excellent suggestions. But no where in this list is the suggestion that the library create an account for itself and start friending people. 

Think about it. The point of Foursquare is to let your friends know where you are because you are mobile. Libraries, with maybe the notable exception of a bookmobile, are not mobile. A library can’t go anywhere. A library can not check in at a new location. 

So, if you want to create a library account so you can do the things that David suggests do so. I think it would be better, and actually make sense, for an actual librarian create an account for themselves and do these things on behalf of the library. But what could be the purpose of the library friending actual humans? If I’m missing the point of doing this please feel free to fill me in via the comments.

In the mean time, sorry libraries, I will not be accepting your friend requests. Librarian friend requests gladly accepted.

February 9th, 2010 by