November 1, 2022

Impact of Social Networking Sites in the Public Library Services during pandemic in Purba Bardhaman district : Opportunities and Challenges

Indigenous Art & Culture

Shekhor Modak, Senior Library Information Assistant, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharaghpur, ; +91 8637308187

Dhritiman Bhar, Librarian, Gobardanga Hindu College, Khantura, ; +91 9123040445

Abstract : In the modern technological era social networking sites are one of the more effective and vital information sources. It collects, repackages and disseminates information in different topics. We can easily access different social networking sites through the internet 24 – 7 – 365 from any corner of the world. Public library is the gateway of knowledge and also known as an information provider. With the advance of technology, public libraries can easily reach its users through social networking sites. It disseminates and promotes library services to a greater mass within a single moment. Social networking sites help libraries to provide better library services. But there are some challenges which interrupt the information dissemination process through social sites. It is very important to grasp those challenges to provide effective library services through social networking sites. This study attempts to find out how effectively social networking sites help the public libraries services. The purpose of the study is to identify the actual scenario of social networking sites in the public library services. To completion of this study data were collected from the public libraries through online questionnaires. Questionnaires were provided to the respective email addresses of the institutions. Collected data were tabulated formulated analyses and presented using different word processing tools. This study reveals some important issues and challenges. Findings of the study reveals the importance of social networking sites; implementation of social networking sites, harmfulness of social networking sites, usefulness of social networking sites.

Keywords : Social Networking Sites – Public library, Public library services, Social Networking media.


Radical development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and availability of smartphones are changes in the Public Libraries scenario with use of social networking sites(SNS). Most public libraries are effective and prepared for providing SNS based services. Social networking sites are very much helpful for creating interactive communication with user and librarian centric services. We stand in the 21st century called Knowledge Society where knowledge is distributed through Public libraries in a more effective way to it’s users. It is needed for all of us in every moment for any purpose i.e. daily customs, education, research, fashion, marketing, business, entertainment and so on. All the SNS(Social Networking Sites) are more interactive for communicating both ways of information services. With help of SNS librarians are advent for communicate with users in minimal processes. Librarians can add, tag, publish, comment, and notice, through SNS in a smart way at a minimum cost with maximum speed.

Social Networking Sites (SNS)

Social Networking Sites or Social Media is an online platform that people use to build social networks or social relations with other people who share similar personal or career interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.(Wikipedia). Any website that allows users to create public profiles within that site and form relationships with other users who access their profile.The term “Social Networking” refers to a range of web-enabled/it-enabled software programs that allow users to interact and work collaboratively with other users. It includes the ability to browse, search, invite friends to connect and interact, share film reviews, comments, blog entries, favorites, discussions, events, videos, ratings, music, classified ads, tag and classified information and more.(Mishra, 2008). Some popular Social Networking Sites(SNS) are Facebook, Twitter, Printerest, Google+, Youtube, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Periscope, Digg, Viber, Wikis, Blogs, LinkedIn, Flickr, Skype, Line, Telegram, Foursquare, Myspace,, Snapfish, Wayn, Classmate, Myheritage

Purposes of Social Networking Sites (SNS) usage in Public Libraries

  • Web-based networking services make it possible to connect Librarian & users for share interests and activities,
    • To keep quick updates to users.
    • To build discussion forums and collaborative work.
    • Marketing specific adult programs and services.
    • Marketing of library products and services.
    • To spread news and service alerts.
    • To make video conferences easily.
    • To upload library programs smoothly on Social Networking Sites(SNS).
    • To provide costless services.
    • To make a cluster wise services through SNS
    • To make blogging and commenting easily

Statement of the problem

This study attempts to find out the different advantages, facts, issues, and problems relating to the social networking sites served by the public libraries during the pandemic. This study is entitled, “Impact of Social Networking Sites in the Public Library Services during pandemic: Opportunities and Challenges”.

Objectives of the study

This study has following objectives:

  1. To know the social networking sites available in the public library services during pandemic in Purba Bardhaman District.
  2. To assess the actual scenario on social networking sites in the public libraries during the pandemic in Purba Bardhaman District.
  3. To find out the facts and issues relating to the social networking sites in the public libraries during the pandemic in Purba Bardhaman District.
  4. To know the advantages of the social networking sites in the public libraries during the pandemic in Purba Bardhaman District

Scope and coverage

This study is limited in Purba Bardhaman Districts only. There are above 100 public libraries in the Purba Bardhaman District among them randomly selected 18 libraries for this study. Libraries are following:

  • Burdwan District Library, Burdwan;
    • Katwa Sub-Divisional Library, Katwa,Purba Bardhaman;
    • Kalna Sub-Divisional Library, Kalna,Purba Bardhaman;
    • Dainhat Sahar Jitendra Nath Mitra Smriti Pathagar, Dainhat, Purba Bardhaman;
    • Memari Milan Sangha Town Library, Memari, Purba Bardhaman;
    • Dhatrigram Sadharan Pathagar, Dhatrigram, Purba Bardaman;
    • Subodh Chowdhury Smriti Pathagar, Katwa, Purba Bardhaman;
    • Subhas Pathagar, Kalna , Purba Bardhaman;
    • Deshbandhu Smriti Sangha Gramin Pathagar, Krishnadevpur, Purba Bardhaman;
    • Vidyasagar Granthagar, Panuhat, Purba Bardhaman;
    • Satyamoy Sadharan Pathagar, Kalna, Purba Bardhaman;
    • Nagendranath Sadharan Pathagar Rural Library, Akalpoush, Purba Bardhaman.
    • Samudragarh Pragati Sangha Library, Samuragarh, Purba Bardhaman.
    • Ranibandha Yuba Sangha Pathagar, Sahajpur, Purba Bardhaman
    • Subhas Pathagar, Bud Bud, Purba Bardhaman
    • Talit Milan Samity Pathagar, Talit, Purba Bardhaman
    • Sudpur Ramkrishna Pathagar, Sudpur, Purba Bardhaman
    • Ukhura Palli Unnayan Pathagar, Ukhura, Purba Bardhaman


This study uses survey based descriptive research. A structured online questionnaire was prepared with the help of Google-Form as a data collection tool. A questionnaire including 18 questions was distributed among selected libraries via email and different whatsapp groups for this study. . Data were collected from 4th November to 12th November, 2021. Collected data were tabulated, analyzed using different word processing tools

Review of related literature

Mishra (2008) describes the possible implications of social networking technologies in the field of library and information services in the web 2.0 milieu. In addition, an attempt has been made to illustrate different social software tools and their effective utilization in the social networking environment. Finally, the author has cited some stunning examples of libraries being run in the world using the web 2.0 technologies, besides making an endeavor to highlight the role of information professionals to carry out the same in the digital library environment.

Kumar and Kumar (2013) found that the majority of the respondents to be aware and making use of such applications in their research work. The study also reveals that Facebook is the most popular SNSs among the all categories of students and research scholars. SNSs is becoming the interest area of libraries, documentation canters, information centers, for implementing new services in libraries and informing their clientele in a short time period. It was noted that Maharishi Dayanand University has blocked some of the SNSs including YouTube, which provides information including online education lectures and videos.

Priolkar and Kumbhar (2014) find out use of social networking sites in libraries is increasing day by day and it helps library professionals to build personal interaction with their users. Also focused on the use of SNS by library professionals, their purpose and how SNS are useful to them for improving library services. Sachin (2014) highlights the Purposes of Social Media Usage in Libraries, Purposes of Social Media Usage in Libraries, examples of Social Media websites, Social Networking Opportunities for Libraries, Impact of use of Social Networking Sites, Problems use of Social Networking Sites.the concept of Social Networking Sites and delineate the different categories of social networking services. It attempts to identify the Purposes of Social Networking Sites Usage in Libraries,How Social Networking Sites in Libraries and Impact of Use of Social Networking Sites on Libraries. The Implementation details are enumerated and explained. Library associations and LIS.

Kenchakkanavar (2015) describes the main advantages of using social networking sites are effectively utilizing library services and promotions of libraries. If the library provides a Facebook and Twitter through library services, it always helpful to the staff and students to

discussing problems, query, asking questions, library holidays, new book posters, new book lists, reserving book facility due date extensions, instruction sessions or classes etc., in several ways these social networks are very useful to the users.

Emezie and Nwaohirin (2016) examined the role of social networks in enabling library services with a focus on the library within the federal University of Technology Owerri Nigeria. It discusses the type of services provided by libraries through social networks and further investigates factors that undermine effective use of social networks in Nigerian Libraries.

Overview some important social networking sites


Facebook is an online social media platform users can communicate through its posting, sharing, chatting, comments, review; founded by Mark Zukarberg in Feb, 2004.


YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform owned by Google. It was launched in February 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is the second most visited website, with more than one billion monthly users who collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day. As of May 2019, videos were being uploaded at a rate of more than 500 hours of content per minute.


service for distributing short messages among groups of recipients via personal computer or mobile telephone. Twitter incorporates aspects of social networking Web sites, such as Myspace and Facebook, with instant messaging technologies to create networks of users who can communicate throughout the day with brief messages, or “tweets.”


This is a local search- and discovery-based social media platform that enables you to find the ideal places (based on your location) to go to with friends and loved ones. It also gives appropriate search results for the best food outlets, night entertainment places and more in your area. The social networking feature is now available in a separate app named Swarm.


This is a music-focused social networking site and provides an interactive and user-submitted network of friends. It also provides blogs, groups, personal profiles, pictures, videos and so on.

This is a community-based social networking site, especially for those who live in New York. It offers an online magazine to target teens through fashion tips, advice and chat. It also allows young adults to let everyone know about their skills and interests.


Snapfish is a web-based photo sharing social networking site that offers unlimited storage to its members for uploading photos. You can thus put away your storage space concerns for your vast collection of images.


Wayn is a travel- and lifestyle-based social networking platform and offers its users the ability to discover where to go, what to do and how to meet like-minded people to share their experiences.


Classmates allows users to find, connect and keep in touch with friends and acquaintances from school and college. It is also possible for users to upload their yearbook from their school years.


This is an online genealogy social platform which supports more than 42 languages and empowers its users to create family trees, upload and browse through family photos and manage their own family history. It could also be used by people to find their ancestors and get more information about them.

Data Analysis

Figure: 1 Use of Library Automated Software

The above chart gives information about the library automated software used by the selected libraries. According to that, only 28% of public libraries used library automated software and 72% libraries do not use any library automated software.

Figure:2 Services provided by the libraries during pandemic

Above figure shows the services provided by the libraries during the pandemic. It states that 8% libraries provide online reference services, 67% libraries provide

Ask-To-Librarian, only 6% provide remote access facilities, 50% respondent provide social networking services, 83% provide On-Call-Services, and 56% provide email services.

Figure: 3 Availability of social networking sites

The above chart gives information about availability of social networking sites used by the libraries. According to that 22% of libraries have not been using social networking sites and 78% library use social networking sites.



Figure: 4 Effects on users for uses of social networking sites

On the basis of figure 4 it is clearly expressed that 78% responded effected for it seems very interactive, 94% are affected for more documents used at a time, 89% are affected for access from home, and 72% are affected for reducing the time of the users.

Figure: 5 Facebook page uses by the libraries

The above chart gives information about facebook page uses for the libraries. According to that, only 28% of libraries use facebook pages and 72% libraries have not been on any facebook page yet.

Figure: 6 Social networking sites uses by the libraries for delivered the documents

The above chart gives information about social networking used by the libraries for delivering the documents in the pandemic period. According to that, 94% of libraries’ response whatsapp group is used for documents delivered, 67% libraries response messenger group, 56% libraries use telegram. There is no library which uses snapchat for a document delivered.

Figure: 7 Social media uses by the libraries for providing information

Figure 7 displays the social media used by the libraries for providing valuable information among the users. According to that, 44% of libraries use SMS for providing information, 39% are Facebook, 11% are Email and 6% libraries use twitter for providing information.

Figure: 8 Proficiency for handling ICT enable task

The above chart gives information about proficiency for handling ICT enabled tasks. According to that 78% library has no professional staff for handling properly ICT enabled tasks only 22% library staff enable for ICT tasks.





Figure: 9 Different problems arise during the library services

Figure 9 displays different problems that arise during library services. According to that, 83% of libraries issues lack of skilled staff during the library services, 89% issues lack of ICT, 44% issues financial problems and 67% issues poor connectivity.


The findings of the study draw on the basis of 18 selected public libraries in Purba Bardhaman district. It brings to light that most libraries do not use library automated software; only 28% of libraries use it. Most of the libraries provide ‘Ask-To-Librarian’ services. It seems that only 22% of libraries use social networking sites. Highest number of libraries stated that more documents are accessed through social networking sites at a time.Most of the libraries do not have any facebook page, only 28% of libraries have facebook page. Highest number of libraries uses whatsapp groups for delivering the documents to the users, and also uses messenger groups. Maximum libraries SMS is used as a social media, i.e. 44%, only 6% of libraries use twitter as a social medium. Most of the libraries have no professional staff for handling ICT enabled tasks, only 22% libraries have professional staff for handling the ICT enabled tasks. Highest number of the libraries faced problems due to  lack of ICT.

Conclusion and suggestions

Public libraries are the knowledge center where users get the best teaching for gathering a universe of knowledge. All the public libraries closed due to the pandemic. It seems that there are many issues and problems are lack of skilled staff, lack of ICT, financial problems and poor connectivity. Nevertheless some libraries provide valuable services through different social media like, facebook, twitter, messenger and provide them documents. Maximum libraries stated that they have no facebook page and library blog. This study carried out some important information regarding social media used by the libraries; i.e. whatsapp group (94%), messenger group (67%), telegram group(56%).

It is concluded that social networking media used by the libraries is very little due to lack of ICT, lack of professional staff. It would be very much effective when the library is strongly supported by the ICT and skilled staff. The Library Committee as well as the library higher authority should take responsibility and proper action for ICT-based infrastructure. some recommendation given in the following:

  1. Higher authority has to take more responsibilities for implementation of social networking sites in the library.
    1. Sufficient social media devices; computer, laptop, smart phone should be kept in the libraries.
    1. High speed broadband network connectivity should be connected in the libraries.
    1. Need to make proper training for the library professionals.
    1. The utility of the social networking sites must be informed to the library users.

References :

Mishra, C.S. (2008). Social Networking Technologies (SITs) in Digital Environment: Its Possible                          Implications             on            Libraries.             Retrieved            from al_environment_its_possible_implications_on_libraries.

Kenchakkanavar, A. Y. (2015). Facebook and Twitter for Academic Libraries in the Twenty First Century. International Research: Journal of Library & Information Science. 5,(1)                                                             .Retrieved                                                     from ademic_Libraries_in_the_Twenty_First_Century.

Kumar, A. & Kuma, R. (2013). Use of Social Networking Sites (SNSs): A study of Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, India. Library Philosophy and Practice(e-Journal).                Retrieved                                                                          from Flibphilprac%2F1000&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPage

Kumbhakar, S. S. & Priolkar, S. A. (2014). Use of social networking sites by library professionals in the institute Libraries: A study. Retrieved from s_by_library_professional_in_the_institute_Libraries_A_study?channel=doi&linkId= 54d5fbab0cf246475808d796&showFulltext=true

Emezie, N. A. & Nwaohiri, N. M. (2016). Social network as the enabler for library services: challenges of Nigerian academic libraries. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries          (QQML),          5,          pp.          107-115.                                                             Retrieved from

_for_library_services_challenges_of_Nigerian_academic_librarieshttps://www.resear ces_challenges_of_Nigerian_academic_libraries.

Sachin. K. V. (2014). Impact of social networking sites on libraries.Knowledge Librarian: an International Peer Reviewed Bilingual E-Journal of Library and Information Science, 1,(1). Retrieved from

Shekhor Modak, Senior Library Information Assistant, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharaghpur, ; +91 8637308187

Dhritiman Bhar, Librarian, Gobardanga Hindu College, Khantura, ; +91 9123040445