Exploring the use of social software in Libraries

Jane Secker, London School of Economics and Political Science

Research team:

Gwyneth Price, Institute of Education
Kris Roger, London School of Economics
Ian Snowley, Research Library Services, University of London
Caroline Lloyd, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

TRA3 J Secker (Final Report) [pdf, 162kb]



The LASSIE project set out to explore whether social software (or Web 2.0 technologies) could enhance the experience of distance learners use of library services.

The project had several key achievements including:

  • Publication of a draft and final literature review providing a comprehensive overview of the use of web 2.0 technologies by libraries, current issues in distance learning librarianship and the role of the library as a social space. (See Appendix 2)
  • Publication of five case study reports documenting practical experiments to use different types of social software and where possible to gather feedback from distance learners. (See Appendix 2)
  • The successful use of several social software tools including a blog (http://elearning.lse.ac.uk/blogs/socialsoftware/) ,the social bookmarking site del.icio.us for storing useful resources (http://del.icio.us/LSE_LASSIE), the production of a podcast available online.
  • The successful use of Moodle for project communication and document sharing
  • Wide dissemination of the research findings to fellow librarians and others via the blog, conferences & presentations and publications.


The project sought to establish if social software might be able to provide additional support for distance learners when using library resources. LASSIE concluded that one of the greatest challenges facing distance learners was how they developed information literacy skills without face to face interaction with library staff. It also concluded that library staff could now use a variety of social software tools to enhance the information literacy support they provided to distance learners.

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