During October a small group of YALSA bloggers are posting ideas and information about positive uses of social networking tools in schools and libraries. Here’s positive use #29.
For many teens making decisions about college is a big part of their later high school years. eNotes College Search brings social networking to the college selection, research, and planning process. The idea is to search the eNotes database of colleges, save those that are of interest for one reason or another, give tags to the colleges saved, and add the tags and list to a MySpace or other social networking site. Other teens searching for colleges can see the list, make connections, and think about their own decisions.
The tagging feature of College Search is especially important within the social networking framework. Giving teens the chance to articulate what is appealing (or not appealing) about a particular college or university with single words or short phrases helps focus their checklist of what they are looking for in a college. Similarly, giving other teens the chance to search through tags in order to gain ideas for selection criteria and to find others with similar criteria that they already have is a powerful tool in decision-making and planning.
College Search is a social networking tool that librarians should promote to their teens in order to help them with the sometimes pressure-filled and overwhelming experience of selecting and getting into college. If DOPA were passed librarians wouldn’t be able to make that connection.