The inaugural Futurelib project explored the idea of enabling student sub-lending at three different site libraries with Facebook Groups selected as the test platform for these transactions. The project was named after the common phrase used by students on Facebook to initiate the sub-lending of books between students: ‘Who has...?’ The study examined whether the legitimising of what is effectively a black market activity would be welcomed or rejected.
Ultimately students were uncomfortable about requesting books via our ‘WhoHas?’ groups, preferring to ask within their immediate social circles. However, the poor timing of the project in Cambridge’s Easter Term also proved far from ideal, with fewer sub-lending transactions taking place due to revision for examinations. Although the project was unsuccessful in terms of the number of sub-lending transactions the student diary studies and exit interviews undertaken immediately after the experiment proved very illuminating, providing insights into student behaviour and perceptions, particularly around the student experience of renewal and recall of books.