July 11, 2016
I will admit it. I have been hesitant to immerse myself in the world of Twitter. Some of the district librarians I collaborate with have library twitter feeds of their own, and their feedback has been mixed. Some say that it it feels like a challenge to find something to tweet about on a regular basis, and some say that it’s a wonderful way of staying abreast of trends in the library and education realms. In order to maximize the value of this platform without feeling overwhelmed in the complete immersion, my first step in experimenting with Twitter has been to join as an observer and receiver of information. This way I can increase my exposure to wonderful texts, ideas, and conversations that are occurring in my profession.
I began by searching the hashtag #libchat, which brought back a barrage of tweets. Although the initial response was slightly overwhelming, it was inspiring as well. It was easy to get lost in the different conversations, links, and photos. One blog post I found particularly interesting, and a good read for anyone in the field, was about one man’s attempt to rework her Librarian Career Day presentation. His reflections and ideas can be found here: https://goo.gl/hHA37S. I think this is great for anyone who may be participating in a career day event, but also for librarians who would like to start a dialogue with students about librarian stereotypes and reality. There is a participatory element to his presentation that asks students to share the top 5 words that come to mind when they hear the librarian (you should read some of them – they are enlightening). Once this was completed, he was able to start an honest conversation about what he actually does and how he can help add value to his students and patrons lives. This allowed him to build relationships with the students, as well as market herself and his services.
Here’s an image she included in her presentation:
Image source: Otis College of Art and Design Library.
I would love to replicate this activity at my high school. I think compiling the student responses (and hopefully some teacher and administrator responses as well) would be useful in helping me identify how others see my role, and provide an impetus for conversing about what I actually do.
Overall, Twitter seems like a vibrant community and a useful platform for developing my PLN. Using hashtag searches, I can find some great library voices to follow and thus develop a strong network of information.
If you’re looking for some library hashtags to begin your search, check out this article: https://hacklibraryschool.com/2014/05/27/hashtags/, or try #tlchat or #libchat.
If you’re looking for some great twitter feeds to follow, check out: @jane_librarian, @shannonmmiller, @joycevalenza, @rewriting lives, @ALALibrary, @MediaLiteracyEd, or @LibraryJournal.
Check it out, you won’t regret it!