it happened.

I saw this coming. In fact, I saw it coming, saw it happen, ignored it happening, and then denied that it ever occured.

I’m talking about the accidental death of this blog…and honestly, I am not interested (and neither are you) in going on at length with excuses and apologies. The truth is that as the Social Media Librarian grew and evolved in her role and responsibilities, less time was available for professional reflection and sharing. And I was busy instagram-ing macarons.

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 12.16.58 PMBut I am back now, with time and energy to spare — and I hope that you will stick around for what is planned to be a fun, fresh, and [sometimes] retrospective look into social media!

Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 4.53.09 PM

 

 

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#smwTO and what I learned.

Having spent sporadic parts of last week at  Social Media Week Toronto events,  I am feeling incredibly inspired and geared up to throw all my learnings into my work as a SML.

Now, you might think this is the part where I would proceed to list and discuss all the cool findings, insights, and tips that I picked up in attending #smwto–But it isn’t. What I learned will be revealed through my incorporation of these elements into upcoming projects and initiatives. It’s more interesting that way, and besides, the discussions and ideas thrown around were far to awesome to jot down in point-form how-to points anyway  [they were much better captured in live tweets and scribbled on my Starbucks paper cups…see my twitter feed for former, my instagram for latter].

I will, however, do you a big fat favour in sharing the realization that as a Social Media Librarian, it is often very easy (and detrimental, I would argue) to focus exclusively on the “librarian” portion of your title. It could be caused by the fact that those years you spent on your Masters degree were almost exclusively aimed at librarianism which shaped your career goals of achieving high librarianhood, which are then aggravated by your placement within an institution which almost exclusively sees you as a librarianoid trying to make sense of this new and scary world of social media…

But here’s the thing — like it or not, social media has JUST as much to do with your job as librarianship does! It has to! What makes your job so tremendously terrific is that you are bridging these two worlds, not translating one for the sake of the other. Own your unique position, be fearless in the possibilities, and always, always, be proud of what you do.

That is a really long-winded way for me to get around to urging you to PLEASE make it a priority to attend just as many Social Media industry events and conferences as Library ones. You must see yourself as a professional in both fields, and must be prepared to put in the effort of keeping on top of the trends and discourses of both respectively. Innovation will flow much more freely, and your passion for your work will thrive. promise.

Social - Media - Librarian. All of the above, please.

Ok, maybe I’ll divulge one awesome take-away for all who were not at Social Media Week Toronto…

The tweet2hold tree !  A beautiful physical manifestation of the #smwto tweets of the week, colour coded based on sentiment.

   A fabulous way to optimize the twitter-activity of an event and regenerate the the buzz and   interest that was created online into a physical space [ which then gets instagramed and tweeted all over again — a brilliantly  vicious cycle]!

Don’t know how yet, but I MUST do something like this for an upcoming event [and you should too!]

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simple & effective.

Prompted by recent attention & inquiries into how I go about locating our library user tweets, I realized that sometimes what seem to me to be simple & given techniques are not as obvious to others. So here I present for your consideration a super simple method that YOU SHOULD ALL be incorporating into your library/brand social media strategies.

The Search! 

That’s what librarians do, right? Search for stuff? Well not only does the stereotype endure, it also proves itself to be true & useful!

Step 1: Consider a few search strings containing terms that point to your specific library/brand, and save these searches in your twitter app.

Step 2: Refer to these saved searches daily {several times a day, I suggest, actually}, to catch updated hits.

Step 3: DO NOT RETWEET OR REPLY ALL RESULTS. Be selective & deliberate. Retweet useful/entertaining tweets, follow repeat offenders, strategically reply to complains/queries, and generally avoid hostile messages [unless you’re feeling fiesty].

At best, this method will help you catch users at key service points, creating an intuitive  interaction opportunity for your handle.

At worst, you may creep a couple of users out [see step 3]. But thanks to the nature of Twitter, it should pass with the next updated feed.

Happy creeping  searching!

E

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you are what you tweet.

Too much going on to properly sit down and compose a respectable blog post, so I’m doing this instead:

Cool things happening right now:

-Going to attend as many events as possible [i.e. as many as I can physically make it to/prevent getting kicked out of] at Social Media Week.

– Working on awesome Mobile Strategy for our library.

– researching Virtual Spaces for academic libraries.

-writing a ton of articles!

– continuing work on my social media revolution  engagement techniques.

– wrapping up an awesome physical/social media campaign.

– working on using the word “awesome” less often.

-and this:

.Will write more posts as soon as the novelty of the giant iPad costume wears off…

E.

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Formalizing Facebook.

So I am fresh off this year’s OLA Super Conference high, and I’ve got a blog post in the works about the experience coming up shortly.

Meanwhile, as I return to work this Monday morning, my calendar notifies me that I have agreed to lead a student information session — cue panic!

The post within this post, I suppose, is time management and scheduling competency [i.e. I maybe shouldn’t have set that notification for 4 hours before the event]. I will of course avoid that obvious and helpful topic, and instead give a quick recap of how I’ve spent the last few hours scrambling to get my thoughts down into a cohesive and comprehensive lesson/session plan.

Now, being the social media librarian, it is only fitting that my student session topic be Facebook. The use, the dangers, the possibilities, and then the truth. GREAT topic idea, but also a WHOLE lot of information to cover in under an hour. So here’s what I’ll do instead:

In planning, I have decided to spend about half of my time actually having a conversation with the students about their familiarity, experiences, and questions about Facebook. After sharing my wisdom on how to manipulate your privacy settings and notification options, I will bestow my biased opinion on them – hailing Facebook as an important and almost inevitable platform for social connection and interaction, and illustrate these with personal and profesional anecdotes to support my sweeping statement.

Jokes aside, I feel that it is super important for users to understand the facts:

– yes, it’s true, Facebook and a slew of marketers, employers, and creepy lonely people [these categories are not mutually exclusive] are watching your activity. 

– no, that does not mean you should run for the hills and hide your online existence.

– Actively participating on Facebook is essential to relevancy [for libraries and for individuals]. Being aware of the reality of the platform, and understanding your options as a user will poise you for optimal control over how you are represented and what will be perceived of you. The key is to own your online presence, make it deliberate, and reap the cyber connection benefits in your real world.

Those who survive [read: stay awake] through this initial discussion will be rewarded with a how-to on creating their own personal social media strategy by the Social Media Librarian herself! More impressive, of course, will be the chance to make use of the super-awesome touch screen smart boards set up in our brand new Tech Room.

So there, I’m off to face my audience. Hope someone shows up [stay tuned for my impending  “what to do when no one shows up” “lesson’s learned” post]

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disappearing act & balloons.

yep, I’m a derelict blogger.

But like it or not, I’m back to my sorry little blog. And because I like you so much, I will spare you the obligatory run down of all of what I’ve been up to in the past several weeks, and instead just select the one MOST super cool and fun thing that I got to work on [ I swear, it IS because I like you so much — its got nothing to do with the fact that its the only work related event I’ve got photo documentation for…]

So here it is, ladies and gentlemen….I, your favourite social media librarian [with the help of her favourite coworkers]…Planned and executed a milestone 5th Birthday party. Except, it wasn’t any regular 5th Birthday party, no clowns and balloon animals to speak of…and no real 5 year olds, actually {that we know of}. HOW is this possible, you ask? Well, the Birthday party was for our library’s 5th anniversary, and to do it in true social-media fuelled style, we hosted the first ever 10-minute surprise library “tubro-party”! We had balloons, and cookies, and 10 whole minutes of ear-blasting Black Eyed Peas tunes to celebrate…oh yea, and a library full of stunned students.

So here’s the gist of it: 10 minutes before the noon hour, our Chief librarian took to the PA system to start announcing vague suggestions of something going on in the library [ which was preceded by really annoyingly cryptic tweets sent out by yours truly speaking of things like “Tuesday at the Library”, or “be here at noon”.] Anyway, at noon, the Chief Librarian announced to a growing crowd that it was the library’s birthday and that we’d like to celebrate it with our students. Cue librarians and staff to charge out from behind the circulation desk…balloons and noise makers flying…with celebratory cookies circulating for overconsumption by all.

The social media buzz [twitter went nuts, phone photographs circulated…] that followed the party spoke of the benefit of injecting a bit of fun into the library’s relationship with their users. Students expressed excitement and appreciation towards the much-needed stress buster right before exam week, and seemed thrilled to experience such a loud and energetic occurrence in the otherwise categorically quiet and composed library environment.

And I, for one, could not be happier! Learned a few lessons about resources, planning, and listening to the experience of coworkers.

like videos? check out our iPad-filmed teaser here

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A letter to the North Pole [or California]

Dear Santa,

I am writing to tell you that I have been a VERY good (if eagerness counts for nice points) librarian this year.

I have tweeted and Facebook-ed until I couldn’t social-media no more. And then I Google+-ed some more.

But I couldn’t help but notice that every other professional librarian is different from me in one very important way…

THEY ALL HAVE iPADS! [no, I mean really, EVERYONE has one..at meetings, at conferences, in the Starbucks lineup, at the campus bus stop…]

So all I want for Christmas this year, is a shiny new iPad. I don’t really need it to take notes, or record anything, or browse anywhere, really [that’s what my super awesome macbook pro is for, after all…] but its kind of really cool and…what’s a social media librarian without a cool toy to social media on?

That, plus I think they’re really really pretty, and they go well with my manicure…

 

Love,

Eva the social media librarian

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