Monthly Archives: February 2012

#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!


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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…


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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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