Category Archives: Self-banter

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!

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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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successful thought. Or, a thought on success.

Warning: you are about to board my train of thought. Keep arms and legs inside the cabin at all times, and prepare for some confusing turbulence.

So, social media is. period. And we, as people and as librarians need to sort out and negotiate how we will be living within the ubiquitous social media culture that surrounds us. Personally, I’ve made my peace and found my niche. Then, I think “well, Libraries need to be on social media” (because, duh, that’s kind of my job) and “social media is the chance to reconnect the drift created by digital resources” (no offence, love me some digitized manuscripts, not to MENTION those handy-dandy online article databases that have saved my behind more than once–you know that feeling, don’t tell me you haven’t been there.). So not only does social media help spread information, but it encourages a dialogue, and we know this. We know it helps people feel connected. We know its personal. And we know the library can benefit…but I just haven’t exactly figured out entirely how.  Or even my confident version of the why.

I am in no way suggesting ignoring social media here. In fact I strongly encourage participation and experimentation (you know, in college…nevermind.) In fact, development and innovation come from actively going for it, rather than speculating. But before we begin throwing out hash tags, we need a pragmatic understanding of what social media is, how it can be most effectively applied to libraries, and, most importantly, we need to reach an honest understanding of what real success is in this realm.

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So here it is…

Right. First blog post. Although it seems a bit silly to be writing to what I can only assume is an audience of zero, I’m doing it anyway because I have committed myself to this blogging experiment. And by committed myself, I really mean convinced myself during my arduous morning commute that I need a new and constructive way to express my ideas and observations of my work (mostly because my husband and best friend are sick of witnessing my out loud idea negotiations).

And by blogging experiment, I really mean my spontaneous attempt to better-organize-my-thoughts-while-also-documenting-the-behind-the-scenes-moments-of-my-first-real-career-job-all-while-also-maybe-creating-a-place-where-similairly-interested-librarians-can-turn-for-affirmation-that-they-are-not-the-only-ones-making-it-up-as-they-go-along.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. No promises or expectations here, just me thinking [read: struggling] out loud. [And yes, that means I get to create extremely inappropriately lengthy hyphenated sentences and overuse adjectives as I wish]. So hah.

…please don’t take the “so hah” personally. If you’ve stuck around ’till the end of my first post, please be a doll and come back for more. It will be riveting, or your money back! (Damn, there I go with promises again…)

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