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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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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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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 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…



Eva the social media librarian

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the thing about meetings…

So you know when you’re in library school, and you’ve got to do all that group work, and you fall back into the old grade-11-calculus-doubting-mode where you constantly demand to know “When are we EVER going to use these skills?!” ?

Well my fellow librarians, all that group-work skill you picked up while slaving over your portion of that inevitably shoddy frankenstein of a report actually DOES come in handy in your real job! Yep, that’s right, you heard it here first folks!

One of the biggest surprises for me so far has to be the amount of meetings that an academic librarian ends up taking part in. There are SO many meetings! Long ones, brief ones, informative ones, boring ones, ones where you are totally distracted and ones where they serve delicious food…(ok, I’ll admit the ones with food almost inevitably end up being the distracted ones…and they also somehow feel brief. So, these adjectives are not mutually exclusive).

I have suddenly become that person that has to “check their schedule” (because my own schedule no longer relies on just ME)…and I kind of like it!

And that’s just the thing. As a new librarian, the sooner you realize how to communicate and behave in a meeting environment, the more pleasant and productive your meetings (and your work) will be! Some basic points to observe:

– Speak in turn.
– Read the agenda BEFORE the meeting has begun.
– Bring note-taking materials.
– Take. Notes. (with followups and takeaways)
– Brush up on your appropriate vocabulary and speak very VERY politely.
– Be strategic, get your message across without stepping on toes or offending anyone.
– Meetings are not the same as debates.
– Be engaged

And here’s the REAL thing: the sooner you stop seeing meetings as obligations, and start to see them more as learning opportunities, the better.

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Anatomy of a Librarian

If not informative, then just generally fun to look at [kind of like a weather girl]


++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
Anatomy of a Librarian | Infographic |
Image Source:

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Social Media Style.

Yesterday’s post had me describing why I’m finding it important to share multi-media content through the library’s social networks. What I failed to share was my original idea for really taking this notion & running with it …a library Style blog! Or, more accurately, a library Style feature, either on Facebook or linked to Facebook through a Tumblr blog.

I figure that since our students have such amazing style, this might be a good way to highlight their talent and creativity while prompting them to connect with us through Facebook tags and tumblr reblogs, and check back for the promise of updates [think: placing them in the library, and placing the library in their cyber sociality].

Who doesn’t want to be given kudos for their sense of style? more importantly,who doesn’t want photographic evidence of aforementioned kudos from a third party to rub into their friends faces?[don’t even think about lying, you totally do]

This project is stalled, however, by privacy concerns, rights waivers (which are exhaustive and super redundant but required), and sharing restrictions. All of which are being dealt with as I type. My favourite work-around to date is introducing the Style feature through a once-a-week event for, say, a month, after which we would invite students to submit their own photos and avoid the heap of legal-administrative concerns all together!

yay for using social media to help tell our student’s daily “stories”, and double yay for not letting boring paperwork get in the way of a fun idea!

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productivity and comfort.

 Be forwarned: I am playing around with the alignment justification of my text today, yep, its one of THOSE days, so if you’re up for it, here’s my actual post…

Walking through the library today,I’ve  noticed a marked shift in the students’ attire. Maybe it’s  half-way-through-the-week fatigue, or the stress of this time of year, but our perpetually dolled up and styled student population seems to be preferring sweats and hoodies to their usual skinny jeans and leather jackets…which made me wonder about the library’s role in the exam-induced comfort craving that is upon us, and how students feel about the physical space that is the library.

Really, I guess this is just a long-winded way for me to have gotten around to realizing the importance of sharing multi-media on social media.

 I’m suggesting  that we could use social media channels to build or reinforce feelings of comfort and security that is so important for students to associate with the library. Tweeting candid shots of students curled up with their laptops, identifying a particularly cozy nook to study in, or sharing the type of music that someone is listening to in their headphones while working on their assignment in the computer lab, are all messages that not only reconnect students to their library spaces, but also create moods and associate feelings of belonging and ownership that are so vital to the student library experience. “The library” should be a place of intellectual inspiration and creativity, a place for group work and collaboration and faculty interaction, a place where students feel comfortable and unafraid to ask questions.

The way I see it, media-rich communication through social networks is what  might make all the difference between the library being just a resource gateway, and the library being a sanctuary of knowledge and support.

p.s. how awesome would it be to actually have the library feel like a home library with cozy furniture and wooly blankets at your disposal [hmm, maybe this comfort craving thing is contagious…]

image source: November Vogue

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