I lurk on social media.
I watch and listen and wait for inspiration to strike (or ideas to steal). Occasionally I’ll post a note or share something in a group, but mostly I listen and appreciate the community that is librarianship. But there’s a certain level of pressure associated with social media. Who should I follow? How much should I participate? What if I want to stop following this big, important, well-known library person because it winds up I’m not interested in their kitty pictures (because sometimes, I’m just really not in the mood). Just as it takes some of us a bit longer to realize that it is okay to give up on a book that’s just not doing it for us, we can do the same with social media. I quit Snapchat so hard, and I’m more than okay with that. We all have the right to say “Nah, that’s not my deal” and walk away.
But sometimes I need a reminder, so here are some things I remind myself about social media:
- It is what you make of it, and what you want it to be. Do all of it or none of it or something in between. It’s okay.
- You can’t read everything on Twitter, or even Facebook, now. There’s just too much content. It’s ok to sit back and see what rises to the top. If it’s important it will likely be shared more than once and you’ll catch it then.
- What rises up will likely be under this bubble or filter of bias, meaning like people share similar views and, thus, similar things. Remember to step outside of that bubble to get multiple perspectives, especially if it is something that is important to you.
- Different networks are for different things, even though the same content is sometimes shared across multiple platforms. Try out a few, figure out which is the best fit, and go from there.
- Feel free to lurk. I lurk in Facebook groups, on Twitter, on Foursquare, and learn a lot about what I like and don’t like about certain formats.
- If you have something to say, if you feel like it’s worth sharing then put it out there! We’re all just learning from each other!
In terms of library idea-sharing, which groups do I appreciate the most? Here are just a few (certainly not a complete or exhaustive list), along with a brief description:
- LMaO - Library Marketing and Outreach: https://www.facebook.com/groups/acrl.lmao/?ref=browser
- This group is so awesome! I love the pictures and questions shared! The group description says, “An ACRL group created for Academic Librarians interested in Marketing and Outreach. Please share ideas and events from your libraries! This group is for: - Sharing ideas, resources, websites, software, etc. to help us market our libraries and their services. Emphasis on FREE or low cost resources! - Show off the work you do: your success stories and your failures, ask for help from others, and plan for local meet ups in your state to exchange ideas!”
- eLearning in Libraries: https://www.facebook.com/groups/459190367552515/?ref=browser
- According to the description, “This is a group for anyone who is interested in developing e-learning for library purposes. We will share ideas and engage in discussion about e-learning. Public, academic, school, and special library staff are all encouraged to join. E-learning can include screencasts, tutorials, videos, and any other training delivered in an online format, and may be for library staff or patrons.”
- I love taking ideas and seeing how many different formats I can deliver it with--Can I take an online video idea and turn it into a classroom activity? Let’s try! Plus, learning about new tech tools is always a good idea!
- I love staying connected with local folks and hearing about issues, successes, and everything in between, so this group is great! “Iowa Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries division discussion group. Membership in this Facebook group is open to everyone, everywhere. Maintained by ILA ACRL Electronic Communications Committee.”
- ALA Think Tank: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ALAthinkTANK/
- I know there are tons of folks who absolutely love this group. I was in for a bit and decided it was 1) too much stuff, and 2) not always relevant to me in my small-library life.
If you’re looking to lurk on other libraries’ pages, check out this compilation of links from 2013:
Pages I don’t follow but probably should:
- Web Junction: https://www.facebook.com/WebJunctionNews
- Library Journal: https://www.facebook.com/Library-Journal-11249119181/
- Learning Round Table of the ALA: https://www.facebook.com/ALALearning
- CILIP Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals: https://www.facebook.com/CILIP-119527011399432/?ref=ts
- School Library Journal: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolLibraryJournal
- The Digital Shift: https://www.facebook.com/thedigitalshift/
Things I forget about on Twitter until they pop up:
- Kathy Schrock: https://twitter.com/kathyschrock
- #IALibChat: https://twitter.com/IAlibchat
- Inside Higher Ed: https://twitter.com/insidehighered
- Barbara Fister: https://twitter.com/bfister
- Creative Library Practice: https://twitter.com/creativelibprac
- American Library Association: https://twitter.com/ALALibrary
- Lauren Pressley: https://twitter.com/laurenpressley
- ALA Booklist: https://twitter.com/ALA_Booklist
- Bookriot: https://twitter.com/BookRiot
Where do you lurk to find the best ideas? Where do you find the best sense of community online? Share in the comments below!