Sunday, 18 September 2011

Thing 4: Current Awareness - Twitter

I'm splitting Thing 4 into several parts. This post is about Twitter.

I joined Twitter 2 years ago. Followed a few people I worked with. Refused to post anything, and then deleted the account 6 months later. I didn't want to make a public statement and didn't feel I had anything to contribute to the conversation.

I was encouraged recently to give it another go. It was like a light was suddenly switched on. I suddenly felt like I was engaged with the library community again. I compiled a list of Cilip-related groups and followed the one's that were relevant to me and my interests, found other relevant professional networking groups, and then used their followers to identify relevant profiles. Finding high profile information professionals also helped. Is there a librarian out there that doesn't follow @philbradley?

An attendance at a CPD networking event gave me the opportunity to put Twitter to the test, and I attempted to 'live tweet' the interesting discussions that were swirling around me. I'll admit I found this really difficult. I'm deaf, and need to look at people and concentrate hard in group situations in order to follow the conversation. Attempting to look at my phone, key in text, look at people to lip read and pay attention all at the same time just didn't work for me. Others were also live-tweeting from the same event, and I found I learned a lot from them about 'how to do it'.

There are some inspirational librarians out there. I wouldn't have heard their voices without Twitter. The only thing I've found is that there don't seem to be many tweeting about the government / specialist library sector. And I was intrigued recently to read an article on how to raise your profile as a librarian by someone that didn't appear to be on Twitter. I realised I've reached the point where I just expect everyone to be on it. I've been converted already.

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