Thing 13: Online networker

I’m a big fan of social media and have been using both Facebook and Twitter for several years. I made a conscious decision when I began the chartership process in 2015 to keep my Facebook account private for engaging with friends and family, whereas my Twitter account is public, and is used almost exclusively for professional engagement with the library and information community. I don’t personally know many of my connections on Twitter, but they are mostly within the LIS community. Those that I do know are either colleagues from my own service or those I have engaged with at conferences or library events.

Online networker
I’m going to look into changing my Twitter handle. I created the account before I was married so it would make sense to keep my name consistent across platforms to avoid confusion.

I follow lots of libraries across the world, librarians from different sectors, and library groups and advocacy pages. I enjoy observing and getting involved on Twitter, and have contributed to a couple of #uklibchat Twitter chats and chartership chats. None of my colleagues at work were going through chartership at the time or had chartered recently, so I found Twitter chats really helpful for connecting with my peers and sharing advice and best practice.

Chartership twitter chat
Chartership Twitter chat from 2015

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Digital and Information Literacy Forum hosted by Scottish Library and Information Council, and tweeted using the event hashtag. I really enjoy live tweeting at library conferences and events, as it can encourage meaningful engagement with those at the event and around the world.Tweet2

This is probably the most retweets I’ve ever had. I looked into the impact of this tweet and it reached over 2,000 people, considering I have less than 150 followers I was quite impressed by this. This tweet prompted a discussion with a school librarian, and several new followers, both from the conference itself and from across the UK.

I’ve always been conscious of my digital footprint and it’s impact upon the professional image that I project online. I know that potential employers will search for me online to check my digital presence, so I try to keep this in mind when I post anything online.

I set up my LinkedIn account a few years ago but haven’t made much use of it. Following on from Thing 11 I made sure my details and experience were up to date, and added my first Rudai23 badge to my profile. I also followed the steps to customise my LinkedIn URL, something I wasn’t aware that you could do until I read Thing 11!

Going forward I’m going to take the author of Thing 11’s advice and make my LinkedIn and Twitter profile photo the same, as I use these platforms in a professional capacity. Although I love my cat to death, it’s probably not very professional to have him in my profile photo, and it does reinforce that age-old stereotype of librarians and cats!

Linkedin

There are some great tools for improving communication in the workplace and managing work and projects. I love Doodle, I discovered it when I was in another post a few years ago. It makes organising meetings so easy (and stress free). I actually use it in my personal life as well – it’s great for planning catch-ups with busy friends! I had never heard of Trello until I read Thing 12, but it looks like a tool that I could definitely make a lot of use out of. I work well when I have scheduled a list of tasks to refer to, and the fact you can prioritise work through colour coding makes me very happy!

Trello
Practise Trello board – I like the Pinterest feel of it.

Trello would work really well in my day to day work as I’m not based at one specific computer so can’t make use of digital ‘sticky notes’ like a lot of my colleagues. With Trello I can log on from any device and keep track of my work.

In my current role I don’t tend to collaborate with remote partners, but Skype and Trello would be my first choices in communicating and managing work if this were to happen in a future role. I’m already familiar with Skype through showing library patrons how to use it to communicate, but I’ve never used it in my own work. With conference and travel budgets being tight, these online collaboration and communication tools could be the way forward for working with partners from further afield and presenting our projects to colleagues through virtual conferences!

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