Tuesday, 7 May 2013


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I recently heard the word ‘profersonal’, and I think this is the perfect description for my Twitter feed; partly work related comments, partly non-work related comments. Not too heavy, not too light. I tend to follow library-type folks on Twitter and my tweets usually make mention of library bits and bobs.
I’ve found it actually quite valuable for keeping up to date with the latest info in library-land. For example, it’s how I first heard of Library Camp, and how blog posts of note come to my attention. It’s nice to follow people and see how they get on in projects they’re working on, or perhaps feel that I am not alone in my library-related frustrations.

Twitter also allows me to follow hashtags of events which I am not able to attend, and this is what I find most useful about it. Being able to follow the goings-on without actually being present is a revelation, and the more people tweeting from an event the better. In February I tried my hand at live tweeting myself. I attended the annual members’ day of CILIP West Midlands branch and was the nominated tweeter for the day. I posted over 200 tweets from the @CILIPWM account and really enjoyed the experience. It was the first time I’d tweeted on behalf of a society and I really quite enjoyed it. It helped me get more out of the event and I wrote a piece for the CDG WM newsletter about my experience. I was so taken by live tweeting, I pursued it at the next event I went to the following month. It was a Heritage User Group (@HUG) meeting and my relentless tweeting even cracked a mention during the AGM! There wasn’t really anyone else tweeting from the event so conversation between attendees was limited (although well received by non-attendees), but hopefully at the next event there will be more of a Twitter buzz in the room.

In a similar vein, I find conversations relating to hashtags quite exciting. I’ve taken part in the library leadership reading group (#llrg) and various #UKlibchat discussions. There are others I follow but they aren’t necessarily work-related (#grannyaday anyone?). So far, I've used Eventifer and TAGS Google Spreadsheet to archive hashtags as the built-in search feature on Twitter doesn't provide fully comprehensive results. (Joeyanne produced a useful blog post about tweet archiving here.) Also, I like the idea of a Twitter takeover, as advocated by Voices For The Library. A different librarian maintains the account each week tweeting about their respective library. I've learnt lots about what it's like to work in other types of libraries from this Twitter account.

As well as my own account and the @CILIPWM account (which I’ve hung on to in the absence of a branch marketing officer), I also maintain the library’s account where I work. These tweets are designed to draw attention to and raise awareness of library services. Tweets are light-hearted in tone and interact with other college Twitter accounts. There are relatively few learners directly follow our Twitter feed, but I believe this to be the result of it being embedded into Moodle and the library blog.

When I first started tweeting from three different accounts I was paranoid about getting the accounts mixed up, but so far it’s not actually happened. Sometimes I read tweets which infuriate me, but generally I enjoy communicating via Twitter. My Twitter feed is embedded in my blog (which I’m not convinced is a wise decision!) and I post selected photos to it via Instagram, and I'm hoping my use of Twitter will tick a few boxes as part of my chartership revalidation. I find Twitter is like anything – the more you put in, the more you get out.

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