Fabulous Ways for Librarians to Use Twitter


Clive Thompson from Wired Magazine — one of my favorite techno-journalists — writes that tools like Twitter can help us develop a “sixth sense” about the people in our networks.  All those seemingly mundane facts like “having homemade bagel & lox for breakfast!” and “reading Vonnegut during flight delay…” can add up to give us a picture of what’s happening in the lives of those around us.  As librarians, we can use Twitter to help our communities develop a sixth sense about who we are and what we offer, and we can also use it to develop our own sixth sense that will help us tune into the wants and needs of our communities, too.  For instance, if you see a lot of chatter in your network about the recent PBS documentary Copyright Criminals, you can schedule a showing at your library and then send a tweet about the event to all your Twitter followers!

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“The Asteroid That Hit the Industrial Age”; ILA Annual Conference 2009

Lee Rainie, founding director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, was the phenomenally brilliant opening speaker at the 2009 Iowa Library Association Annual Conference.   With a conference theme like “Deciphering Our Future: Transforming Iowa Libraries,” Rainie’s talk about his research on American internet usage kicked everything off on just the right note.  He gave the same talk in Wisconsin later that week, and those slides are available here (via slideshare):

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Life After 2.0; ALA Annual Conference 2009

(presented by PLA)

Lori Bell, Director of Innovation at Alliance Library System in East Peoria, IL, came to this session to demonstrate her library’s amazing Second Life virtual library project, “Info Island Archipelago.”  Second Life libraries are great meeting places for people who want to use avatars to meet from a distance.  Virtual libraries don’t even have to look like buildings — they can look however we want them to look.  They don’t have to be constrained by walls, and the weather can be perfect every day.  And, just like the Info Island Archipelago, your reference librarian can be. . . Yoda.

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