Plugging into the Library World

Last month we wrote about how to get formally involved with the world of library associations, organizations, and clubs. Today we wanted to talk about how to follow what’s going on in library land outside of those formal structures.

Librarians LOVE Twitter. Just search for #libraries and you’ll see just how much. Twitter can be a great tool to keep up to date with what’s going on the library world. All you have to do is start following librarians, publishers, library organizations, and affiliated groups. You can also use it as a way to network with new librarians and keep in touch with folks you’ve met at other events. Check out the 10,000 Tweeting Librarians…Did You Make the List? page on the Online Education Database for a few recommendations.

We’re talking about librarian bloggers…go figure. Librarians are pretty into blogging. Some focus on library school students, specific issues in libraries, some on particular kinds of libraries, some are reframing what a blog is, some about library fashion, some about leadership, and on and on. A giant list of award-winning library blogs can be found at the Salem Press Blog Awards site. Hack Library School’s list of blogs to follow is here. Of course you might also look at blogMLS’ very own list of blogs here.

I know a lot of you are thinking “NO! No more emails!” But, they really are a great way to stay in touch, hear about what practitioners are doing, get feedback, and ask questions. Yes, you’ll want to be selective in the ones you join and set-up some filters so that you’re not overwhelmed, but trust us; you’ll find some very interesting things happening on those lists.

ALA Think Tank
Though not officially sanctioned by ALA, the ALA Think Tank is 2000+ group of a very active “info-sharing librarians” who strive to #makeithappen. New projects, interesting readings, and idea sharing take place on their Facebook page and at ALA conferences.

Non-Library Association Conferences
Sometimes the library world can be a little insular. It’s good to step outside capital L library land and see how libraries are being talked about or interacting with the larger world. Below are three conferences where librarians are making themselves heard in this broader context.

Beyond Access: Libraries Powering Development
“Beyond Access is a global community of public library advocates and practitioners who believe libraries are an untapped resource in addressing the world’s most pressing development challenges.”

#SXSW LAM = Library*, Archiv* & Museum*
“Picking up on the steam from recent years, we’re ready to make 2013 the year of LAM (libraries + archives + museums).  sxswLAM means a lot of things to a lot of people: cross collaboration; taking the library outside of the building; and bringing librar*, archive* and museum* to the front of the conversation.

Now’s the opportunity to connect and collaborate together to #makeithappen and join the scores of fascinating panels presenting at SXSW Interactive 2013!!!”

R-Squared Conference: The Risk and Reward Conference 
Faced with diminishing budgets, new technologies and changing customer needs, the traditional library faces extinction. We must adapt and innovate to transform from a quiet storehouse of books to a dynamic center of free engagement with knowledge.

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