"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

04 April 2016

Librarian's Toolbox: Social Media for Professional Development

This is just one of the groups I have joined. 

Can involvement on social media count as professional development? Yes, it can!

Facebook and other social media sites are replete with groups - silly groups, civic groups, professional groups, random groups. I find the professional groups to be a great source of ideas, inspiration, answers to complicated questions, and other groupthink ideals. If I'm trying to locate a book for a patron based only on a vague memory, posting to a group allows me to ask the collected wisdom: probably someone has already read it and knows about it. I also benefit from reading other people's questions and the resulting answers. Sometimes people ask questions I don't think to ask, but the answers help me to better my service in my library.  I am often inspired by people's posts of interesting things they did at their library or new projects they are trying. This is where I have found ideas like our library's science club, kids' book clubs, our scavenger hunt program, etc. Many of the things I have tried are based on things other people have done, and that's wonderful.

Likewise, I take time to share ideas and wisdom when I have it. Perhaps I know the book with the skateboarding bear on the cover, or maybe I have ideas that I can share to help with the problem a fellow librarian is facing. None of the problems we face are really unique or probably even that new. Someone has faced something similar and will be willing to share ideas or wisdom or experience.

I am fortunate in that utilizing social media is part of my job responsibilities. If your library prefers that you not use social media at work, schedule an hour or so maybe once a week at home to look through various professional groups. Maybe join one and just lurk for a while, or plunge in and start asking and answering questions. Together we are better able to serve our communities than we do separately.

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