Professional Life / Social Media

Online Presence, a.k.a. You 2.0

First Post by Annie Pho, a new member of the HLS editorial team!

Stuff about me: I’m in my second semester of SLIS at Indiana University-Indianapolis. I currently work on the digital library team at IUPUI (my university library). My interests are the digital preservation of culture, art librarianship and how these two intersect. My dream job would be an art librarian but I’m finding myself being drawn more towards the digital library realm. I write on my blog at catladylibrarian.wordpress.com and I’m on Twitter (@catladylib). 

As libraries are developing ways to use Web 2.0 for outreach and advocacy purposes, future librarians are (or should be) doing the same for themselves. Building an online presence is fairly easy, and many people already have one, whether they are aware of it or not. However, using this to our advantage is not something that is being taught in all library school programs. None of my professors have told us that potential employers might Google us, but it’s a truth. I stumbled across this advice from the ALA’s Get a Job website on how to prepare for an academic interview, and one of the main points is to be “Google-able”. If that’s not enough proof, my friend and fellow classmate, who has been on a search committee for an academic librarian position, can attest to the fact that these committee’s do look up candidates to see if they can dig more information.

Keeping that in mind, it’s important for students to understand that as creepy as the internet can be, it can really help give other people some idea of who you are and what you’re interested in. Being stalk-able, I mean findable is a good thing. Maintaining virtual presence shows engagement in the field and that you’re thoughtful. Not to mention, you can show off your awesome web design skills, knowledge of social media/ability to network, projects that you’ve done, and more, just by posting it online.  Even just posting comments on other library blogs or using social networking sites (I like the premise of Linked In, even though I need to work on my profile) can make you visible. This article from American Libraries Magazine has a ton of great advice for students on how to promote themselves using Web 2.0.

On the other hand, the need for privacy is another issue. As a student, it’s sometimes hard to separate the private and the professional. What I share on my Facebook page isn’t necessarily the same as what I share on my blog. That doesn’t mean I’m two different people, but I am becoming more aware of what I share about myself online. Another issue that I have with my own virtual presence is that there is someone else with the same name as me. It’s amazing what a simple search of my name revealed: another Annie with a budding career as a shoe designer! This means I had better start working on an online librarian version of myself, otherwise people might get confused.

There are countless reasons why you want to be findable on the internet. All MLIS programs should really be stressing the importance of social media and how to use it; but using Web 2.0 isn’t really a secret, it’s like another tool that can be used to help you. It doesn’t cost much to be a somebody on the Internet and the benefits are potentially boundless.

What do you guys think? Do your programs teach the importance of online presence?

29 thoughts on “Online Presence, a.k.a. You 2.0

  1. The Web Design class in the Drexel MLS program has students designing an e-portfolio with the goal of putting it on a resume and showing your talents off to prospective employers. And you learn to hand-code the whole thing in XHTML and CSS! This was such a valuable assignment for me. I need to do some updating of my e-portfolio as I am graduating soon, but I think this should be pushed in library school as a required activity.

    Like

    • Hey Lindsay,

      I’m at Drexel as well. I really enjoyed Info 552 and learned a lot. I am taking Social Media Design with Prof. Morris right now. It is, by far, the best class I’ve taken at Drexel. Lots of fun, incredibly thought-provoking and Prof. Morris shares some valuable information. I’d highly recommend it if you have a chance.

      For the main project, you have the option of redesigning your e-portfolio too.

      Like

  2. Welcome, Annie! Thanks for this!
    I don’t think my program really says, “hey! go make yourself findable online!” although we were just having this conversation in one of my classes the other day and someone mentioned an article that said if Google doesn’t know who you are, you are nobody :-(

    My school has a good online presence and online interaction with us (the students). They use Facebook and Twitter to publicize events and share news. Of course usually they are also emailing this out, too. It is their way of “reaching” us. Of course this doesn’t mean that they’re telling us to go be present, but maybe it means that lots of students already are and that’s how they can reach us.

    I’m looking for jobs right now and when I see a person’s name on the job posting or email (library director, library HR person, branch manager, etc), I Google them. It’s a way for me to get to know someone a little better before I (potentially) interview with them.

    Like

  3. Thanks Lindsay for sharing. I think its FABULOUS you are learning HTML and CSS coding in school. It should be a must have for all MLS programs. @ Heidi- LinkedIn is another great resource to use when looking up library contacts. I find that sometimes my network of folks are connected to the institutions/people. As with the Google…finding yourself thingy…LOL… That’s another great conversation piece.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Online Presence, a.k.a. You 2.0 « Hack Library School -- Topsy.com

  5. Even more important, IMHO, than having an online presence so that people can find you is having an online presence so people find the RIGHT you.

    You want your professional (and maybe a little personal) info to get pushed to the top of a search result. This is especially true if, like Annie, you share a name with others. (Me? I sadly share my name with a LOT of other people, including an actor, a blues singer, and a fighter pilot… all people much cooler than me!)

    But I think we should be clear about one thing: just having an online presence will not necessarily improve you chances at getting a job, at least not all that much, in my experience. I’ve served on a number of search committees and while, yes, I did Google every candidate, it was really just so I could get an idea of their personality before the interview. Everything I needed to know was on their resume.

    Now if I had found some negative material, that would have been another story. I guess what I’m really trying to say is: unless you are applying for a job that requires Web 2.0-ness, it’s OK if you don’t have an online presence… just don’t have a negative one. =)

    Like

    • I think the other good part about just being online is being engaged with what is going on in the field. The professional journals do provide some context but I think the blogosphere is incredibly dynamic and it’s great to take part in the discourse that happens there. While no, having online presence doesn’t guarantee you a job, it can help connect people and stay engaged.

      Like

  6. I recently decided that it’s time to kick start my own library-friendly online presence, so I’m thrilled that you are writing about this and sharing so many great ideas. I would love to develop an e-portfolio, but I don’t believe my school provides support for this in the way that Drexel does. Is anyone running a portfolio through their blog instead?

    My school markets itself to students through social media and recommends student self-promotion, but I haven’t seen them take the next step – encouragement or support for students to market themselves through social media.

    Like

  7. Great article! I’ve been contemplating creating an e-portfolio, and have been bookmarking other librarians’ or library student portfolios that I like. I use LinkedIn quite frequently, and continue to add to my connections. I also have a blog, but it doesn’t have my real name, so it wouldn’t come up in a search.

    I’m in my second semester of library school, and am still taking the “core” courses, and so far, I have not heard anyone emphasizing the importance of librarians having an online presence.

    Like

  8. I’m almost positive we’ve had people tell us at school (SLAIS @ UBC in Vancouver) about making sure we’ve got some sort of online presence, but on further reflection I realized those people telling us this stuff are the people who are out there in the world, not our profs. So yeah, it does seem to be a bit of a hole in the academy.

    Although having said that, SLAIS students all had to do projects for our intro to Info Technology course in our first semesters, including blogging on a library subject and creating an html website from scratch. Those were online and I suppose if someone didn’t have much of a webpresence beforehand maybe they would help? (Since a lot of the handmade websites looked like they came from 1998, I’d hope they wouldn’t be the only thing findable about some of my classmates who are a lot smarter than their design skills might make them appear.)

    I’ve been pretty good about creating a presence but it’s the kind of thing that might turn an employer off if they dig too much. I’m personally okay with that, and I almost feel there’s too much emphasis on making sure you’re putting a “professional” face on things. I calved off a more professional blog (about what I’m reading and library school and whatever) from my personal blog, but they’re both very findable. And I cuss almost as much in my book reviews as I do in talking about baseball or weather.

    For me the possible loss of employment prospects from someone googling me and finding out I have opinions (and occasionally publish stories about roadside hobosex) is a small price to pay to be able to live the way I want both digitally and in real life. I’d rather my online persona match the actual me more than match some “ideal hirable young librarian” I’d constantly have to be pretending to be.

    Like

  9. I completed my MLIS last December (albeit north of the border than many, if not all, of you) and I can say that my program didn’t advocate an online presence. Now that I think of it, they don’t promote themselves very well online, so perhaps that is telling.

    I know my school does have courses available wherein professors require some blogging, and it does have one elective on social software (which I wanted to take, but couldn’t make it fit into my schedule); however, I got the impression that the program is weak on the tech side in general.

    I’m working part-time as a reference assistant in an academic library, while hunting for full-time work. I struggle with this online presence thing. As a thirty-something, I haven’t been as immersed in social media as most LIS students who are at least 10 years younger. Plus, I’m a fiercely private person. LinkedIn I have no problem with—technically, it’s a Googlable version of your resume/CV. Recently I joined Twitter and have created a Blogger account, which features my resume, a list of the LIS courses I took, etc. I’m hesitant to blog—I don’t want to blog just for the sake of it; this will result in passionless posts, which I think are more harmful than having no online presence

    On the other hand, I know plenty of people without an online presence and they’ve found jobs. I think that at the end of the day, as long as your networking, proven customer service, and cover letter/CV writing skills are excellent, you have a lot going for you. So while I continue to waffle on the online presence thing, what I do strongly believe is this: Your swanky and shiny website may impress SOME of the committee members googling you, but your people skills and life experiences are going to land you the job.

    Hmm, perhaps I have a blog post on my hands…

    Like

  10. Hello catlady. I stumbled upon your post via twitter. I’ve been thinking that one idea to “craft” one’s online presence is to create a web landing page (like about.me or flavors.me) where you can add a portfolio and links to social network sites/pics/posts/blogs/resume and point prospective employers to that webpage specifically. In a way, it gives you control over (at least) some of the data out there about you. I work in post-sec now in administration but I’m going back to school to do an MA in Communication and am totally interested in this topic of online identity. Look forward to reading yr posts.

    Like

  11. Pingback: Online Presence a.k.a Heidi 2.0 « I found myself in the library…

  12. Pingback: Best of Semester One « Hack Library School

  13. Pingback: Atlas of New Librarianship – The unbook unreview « Hack Library School

  14. Pingback: HackLibSchool at ALA: A Retrospective « Hack Library School

  15. Pingback: Walking a fine line: You 2.0 vs. well, You « Hack Library School

  16. Pingback: A Multitude of You 2.0′s | hls

  17. %first_paragraphThese eye specialists are educated in a variety of disorders and diseases of the eye. They work to diagnose and treat eyes so the world is a better place. If so, an optometrist may be just the person you need to help you see better. Do you sit in front of a computer a lot and worry it may be affecting your eyes? Are you struggling with failing eyesight?

    The other type that often gets overlooked is called an ophthalmologist. First of all most of us are familiar with the optometrist. In fact there are many different specialists who deal with these incredibly complex and fascinating organs. Many people think that when they go to the doctor for their eyes there is just one type of physician. While both of these medical professionals deal with the same part of the body they are not the same thing. We know these as the people who we see when we think we may need glasses or if we are not sure why it is that it is getting harder to read the newspaper.

    Also, it pays to find out whether the optometrists office is conveniently located and whether they are able to offer you appointments when and as necessary. Therefore, it is vital you find out more about the cost of the desired treatment.

    In Canada you can learn about eyes at the University of Montreal (Quebec), or the University of Waterloo (Ontario). Now I know there are a few readers out there who are thinking “These eyes are mine! No, I’m not saying that I have just found the lost book “Optometrist Medical Jargon for Dummies”, there will be some work required. If persuing a carrer in eyesight suits yours interest, there is many institutions to study it. I’m not trusting them to some ‘doctor’ who can harass me with medical jargon” Luckily, I have your solution. In the United States you many more options such as the University of California (Berkeley), the University of Houston (Texas), or the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University.

    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*behavior:url(#ieooui) /* Style Definitions */ table. 0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; It is that time of the year when you go to your medical doctor for your regular and scheduled check up and then you are pronounced to be in perfect health, as usual. MsoNormalTable mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5. 0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11. 4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.

    They open on Monday through Friday each week at nine in the morning. When you schedule an eye examination there you will need to give yourself approximately thirty five minutes for the vision screening. They remain open from nine to five thirty each weekday and they open up until noon on Saturdays. They remain open until five thirty in the afternoon. The Blizzard Optometrist Stawell office is only open on Wednesdays each week, but the Ararat location is open six days a week. The Blizzard Optometrist St Arnaud offices are open for the convenience of their customers five days a week.

    This treatment isn’t a bottle of “good-eye” pills, or a needle full of eyesight, it is vision correction throught the use of lenses and other optical aids. Glasses and/or contact lenses are the norm for perscriptions by doctors in the field of optometry. They are there to examine and diagnose your eyes, as well as give sufficient treatment to correct poor eyesight. An Optometrist can, of course, be male or female, and they are responsible for keeping your eyesight in good shape.

    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*behavior:url(#ieooui) /* Style Definitions */ table. MsoNormalTable mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5. 0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; When it comes to your health you want the best service that you can afford when you go have a check up. 0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11. 4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.

    You have get a full check up but then mostly all those organs and systems from the neck down is your main focus. They say your health is your wealth because without the fist then you cannot achieve what you want in life. With the many harmful elements that your body is exposed to daily nowadays, you would want to have regular check up just to be on the safe side.%

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s