Are you ready to become a tweetbrarian? Twitter is a fantastic tool for engaging with other librarians, monitoring LIS trends and debates in real time, and gathering unfiltered insights and inspiration from peers and seasoned professionals. The challenge for new tweeters is to know where to start among the 5,000 librarylanders on Twitter! So to manage your time and start building your online professional learning network, I recommend using hashtags to tune into curated Twitter chats relevant to the library and information science professions.
How chats work
On the night of the chat, you should search for the relevant hashtag on Twitter to see all tweets with that hashtag. Chat moderators will tweet each question, starting with, say, “Q1.” You would then reply, starting each reply with “A1” and bookending it with the hashtag. You may also tweet questions to the moderators (sans hashtag). You can learn a lot by lurking on Twitter chats—I do all the time—but participation is even better!
Everyone keen on librarianship should check out the weekly forum #libchat, launched by Natalie Binder way back in March 2011 (Hack Library School featured her guest post). Chats take place every Wednesday from 8:00-9:30pm EST. The hashtag is going stronger than ever, as many librarians tag relevant posts with it during the week, so #libchat has become a clearinghouse for LIS information—a place to get answers and get in touch.
Do you want an international perspective on library issues? Then check out @UKlibchat! This chat runs on the first Tuesday of every month from 1:30-3:30pm EST (6:30-8:30pm GMT). It has been around since 2011 and is holding a joint chat with #SLAtalk on July 8. Also check out #UKlibchat’s archive of tweets and feature articles.
Students and n00brarians will appreciate #inaljchat, launched by I Need A Library Job (INALJ) founder Naomi House and focusing on the job hunt and related topics. Chats take place every Monday from 9:00-10:00pm EST and are moderated by someone new each night. Check out #inaljchat for a calendar and transcripts of past chats.
Emerging archivists will want to check out #snaprt, which comes to you courtesy of the SAA’s Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) Roundtable. Chats take place the 5th, 15th, and 25th of each month at 8pm EST and runs for an hour. It has been active since early 2013. Questions? Tweet to @Snap_Roundtable.
This is an exciting new chat for anyone interested in how critical pedagogy can enhance library instruction. The chat is live every other Tuesday night at 9pm EST. Conversations are Storified, so you can review everyone’s tweets even if you miss the chat. See past #critlib discussions and upcoming topics over at this Google Doc.
Current and future instruction librarians and school media specialists will benefit from #tlchat. This chat is moderated by Nikki D. Robertson and populated mostly by teacher-librarians; it takes place on the second Monday of each month at 8pm EST. You may also like #alscchat, a chat moderated by the Association for Library Service to Children and which takes place on the second Thursday of every month at 9pm EST.
Appealing to educators of all types, #edchat takes place every Tuesday, with one chat at 12pm EST and another at 7PM EST. This hashtag also serves to group tweets on all things pertaining to education. I often dip into other hashtags such as #edtech and #infolit, which group tweets on educational technologies and information literacy.
Use conference hashtags to follow conferences from afar or livetweet the sessions yourself! Big guns include #SLAtalk and #alaac14, but smaller library associations often create hashtags too (#flacon2014, #arlis2014, et al.).
Just for fun…
Since I work every Saturday, I enjoy following #saturdaylibrarian, which features librarians swapping stories and grumbling about their First World #librarianproblems. And #Fridayreads is helpful in planning your weekends off.
Do you follow other LIS-related hashtags or chats? Tell us about them in the comments below!