I’m catching up with 23things myself. I have blogged in the past about social networking so don’t really want to repeat myself but I think Social Networking is important for libraries and librarians both for promotion and for networking. Personally my key professional network is Twitter.
When I started work on 23things RHUL I asked for tips from other people who had run it in the past – this request went out via Twitter and the responses came thick and fast. Some from participants of 23things as well as people who had run it. But this isn’t the least of the reasons to interact professionally with Twitter.
Why should you be on Twitter?
Learn about library – Find out what influential people in the library world are thinking and doing.
Networking – start conversations and get to know your peers.
Keeping up to date – often Twitter is the first place people find out about major news events. It is also very useful if you commute or have to travel at all as this post I did illustrates.
Get answers – if you are stuck with something ask Twitter and often the answer will appear. There are a lot of clever people on Twitter.
Entertainment – Twitter is full of jokes, funny videos and quick wit. Follow celebrities, especially comedians and you will laugh a lot.
Compliment / Complain – had great service? Tweet about it and let others know when a brand does well. Had bad service? Same applies. Also most companies take Twitter seriously so they will respond to complaints as they are public.
I got a lot from attending. It was great to meet other librarians from across the world (there were lots of international delegates) and meet many faces from Twitter. I am really lucky to work somewhere that encourages us to attend conferences. It is such a positive experience and one I think is vital for us and our institution to evolve and stay ahead of the game. LILAC is a big conference (by UK standards), but not so big that it feels overwhelming. Each day there was a keynote and then parallel sessions which meant there were a lot of things to choose from.
Glasgow was a nice place to visit and we did appreciate the free Caramel Log in our goody bags.
All the presentations that are available are here.
Keynote 1 – Megan Oakleaf
Play the ace: assessing, communicating and expanding the institutional impact of information literacy.
Megan’s impressive keynote looked at how it is important to demonstrate the value of the academic library to universities and how IL can be used to do this. She is the author of a US report: Value of Academic Libraries
Some points she made included:
Everyone loves library but don’t want to pay for it.
Focus on what collection enables people to do.
It is a good idea to define outcomes (learning outcomes) of what institution needs and wants. Could include employability, student retention.
What leads students to come to an institution? In US library second most impactful building. (learning spaces are first).
At Minnesota library instruction increases chance of re-enrolment year on year.
Library website design … What part communicates impact on institutional focus areas.
We did a great exercise where we used a grid called the Instruction Impact Map with Campus Needs, Goals and outcomes down one side and a list of things we do int he library along the top i.e. Tutorials, reference service etc. We then took one of the columns and rated how well it impacted on the campus need. This really made us think how we could connect the two things and really demonstrate how important what we do is.
Megan then suggested collecting evidence to back up our claims on the impact of our work making two important points:
We already use them at City but I hadn’t really thought of using them to base a whole session around but by using things like the polling and wallwasher they could be really interactive tools in our teaching as well as great support tools.
I have to confess to having a bit of a fan girl moment when I saw Lord Puttnam as with my film-lover hat on I think he is an incredibly important figure in the British film industry. I now realise he is also an powerful voice in the world of Education two examples of his work are:
The overarching theme of his speech was that what may seem radical to us now will not be in the future that People expect new form of relationship with world around them now. He gave several examples:
Uni of Sunderland 24/7 opening radical in 1997. As was drinking coffee in library – keyboards so cheap irrelevant.
Www is just a click away.
Importance of libraries and schools.
Refreshing to see how quickly racists etc are brought to order on twitter.
Librarians help people steer towards right information.
Talked about unpredictability of what is to come I.e. Facebook buying instagram
Talked about the fact his parents would have thought 3 careers was bizarre but he can imagine his grandchildren having 6.
Huge levels of competition and complexity – unique challenges for us as educators.
The point that most people were buzzing about afterwards was:
Many currently in education will work with voice activated technology in working lives.
This means we will need a pedagogy to work with voice activated tech … Importance of voice and thinking. Keyboard skills will still be useful but not as important. Research and development is not put into keyboards. Money is in voice recognition both spending on research and in profit.
Apple, google and amazon all using this technology so children born today will think it is the norm. Essentially we will be working differently. Oracy (?) will be important. Teachers will have to be better at listening and students better at talking
and so strong spoken language skills will need to be developed. He said this isn’t that new, Aristotle’s The Art of Rhetoric is still a best seller but we will need to structure thought differently it requires students talk more but teachers less. 1975 Bullock report suggested teachers were so long winded pupils had 20 secs each to talk.
Currently there is disparity between how people behave with tech at home and how it is used in classroom. For example a surgeon from 1912 couldn’t work today. A teacher could because we aren’t using enough technology in classroom.
Need to understand students world, how they relate to it and we need to be aware of problems surrounding adopting technology i.e. digitising old practices isn’t the way forward. We need to consider what advances an entire digital pedagogy could be like. It is about digital not digitising.
He discussed the need for an undisputed education of women. World class education system underpins world class health and social system. Will not work other way round.
He ended with a quote from Stuart Brand “We are gods so we better start getting good at it”
There was then a great Q&A session:
Q: French children don’t learn to read and write until later. They develop oral and reasoning skills first. – what about it?
A: Need to look at other countries. If you find yourself saying “this is the way we do it” stop doing it that way.
Q: Exam system doesn’t reflect digital technology. IB allows it more than A levels with large piece of work.
A: most useful thing medical world could do is clone librarians as they have 19th century assessment process. It is out of step with technology and teaching. Lord Puttnam thinks International Baccalaureate is the way forward.
He then talked about the role of librarians:
Not what we do but branding is a problem.
Breadth width and importance of what we do needs to be promoted by us and others.
We aren’t gatekeepers.
Make sure title librarian isn’t trapped.
British library has done it brilliantly. It is vital and important.
Q: Cost question of technology.
A: Things you can’t afford not to have. If you are seriously concerned about child’s future you will forgo things to get them. Cost of slates in 19th century was crippling for a family but they did it. Education can’t be allowed to become unaffordable. TES – cheaper for them to buy £100 tablet and send it to all subscribers than the print copy as print costs £100 a year. Got to make tech vital so saying not do it because of cost is not relevant. IPad is as important as slate David Lloyd George learnt to write his name on.
Q: Issue around accent etc for google voice (and all voice technology)
A: technology will improve and be more forgiving. Recalling dictation from work in advertising. He learnt how to dictate a letter. You have to think in a particular way to dictate a letter.
Matrix of literacies
Being articulate is a life skill.
Q: Distance …
A: Cisco telepresence system on west coast of Ireland. He does lectures from home. 5 universities. Notion of distance is not relevant any more.
Playing Games and growing trees Andrew Walsh Huddersfield @andywalsh999
This session really appealed to me as I am interested in the gamification of learning. Huddersfield have done a lot of work on the connection between library use and student achievement. One of their findings was that the physical library didn’t make a difference. This meant they wanted more serious use from students who came in for social reasons by putting a game over top of library usage.
4. Follow other commuters who make the same journey as you on Twitter.
5. Things WILL go wrong. It isn’t always the transport company’s fault. Remember this and be thankful they are trying to get you on your way.
6. When things go wrong (if it is offered) claim back your rail fare. If you aren’t sure ask.
All modes of transport
1. We do not want to hear your music. Especially if it is Westlife. Buy some decent headphones and turn the volume down.
2. If you are reading a newspaper try and keep it within your own seat area.
3. Don’t read a broadsheet on public transport (see above)
4. If you are having a text conversation turn your phone to silent.
5. If you decided (stupidly) to travel in rush hour with a child put them on your lap or make several children share seats.
1. People have their own spots and you must take this into consideration when new to a platform. If you are new to this, hang around at the back of platform, assess the space and get on the train last.
2. If you are the last one to arrive at the platform DO NOT try and push on the train before the people who have been waiting there before you.
3. If it is an overground or mainline train you are required to press the button to open the door. The person who does this should get on the train first – after all you wouldn’t be getting on the train so quickly without them.
4. Let people off the train first (come on, this is common sense but some people choose to ignore this)
On the (overground/mainline) train:
1. When you get on the train don’t block the aisle whilst taking five minutes to take your coat off, neatly fold it and place it in the overhead shelf. Then another 5 minutes to unpack your belongings neatly in front of you. See all those people in a line glaring at you when there are empty seats? YOU ARE CAUSING THAT QUEUE. (Same applies with prolonged getting off the train).
2. If there is a spare seat next to the window don’t be a plonker and sit on the aisle seat. It’s annoying for all involved; someone has to ask to sit down, you have to move to let them in, you then have to sit down again. Certainly don’t sigh when someone asks to sit in the window seat. (Caveat: sit in the aisle seat if you are very tall or if you are only going one stop as this may be less disruptive – but still don’t moan when people want to sit in the window seat).
3. If you are sitting in the aisle seat you don’t take all the middle arm rest – you have plenty of space in the aisle. Don’t be greedy.
4. A key one – don’t invade others space – you paid for one ticket, you only get one seat.
5. Your case does not deserve a seat. It is grubby and seats are for people. If you are worried about it stand with it.
6. Don’t argue with loved ones on the phone – its embarrassing for all involved. Especially for you when you realise everyone is giggling and gossiping about you. (Same applies with flirting).
7. Don’t spread confidential papers across the table or make confidential phone calls. I know a lot about court cases, CVs, disciplinary actions, deals and planned take overs from the train.
8. Staring at the people who got on further down the line and therefore have seats will not make them get up and let you have the seat.
1. Same platform rules apply for regular commuters.
2. Personal hygiene – now this is an important one; take note. Tubes get very hot when crowded and even more so in summer. Do not reach up to hold onto bars if you suspect there is any chance of a slight smell of sweat patch.
3. For us space efficient people out there this is the worse possible thing. I would rather you tried your best to balance and occasionally fall over rather than be unhygienic.
4. If you feel unwell – get off the bloody train. No-one wants to be the one who holds up the entire underground line whilst they remove you off the train.
5. Please bring odd items on the tube – it creates great amusement for us other passengers. Did you know there is a twitter account and website dedicated to you people?!
6. When travelling on any mode of transport hold on (remembering an earlier rule). You know what happens to those who don’t. You fall over that’s what. You travel everyday – you know this happens.
1. Stand to the bloody right!! That’s all I have to say on the matter!
1. If you have one – wheel it properly. It’s not hard. Oh and think about where you stop. Stopping dead in the middle of the station or platform isn’t the best idea in the world!
2.If you are a regular wheely suitcase user – invest in a four wheel one.
3. Do not wheel it off escalators – it never works and it always ends up wheeling out of control. I’m thinking of you here – people WILL tut!!
4. Your wheely suitcase is behind you. Do not forget this as you wheel it over peoples toes.
Remember the words of Lao-Tzu “A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
Thanks again to the wonderful Becky Hill for her great work on her first guest / co-authored post!
Following publication of this post we have had several additions suggested (if you have more please feel free to comment):
1. If you block the door don’t get funny when people want to get off.
2. When using a laptop that doesn’t mean you can take up the whole table.
3. Don’t tap your laptop keys loudly (buy and iPad and this is no longer a problem)
4. I had one guy hang his coat on the hook by the window seat..I was sitting there! Coat in my face for entire journey, not happy!!
5. When standing in the aisle take off your rucksack, don’t bash me in the face with it! < This happens a lot. Several people suggested it
6. When you are on the train toVictoria DO NOT stand up ready to get off as soon as you pass Clapham Junction – you have 5 minutes.
7. If you are in the aisle seat don’t wait until you are at the destination to pack up your belongings. Especially if the person in the window seat has their coat, hat, scarf and gloves on.
8. Don’t stretch your legs out under the table if someone is sitting opposite you.
9. On the bus DO NOT sit on someone < apparently this happens
10. On the bus (and there is room) if you get on do not stop in the aisle move on or upstairs.
11. If you don’t have a book / newspaper / iPad/ computer / phone /other form of entertainment staring at the person opposite is not ok.
12. Don’t put your bag on the seat to stop people sitting there. We will ask you to move it even if there are empty seats.
13. Do not listen to music without headphones
14. When someone needs to get off the bus and you are on the aisle, twisting yourself slightly to allow them off will not do. Step up and let them off. Chances are neither of you are slim enough to allow this manoeuvre to work.
15. Don’t take someone’s Metro (or other newspaper) until at least 10 seconds have passed since they have put it down and generally it is polite to ask “Have you finished with that?”
It was also pointed out that people who can’t read the sign to stand on the right on the escalator probably won’t read this but here’s hoping a bit of politeness may come to commuting … a lot of people have the same annoynaces!
Twitter is the answer to travel nightmares. I remember thinking this last November in the snow and today this was confirmed. From sometime this morning there was widespread travel chaos across the Southern network caused by a flood and then a landslide.
Looking at the live departures on Southern’s website it was clear that we would not be going anywhere south of Croydon this evening. Then Tweets confirmed that there were huge delays at Gatwick and the rail replacement bus services were overwhelmed. Before Twitter I could only have guessed this but through my network I had people updating me from all over the place. I knew the Eastbourne and Brighton lines were both impossible to get down. The national rail website only told me all the trains were cancelled and I needed to find alternative trains. It made no suggestion of what these trains were.
So I looked at other routes, using my own local knowledge combined with confirmation from Southern that Southeastern were accepting tickets. I realised if I could get to Tunbridge Wells I could get a bus that stopped practically outside my flat. So I left work and headed to Charing Cross.
Emerging from the underground I heard an announcement that no trains were travelling between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells due to a lineside fire. Tonbridge is the town before Tunbridge Wells. This was not good news. I then saw a tweet from @southernrailuk saying I should go on this route. I replied to them and told them there were problems. My response was retweeted by people living near me.
After encountering flood, landslide and fire I laughed at a tweet from @angefitzpatrick suggesting that she wouldn’t be surprised if all replacement bus services were cancelled due to Godzilla. I wouldn’t have been surprised either!
I then had a text from my friend Catherine saying she was on a train to Ramsgate and getting off at Tonbridge, the guard on the train said that the trains still weren’t going through to Tunbridge Wells but should be soon. So I hopped on the next train to Tunbridge Wells in the hope it would get me home.
While I tweeted about my journey I had a message from someone else on the same train asking how to get from Tunbridge Wells to Lewes. I also spoke to some people around me who were trying to get to Uckfield and Lewes. They were impressed that I had information from Twitter. Through Twitter and my friend on the train in front I was able to both be informed and keep people informed. A group of random people became connected. I was also buoyed up by tweets from friends wishing me luck on my journey and really impressed by Southern’s own use of Twitter. They replied to my tweets. This included an apology after I tweeted them an update on the journey.
I was able to check bus times on my ipad and tweet them. We arrived at Tunbridge Wells just after 6:45 and the bus came on time at 6:58. I’m sure he doesn’t normally have quite so many people going to Lewes at that time.
The journey through the highways and byways of Kent and Sussex was speedy and a bit of a white knuckle ride but an hour later I was getting off the bus just by my flat. It was almost 4 hours after I left work (thirty minutes early) and I was over an hour and a half late home but because the delays were so bad I didn’t mind so much.
It’s times like this people muse why I commute. It’s simple, I get to live in the best place in the world. Delays like today are very rare and they are so bad there’s nothing anybody can do about it. It wasn’t Southern’s fault that a watermain burst and then there was a landslide. The fire was just so surreal that I was waiting for a plague of locusts to delay the bus.
So, yet again, if anyone asks why you should join Twitter tell them that it is the best way of finding out what is going on and should fire and brimstone rain down on your journey home nothing beats it to help you get on your way. Or as @archelina said “twitter f***ing rocks in a travel crisis”. Couldn’t have put it better myself!
This morning I caught my usual 6:51 train and over heard a couple of commuters talking about their horrendous journeys home. It was clear they hadn’t used Twitter and had been in the dark about what was going on. If you are a commuter then sign up to twitter, follow @SouthernRailUK and @NRE_Southern (or the relevant ones in your area) also follow other people from your area. I was home 2 hours before the people who hadn’t used Twitter!
Another of this week’s 23 things is Twitter. In my experience Twitter is a bit like Marmite. You either love it or hate it (or simply don’t get it). I love it, although if I had to choose I’d choose Facebook over it because more of my real-life friends and family are on there and there’s more to it. I posted a few weeks ago about the merging of professional and private lives via Twitter and the power of Twitter so I won’t repeat that here but I will give a brief introduction into why I love twitter.
The BBC and the 23thingscity blog both explain Twitter very well but basically people post messages (tweets) in 140 characters or less and often have conversations using these tweets. People have Twitter usernames, mine is @melon_h, which allows other people to find them and follow them. Unless you have protected your tweets anyone can follow you and you don’t have to follow them back but you can block people if you don’t want them to see you.
I have been on Twitter since 9/2/2009 (coincidentally I joined twitter about the same time I had my brace fitted. There’s no connection between these events except when I had my operation I did get lots of nice messages from various tweeps). I think my use of Twitter increased when I got a blackberry, I check it whenever I check my phone for messages or emails. It’s part of my daily routine.
Twitter works best when you take part in it. You need to interact with people on there otherwise you’re basically the person sitting in the corner listening in on other people’s conversations but turning away when people try to talk to you. It can be daunting sending that first message to someone you don’t really know but what’s the worst that will happen? They might ignore you but unless they’re a celebrity who gets hundreds or thousands of messages it’s unlikely (and if they are a celebrity they might just reply).
I use twitter mainly to interact with other librarians and colleagues (both former and present) but I have a few people on there I know personally not through work. I also follow a few celebrities and several organisations and newspapers. I do think being part of a network of librarians who tweet makes it more relevant to me than if I wasn’t using it professionally which may explain why people doing other jobs can’t see the point.
I also enjoy watching the Apprentice and question time while tweeting with other twitter users. I’ve had conversations about Neighbours, Eastenders, and One Tree Hill with people I only know via Twitter. Of course if you don’t want to know the results of anything you need to avoid twitter, much like that episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads where they spend the day avoiding the football score.
Every day I see something that makes me laugh and something that makes me go wow. It’s probably my main source of news headlines, leading me to the whole story (usually on the BBC or guardian). I also am much more professionally informed because of twitter than I ever was before. When I was stuck in London last year because of the snow it was Twitter that kept me better informed than any of the rail staff or websites could.
One of the 23 things participants, Library Apocalypse, described Twitter as being like a radio. Always buzzing but you can tune in and out of it. I’d say that’s a brilliant description. One of the other good things is you can tune in and go back to interesting things by searching or using hashtags(#) to follow an event, conference, news story or any other stream. For example the # tag for 23 things city is #23thingscity. You can also retweet things you want to swear. According to my friend Jenny I do this a lot. I am offering no comment on this.
Thinking about Twitter for this week did make me wonder when I joined twitter and what I said first. Luckily (This sounds like a bad advert) there’s a site to help you find this out. It is called rather imaginatively my first tweet.
It’s safe to say I started tweeting when I was doing the film noir module on my MA!
Now that was my first tweet but what about the first tweet ever? According to the BBC it was “just setting up my twittr” personally I think mine was better!
Whether Twitter will last or go the same way as myspace ( I used to log on to that all the time … I probably haven’t been on there for two years. Ooh maybe since I joined twitter!) only time will tell but right now I can’t imagine not using it.
One of the most popular discussions coming from our 23 things programme is whether people want to keep their professional and personal lives separate and what the point of blogs are. Ultimately this is entirely a personal decision but it has reminded me of work my friend Katie and others have been doing. Katie’s done a couple of great blog posts on research into how social use of social networks may affect credibility. The overwhelming consensus appears to be that by tweeting personal things as well as professional things your credibility will be increased rather than decreased. This could be because you feel more connected with someone if you know more about them personally and their for you trust them more. After all you would trust a friend over a person in the street.
I would say that what I tweet/blog/share depends very much on my mood or where I am rather than any big calculation. I don’t tend to prepare posts in advance and think about them, although maybe sometimes I should! I guess the main issue for me is who will see it? On twitter a lot of my “followers” are fellow librarians so I would post there something entirely library related which my friends would yawn at. On facebook my friends are just that, people I know and have met personally so I would share personal events and things there which people who don’t know me personally probably wouldn’t care about.
My Flavors.me page
In my blogging though I tended not to be too personal until I did the most personal blog I could have done with my jaw surgery blog . I thought it would be a blog firstly for my close friends and family(especially as I couldn’t talk or have the energy to contact people) and then when complete for other jaw surgery patients to refer to. In fact it took on a whole new lease of life with friends I hadn’t seen for years and strangers sending me messages to wish me well. I thought it was basically me moaning about how ill I felt but people sent me messages saying how positive it was and how it inspired them in their own lives. Even though I haven’t posted to it for over a month it is still getting 20 -50 visitors a day and interestingly in 5 months it has had over 10,000 visitors. Melon The Librarian has been around for over 18 months and just hit 1000 visitors. My lesson from this experience was that what you think you are writing may well not be what people think they are reading!
There is inevitably a crossover of information between all my social media platforms. This is no different to how if you gathered together everybody who knows me in all walks of life then nobody would have the same view or opinion of me but probably share a general impression. I’m not rigid in where I write or post and do believe that people perceive you better if you are a real person. This is probably a reflection of my personality as I am sociable and open. So amongst some worthy item on work there is a good chance there will be a random post which would mean nothing to anybody but my best friends!