Yesterday I presented on social media, libraries, and librarians for the staff of the Prospect Heights Public Library District. This is my third time giving a version of this talk - first to the staff at Northwestern University Library, and then to the staff of Wauconda Area Library - and it's been absolutely fascinating to see how each talk takes a slightly different turn.
We often think that because most of our libraries have Facebook pages, this topic is worn out. We all know how to post a link to Facebook now, right? I actually struggled when I first created the presentation because I wasn't sure if this territory was...well...trite. Yet each time I give the talk, I feel even more strongly in the importance of continuing this conversation. Just because we're all on social networks doesn't mean we don't have a lot to learn from each other about optimizing our institutional accounts and managing our own personal accounts while maintaining a level of professionalism.
I learn a great deal every time I talk to people about social networks and librarians. My theory is that because library workers don't tend to "turn off" at the end of the day, our social media presence is completely intertwined with our careers. And this is both an awesome and precarious situation. On the awesome side, it makes our social networks a perfect place for collaboration and crowd sourcing ideas. On the precarious side, it directly ties our opinions to our work life. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - as anyone knows who follows me on Twitter or reads some of my articles, I'm full of opinions. But it certainly is a delicate thing and one that I think we all learn from every time we tap the word, "Tweet".
So while I present on the topic and seriously enjoy doing so, I'm also still learning. And I suppose that's the best thing about speaking professionally - there's just so much out there to take in. Thank you for the recent opportunity, Prospect Heights Library. It is always a pleasure.
If you're interested in having me speak for your staff day, please contact me. You can view the latest incarnation of my talk about libraries, librarians, and social media on Slideshare here.