Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thing 6-Online Networks

It's taken some time, but I've picked up the strands of my professional online networks these past couple of weeks.  They had sort of unraveled over the years, but now that I'm focusing on developing professionally I can see each loose end weaving into a lattice of support, encouragement, and knowledge I need to be better.  A strand of librarianship, woven into a strand of professional growth, strands of technology weaving throughout, and an interweaving of networking to bind them together make up into a better me all the way round.

I've really focused on using Twitter and Google+ professionally. Learning my way around them both and knocking off a little shiny newness of these tools. Google+ has much potential for being the place to network with various library groups. The ease of grouping and of including those not using Google+ has many advantages over the one wall stream of Facebook. It's even easier than remembering all the right hash tags to use in Twitter.

I've really enjoyed using Twitter for the speed and convenience of seeing many, many resources and professionals in one place though. I find that creating lists really help me narrow down the tweets to look at, especially on a busy day.

As far as Facebook, well, that is mostly personal for me. I do have a professional list, and though it often duplicates my Twitter feed, I like it for when I'm just on Facebook. As part of my professional duties, I also help admin our school's group page. It has really taken off this past year and many of our parents and teachers check the group for information and announcements.

I've rejoined the GLMA listserv and will renew my membership this week.  It provides an affordable and local organization for me to become involved with this year. I also am part of the DOE listserv and GALILEO listserve...both great resources for professionals.

I think what amazes me most is how much is out there...on the world wide web...for network with each other and experts in our field. I often wish I could tell people how generous I find the sharing of their time and talent online so that I can read it and, if I wish, respond at midnight in my pajamas with a cup of tea in my hand. It is no wonder that so many, myself included, have been overwhelmed by the wealth of online tools and resources. I'm very glad that this project has really helped me step back and then dive into the world of online networking. I know my library program will be stronger for my involvement.

Students report on Monday...and amidst the craziness and chaos of first days...little will the students know how very much I'm learning too.

PS:  All my professional networking via Google+, Twitter, and Facebook are currently blocked by our district's filters. That may change one day, but for now, I network from home and from phone. 

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