Here’s another tip for the new law librarian 🙂
At the risk of making a broad generalisation it seems that a lot of people in our profession are extremely hesitant about expressing themselves and participating online. To this I say there is nothing to be afraid of!
Be active online!
Ok I’m a little biased with this advice…I like to tweet, blog and have making a lego vimeo video fairly high up on my to do list but I honestly believe that you will get a lot out of being active online. Whats that you say? “But I link to articles and like stuff! That means I participate!” Well I hate to break it to you but if your participation on social media is based on liking others activity, linking to an article with a caption like “highly recommend giving this a read!” or your Twitter profile is more retweet than tweet you may present but you’re not participating. Participating means adding and sharing your knowledge and experience. Thats not to say that sharing the thoughts of others doesn’t have a place online, it most certainly does but to get the most out of the online realm and the amazing minds of others (also online) within our profession means you need to put yourself out there. Make observations about the trends in the profession, ask a question, share an interesting experience. In short my message is don’t be afraid to put your opinion out there!
Our profession is an amazingly supportive one that encourages growth and learning so you can rest assured in the fact that no one is going to shut you down in this environment (and if they do their Librarian licence will be revoked) so feel free to express yourself in a friendly and professional manner!
This expression can be lead by the following guidelines:
1) Treat internet conversation like dinner party conversation – First things first….be polite! You can show your personality and your personal pazaz, in fact it’s encouraged! just don’t be disrespectful.
2) When someone says something you agree with, disagree with or find thought provoking let them know! The internet can (if you let it) be one big window shop. People who put themselves on a limb and write stuff, put it out there to share and want to know what others think. So if you read an interesting blog, agree with a tweet or like a Linkedin post let them know!
3) Ditch the formal language and be personable! The internet isn’t just one giant resume, your human and humans have fun, laugh, share a joke! Remember to have fun!
4) Be there!
….and thats it, just four tiny simple steps. Get out there and participate in the online library discussion, who knows you might have fun!.