Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Using social media effectively

OK, I will admit it; I spend far too much of my spare time on Facebook and Twitter. I have committed various social media sins, including posting photos of my dinner, creating cryptic passive-aggressive statuses, and live-tweeting television "talent" shows. But as well as all of that, social media can be a really powerful tool for maintaining your current awareness in your subject area; I also use Twitter to connect with other librarians around the world, to ask questions and share experiences, to discover best practice and to find out about new developments, events, opportunities and issues in libraryland, and I've already suggested to many of you whom I've met that you consider doing the same. Maintaining a current awareness of what's going on in your subject can be beneficial not only for your academic work, but for things beyond that, such as being able to demonstrate excellent knowledge of your sector in job interviews. So I would suggest making use of all avenues to do so, especially the free ones. This is why I was really pleased recently when a set of librarians from the Universities of Leeds, York and Manchester released a brilliant "Student guide to social media", which contains clear explanations of various tools available and is full of ideas on how and why to use them for your studies. Have a look; I think you might find it really useful. If you're already using social media for your work, or plan to after looking at the guide, I'd be really interested to hear about what you're using and how.

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