21 June 2009

Social Media Specialists

I attended the webinar, Is There a Place for Media Specialists Who Don't Know Social Media? It was hosted by Steve Hargadon at a session of The Future of Education. I learned about the webinar through Joyce Valenza's NeverEndingSearch blog. She along with Carolyn Foote, Buffy Hamilton (The Unquiet Library), and Cathy Nelson began a discussion which orignally started within Twitter. The Twitter link goes to Karl Fisch's blog post compiling all of the Twitter discussion.

These were the questions Joyce and the other panelists hoped to cover:
  • How does a librarian use social media in practice? for professional development? with learners? faculty?
  • What specific social networking tools do you use and how do you use them?
  • How does social networking reflect/support our standards?
  • Can you be relevant without understanding the new tools?
  • What do these new tools mean to library big concepts? (information ethics, intellectual freedom, access to information, evaluation, collection, interacting with information sources, communicating with users/learners, contributing as digital citizens, etc.)
  • How does social media change the way we present our services and instruction online?
  • Do we need to retool our profession?

Needless to say in a one hour session, coverage of these questions was brief, allowing only a tempting taste. The 4 panelists collaboratively created a wiki which contains background resources and links to the panelists blogs. The Elluminate session links are available to review if you're interested here. At one point there were 90+ participants. The chat was just as valuable as the presentation slides and the audio. Obviously, the profession should be retooling.

The best thing to come from this webinar will be the opportunity to participate in similar discussions on a monthly basis. Steve Hargadon suggested the need of media specialists to communicate on a regular basis. Many agreed with him. So... watch for more webinars to occur through The Future of Education ning.

On a personal note, I already subscribe to Joyce and Buffy's blogs and follow Cathy and Steve on Twitter. Now I have two more contacts to add to my Personal Learning Network, Carolyn Foote and Karl Fisch.

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