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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Librarians Teach Us to Swim; Social Media Builds Islands



Tsunami of Information Funny how fast things change. I'm finding that some incredible information and graphics are coming to me via Tumblr (see the Beginners Guide to Tumblr I produced a few weeks a go.)

I sent out this quote yesterday:

In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.
Linton Weeks, Washington Post (via mountainplainslibraryassociation)(via infoneer-pulse)

My posts from Tumblr automatically go to Twitter. So, then I got a tweet back this morning from Diane McKenzie, librarian extraordinaire in Hong Kong @dimac4:

.@coolcatteacher something I whipped up with inspiration from you http://t.co/qIoUTLC (with many other things to do as well!)

Thus was born the graphic above. Ah, how fast information moves and mashes up. I find that the graphics and videos often spread faster than plain text but perhaps that isn't the case.

There is no doubt that librarians have been taking a hit lately. I think that more librarians like Diane need to be telling their story: what are we doing? Why are we important? What are the amazing things happening through our work? Tumblr is just one way to do that. Flickr is another way. Hey, even youtube.

I believe that the people in a profession who embrace social media to speak the message of what they do should be hailed as heroes. Right now, social media mavens  ARE the media and influence public opinion much more than we'd like to think.

The very life and soul of a profession are now caught up in the social media megaphones lifted by the rank and file.  If your profession doesn't encourage the "average" person to speak out in positive ways then your profession may be headed for trouble.

If librarians provide people with floaties and teach them to swim, then social media mavens have the power to build islands in the middle of the ocean out of a Tweet. The tide of public opinion is at their fingertips and it is time to start taking notice that social media is Media.
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