23 Things for Research – Things 1, 2 and 3

It’s about four years ago since I first did the 23 Things programme in Oxford as a Library Graduate Trainee. Back then, my knowledge of social media was not great – I had a Facebook profile and had used Youtube but not a lot beyond that. 23 Things was great in showing me more social media websites available and issues attached to using social media.

I am doing the programme again because I am sure new social media services have been created since I first completed 23 Things. Looking at the timetable, I can already see some things I am unfamiliar with. Storify, for instance, I have not heard of. I also see some weeks we will be looking at copyright issues and thinking about our brand, which I don’t recall covering before.

Answering the questions in Thing 3 more specifically:

1) Experiences with social media – my experience has grown over the years during my time as a librarian. I joined Twitter and use that professionally to engage with other librarians, My contribution waxes and wanes depending on how busy I am. In my current job I am very involved with the library’s social media profiles so I sometimes prioritise the library’s Twitter profile over my own, although I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I also use Delicious and have quite a large number of recipes saved on there. I am a keen user of Facebook, as I mentioned, and update my library’s Facebook profile too.

I have my own professional blog (i.e. this one), although it is difficult to find time to write posts and find inspiration. Is it worth duplicating what other librarians have already written about? I originally had a Blogger blog, which I set up when I became a library school student. I was hoping to record my progress on the course but my posts quickly turned to how I didn’t have enough time to do anything other then university work and, inevitably, I didn’t have time to write any blog posts. I decided to stop using that blog. Partly because I felt Blogger didn’t look that professional and because my blog content wasn’t all that professional either. I wanted to start afresh with my new professional qualification. I liked the look of fellow librarians’ WordPress blogs so decided to set up one up with WordPress rather than Blogger. I also had experience of WordPress.org having created a digital archive for a library school assessment so was familiar with some of WordPress’s functions.

2) What are you hoping to explore? I am hoping to discover social media tools I am not currently aware of. I’ve already mentioned Storify. I would like to see what other services are out there, how libraries are using them, how they can be useful to libraries (or not), and whether library patrons are using them. I would also like to see how issues around social media have evolved. There are stories online about how people’s identities are stolen because of personal details they put online. Cyber bullying has become a major issue too. These are issues that were perhaps not anticipated when social media first became popular so I am interested to see what guidelines have developed in response to them.