A lot of people know about #libchat, but I don’t actually know anyone who has participated. I decided to participate while I’m in the Eastern time zone since it makes it easier (and since it’s summer, I have some free time). I think libchat is a great initiative making great use of social media and non-geographically tied group communication. I was excited to participate and even downloaded tweetdeck to help me follow the conversation and post.
A disclaimer that I’ve only participated in two sessions, but I think I can make a few general observations of my experience with them.
- Good way to learn about what other librarians/libraries are doing.
- One way to find other librarians (to follow perhaps) that may be interested in certain topics.
- Great way to ask questions and get some answers from a diverse group of people.
- Can network and promote yourself to a geographically diverse group (good for those who are open to moving across Canada/US).
- One way to learn about issues/trends that librarians care/want to know more about.
As I said, I think #libchat is great. I applaud nataliebinder who moderates the discussion every single week. Nevertheless, as a student, I feel like I have little to contribute since I don’t know that much about whichever library I work in. I also felt like it was mostly a Q&A session with little discussion. Not that that was wholly unexpected, but I was hoping for a bit more back and forth between/with others. As well, personally, for networking purposes, I want to get to know people locally (or in Canada at least), but the group is dominated by those from the US. Still, I’ll probably participate again or at least follow discussions to see what people are talking about.
Still, it’s a great experience, especially for someone new to twitter, and I would definitely recommend for people to participate, especially if they have questions they want to pose to a group of librarians outside of their immediate group/network.