Twitter, Libraries, and Skills for the Future

October 5, 2009–Guest speaker, Joe Murphy (libraryfuture on Twitter), Science Librarian, Coordinator of Instruction & Technology, Yale University Science Libraries, explored with an audience of public, academic, and school librarians what Twitter is and why libraries should be using it.

So what exactly is Twitter? A basic introduction to Twitter is available in this video, Twitter in Plain English:

Other resources for Twitter include:

Joe shared some interesting definitions from fellow Tweeters (#libtwit) as related to libraries.  Twitter is a flexible communication tool that allows us to explore what we are doing and connect with others.   The conversation continued with a discussion on the importance of quoting on Twitter and giving credit to original sources, filtering information, the need to be in real-time, and avoiding information overload.

As demonstrated by Yale University Science Libraries, Twitter can be used to connect patrons with library services, including reference services.  However, Joe stressed the importance of institutional buy-in, establishing policies, managing work-flow, and most importantly, providing “a training culture where it is okay to fail.”

So go ahead, give Twitter a try!  New users can create an account here: https://twitter.com/signup.  Join the conversation on Twitter and libraries and share your ideas and explore your colleagues’ ideas.  As Joe tweets, “getting familiar with Twitter is key to being a successful tweeter.  Best method is playing.”

Twitter@Sachem Public Library.  Photo by: Christina Rivera

Special thanks to the Sachem Public Library for hosting this event.

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