Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why Librarians (and MLS Students) Should Use Twitter

I'm a new convert to Twitter. Although I signed up for the free microblogging service last year, it's only within the past few months that I've come to truly understand its value. And at this point, there is no turning back.
I've enthusiastically embraced Twitter.
Image via

I've found Twitter to be extremely useful for keeping up with library-related news both in my country and abroad. I follow a number of state and national library associations, which tweet about events and activities of interest to their members and anyone else in, or interested in, the field of librarianship. These same associations also inform their Twitter followers about library jobs, as do companies and organizations that tweet specifically about library job openings, which is invaluable to me as a soon-to-be-graduating library school student.

Twitter is also great for keeping up with the goings-on at library conferences and other professional gatherings. As my commitment to the field has grown, I've noticed that there are always conferences, panel discussions, workshops, and other industry events happening, often at the same time. I had recently registered in advance for one library conference, only to find out later that another conference I wanted to attend was taking place on the same day. Thanks to Twitter, I was able to keep up with the developments at the other conference because attendees were actively live-tweeting it.

There's been a lot of talk lately about "branding" yourself and "managing your online brand." I've realized that Twitter is a great way to cultivate the image of yourself that you wish to present to prospective employers, professional contacts, or like-minded people in your areas of interest. How you come across online can either help or hinder you, and it's better to use your online presence to your best advantage. Tweeting about career interests and academic pursuits in a way that's personal and reflects your personality, but is also professional-sounding but still interesting, can go a long way in helping you cultivate your "online brand."

In her article for, "Top 3 Reasons to Use Twitter," Alexandra Janvey echoes my points on keeping up with the profession and following conferences. She also says that Twitter has helped her find a sense of community within the library profession. To see how you can better use Twitter as a librarian or library school student, check out Janvey's article at THIS LINK.

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