Our CILIP Chief Executive, Annie Mauger, invited librarians via Twitter to ponder some controversial views expressed in a blog, ‘Deprofessionalisation and the blogosphere’ The article decried the standard of social media communication being conducted by professional librarians. Its author suggested that ‘the knowledge and skills that make up (professional expertise) should be our primary concern’ and argued that more journal articles and discussion of content was what was needed. The article set me reflecting on our own situation in Scotland.
I think that while there is a place for considered and well argued journal articles, the social bonds engendered by participation in e.g. Twitter are equally important in encouraging a sense of community and common interest. This can lead to debate but also activity and learning based around the profession.
One recent example of Twitter enabling this was the ‘tweetmeet’ organised by Anabel Marsh which led on to planning and participation in activities for National Libraries Day. Activity has since grown into a semi regular event sponsored by CILIPS to encourage librarians from all sectors to meet up and share experiences while learning a little more about each other’s professional practice. (There’s another tweetmeet organised to take place at 6.15pm in the Bon Accord Pub, North Street, Glasgow, on 14th March if you’re interested in coming along).
As for the blogosphere there are some examples of writing rooted in experience rather than theory and from which we can all learn. Here are a few blogs from Scottish colleagues you might care to sample:
Nicola Osborne who works for EDINA is expert at liveblogging of events – a real skill – and she always posts something of use for those with an interest in social media and libraries.
Neal Buchanan from the University of West of Scotland posts on educational events and activities in which he’s involved – useful for anyone who isn’t able to attend in person.
Christine Irving blogs at on the LIS DREAm project as well as what she has been up to professionally.
These are just three examples from Scotland but there are many more. What’s your favourite Scottish library blog?