Provocative Statement Number One

As we kick things off here at Collection Connection, we want to make sure to keep things provocative, just to stimulate interactions with the library collections community. Maybe push your buttons a bit.

Thus, here is provocative statement number one: collections librarians, especially directors or heads of collection development, just don’t do social media. As we think about the most notable bloggers out there, the most unique voices on Twitter, the must-see Facebook pages, none of these is coming from the collection development community. You’ve got a lot of IT folks in that category, directors of innovation or emerging technology, user experience librarians, school media specialists. But where are the voices of innovation for library collections?

Maybe we are thinking about this all wrong. Maybe technological innovations ARE where the exciting collection questions are coming from. Maybe collection development librarians are totally wedded to traditional media such as professional journals. Maybe they are just too busy reading license agreements and balancing budgets to worry about Tweeting. Maybe the social media world is too extensive and fractured for us to even know about the interesting voices out there.

Whatever the case, we think it is a shame that the collection development community doesn’t have a larger presence in the social media landscape. Certainly, scholarly journals, trade publications, and monographs continue to have their place in our discourse. There are, however, a lot of cutting-edge discussions in librarianship and other fields happening in social media. We think library collections should be a big part of that discussion, and that those involved in collection development processes should be engaged in the conversation. The social media realm doesn’t negate more traditional media venues, but it can add a degree of immediacy to topics that are in constant flux.

We hope you’ll join us in this conversation about library collections. Start right now by commenting on this post. Let us know if you agree or think we are totally off the mark. Tell us about those important social media voices for library collections. And tune in here often to see additional provocative statements.

8 Comments on “Provocative Statement Number One”

  1. Keri Cascio says:

    The closest I’ve seen to this was after the HarperCollins 26 checkout announcement. #hcod was a very popular Twitter topics for a while there, but the comments were coming from all over the field. I’ve seen a lot of activity in ALCTS Interest Groups with collection development, and in-person networking at workshops and conferences, but I would agree that our voice in social networking is lacking. Many ALCTS/CMS members are on Twitter, let’s make up some hashtags to discuss!

  2. Steven Harris says:

    Great idea! hashtags for ALCTS/CMS. #alctscms ?

  3. Melissa says:

    I would suggest adding a share button to the blog for those of us who do use social media. 🙂

  4. Natalie Arthur says:

    I have to say that as a former Children’s Librarian, now department head for Collection Services at Johnson County Public Library, I am very tied into social media, and I don’t find a lot of information that is directly related to collection services on social media, other than from publishers. I do think there aren’t as many collections librarians on social media as from other areas of interest in the library field, but I don’t necessarily think it’s because they aren’t there. In my department, about half of the staff are on a social media site of some sort, but only two of us use those sites for job-related activities. There just isn’t a lot out there. Then again, I think a lot of libraries tend to fill this particular staffing area with paraprofessionals, and those people may be less inclined to do research into job-related issues when they aren’t on the job than those of us who consider librarianship our calling.

  5. James says:

    Thanks for this effort. I’d echo Melissa. Many of us use twitter as our RSS2.0 feed so I’d request that you set up a twitter acct that auto-tweets your blog posts. There’s a wordpress plugin (WP to twitter) that will do that. Thanks again. I look forward to the conversation!

  6. Steven Harris says:

    All great suggestions about sharing. I’m working with a particular ALA install of WordPress. So I don’t have access to all the plugins. But I added a share script to the individual posts, and a Facebook “like” button.

  7. Lucy says:

    Not sure how many are actual collection development librarians, although I am, but there ‘do’ seem to be a number of librarians who join in Nora Rawlinson’s monthly GalleyChats. These Twitter sessions are for discussing forthcoming titles which folks have read as a galley (or ARC) and can be a very useful collection development tool — along with causing your own personal ‘to be read’ list to grow … 🙂

  8. […] first of these was mentioned by one of our readers. (Thanks, Lucy!) It comes from Early Word, a blog hosted by Nora Rawlinson, editor of Library […]

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