I have avoided the world of Twitter because I did not see the point of random (and most likely meaningless) announcements from people I would never meet. Then I attended a session at the Library 2.0 conference about librarians using Twitter. The presenter explained how you can choose to follow only professional people and organizations. She also explained how Twitter can be the librarian’s friend in making announcements to the public. My interest level was suddenly elevated. I decided there could be more to this Tweeting business than I had realized. I decided to give it a try.
I created an account for myself and began looking for professional organizations and people to follow. Within a matter of minutes I had chosen ten accounts to follow. I was amazed at how many professional organizations and businesses had Twitter accounts. I have had the account for two weeks now and I am following 35 Twitter accounts including The American Library Association, The Public LIbrary Association, Library Journal, OCLC, WebJunction, and WorldCat. I also follow local and national television news stations and Montana newspapers.
After careful consideration the Montana State Library has decided that I will test drive Twitter as a professional means of communication through the BTOP program. I was given the go ahead to create a Twitter account to keep Montana libraries up to date on library news and information. I will also use the new account to send webinar and other important reminders. So within a matter of a few weeks I have gone from having one Twitter account to having two: one personal and one professional.
Following a Twitter account and making posts does take some time, but I find it requires less time than following my personal Facebook account. I can scan the new posts quickly and post a Tweet if I feel like it in about 15 minutes a day. I also have found that the posts are far less random than I anticipated. The Tweets are relevant and interesting bits of information, usually with links to news articles. I feel better informed about local, national, and library news after my short ownership of a Twitter account.
Please follow me on the BTOP Twitter account. My account user name is MTLibraryNext. You can also anticipate a webinar from me in the future on how you might make use of a Twitter account in your library. Happy Tweeting.