I am usually someone who is willing to try new things, but when it came to Twitter I had dug my heels in. I felt like it was just one more thing to check. All that information was just too overwhelming. Well, I was wrong!
Twitter and I have a long relationship. While earning my degree, I was forced to use Twitter for a class. I had an account and understood what it was, but I was not buying in.
Then about a year ago I tried again. I was determined to make it work this time. With twelve tweets in eight months, you can guess how it went. My Twitter turning point was attending a conference last March. I realized that there was another “conference” going on behind the scenes and I was missing it! Through Twitter, I gained more from that conference than any I have attended before.
Recently, I had the privilege of taking the AASL Learn to Tweet Class with Jane Lofton (@jane_librarian). The class allowed me to reflect on what was working for me this time around.
Here are five thoughts from a novice Twitter user:
Jump In – This is where I went wrong. I opened an account, but never did anything with it. It just sort of sat there. It was not until I started to read, tweet, and retweet that I saw the benefits of Twitter.
Current – I am always reading blogs and professional magazines, but I feel like I know more now about what is current in the library world than I ever did before. I am more aware of new books being published, new technology tools, lesson ideas, and who are masters in their craft.
Scan – It is not as overwhelming as I first thought. You learn to scan. Since no one can be long-winded on Twitter you get very concise information. Sometimes there is a link to read further, but you only read what you want too. You have to let go of the information you are going to miss, but there is always more to come.
Connect – This is probably the biggest benefit I have found. I learned long ago that ours is not an isolated profession or at least it shouldn’t be. I have been able to get ideas, lessons, and support from leaders in the field who I never would have connected with otherwise. You just have to find people to follow and then they will follow you back. You can try a Twitter chat too!
Share – I often worry that I will not be able to come up with something good enough to share, but have found the more I share the more I connect with others. Tweet anything from new strategies, interesting articles or questions you might want others to weigh in on. Remember to include a hashtag to help others see your post. My goal has been to tweet at least once a day. For me, retweets count!
Now, having given Twitter a fair shot, I have found it to be one of the best professional resources I have ever used. I hope to be following you soon too!
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).