After a whirlwind weekend of meetings, awards and live blogging, it’s a wonder my thumbs are intact. Like many ALA members, I spent Friday through Monday largely on Twitter, hashtagging with the best of them.
Whether or not teens tweet, it’s clear that librarians do. And from last year’s ALA “secrets” to this year’s Newbery leak, it seems that library conferences are the impetus for both the best and worst in crowdsourcing.
As someone who just loves statistics, I spent plenty of time using Twitterfall to let the #alamw10 tweets wash over me. That search was quickly a little too overwhelming–does every ALA member use Twitter?!–so I switched to tags like #yalsa and #libs30, which many of us attending (or just tweeting about) Libraries 3.0: Teen Edition used to discuss the YALSA Midwinter Institute.
Libraries 3.0 was a fantastic illustration of the best of Twitter. All three FLIP Your Library! presenters (@VennLibrarian, @wsstephens and @buffyjhamilton, respectively) tweeted throughout the day, including the time when their co-presenters were speaking. Buffy J. Hamilton attended virtually, presenting using Skype and screen sharing, and proved she was paying attention to our ad hoc hashtag when she mentioned one of the tweets.
Other tweets ranged from the practical (plenty of “Anybody know where ____ is?” and “Help! I’m lost!” updates) to the humorous (commentary on the number of Boston hotels with “Copley” in the name, quips about the distracting nature of #sexylibrarians). Everyone from Library Journal to the ALA Member Blog offered up their picks for “top” tweets from Midwinter.
And then, of course, there was the leak.
Seventeen minutes might not seem like a big deal, but to those of us tweeting the Youth Media Awards Monday morning, learning the Newbery Award winner early was quite the spoiler. The original leak didn’t come from a librarian, but plenty of librarians passed it along–including unwittingly, as I did when I decided to include the hashtag #alayma in our live blog of the Awards.
In a sense, the Midwinter tweets are a microcosm of our professional community. We’re constantly sharing information, making judgments, letting our personal feelings slip, and standing up for our passions and our profession.
What can 140 characters tell you about teen librarians?