For our public librarian colleagues it is a busy summer reading with and taking care of all the children out of school for the summer. For us school librarian folks, summer can be an opportunity to re-charge through professional learning. At my school district’s Summer Conference, one of our keynote speakers was Angela Maiers, @AngelaMaiers, who passionately spoke about the power of social media in today’s world. Because of a session with her, I was pecked by the Twitter bird, and have become an avid fan. If you haven’t already been pecked, as literally millions have, maybe I can entice you to join the Twitter universe with some ideas and information I’ve learned from my favorite tweets and tweeters.
Basically, Twitter allows people to send and receive “tweets”, short messages limited to a maximum of 140 characters, including spaces. Each tweet can convey a good deal of information without taking a lot of time to read or write. To automatically see what someone else is saying, you “follow” them. Those who regularly receive your posts are your “followers.” To get started sign up for your account at www.twitter.com, and download the app to your smartphone and/or tablet. If you want a crash course on Twitter, Common Craft has a quick video on YouTube that can help you get started, too. Watch it at: http://tinyurl.com/384n2f
To get an idea about how libraries use Twitter, read the recent article from Information Today, Inc., by Sarah Milstein, Twitter for Libraries. She includes links to many libraries of all kinds who are using Twitter to post about library announcements, give hours of operation, highlight upcoming programs, provide tips for research, and new book arrivals. Find the article at: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/may09/Milstein.shtml.
To get you “pecked” and using Twitter as personal learning, here’s a smackerel of what I’ve found recently. But be careful, this Twitter thing can be addicting!
- Missed ALA Annual? Follow @alaannual and relive #ala12 (the hashtag used by conference attendees to tweet about sessions, author signings, giveaways and all else ALA). Find the highlights issue of Cognotes PDF version at www.ow.ly/bXI8z .
- Follow and connect with publishing houses and learn about new and upcoming titles, author appearances, book trailers, and other special promotions. During ALA, they would tweet about the current ARC’s for giveaway and the authors in their booths. A few that I follow (haven’t found them all yet!): @ABRAMSbooks, @randomhousekids, @MacKidsBooks, @HMHbooks, @DisneyHyperion, @lbschool, @SimonKids, @ChronicleKids, @PenguinClass, @HarperChildrens, @ScholasticTeach, and @Candlewick.
- Follow and connect with your favorite authors and illustrators. Many times they will answer your tweets personally. While at an ALA Abrams luncheon, I met Matthew Cordell, @cordellmatthew, took a photo of his Bat and Rat puppet show, shared the photo with him on Twitter, and he used it in his blog! tinyurl.com/bnbcomn
- Follow your favorite professional journals. I follow School Library Journal, @sljournal, who recently tweeted about an interview with Paul O. Zelinsky on “My Favorite Caldecott”, www.ow.ly/c4bQB . I also follow @HornBook, check out their hastag #HBAppReviewoftheWeek, and a tweet linking to their article about ocean-themed picture books for beach towel reading with little ones: www.ow.ly/c2ds5 .
- Join other bookaholics through the hashtag #bookaday, the “Book Whisperer”, Donalyn Miller’s , @DonalynBooks, 4th annual challenge to read one book each day during summer vacation. Beware though, through the posts of what our colleagues and friends are reading, your pile of “to-be-read” will not only grow, but could change in priority. Recent tweets led me to my library for Wonder, @RJPalacio, One and Only Ivan, @kaaauthor, and in my ARC pile for Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One, @TheTTNarrator.
- Find giveaways! Recently Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of One for the Murphys, offered a free author skype visit with a Be Someone’s Hero t-shirt thrown in. @lynMullalyHunt
- Follow the #Nerdbery Challenge. Librarians, John Schumacher and Colby Sharp are heroically reading ALL the Newbery winners, in order, and are tweeting, posting videos, and blogging about their experiences. Supposedly King of the Wind is “much better” than Smoky the Cowhorse.
- Retweeted by another school librarian, this from ASCD – a recent study cited in Educational Leadership, found that “e-readers have tremendous potential to entice reluctant readers to read more.” Find it at: www.bit.ly/PcVkQT
- And be sure to follow the @alscblog, where I found this favorite, “Have you found something gross in a library book?” Eww! Share your stories, you know you have them, I certainly do! Tacos, bananas, and fudge, oh my! dlvr.it/1prbWt
Hopefully this will tweet your interest. You’ll receive tweets that are fun, inspirational, and educational, and best of all, ideas to help you get the youngsters in your care more involved in reading, in new technology, and into your library.
Our guest blogger today is Debra Marshall, librarian at Wilson Elementary School, and Head Librarian for Coppell (TX) ISD. She is a member of the ALSC Children and Technology committee.
You can visit her on Twitter at @DebraMarshall
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.