Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Library and Information career and Social Media

Through RSS feeds I get a regular update of what is happening in the Library and Information world. The Library and Information Specialist (LIS) is in a field of expertise where the fast pace of information and change effect their role and duties constantly. LIS professionals are lucky that they are in constant barrage of new information, and actually thrive on the new technologies and new information. But it is also a fact that LIS career options are diminishing worldwide because of budget constraints, and dare I say: that same “new technologies”.

It is up to the LIS profession to constantly look at ways of reinventing themselves and their professional careers. One of the new ways of doing that is through social media technologies and building up a social media presence. It is difficult for old school LIS professionals who are by nature introverted (a generalization, I know) to “convert” to the idea of selling themselves and their expertise and their “business” through an active online presence. We need to change our thinking and our way of working to incorporate social media into our daily work/networking activities.

A subgroup of the American Library Association on LinkedIn has been formed, called LIS Career Options which discuss topics such as:
The discussions demonstrate the need to build up a social media presence, albeit personally, but the presence of the person linked to a service/company is always inclusive. We work within a certain framework of business.

As archivists, information specialists and record librarians we are still in infancy in our company with regards to social media presence. We are beginning to notice the importance of being actively engaged online. Our recent endeavours on social media have opened up our eyes to the possibilities. We are getting more feedback, more requests and more awareness of our services.

Check us out:
SABC Media Libraries Blog
SABC Media Libraries site
SABC Media Libraries
SABC Radio Archives
SABC Music Library
SABC Record Lib
SABC Information Library
SABC Audio Restoration

We also started with Facebook presences, but that's for another post.

Karen du Toit
Senior Afrikaans Archivist
SABC Radio Archives

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