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The Cutting Edge Circa 2008

If you want to be on the cutting edge of librarianship circa 2008, then the ALA has some good things in store for you!

A Kind Reader forwarded me last week’s American Libraries Direct, which has helpful links to three online workshops the ALA is offering. Pretty trendy stuff, too.

One is on LinkedIn, and is arguably the least dated one. One of my business friends told me LinkedIn is like Facebook for business people, but do librarians ever get hired through LinkedIn contacts? I’d be curious to know about that.

I’ve always worked in academic libraries, where the hiring process is based on looking through a pile of CVs and then waiting until each new moon to have the next search committee meeting, with the hope that in a few months someone will be hired before all the candidates drop out.

LinkedIn has never played a role, but I guess having a good profile there is like a cup of tea during a hurricane. It might not help, but it can’t hurt. For $55  and 90 minutes of my time I could probably figure that stuff out for myself, though.

Another one is on Facebook for libraries. Because we’re still in 2008. Next we’ll get a workshop on Library 2.0. That the instructor will be sharing “what he’s learned from years of experience and experiments” [my emphasis] should tell you something. This is old stuff, and if your library hasn’t created a Facebook page by now, you’re probably not going to.

Plus it’s another $50 bucks and 90 minutes. 90 minutes listening to someone talk about Facebook. Think about that.

Or you could skip those and pay $175 to take Social Media Basics. That one covers LinkedIn and Facebook, plus Twitter and Google+, because it’s still 2011 and people haven’t yet grown tired of Google+.

I’m sure the course will be serious stuff, but the press release is priceless fluff. “Are you new to social media? Have you been intimidated by the idea of getting started with sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter?”

Are you intimidated by services that tens of millions of people who aren’t especially bright have managed to use just fine? Surely even librarians aren’t intimidated by Facebook anymore. The only thing intimidating about Facebook is trying to understand their constantly shifting privacy settings.

And you’ll really get to dig into these services. The course lasts for four weeks, and “your participation will require approximately six hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. There are no live sessions.”

That’s six hours studying Facebook. Think about that, too. Then another six hours studying Google+, which is basically Facebook but in a different color and fewer of your friends on. After 24 hours spent studying these four services, you should be ready for anything!

Unless of course your library got on Facebook and Twitter years ago like so many did, back when that was still the hot thing to do. But maybe it’s still 2008 in a lot of libraries.

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Comments

  1. So True says:

    OMG, this is spot on. I was honestly dumbfounded that there were still programs about facebook and social media at the Computers in Libraries 2013 conference this year! LinkedIn is worthless, IMO.

    • Ben says:

      What’s the point of saying “LinkedIn is worthless, IMO.”?

      If you don’t use it, fine. But plenty of us do, and there are a lot of discussions on there about the same topics that are covered by the Annoyed Librarian. It has been enormously beneficial to me working on my own and being geographically separated from pretty much all colleagues.

  2. Joey says:

    I’m sure there will be much more discussion about the wonders of QR codes than in 2008 though.

  3. aNNA says:

    Brought to you by the same folks who sincerely thought that Second Life was the future of librarianship, I bet.

  4. Pam says:

    I actually got an interview because of my LinkedIn profile. A recruiter was hired to fill a position in a law firm library and found me on LinkedIn. Surprised the heck out of me to hear from someone because of my profile.

  5. Kayla says:

    The only way I could see this is if they’re talking about the more effective ways and best practices for communicating with social media. There are too many places that create a page, then let it idle or (even worse) post too much junk and become annoying. Just because you can create a page doesn’t mean you can use it effectively!