Week 5 Activity: Twitter Chat

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    • #1143
      Deborah Fuller
      Participant

      Readers’ Advisory Twitter Chat Reflection

      The IFN614 Twitter Chat was on Readers Advisory this week. It was interesting and lively chat in which I greatly enjoyed and benefitted from participating in. There were 2 guest participants, @jobeaz and @alisonwrote who are both experienced librarians and readers’ advisors, plus a few other librarians dropped in to chat.

      During the chat I was able to discuss the readings that I had done to prepare for it, along with learning things from the librarians and my peers which I had not read about. I will break down this post into the four questions that were the foundation for the discussion, although it did stray from them at times.

      The first question asked why is readers’ advisory so important. Most of the participants myself included, felt that they helped expand the reader’s reading choices, by pointing them in the direction of books they may otherwise not of chosen based on their previous reading. This agrees with the definition provided by the Standards and Guidelines for Australian Public Libraries as “promoting the value of reading”. One of the participants, @lisa_bibliofile mentioned that they also provide a service for people who can’t get into the library by selecting and delivering books to them. This was something I didn’t realise, which I feel is an invaluable service.

      Next we discussed the skills and attributes of a readers’ advisor. Again there were many attributes discussed which included good communicators, non-judgmental, good knowledge of the library collection and well read. We then debated whether a good readers’ advisor needed to be a reader. The majority of us felt that it was necessary, or at the least beneficial. @jobeaz said that it was vital to have a good knowledge of the collection and that being a reader is beneficial. When we were discussing whether a librarian needed to be a reader @L_Reithmuller stated that she felt that ‘being a librarian was less about reading and more about valuing information and knowledge’, which I felt was an excellent point.

      The characteristics of a good readers’ advisory service were discussed next. Miles and Beazley state that it needs to be embedded in librarians’ position descriptions and they need to be supported and trained in it. During the chat characteristics identified included subject knowledge, well-read, knowing where to look for information and being a good communicator. Similar to the skills needed to be good reader’s advisor, all of which could be gained with training and support.

      Finally we discussed the tools necessary for supporting readers’ advisory, which included displays, book lists, online tools and bookmarks. This was in agreement with the suggestions made by Staley in Readers’ Advisory Handbook. The displays and book lists are initiatives which I have personally used in public libraries and feel are beneficial.

      The Twitter Chat was a valuable and interesting learning experience in which I learnt a great deal from my peers and the experts about readers’ advisory in an informal and enjoyable setting. It consolidated the knowledge which I had gained form the readings but I felt I learnt more from the chat as it was more participative. This has changed my opinion as I initially doubted the value of Twitter as a learning tool.

       

      • This topic was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Deborah Fuller. Reason: retagging
      • This topic was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Deborah Fuller.
    • #1156
      hanan albishri
      Participant

      It was interesting chat  Debbie !!

    • #1159
      Christopher Brander
      Participant

      It was my wife’s birthday on Monday so I missed out on the twitter chat this week so it’s nice to be able to have a recap 🙂 That sounded like an interesting chat about whether you need to be a reader to be a good RA. Obviously it’s always going to be helpful if you know the book someone is talking about and yet there are so many books that you could never have read them all. Therefore, I think you need to be able to make recommendations of things even if you haven’t read them. There are other ways to do this, eg people have already mentioned book reviews, or maybe just word of mouth from users, friends, and other librarians.

    • #1263
      Paola Beretta
      Participant

      This is an excellent review of the discussion, highlighting topics of interest. I enjoyed the pace and logic you gave to your post and how you referred to particular Twitterers’s comments that struck a cord with you. Great post, thank you!

    • #1278

      Well done Debbie, given the frantic pace of the chats we’ve had so far it isn’t easy to keep up with all of the strands of the conversation. I enjoyed your reflection for this reason as it brought the issues back into focus for me.

      I especially found the discussion about whether you need to be a reader in order to be a good RA interesting – I just can’t imagine why you would be an RA at all unless you were a reader! The motivation escapes me – I love sharing conversations about books because I love reading. But much of what was in the learning materials pointed out very fairly that there are just so many books and genres now that we need to develop tools and methods to help in understanding, and giving access to, the broad range of readers’ interests, not only our own preferences.

      Thanks for this helpful recap champ!

    • #1350
      Deborah Fuller
      Participant

      Thanks everybody for your feedback. I was unsure how to go about it, but I enjoyed writing the post. I am glad I got this week as it was such an interesting chat and very active so it was a pleasure to reflect on it. It can be a bit difficult going over the archive as it is a bit chaotic, which I suppose is the nature of an online chat amongst so many intelligent people. I would advise for future Twitter Chat Champions, that they do the reflection as soon as possible whilst it is still fresh in your mind, as it is much easier to make sense of the archive then.

    • #1351
      Deborah Fuller
      Participant

      Thanks everybody for your feedback. I was unsure how to go about it, but I enjoyed writing the post. I am glad I got this week as it was such an interesting chat and very active so it was a pleasure to reflect on it. It can be a bit difficult going over the archive as it is a bit chaotic, which I suppose is the nature of an online chat amongst so many intelligent people. I would advise for future Twitter Chat Champions, that they do the reflection as soon as possible whilst it is still fresh in your mind, as it is much easier to make sense of the archive then.

    • #1820
      Peldon P
      Participant

      Hi Debbie, I was skeptical of using Twitter as learning tool too; in fact in my “Information Managment” unit, we used Twitter to  collaborate but nothing good came out of it. However, thanks to Kate, it’s a fantastic tool. With the hashtags, Tweet deck and storify features, Kate has made Twitter an invaluable learning tool.

      I enjoyed the Twitter chat sessions very much and learnt a lot from there but I found writing the reflection quite daunting because there’s so much information there and it was tough trying to channel all that into one post. Great read as usual. Cheers 🙂

       

    • #1861
      Deborah Fuller
      Participant

      Thanks Peldon, I don’t think we were alone in our scepticism of Twitter as a learning tool. My friends outside the course are amazed that I have become a convert, but I have learnt so much from others post and it doesn’t feel like learning. It is good to use when I have a few minutes spare, like work breaks and commuting, as all I need is my phone. I’ll even carry on using it actively when I finish this unit. You’re right it was tough trying to summarise and reflect on it. I did mine pretty much straight away whilst it was fresh in my mind, and just used Storify to refine it, and that seemed to work for me.

       

    • #2076
      Clare Thorpe
      Keymaster

      Deb,

      A great summary and example of how to complete the Twitter chat exercise. With scheduled chats like this it’s so important to do the pre-reading and have your responses ready to tweet. I’ve found the pace of these sessions lightning fast – even more so than conference tweet streams and the like.

    • #2313
      Chris Sonneveld
      Participant

      Hi Debbie

      Thank you for a great summary of the RA Twitter Chat. As Clare has pointed out it was a great example for us to follow for our own. I knew nothing about RAs before our chat so I found the discussion fascinating. I have never found reading that enjoyable but I think it comes down to finding a writing style, subjects and genre you can enjoy as opposed to starting a book that everyone says is great only to struggle through the first chapter. I’m definitely going to look for a RA to help me find my next good read.

    • #2326
      Deborah Fuller
      Participant

      Thanks for your feed back Chris and Clare. I had never participated actively in Twitter, let alone a Twitter Chat followed by a reflection, so it’s good to know I did well. I love the fact that Twitter is used as a learning tool as it doesn’t feel like work and is something I can do on a train full of chattering school kids or on my break at work. I also feel I am learning a lot form this unit, even though it is the one with the least lectures.

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