Hi, I’m Bridget Schaumann, I’m the Librarian and Careers Advisor at King’s High School in Dunedin. King’s is a single sex boy’s school and has about 820 students. We are a 9 – 13 school and we are a decile 6 school.
I called this Buddy Up because Social Networking is about making friends, connecting with people and meeting people you wouldn't ordinarily meet except in an online environment. It is the coolest thing to find a new friends with similar interests and to be able to have a professional online friendship which then extends to the real world.
I’m a fan of using technology to enhance the library. I’ve had a blog for the library since late 2007. This has been quietly gaining momentum in recent years, I’ve been plugging away at it, posting news of what our boys are reading, what is happening in the library and using it as a way of raising the library profile with our students and also with their families. Students, especially primary students, in recent years are well used to having class blogs and wikis and are really comfortable with the whole idea, this was not the case when I started doing it. The library blog address is: http://thekingslibraryblog.blogspot.co.nz
Encouraging the boys to contribute has been an uphill battle. Boys are inherently reluctant to raise their heads and get published online and so I designed a competition which meant that I got book reviews for the really popular books and the boys agreed that they would be published on the blog if they were suitable. The blog has a presence on our school website and on our school Moodle. I do a lot of publicity for it in school newsletters and on bookmarks which are the only ones I ever hand out, if you want a bookmark it is a blog bookmark.
Advice for Newbies to blogs
If I were starting over again I would use Weebly or Wordpress as a starting point.
The library also has a Twitter presence but this really has waned because whilst the zeitgeist when Twitter started up was that “all the kids are doing it” that isn’t really the case. Twitter is about adults by and large and so the library Twitter account is now about short messages which sit on the blog as reminders to any students who come by about new books, reminders and links to websites which might be useful, the address is @kingshighlib. I have a personal Twitter account @bridgy_s which is far more active and whilst I take a holiday from Twitter sometimes, I do check what is going on there.
Advice for Newbies to Twitter
All this self-directed professional growth takes time and broadband.
Almost all the students in your secondary school are on FB. Get with the programme!
Moodle is like social networking within the school, an intranet on which staff share links, worksheets, details of standards and sometimes whole courses. The library has a Moodle presence. In recent times I am using it to upload Livebinders on topics for teachers. Students can then access these websites at home. I think the potential is enormous. Students are already going to the Moodle to retrieve homework sheets etc. If your library is on there too as a clear subject area then students will go and look at what you put there. Again, you have to keep it humming to make it worthwhile them going to look.
Readers and Feeders
I would be lost without these. The blogs I follow go directly to my Reader (I use Google Reader) or my iGoogle – iGoogle is the homepage for my browser and I can see my email, new blog posts, my reader, my calendar, Twitter stuff, my documents and all sorts of other guff all at once in front of me. I love it! It puts the networking in my social!
But wait there is so much more
Pintrest, Diigo, Delicious, Goodreads (love Goodreads) Google+, and so many more, these are all social networks of various kinds. Good for playing with but also good professional tools. There is a new social network born just about every day some will come and some will go but it has been a long time now and the trend is rising.
My final words
I continually hear "I haven't got time for all this" and "I don't know where you find the time" I find those kind of statements really irritating. Having time to do something is really driven by whether you want to do it and whether it is a priority for you.
None of the above is difficult. None of this is any kind of rocket science. You just have to make a start. Don’t get left behind, learn to do what the students can do. Jump in and give it a try. Just you wait, more technology is waiting to jump out at you, best you make a start - or I fear, you won’t have a job in any kind of 21st Century library in a couple of years time!
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