Sabrina D. Baker-Henderson, Reading Interventionist/Librarian, Charles Atherton Fine Arts Magnet School (Houston ISD)
Often times as a librarian I get anxious about the massive amount of data, statistics, and inventions that I will have to stay up to date with. Do I twitter, hashtag, pictogram or should I Facebook, create a website, and go to a number of community events as a volunteer. Blog, what possibly could I say that would be of interest to my patrons or anyone else? How do I know what information to reveal, what strategies to promote, or know how to determine, as our Presidential Leader states, “FAKE NEWS”?
All of this is what I call INFORMATION OVERLOAD, especially to a beginner librarian. So, what do you do? Adhere to the following:
1. BREATHE. Focus on the information that is of interest to your patrons and community. This can involve assisting them in the tools they utilize on a day to day basis. You can familiarize yourself with recommended products from your peers and instructional specialists. Also, evaluate a new technological program every two to three months. This way, you can get your experience, stay connected, and continue to grow your program with the new technology.
2. DANCE. Blogging, Twitter, hashtag and most social media is like dancing. You may not know the steps, but let the rhythm and energy of what is around you guide you, and you will soon learn the dance. Thus is the same for all social forums. Hey, you can’t miss the step unless you don’t get on the floor. Sometimes throwing yourself out there will help you, and partners along the way (professional peers, instructional specialist, community sponsors) will guide you around the Social Media Tango.
3. ADVOCATE. Now you know how important your job is, but many people around you don’t. Librarians are still just seen as the big glasses person, whose head is either in a book or they are “shshing” you about your noise level. Promote yourself by volunteering for tasks, spearheading committees or just assisting those to design websites. Not a coder? Pick your niche, but the key to being an effective librarian is being versatile, skillful and creative.