When I first entered the world of RA Service in the summer of 2000, it was very hard to participate in the larger world of serving leisure readers. I could not get to conferences unless they were local, there were no webinars, and networking resources like Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter were not there for RA focused librarians to use to help patrons or even each other.
Sixteen years later, being able to communicate with our fellow library workers is so easy that the number of choices at our disposal are overwhelming. This is also problematic because the noise coming from hundreds of different inputs (social media, email newsletters, webinars...) makes it hard to focus on what we really need to know to help the patrons in our communities.
So I am going to try to help today. I want to encourage you to find a way...just 1 way...that you want to participate in the larger RA community. Oh, and saying you will read this blog doesn't count because you are already doing that. Plus, reading my blog is great to help you focus on your skills and learn about trends and resources, but you are passive in that endeavor. I am the active one in this relationship. I am asking you all to take ONE new active role in adding to our shared community.
If each person who read this commits to participating in 1 small way, ALL of us benefit because once we take an active role in participating together as a community to help all of our leisure readers, we have created even more resources for all of use to use and share.
I love that many of you read this blog and share with me how it has helped you to serve your leisure readers better, but I should not be the only one hearing about your successes. Get out there and spread your knowledge with others. Find a way to share the fantastic things you are doing with everyone else. We all benefit when we hear from as many voices as possible, when we see examples of wonderful RA service from libraries big and small, rural and city, and when we share our successes and failures with each other because all of us share the same goal-- serving our leisure readers.
When we actively participate in our profession we help ourselves and each other.
Feeling overwhelmed about starting still? Don't worry, I have a suggestion that every single one of you can do to begin. It comes from Katelyn Patterson. I will let her explain first and then I will add a few more thoughts to encourage you. Take it away Katelyn:
Thanks to Becky for letting us share about our upcoming #publibchat!
#Publibchat is a brand new monthly Twitter chat for folks in public libraries. Current moderators are Katelyn Patterson (@radicalibrarian) and Elizabeth McKinstry (@wrk2lib). Our first chat in October was about inclusive holiday programming and you can find the storify for that here.
Our second chat is coming up on Thursday, November 17th and we are going to be discussing our favorite resources for readers' advisory. We hope that Becky and her readership will join and share their expertise with others!
#Publibchat is a forum for us to come together and share ideas. Though Elizabeth and I may not be experts in RA or any of the topics that we may discuss during #publibchat, we will have a round up of resources to share. And we hope to learn from others, too.
Please join us next Thursday, November 17th for by following the hashtag #publibchat!
Thursday Nov 179pm ET / 8 CT / 7 MT / 6 PT
You can follow our @publibchat twitter account for updates on scheduled chats.
You can also see the questions in advance, and prior topic chat logs here at www.publibchat.org
We look forward to chatting with you!
Thanks for the invite Katelyn.
Now, RA for All readers, what I want out of you whether you are on Twitter or not is to use her links above to follow the hashtag and see what resources come up in the conversation, see what people are sharing and find a place where you can begin participating.
If you are on Twitter, you can start by joining the live chat as it happens. Unfortunately my son has a volleyball game during that time, so I will not be there, but I will check out the conversation after the fact. So no excuses from any of you that you are busy. As Katelyn mentions they also put it all on their website so you never even have to go to Twitter.
The key is to identify 1 way you can share what you are doing with others as well as for you learn from everyone else. Maybe this Twitter chat will help you, maybe not. But at least you are exploring options.
Find a way to be on both sides of the conversation about serving leisure readers. We all stand to benefit from everyone's active participation.