Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Social Media and Agility

Steven L. MacCall, PhD, School of Library & Information Studies, University of Alabama
Military Libraries Workshop, Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama
December 11, 2013

Much of Dr. MacCall’s presentation used examples from his teaching experience and his requirements that his students make use of social media.

Technical Agility – as in technology

Use tools – whether or not they are computerized.  Not all of the tools that we use as librarians are computerized.  Many are trusted resources that we know will work

Heidegger wrote of the hammer and the hand/arm as a unit.  If you think too much about how to use the hammer – that’s when problems start.

There is a transparency to tool use

Agility – ability to change rapidly in response to customer needs and market forces.  Adaptability, flexibility, responsiveness – OED

Technical agility in social communications: what are the barriers?

Personal technical agility barriers:
  • Do we view people who use Twitter as a geek or nerd?  Or are they curious or industrious?
  • Is social media second nature to you?
  • Know your personality and use what works for you – or use it to work for you.

Professional technical agility barriers can be subdivided:
  • Technical services – using computers to solve problems and enhance services
  • Public services – document delivery and similar services

Overcoming barriers:

·         Require adoption

o   Make the case by using problem-solving

o   Provide scenarios for using social media

·         Encourage agility

o   Overcoming time challenges

o   Deploy what you know to new contexts

o   Tools come and go

Monitor various communications channels (listservs, blogs, Twitter, Facebook)
  • For professional development
  • On behalf of clients

Interstitial computing:
  • Tweeting, checking email etc. in our downtime – waiting in the checkout line
  • Is this smart to do in a 24/7 world – or do we need to take breaks?

Customize your Twitter life:
  • Follow a few key people and check the feed once per day or per week – scroll through the tweet history.  With only a few people it isn’t too hard to do.
  • This doesn’t work if you are following 50 or more people.
  • Learn to search on hash-tags for themes

Final thoughts:

·         Draw sustenance from the technical agility of your colleagues both current and from the past

·         Technology with a purpose:

o   Solve problems

o   Be more efficient

·         Consider the network of your fellow professionals

·         Document your professional social media activities:

o   Easier said than done

o   We need better tools!

Social media adoption is merely the next technical agility challenge.

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