posted March 30, 2014 10:08 AM by Gemma Doyle
I spend way too much of my time every day online. I am fully aware that it's a problem, but not one that's going away any time soon. It's gotten even worse lately, as I've been trying to use social media to learn more about archives and archivists, and have been working on networking through Twitter and tumblr (since I'm so terrible at doing it in person.) I'm not entirely sure about the librarian/archivist community on twitter, but the tumblr community of tumblarians (tumblr+librarians) is vibrant and very friendly. (I'm libromatic on tumblr, by the way.) The wonderful thing about tumblr (and Twitter, too) is that if you're shy and nervous about posting a lot when you're not entirely sure you know what you're talking about, reblogging (and retweeting) are completely acceptable ways to share ideas!
If you're not on tumblr already, and you're looking for ways to meet people in the library/archives field, here's how to get started. After joining the site, find people to follow. A list of library and librarian tumblrs can be found here; a list of archive and archivist tumblrs can be found here. I started out following just about everyone, and gradually cut down the list to just the ones I really enjoyed reading. Library Journal posted a "Tumblarian 101" starter kit that has a lot of good pointers, too. One thing I love about tumblr is that it is such an image-based site; as librarians we're surrounded by words all the time, so it's a nice change. (Not that there's anything wrong with text! But it's definitely a good thing to mix it up once in a while.)
Connecting on social media to people in the field is something almost every professor I've had in GSLIS has mentioned as a great way to make connections - and possibly get a job down the line. Besides that, it's a wonderful way of sharing knowledge that doesn't cost anything but time. And, you know, it's also a lot of fun.