Staying Current on Library World News

10/07/2013 § 9 Comments

In part, what it means to be a library professional is staying current with developments in the field of librarianship at large and not just focusing on your specific job duties at your institution. While you are in library school, this task is often easier because your classes encourage you to read and research into contemporary issues in the field, but afterwards, many librarians note that their workloads keep them from being able to read news and research as much as they would like. Developing good, efficient practices for staying current on library world news while you have the time, then, especially important.

Winston_the_paper_retrieverWinston retrieved the Tulsa World every morning. Photo by S. Carter, 2004.

I’d love to hear from readers about two things:

  1. What is one source of library news that you check regularly to stay on top of the news (listserv, blog, professional magazine, scholarly journal, podcast, etc.)?
  2. What is one current library news item that has caught your attention recently?

For myself, I have many library-related rss feeds set up in my Feedly account, and while I often just read the headlines of blog posts, at least I have a sense of what kinds of news items are current. I also recently started using my Twitter account more regularly to follow various librarians who post about library topics. I’ve found that Twitter often has more up-to-date links to news items than blog posts since it takes people a little longer to compose a blog entry with reflections on the news item. For example, ALA’s publication American Libraries has an active Twitter feed of news.

The news story that I am thinking about lately is the announcement last week at the ALA conference from President Barack Obama in which he charged public libraries to provide access to health care information once new laws about mandatory coverage take effect. (My co-conspirator at Information + Publics recently blogged the topic.) I first came across a mention of the story the weekend of the announcement via a Twitter post.

How do you get your news? Reflecting on your own practices in finding news information (or having it find you, in the parlance of Web 2.0) is helpful in clarifying for yourself how you engage with information.

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§ 9 Responses to Staying Current on Library World News

  • Since I’m still in school, I get a lot of information there. However, I also follow library blogs, like this one. Plus, I read American Libraries and follow library folks on Twitter.

  • “Hack Library School” is in my blogroll, so it regularly “finds me.” I continually refine my blogroll with blogs that relate to libraries and emerging media.

    I rely on weekly email updates from American Libraries Magazine and, as a student member of the American Library Association, I receive the print edition as well.

    I follow accounts on Twitter and Facebook and am a member of groups on LinkedIn. Curating lists is an effective way to cut traffic on my timeline to isolate the library-relevant accounts.

  • The news item that “caught my eye” concerns the threat of budget-based closures at my local public library. This item is of double concern to me as a lifelong user/supporter of libraries, as well as an aspiring library professional who views her local libraries as a source of potential employment.

  • I’ve been using Prismatic (http://getprismatic.com/) to keep up to date with library news both generally and more specifically on topics that I am interested in. I like Prismatic not only because a bunch of crazy smart, super kick-butt computer scientists created it, but also because it grabs articles from all over the world and across all subjects.

  • I have a lot of RSS feeds, but the best one for straight library news is Library Journal. Twitter, and the dozens and dozens of librarians I follow there, is also great. I also have often gotten a lot of news from the ALA Think Tank FB group in the past, but I’m currently on hiatus there because I needed a cool down from the flame wars that seemed to be erupting more often in recent months.

  • cmjohns says:

    It’s also good to stay current on political issues too. One local library where I live routinely asks questions about politics as part of their interview process. I listen to the news on the way to work in the car.

  • We are making a library professional reading blog for our staff http://ireadthisthing.wordpress.com/ trying to gather everyone’s great sources into one, easy to access place.

  • I love Twitter for professional development, but how does everyone separate their personal feeds from their professional?

  • […] Alison’s piece last year on social media for introverts. After Paul’s article about staying on top of library¬†news,¬†and Nicole’s piece on building your business cards (and what information to include) I was […]

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