With each new school year, I make three professional goals. Nearly every year I think I am going to “stay on top of news specific to the library media profession.” And I do that through attending OELMA Conference, MidWinter Conference, and additional OELMA regional professional development workshops. But my reading of quality trade journals often starts to slip in a matter of weeks. They start to build up in my basket and I look at them regretfully. While I have taken some home and kept them in my car to read at traffic lights (both hands are on the wheel and both eyes are on the road when I drive) or while waiting for appointments, it is not easy to follow-up on some of the inspirational ideas that pop into my head.
This past spring, however, I decided to join Twitter. I started to follow some of the bigger names in our world: School Library Journal, Frank W. Baker, NPR Books, Joyce Valenza, Buffy Hamilton, Columbus Metropolitan Library, and of course, OELMA. It is terrific! While I refrain from reading them while stopped at traffic lights, I have the perfect means to stay on top of things in short bursts of time. Additionally, I can go back and easily search for that link Frank Baker tweeted that inspired me to create a great lesson or to look back for the title of a book when I am bored with my current sky-scraping stack. Sometimes, I even find humorous tweets that make me feel lighter in mood.
What’s more, I have no guilt. None. No subscriptions that I did not devour in a timely manner. And I am practically up to the minute with currency – another good feeling!
So, while my Twitter account may reveal that I am “all work,” I still walk away feeling as if I am meeting my goal. As I mentioned earlier, I keep the groups I follow to a minimum, but I am open to a few more suggestions, especially the kind that make you smile or laugh — I would like to “play” as well.