Librarians get social in Glasgow

Social media facilitates valuable conversations. In Glasgow a group of librarians met up for a 'real-room tweetup'.

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Social media enables conversations

Glasgow is a friendly city, and the citizens of Glasgow are an equally friendly and welcoming bunch.  I am surprised as a health librarian based in Glasgow that over the years I had had little opportunity to meet and get to know other librarian types.

Three years ago I entered the world of social media. It was easier to connect and share with fellow Glasgow (and Scottish) librarians from many different fields.  My work in health and as a writer crosses into education and literacy, government, community management and inequalities.

Social media lets the conversations begin. Sharing experiences, signposting your work and others, discovering gems of content and filling the gaps of your own knowledge is a great start. I have had a great three years and yet there was something missing.

I work alone, I am self-employed, yet I do not work alone. I very much need people. Either working as a team in projects or having colleagues to bounce ideas off. I really like people and crave physically being in the same room.

Connecting to others

I connected with Anabel Marsh (@AnabelMarsh) on Twitter a couple of years ago. She works in a University library that I can see from my office in Glasgow - which is BTW my spare bedroom. *Waves* as we say on twitter. We exchanged views on good places to eat in Glasgow, I always bookmark Anabel's ideas and you should too. She helped me find the correct person in the University library team when I was carrying out a research project in HE library reference services. She first thought that we should have a tweetup in Glasgow.

I met Lauren Smith (@walkyouhome) in early 2011 at the public services EDGE conference. I think she had blue hair that day. I follow her tweets and now she has come to Glasgow to study for a PhD. She is quite the library campaigner. If you care about libraries you should follow her. Anabel had the best idea to kick-start Glasgow librarian tweetups - we should welcome Lauren to Glasgow by all meeting in a pub. I immediately agreed.

Virtual and 'real room' tweetups

Three years ago when I starting tweeting it seemed like a very odd concept to be involved in a tweetup - digital conversations took a little bit of getting used too. Also taking what I had learned from the experience and putting it into practice - quite a skill. My first taste was via the health care social media hashtag (#hcsmeu) which convenes every Friday at midday 12pm GMT. Now I was going to have a tweetup with people I was in a real room with - I was unsure how this would work.

But this is Glasgow and we know how to have a good chinwag - being social is part of our DNA. Anabel found a pub with a back room that we could use and had hearty food on offer. Friday evening at 530pm decent food, drink and atmosphere must be offer.  As we say in Glasgow the place was jumping.

She also organised ideas to be presented for National Library Day for which we voted on using sweeties. My personal favourite was investigating Glasgow libraries using the clockwork orange (AKA Glasgow underground system).

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