To Be or Not To Be? #Libday9

This is getting ridiculous!I’m gearing up to announce Library Day in the Life Round 9 and I have run into a couple of issues. While I was struggling with them a larger issue occurs to me – should there even be a libday9? So I’m bringing it to the masses. Here are my questions for you

1. Should there be an Libday9?

Social media has changed a lot since the first one in 2008. Are people even still interested in sharing their day and, maybe more importantly, reading about the day of others? The last couple of years the posts have gotten more chronological and, I think, less useful for people looking for information about what a librarian (or library workers) day is like.

2. If yes, what would be a better tool for collecting participants information?

PBworks has changed a lot over the years and the size of the pages for each entry are too big for it. I know I keep get the error messages. It also requires a lot of time from me to approve all the entries, and just do general clean up to make it pretty.

An alternative would allow submissions without approval, and still allow for some of the data about countries, type of library etc.

3. Is there a way to collection the tweets? 

Resources like Whatthehashtag or TwapperKeeper no longer exist so it is almost impossible for me to capure tweets the way I have in the past. While there are over 300 people signed up on the wiki from Round 8, there were about a 1,000 participating on Twitter. Again capture the tweets was part of what made libday useful, to me at least.

So there it is – leave a comment and let me know what you think and please offer suggestions for alternatives to the wiki.

Thank you!

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31 comments for “To Be or Not To Be? #Libday9

  1. Ian
    July 12, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Hi Bobbi. In answer to question 3, not sure if Storify is a feasible way of doing it? Initially you could only manually add tweets to the “story”, but now you can add all that show up in a search, see here:

    http://brodiesnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/storify-has-added-add-all-tweets-button.html

    I’ve had a look and whilst it is time consuming (in that you have to keep clicking “show more results” – the interface only shows 20 initially), you can indeed copy across all the tweets that appear in the search. Of course, this may not be feasible given the volume of tweets, but thought I’d mention it!

    • July 13, 2012 at 9:03 am

      I haven’t been able to get Storify to work in the past – it always says my request has timed out when I attempt to search any network.

  2. June
    July 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I was thinking Storify as well, or perhaps a combination of Storify and Tumblr? Topsy also does well as a Tweet search, and the results are a bit easier to deal with that way.

  3. Rowan Fairgrove
    July 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Well, having been laid off, I won’t be doing it this year. I have really enjoyed previous year’s insights into jobs in various kinds of libraries. I hope you all go for it.

    • July 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

      I’m sorry to hear that Rowan.

  4. July 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    This part of question one really jumped out at me: “The last couple of years the posts have gotten more chronological and, I think, less useful for people looking for information about what a librarian (or library workers) day is like.”

    I’d love to have suggestions on how to approach the project. I think for some days it makes sense to have a chronological approach, but I’d also love some inspiration on other ways to approach the project. Should participants look at their calendar and note any themes with regards to what they plan to do that week? Or should they focus on the skills they’ve developed for their position? I think if you had an introduction that welcomed participants to the project that highlighted ways to think about the blogging participation would be very helpful. Twitter would take care of those “in the moment” things that perhaps don’t always need to be duplicated in the blog entries.

    I have learned a lot by reading and participating in Library Day in the Life. It is fun to see what employees in libraries different from my own do with regards to collection development, programming, etc. I also love the photos of different facilities and projects in action. The videos have been amazing and inspiring. I also highlighted this project as a part of a networking panel, http://connect.ala.org/node/175167.

    Either way, I thank you for all your work with this project and the opportunity to participate. I hope it continues and is of value to participants and readers.

    • July 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Courtney I need to think on it. I know I’m just as guilty of the timeline as others have been.

      I think perhaps some wording and clarification encourage bloggers etc to think about what they want potential MLS students or non-librarians to know about their work. While in some ways get up and make coffee are interesting it isn’t the meat and potatoes of what we do as librarians. Maybe write with the idea that you’re explaining why you need an MLS to be a librarian. Why we’re experts in information literacy or digital literacy or readers advisory or just literacy. I’m not sure that posts have really been reflecting that.

      I need to think on it some more :-)

  5. July 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I hope that it does continue for partially selfish reasons…I want to participate.

    To add on to what Courtney said about the chronological-ness you mentioned, perhaps you can highlight a blog that had “good” examples of a day in the life of a library worker.

  6. July 13, 2012 at 9:29 am

    As I said in a tweet I sent to you, I’m still torn. I don’t know how much it is needed as a help for people considering the field, but I do think it’s an invaluable event for those of us already in the biz. That self-reflection piece is needed more and more, in my opinion. And I think the numbers of Twitter participants shows that same thing. Also… 1000? Wow. Library Day in the Life has taken on a life of itself.

    As for managing the wiki/back end/problem stuff… maybe getting some help could mitigate? Having a couple of other people with whom to share the load might make it less onerous.

    Regardless of whether or not it continues, I’m grateful you came up with the idea in the first place and have had fun participating in the last couple of rounds.

  7. July 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

    What I’d like to see is a blend of storified tweets and long-form posts (and I’d write long form). Storify may help iron out some of the issues we see with the kinds of posts that read as a chronology since the social aspect could give context and round out the edges.

    But I think there’s still a place for the long-form post. Adding a bit of introspection and contemplation – for the reader or just for posterity – may be a useful exercise. What if you posed three or four questions that people ought to answer about their day? e.g. What is most satisfying? What is mundane? Why is this day different from all the rest? etc etc..

    • July 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Ooooh. I like that suggestion – having a theme or a central question for the next round.

      • Holly
        July 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

        I really like the idea of having a different theme for each round. The Flickr Day in the Life of (DILO) project does this. It’s optional, but it provides some focus.

    • July 13, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Sounds like Storify is the way to do. If I can ever get it to work. I think it hates me. It always says it has timed out when doing a twitter search.

  8. July 13, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I’m going to go against the grain here and say: take a year off from it, in fact take 2 years off. Come back to it in 2014 and see how you (and we) feel. Because:

    - As a sort of tracking of professional librarianship, it’ll be easier to see the significant shifts if we leave a gap, than if we record change incrementally

    - There’s a huge body of useful material in days 1 – 8 so I don’t think we’d be failing LIS students by stopping for a bit

    - Great ideas deserve to get new life – we’d all be rejuvinated in 2 years time…

    - There may be an aggregating tool in 2 year’s time which makes this a lot easier for you to run

    - Sure everyone likes WRITING this stuff, but does anyone read it? I read the two or three most creative or RT’d ones at most, because I’m drowing in a sea of timelines – and no one reads mine, I get the lowest stats for my blogposts compared to other types of post I write. (Prezi FTW: 14,853 views. Libday 5 – written just ONE DAY PREVIOUSLY – 53 views! That is a big swing, no?) There’s so much going on at once it becomes white noise. (That said, I really love the Twitter side of it, still.)

    - Letting go of a big administrative burden feels AMAZING! I did it with LISNPN and to a lesser extent Library Routes, and it made me happy and relaxed. You deserve not to have to do this for a bit! You can go back to it when it feels like something you’ll get a lot out of, rather than a chore and / or something you feel you ought to do for the benefit of the community. Creativity is sapped by this sort of thing if it takes a ridiculous amount of work.

    - It could be that the combination of new tech, rejuvinated ideas, renewed excitement etc in 2014 produces a whole new project which fires us all up and creates a big impact…

    Just my two penneth’s worth, as we say in England – and by ‘say’, I mean no one EVER actually says that, except in blog comments. :-)

    • July 13, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Some really excellent points Ned! Thanks for being willing to speak up. I think you’re right on many accounts especially to question if anyone is really reading the posts.

    • July 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Another option might be to do it just once a year. I know that school librarians don’t participate in the Summer months as they often aren’t working. Doing it once a year in January might be optimal.

      • July 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

        If you go to once a year, maybe April could be a good time and fit in with National Library Week?

      • July 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm

        I also like the once a year option, but that’s going to skew what scenes we get. Summer months are an issue since school librarians aren’t working, but I do different things in the summer than I do in January. August is different from December, which is different from January or June.

        What about a 14 month rotation? That would capture different patterns of activity in different years. The down side is that some years would exclude most school librarians, but it would highlight the cyclical aspects related to school/academic years (I’m guessing public libraries are busier in summer when kids are out of school?) and fiscal years.

  9. July 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    If you go once a year, then consider the Fall. First, it’s an exciting time of year for school and PSE librarians, as well as any MLIS students who want to take part, so you will be bound to get some uptake from these areas. And that would help cover a lot of area within LibraryLand.

    But more important is holding the event during the time of year when people are thinking about changing or entering careers, entering academic programmes, etc. And that’s the Fall. If LDITL exists to help people who are thinking about entering the profession understand what actually goes on in the profession, then it may be a good idea to present it in the Fall when the topic is on their minds. Holding it *only* in January may bring the annual event too close to too many application deadlines.

    • July 14, 2012 at 11:40 am

      Great points Michael!

  10. July 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I think everyone has given me a lot to think about. Right now I’m inclined to skip the upcoming round that would normally take place at the end of July and think about things for a couple of months. I know several people find the exercise of documenting their day useful but when I look back at the original intent it was to help librarians understand the work of other librarians (from types of libraries to types of librarians) and to maybe raise awareness of what librarians do outside of the profession. I think perhaps what is needed is to re-examine the focus and goals of the project and carefully consider how best to ensure it meets those goals.

  11. July 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I am late to the party….sorry. We moved our residence the day before you posted this, and I am just getting caught up.

    There is a part of me which says: Do it (on the same schedule) until you reach 10. Then consider making it more of an archived “snapshot” of librarianship towards the beginning of the social networking era.

    10 works for a number of reasons: it is a good round number; twice a year means that you have done it for a full half decade; there should be enough data for someone who wanted to do some sort of study.

    Speaking of the latter, have you considered trying to get some PhD student to review everything either as an historical study, or looking at the larger themes (or both). I would love to see some analysis.

    I’ll note that I have participated only sporadically, and love that you have been so committed to this.

    • July 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      HI Michael,
      You make some great points. One thing I’ve noticed in the comments about the project here and elsewhere is that there is no one size fits all best option for everyone. Part of what I’m hoping to do is more closely evaluate the goals of the project – connect with other librarians and escape the librarian echo chamber and look at how we can more effectively accomplish those within the project.

  12. July 25, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Maybe it is possible to use something like this for keeping a searchable Twitter Archive? http://hawksey.info/tagsexplorer/arc.html?key=0AsbI1FKAXUiWdDcwYUxVSUQtdzZ2TXk0VFJPUWliQ2c

    • July 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thank you for the suggestion Dace I’ll look into it!

  13. edh
    January 21, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I think it might be interesting to hear from people beforehand about what they *think* their day will be like, and then get another post afterwards talking about what actually happened. As much as I like to think that my agenda is a fixed notion for the day, librarianship is interesting because patron needs are a little unpredictable. Also, if I’m in charge of the building at any point during the day that really changes the rhythm of what I do. Just a thought!

  14. January 22, 2013 at 3:54 am

    While, like many others, I find blogging about my week a useful developmental activity, it does occur to me that I could do this independently of libday. Plus, you’re right that the blog post format appeals to a limited audience: by far the best response I had was the year I photographed my week.

    I agree with those suggesting that the time has come to make the mass event less frequent. We’ll all have new stories to tell and new tools to tell them in a couple of years.

  15. January 22, 2013 at 3:59 am

    While, like many others, I find blogging about my week a useful developmental activity, it does occur to me that I could do this independently of libday. Plus, you’re right that the blog post format appeals to a limited audience: by far the best response I had was the year I photographed my week.

    I agree with those suggesting that the time has come to make the mass event less frequent. We’ll all have new stories to tell and new tools to tell them in a couple of years. If you’re keen to support those who want to carry on recording, perhaps a low maintenance community space could be found where ‘unofficial days’ could be added?

  16. Dace
    January 22, 2013 at 4:46 am

    We are organizing a local libday during the Valentine day in Latvia. :-)

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