I had resisted getting Twitter for a long time, but I finally caved last October the week before co-op applications were due. This was absolutely a coincidence. Since then, I haven’t really used it as I did not see much point in maintaining a presence since I hate the banal Facebook updates such as “I just went to the gym…here is an itinerary of my day…I had a pb&j for lunch” and I assumed Twitter would be this to the extreme.
To some extent, I was correct in my assumptions. I follow a few people who constantly tweet as if their life depended on it. The resulting noise on my timeline is frustrating, but there are others who I follow that I find quite useful: @cbcnews, @cbcradio3, @libgig_jobs, @libraryjournal, @londonlibrary, @fims_grc. These Twitter accounts provide relevant information in a quantity that I find informative rather than overwhelming.
With this in mind, I find Twitter a good resource for providing quick updates from corporations. I have recommended that clients at work follow certain Twitter accounts or hashtags in order to broaden out an environmental scan of a topic. When policy analysts are looking to become informed on an issue, following Twitter can help fill in that picture. I also started following my department’s account when I first started co-op, which was helpful in letting me know what kinds of work the department did.
A compelling argument is that since only about 10% of American internet users use Twitter, what point is there in a library having an account? This is quite true with respect to putting a lot of time and effort into a Twitter account, but perhaps it is more cost efficient to merely copy and paste the library’s Facebook status (if it has a fb account.) For a minimal amount of effort, it may be worth it to reach some better than none. This is especially true for a public library which has inclusiveness as its raison d’etre.
During this week’s lesson I have also started following some new people and organizations on Twitter. I also downloaded the app on my iPhone, which I find convenient since I can check it when I have time and can become updated quite easily. I hope to start being more active on my account, and on that note: follow me @heatherlavallee.