Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a Rotation Curation Twitter project, taking over the account @VoicesLibrary. The phenomenon of Rotation Curation originated in Sweden and has been rapidly gaining in popularity for the past two years. As it began as a way to break down stereotypes about Swedish uniformity, I feel that it is particularly appropriate for the library world to be represented through this medium. Librarianship is often misunderstood, so much so that some would rather we move towards the term ‘Information Professional’ instead. I have mixed feelings on this, I wish that we could redefine ‘Librarian’ in a more positive light, but I also quite like the term ‘Information Professional’ and the weight it carries. Whichever term you prefer, I do feel that there is a need for greater recognition for what librarians do, and that we need more platforms from which to have our voices heard.
As an MLIS student, I took the opportunity to engage with the followers of the Library Voices account on the value of LIS qualifications, the need for practitioner based research, chartership and CPD, the most useful skills for librarians, and issues in Information Literacy. It was amazing to be in contact with so many people, and receive responses from such a variety of librarians. Librarianship contains many diverse characters and opinions, just like any profession, so why do so many still view us bespectacled and cardigan-wearing spinsters? The term ‘marketing’ caused a bit of debate during my Twitter Takeover, so call it promotion if you like, but either way recognise that we do need it; for ourselves and our services. My classmate Siobhan talks about this in her blog this week too. Online resources such as Twitter are so useful for marketing as they are user-friendly, free, and require very little time to reach a very wide audience. It may not be enough for a whole marketing strategy, but it’s a starting point, and a useful customer service tool too.
I have created a Storify which captures all of the topics I discussed as @VoicesLibrary. I am proud to have been a part of the project and hope that in the future a wider audience will hear the diverse voices of librarians, and see that we are not just people who like to organise books alphabetically!