cpd23: Thing 6 – Online Networks

cpd23 Thing 6 is about online networks introducing LinkedIn, Facebook, LISNPN, Librarians as Teachers network and Cilip communities.

LinkedIn – and XING
I have a non-public XING profile. XING is a business social network, founded 2003 in Germany as OpenBC, now aiming to become more international. As my professional life so far has been focused on Germany, XING is more than sufficient to keep track and up-to-date of former/current colleagues and fellow students as well as individuals that cross my way in a professional context. I am also member of various groups (alumni, dissertation, university didactics). But frankly, I quite like the public LinkedIn profile layout.

Originally, I have set up my (non-public) Facebook account to keep in touch with friends and people I met on my journeys abroad. It is very convenient. In the last two or so years, more and more Germans are joining the network, including individuals from my professional background. I still try to keep it as privately and personally as possible, but it is starting to mix with my professional life. I have been thinking about a second, professional-only account, but it wole make everything far too complicated. My library has a Facebook profile and I am allowed to post news.
The German equivalent is StudiVZ. I am using it strictly for keeping in touch with friends, most of them are not on Facebook yet.

LISPN (LIS New Professional Network) was new for me. I have been working for more than 8 years in libraries, so I am probably not qualifying anymore as “new” to the job. Since June 2011, there is a LIS New Professionals Deutschland group on Facebook (511 members as of today). As far as I am aware of, this is the first attempt to formalize an online network of all new professionals (nation-wide, not alumni-related) in the German library world. The DGI has a Young Information Professionals group. At the annual conference (Bibliothekartag), there is the meeting of new “Referendare” (organised by the VDB) and the KIBA-Lounge representing all schools and programmes in librarianships (organised by KIBA, a section of the DBV).

Librarians as Teachers Network
LAT Network looked familiar. I came across the webpage while getting information on TeachMeets. Definitely a network to keep an eye on. For now, I will follow its tweets.

CILIP Communities
I like the slogan (“This is YOUR space for connecting and sharing and gaining focus in this complex information world.”) of CILIP communities. I am not aware of anything equivalent initiated or organised by German library associations. Within the North Germany Library network, there is a wiki communicating official information. The website www.informationskompetenz.de has been planned for sharing materials and information on information literacy instruction, but it does not provide the feature of connecting online with colleagues from other libraries and creating an online network.

There are so many networks around – I think, you need to find the right one for your purposes. Google+ might be another one – but so far, all of my friends are in networks where I already have an account. Maybe it will change, but I think I will be waiting a little bit more to see how Google+ is mastering the first few months.

My conclusion
I am satisfied with the online networks where I am member at the moment – it is a good mixture of private and professional. I can keep track of everything. What is it worth being part of a million networks but not having the time to check and maintain each one on a regular basis?

Further reading
Which social network should I use as a librarian?, Why librarians need to use social media differently, and why it benefits us to do so and What are the solutions to social network overload? by Phil Bradley

Photo: Beech wood, Harz, Germany, July 2011.


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