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October 23, 2014

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Social Media Resources 101 for the School Librarian

By VLADGRIN Thinkstock Social Media Resources 101 for the School Librarian

Image by Vladgrin/Thinkstock.

Earlier this month, I wrote an article about what school librarians can learn about social media strategies from the success of this year’s World Book Night. Following up on that article, I thought it might be helpful to discuss several additional resources that are critical for understanding social media practices in librarianship. Below I’ve compiled a list of some of the most helpful social media resources available for school librarians.

American Association of School Librarians (AASL)

The AASL has put together an extensive repository of webcasts, podcasts and resources it refers to as eCOLLAB: Your eLearning Laboratory. This resource is free to AASL members. A few of the more helpful eCOLLAB webinars for developing social media skills include:

  • “Social Networking and the School Librarian” presented by Steve Baule, provides participants with an overview of how to integrate social networking tools into both the library’s teaching, learning, and communication programs. It provides examples of how to successfully use social media to communicate with stakeholders and for professional development.
  • “Challenge Your Four Walls with a Twitter PLN” presented by Jennifer Reed and Brian Hammel, teaches participants how to create a Twitter account and manage a network of colleagues and contacts.
  • “The Power of Pinning: Using Pinterest in Your School Library” presented by Wendy Grojean-Lowenstein and Bridget Kraft, teaches librarians how to effectively promote school library programs and create professional networks through Pinterest.
  • “Confronting the Elephant in the Room: Social Media Policies for a 21st Century School” presented by Frances Harris and Megan Cusick, teaches approaches to creating social media policies and guidelines that address behaviors rather than technologies and student learning rather than student shielding.

Teacher Librarian Virtual Café (TL Virtual Café or #TLChat)

TL Virtual Café is a series of virtual conversations led by well known school librarian leaders including Jennifer LaGarde, Tiffany Whitehead, Gwenyth Jones, Shannon Miller, Nikki Robertson, and Dr. Joyce Valenza. Chances are you’ve encountered one of these trailblazing librarians at a conference or in a digital space. TL Virtual Café gives school librarians an opportunity to have transformative discussions with leaders in the field about school librarianship, educational technology, and collaborative connections. The events include free webinars, biweekly Twitter chats using the hashtag #TLChat, and a live monthly YouTube TL News Night. TLVirtual Café is a place to develop your social media skills, develop your professional network, and help transform the profession of school librarianship.

Kathy Schrock Guide to Everything: Twitter for Teachers

Kathy Schrock is one of the best-known pioneers in educational technology. The Kathy Schrock Guide to Everything has a page dedicated to Twitter for Teachers, where she provides a helpful Twitter overview, along with tips, tricks, tools, research and other items to get you on your way to becoming a Twitter aficionado.

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd (Yale University Press, 2014)

A principal researcher at Microsoft Researc, research assistant professor at New York University, and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center, danah boyd (yes, the use of lower case is intentional), has been researching the way young people use social media as part of their everyday life for more than a decade. Ms. boyd’s book is an essential tool to help librarians, educators, and parents understand how young people use social media and encourages adults to allow students to use social media to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens. If you are using social media with for educational purposes or for reaching a school community, this is a fascinating, thought-provoking read.

Are there any great resources that you use? Please feel free to add them in the comments.


Lauren McBride is a middle school librarian at Seneca Ridge Middle School in Sterling, VA, in the Loudoun County Public School district. She tweets @bravelibrarian. An expert in social media, McBride maintains her school’s Twitter page, participates in a weekly Twitter chat hosted by the Virginia Association of School Librarians, and next month will lead a professional development “Boot Camp” session for Virginia’s Loudoun County Public School librarians on how to use Twitter.

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