tumblr + librarians = tumblarians *

Somehow, despite my attempts to maintain a professional restraint on social media, I’ve become addicted to Tumblr.Over the past couple of months I’ve transitioned from lurker to a full blow devotee. It combines the freedom of blogging with the ease of Twitter. Basically it’s fun and a bit less intense than Facebook. Maybe what really drew me to Tumblr is the tumblrarian phenomenon. And I’m a part of it. A newbie tumblarian looking at with non-practitioner-at-the-moment eye. It’s been going on since 2011. Where have I been?

For me (and many other librarians) Tumblr has become a way to support one another, talk about the profession, advocate for libraries to non-librarians, and exchange ideas for library programming/collection development/other resources. As a social media researcher I would be curious to look into why some librarians are turning to Tumbr as opposed to other social networking sites? How has these librarians’ Tumblr use impacted how they perceive and present their profession? How has this impacted their professional duties? Has librarians use of social media improved library services?

As I writing this I’m attending ALA’s annual conference in Chicago where librarians are facebooking, tweeting, and tumblring (?) meetings, workshops, and social events. I’m curious what others think about social media and its uses as an information source for professional librarians. Are some sites more “education friendly” than others? How much of this use is social? How much is knowledge exchange or informal learning? How can LIS educators successfully use these tools to inform and educate future librarians? How can librarians successfully use these tools to inform and educate patrons?

*a kind tumblarian laura-in-libraryland let me know that the tag has shifted to drop the extra ‘r’ –tumblarian!

Tumblarian Reading:

Library Journal: The Library is Open: A Look at Librarians and Tumblr

The Digital Shift: Tumblarian 101: Tumblr for Libraries and Librarians

Some research ramblings…

A few things I’ve been I’m about as I work through all these readings for the lit review. These may seem a bit random:

  • Several of the articles I’ve read point out the bully/victim phenomenon that is a part of cyberbullying, but so unlike traditional bullying. Bully/victims are those individuals who have both experienced being bullied and being a bully. If my current interest to develop resources public librarians can use to support victims of cyberbullying, it seems that librarians would need resources for bully/victims. Cyberbullying seems like such a give and take, very reciprocal, while traditional bullying has (for the most part) a clear victim and a clear bully. But this bully/victim concept is part of the nature of social networking sites. Anonymity gives even the shyest, most non-violent users an open field in which to express themselves (for good or bad). On social networking sites it’s all too easy to strike out at someone who you feel has struck you first.
  • After reading the recently released Pew Research Center’s report, “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy” I find it curious that while teens commented on all the drama and parental inference occurring on Facebook, they are not abandoning the site. It seems like a site that teens feel required to use even though they have so many issues with it. Obviously, they are reaching out to other social networking sites to satisfy whatever need they have that Facebook is not fulfilling (creative, emotional, ?).
  • I recently read a paper by Marwick and boyd (2011) The Drama! Teen Conflict, Gossip, and Bullying, which has made me very curious about drama and how it relates to cyberbullying. The author described teens identifying certain behaviors as drama. Behaviors that adults would quickly label as bullying. Drama seems so ambiguous a label. Like cyberbullying, it seem hard to find a definition that will suit everyone. I look forward to read more about drama in general and how it relates to cyberbullying.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated! (Not that anyone is following this blog at the moment but there’s hope for the future!)