My library manager said I'm spending too much time in our social media spaces. How much time is too much time?
Query: My library manager said I'm spending too much time in our social media spaces. How much time is too much time?
Short answer: How long is a piece of string?
Query: I clear every social media post through my immediate manager - is this normal?
Short answer: Absolutely, it's normal - if your manager doesn't trust you
More thoughtful answer: Is it that your manager doesn't trust you in particular? If that's the case, why did they bother to hire someone to deliberately facilitate those spaces? Why not do it themselves, instead, and cut out the middle man, i.e. you? Or do they not trust social media in general? If that's the case, why is your library using social media at all?
When you ask your staff to clear every single blog post, Facebook page update, tweet, etc. through you, what you are really saying is "I don't trust you." You're doing your staff a disservice. Seriously. You may not mean to do it, but you're killing your streams - and your staff - with conservative fear. Your staff need to be able to post and engage in a way that is meaningful and deliberately invites feedback, and they need to be able to do it free of your fear. What you've accomplished, instead, is a surefire way of making them doubt themselves, second guess everything, and to post timidly. If that wasn't your intent, I'd suggest changing that as soon as possible.
I read somewhere once, years ago, that "Libraries are dangerous." I'm not sure I believe that of NZ libraries. (And please, feel free to challenge me on that statement). My particular interest is in public libraries, so I make a point of visiting as many of them as I can wherever I travel, and everywhere I go staff always tell me - usually when I query why things are a certain way, or why they do not push for change, or question why they're reluctant to shake things up a little - "We live in a political environment." They say it as if it's something I don't already know. Sometimes, I feel like we use it as an excuse. We work for local government. Truth of the matter is we are always going to be in a political environment. We are always going to be leading up to election year.
My thought is that if a library tweet, event or philosophy can bring down a mayor, then perhaps she - or he - didn't have much of a platform to speak from in the first place. We should be dangerous. We aren't.
Trust that you hired the right person for the task, and let them be fearless.
I'm not sure why I make this concession or compromise. I feel that I *should* expect the same high standard of others in customer service that I strive to provide as consistently as possible. This was a thought that I kept in the back of my mind when, recently, I asked to appear at a Lead Team meeting. (You can view the 'who' and 'what they do' of our Lead Team here). I wanted to ask for their support with three seemingly small requests that I felt would help the organisation, and not just myself, live up to that maxim. I don't mind admitting that I felt nervous. I say 'seemingly small' because, while the requests are simply worded, each item requires an action on the part of our Lead Team. My nervousness was not because I felt that the Lead Team wasn't up to the task. They are. It's not even that I felt I would not be supported in what I needed. They have never let me down yet. It was more that what I was asking for was a confirmation that everything I'm trying to do on behalf of the organisation, is valued. That, in short, our customers opinions are valued and, by association, that I am valued.
What do we do if our wider organisation's IT department has blocked our access to social media sites?
Query: What do we do if our wider organisation's IT department has blocked our access to social media sites?
Short answer: Libraries got swag. Libraries got game. So wield it. Use it. Hold your IT department accountable to the wider organisation's digital strategy. In short - do your job, and show them why they need to do theirs.
Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? was an album by The Cranberries. Their debut album, if I remember correctly. The title of it sticks in my head and has popped up a lot over the years. Most especially lately when I hear libraries talk about social media and whether or not they should be there, too. What I often hear is "Everyone's on Facebook" or "Our customer's are on Twitter" or "Pinterest is THE place to be." Those reasons on their own, either individually or collectively are good reasons, they're just not reason enough. Someone wrote in and asked "What questions do you expect library staff to consider before jumping in to social media?" I think possibly the best way to answer this query is to share the process we have for our staff/branches who want to do the same. That'll cover off what I expect OUR staff to ask themselves. So that's the topic of today's post. When you get a little further into the post it's going to seem like I'm a mean horrible person - and you'd be right - but I think it's important to do this. I also think that these questions are ones any library could - note: COULD not SHOULD - ask themselves before jumping in. Once again I've been a slacker about updating this blog. I'd apologise and promise to be a little more regular, but those of you who follow me on Twitter/Facebook and Tumblr know that I am far too distracted by life and things and stuff. That is not about to change any time soon. So I'll settle for saying that I'll update and answer your questions as I can. I'm a nerd who hangs out on the intramanets to re-blog all the Tumblr fandom pheels she can. Sometimes, I just happen to have thoughts and opinions about libraries and social media.