This week Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation (CLIC) held their Social Media in Libraries event, and I think its fair to say it was pretty successful!
Over the years the CLIC Staff Development Group have been putting on various training and staff development activities for members of library staff who work in the Cardiff area. For a period of time we had access to some funding from CyMAL via a regional development officer, but at the beginning of the year roles were shaken up, that particular position was lost, and so was any funding we might have used. Although CLIC had started off without having any money, so we knew we could still do things without, in recent years we had managed to pay for the occasional external trainer, and to offer lunch and refreshments at our events. I’ve talked about this before on the blog but at our last event in May we were at least able to offer tea and coffee to attendees.
This event was held in a larger room, allowing us to double potential attendees (we usually ‘sell out’ at our events), due to circumstances we couldn’t just bring in a box of tea bags, and we certainly couldn’t afford to pay for over 60 cups of coffee out of our own pockets; so we made the decision to hold an all morning event, without providing tea & coffee! The building we were in had a coffee shop just round the corner from the room, and we figured/hoped that people wouldn’t mind buying their own drink if they were pre-warned. We did worry a little that people would be put off coming, but hoped that they would understand.
Seeing as this was an event on ‘social media’ it was also the right time for CLIC to get in on the act. We already had a website (which is currently being revamped), and now we have a Facebook page and a Twitter account ( @CLICLibraries ).
Well we managed to ‘sell out’ once again which was very gratifying, and we had a packed morning with six speakers. The first half of the morning were two longer talks, one from Mandy Powell (@Minimorticia) the CILIP Wales policy officer, and one from Emma Harrision ( @Glambuslib ) the Business Librarian at the University of Glamorgan; both looking at how they use social media within their professional lives, and both providing very different positive examples.
Prior to the event we had advertised the hashtag #clicsocmed and it was great to see that even at a relatively small event we had plenty of active tweeting. These can be viewed at tweetdoc
The second half of the morning was dedicated to smaller case studies, and we had Matt Harvey (@Mathomhouser ) talking about how Cardiff University are managing their social media presence, followed by Rob Boddy ( @cdflibraries ) on the Cardiff Public Library blog and use of Twitter. Next up was Andrew Blackmore talking about the Cardiff University Virtual Librarian services, and I ended the day looking at my experiences of cpd23.
It was a packed morning; in retrospect six speakers are quite a lot for a morning session and we did over run time wise (note to self and committee, next time we really need to have ‘time’ cards!). But it felt like we kept the attention of the audience, and only a couple had to slip out before we’d finished. It also felt like quite an intense morning with a lot to take in, and I’m sure even the most experienced person there probably took away something new they hadn’t heard of, or a new way of connecting things. A couple of people lost their Twitter virginity as a consequence, and many of us gained new followers. Lots of people were also using the event to meet up with people they had only known previously on Twitter, so it was great to provide an environment for some real life networking too. My only regret is that I was too busy being an organiser/presenter to really get round to talking to people (aside from the other presenters), but a few people came up to me at the end of my talk saying that they had just started cpd23, so it was nice to be able to encourage them.
Several themes emerged from the morning (aside from the use of Twitter), and we were reminded once again how much librarians love cats! (I didn’t include any pics in my Prezi of cats, so here are some now!)
From the feedback we’ve received on Twitter it seems to have been a successful day; all the more gratifying knowing that we offered a great session on a zero budget. Many thanks to the CLIC Staff Development Group committee, and to the speakers!