“Eloquence. Empathy. Comprehension. These are but some of the basic interpersonal skills that are absolutely necessary, when it comes to being a librarian – being able to relate to, understand, and communicate with members of the library community.
We are often excellent at this face-to-face and over the phone. We use these skills to foster appreciation of our services amongst our clients.
So, how do we fare, when it comes to online interaction?
Over the past few years, there has been a huge focus on libraries and social media. Well, the technology, at least. Many librarians have been put through training programs, learning how to set up accounts in MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter… learning how to set up blogs, and read feeds… learning how to edit wikis and use social bookmarks.
But I often observe the deluded assumption of ‘If we build it, they will come’.
And then, when the library blog sits deserted, or when the facebook/myspace page doesn’t get any friends, the nay-sayers step in, shunning social media as a fad that has no relevance to libraries.
So, here’s one thing I’d like to see. If we’re so focused on libraries using social media, then we need to train our librarians up on actual social networking skills for online communication…”