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Day 21 of blog every day in June 2012

Talk library to me

One of the greatest resources of the library and information world is our ability to create networks and use them to promote and improve our profession. For years the backbone of these networks was created and maintained through the magic of eLists, a push system for distributing information quickly and efficiently to large numbers of subscribers and a system that has worked ridiculously well for libraries over the years. Flash forward to the world of social media and we see new networks being formed via sites such as Twitter and Facebook, these push/pull systems promote open discussion and the sharing of ideas in a way that traditional eLists struggle with.

The problem with social media networks is the retention and distribution of these conversations and while eLists are great for pushing out information most of the conversation occurs ‘off-list’. A medium that has the benefits of both has been around for quite a while now, seen as an evolution of the bulletin boards of yore. Forums provide a safe space for likeminded people to share ideas and promote discussion, with the added bonus of a searchable archive system. With this in mind, the Minerva Forums were created.

Minerva Forums are an Australia wide discussion forum for all Library and Information Management professionals. The idea is to share ideas and create discussion around topics of interest allowing anyone from a library officer to an archive specialist to comment and provide a point of view. The great thing about forums is that they are defined by their community, as people join and participate the forums grow and expand allowing for sub-forums to be created (or archived) as the need arises. This dynamic culture is perfect for the often changing world of libraries which can be difficult to capture and harness. While for the most part this an experiment in wether the library world is ready to move to another platform, it’s one I hope the community embraces and makes their own.

So drop in, say ‘hi’ and start talking!

Andrew Kelly

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