Tips for Boosting Your Presence in the LIS Community
by Angie Solis, Senior Editor
Being a part of the INALJ team means that I’m surrounded by many amazing people who rock my world every day with their knowledge and ability to be superstars in the LIS community. Seriously, it’s like I know celebrities. I find myself in awe, wishing I had the talent to be a big asset in this diverse information world that many of us call home. In hopes that I will be inspired to boost my own presence in the LIS community I decided to look at ways we can all become better assets to the profession and become superstars like my INALJ friends.
First tip for boosting your presence in any community is to become more active in that community. Meeting others, even virtually, will expand your inner circle and make you more easily recognized to others within the profession. Meet other professionals! Joining groups via ALA, SLA, local library associations or even meet up groups is a great way to meet other professionals in your area. Attend meetups and conferences to network and share ideas. Create your own groups if one isn’t available in your area– use meetup.com or even Facebook to create groups others can join. Chances are that if you want it, others probably want it to.
Meeting other professionals isn’t limited to face-to-face meetings. Becoming more active on social media goes a long way. Follow, be followed, interact with other users, share posts, follow trending articles and issues. Follow major players in the library world and don’t be afraid to intermingle with them. You never know when you’ll get noticed!
These along with so many other social networking tools are a great way to get noticed in the LIS community. One really amazing tool is INALJ Chat on Twitter. Every Monday, people from around the globe gather to share ideas and information on a specific topic. The INALJ Chat is a great outlet to share your ideas and interact with other professionals you might otherwise not have access to.
Read and write about library and information science. One way to really boost your presence in the LIS community is to read what others are saying and use it as inspiration to react. Find a story that really strikes a nerve or gets the creative juices flowing. We have tons of resources at our fingertips and we have the ability to share ideas with others that will help to cement a place in this industry.
Common social networks like Twitter and Facebook are not the only way to share ideas; blogging and even Youtube are great ways to share your ideas. Blog about what matters most to you – interview tips, cataloging issues, using social networks to your advantage, self help, tools and apps, etc. Not sure what matters most? Explore articles related to library issues, find new topics that you’ve never explored before, and offer your own opinion or experience. You, too, can write a meaningful article or blog that can help another professional and get you noticed at the same time.
My final method to boosting your presence in the LIS community is to teach and be taught. Participate in professional development and find new ways that help you share knowledge with new and emerging professionals. While you can’t always be the teacher, learning with the goal of being able to share that information with others is a fun way to get noticed. Feeling like an expert? Create your own lessons and post them online to help others with a specific topic.
In this information age it is easier than ever to mingle with celebrities and people from varying backgrounds. As professionals, we can use this to our advantage to share our ideas with the world. While it is easier to share information it is still important to actively generate an audience for those ideas to build momentum.
I’d love to hear from you! Please share your own ideas on how you think you can boost your presence in the LIS community.