Connie Schardt posted a brief synopsis of the May 2009 Section Council Report on MLA Connections. Several of the sections are using various social networking tools to reach out to their members. For example, the Cancer Section is working with societies to get their meeting abstracts available through Google Scholar and the Public Health/Health Administration Section stream cast their business meeting in Hawaii so that those who could not attend on site could still “attend.”
Is your section doing something neat with the web site? Let Melissa Rethlefsen know about it so she can include it on the Section Council web site. If your library group (not an MLA Section) such a local organization is doing something interesting, please feel free to comment here so that we can learn from your experiences.
There are many ways that we can stay connected. The MLA Social Networking Task Force is looking at the various ways that MLA members can be more connected with each other and with the organization. As one of the members of the task force, I think I can say that we are approaching things from many perspectives to see what might be the best fit for our organization. We are looking at what other similar organizations, like ALA, are doing as well.
The possibilities are exciting, interesting, and yes, a little scary too. As we move through this new method of communicating, I can’t help but remember when email first emerged on the scene. I was not a librarian at the time (perhaps somebody who was can leave a comment what it was like to be a librarian when email hit), but I remember going to the computer lab sitting at a dumb terminal with a green flashing cursor emailing a few people here and there. I remember meeting new friends, giving them my email and seeing their quizzical looks. Who knew a few years late that I would have more than one email address, share pictures and jokes with friends and family, and *gasp* buy things online?! I also would never have guessed it would be simpler to email my husband at work about picking up the kids from daycare than it would be to get him on the phone.
Some of these communication tools and methods are going to be as standard as email. It will take some time, but it will happen. I never would have guess gopher would have evolved to the web as it is today.