iSchool Director Dr. Hirsh Takes On Twitter
Published: September 4, 2019 by Havilah Steinman
Dr. Hirsh always looks for new and exciting ways to engage iSchool students and information professionals to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. In addition to her bi-yearly virtual coffee chats, Dr. Hirsh recently participated in her first-ever Twitter chat, hosted by the International Federation of Library Associations Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (IFLA CPDWL) which supports continuing professional education in library and information science!
This international effort included panelists from all over the world:
- Dr. Hirsh, iSchool director in the United States
- Loida Garcia-Febo, library consultant and recent American Library Association (ALA) president in Puerto Rico
- Edward Lim Junhao, business librarian in China
- Ulrike Lang, special interest librarian in Germany
Ten questions were explored during the hour-long event, and I have shared some insight from the conversation below. If you’d like to explore the full conversation, feel free to visit this link.
Question One: How do you maintain continuing professional development in LIS or in your workplace?
Garcia-Febo added: “I’m happy to share advocacy tools developed during my years as ALA president- download them! Learn how to advocate for libraries on social media, how to talk to elected officials, the media and community at large!”
Question Two: Who has influenced you to become a librarian, and how did they influence you?
Garcia-Febo experienced a similar phenomenon, “My mother was my first librarian and she motivated me to become a librarian. Amazing! She would leave the school library open after the last bell rang for parents to help their children with homework and read books as well.”
What a beautiful connection to librarianship across international lines! Two second-generation librarians impacting the library and information world in such a positive way is both inspiring and fantastic to see.
Question Three: Can you share an LIS trend in your library/country/region?
Lang: “Working more project-oriented in flexible and different teams, talking more about management than organizing.”
Junhao had an encouraging response to this question for those of us who feel a little lost, “I’m no good with trends! So I’m going to recommend following @aarontay and reading his blog posts at Musings About Librarianship because he does a great job introducing us to new trends in LIS.”
The ever-helpful Garcia-Febo pointed Twitter chat attendees to the ALA’s Center for the Future of Libraries, and also identified artificial intelligence (AI) as an emerging trend in her region. She also shared an article she wrote, Exploring AI – How libraries are starting to apply artificial intelligence in their work.
Dr. Hirsh, in response to the question, opened up about the iSchool’s explorations on the possible application of blockchain technology in libraries. An entire website has been created to chronicle the progress that has been made thus far! She also shared, “LIS schools are diversifying their curriculum. There is now an increased focus in areas such as data analytics, marketing, strategic planning and expertise with handling digital content.”
With such a diverse panel, it’s no surprise the trends identified in the Twitter chat are wide and exciting!
Question Four: In addition to a resume/CV and cover letter, how important is the applicant’s ‘web presence’ (e.g. LinkedIn, personal website, etc.) in the review process?
Lang shared, “I always search and check the presence of applicants in social media portals and the content and design might be important for the decision to invite these applicants.”
Hirsh had similar advice, “A candidate’s online presence can demonstrate their professional skills and interests. Fact is: employers do look online. At the iSchool, we encourage students to create their e-portfolio online to share with prospective employers to showcase their skills.”
It seems no matter where you are in the world, the library and information science industry is an exciting place to be! Dr. Hirsh does an excellent job representing the SJSU iSchool program to the international community, and we look forward to similar events like this. If you’d like to read more about what was discussed, visit this link. Also, please see below for the Twitter profiles of each panelist: