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To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Scholarly Engagement and Twitter

I’ve been thinking a lot about scholarly engagement on Twitter lately, especially after reading Bonnie Stewart‘s latest blog post, “The morning after we all became social media gurus.” Based on her research and writing for her thesis, she weighs exactly what we as academic librarians and LIS professionals are getting out of digital scholarly engagement and how we measure that influence in terms of metrics. I’d like to unpack this topic a bit and open it up to a wider reader discussion in the comments section, after the jump!


The World (and Jason Griffey) Interviews Vernor Vinge

Jason Griffey kicked off the session by introducing Dr. Vernor Vinge and talking about his many accolades as a science fiction writer and futurist. Dr. Vinge then talked about how humans are the best tool-creating animal and the only animal that has figured out how to outsource their cognition — how to spread their cognitive abilities into the outside world.  As an example, he talked about how  writing and speaking are an outsourcing of our thinking and money represents an outsourcing of our perceived value for things. As humans continue to outsource cognition more effectively by harnessing powerful machines and complex networks, we move closer to a point of technological singularity.  At this point, where a superhuman intelligence can be achieved by machines or some combination of humans and machines, it will become too difficult for humans to fully grasp the present or to predict the future.  As an example, he talked about how someone might be able to explain the…


Having fun at ALA

Who says that librarians can’t let their hair down and have some fun? The LITA happy hour on Friday at the Mixx Bar was a great example to the contrary. The bar area was filled with people networking, chatting, and generally having a good time. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never been to a LITA event before and didn’t know anyone there. However, people all around were smiling and many people were quick to open their circle and let a new-comer join the conversation. I met Abigail Goben the Hedgehog Librarian wearing a hedgehog necklace, two new incoming LITA Board members, and many others. It’s great to host a happy hour on the first night because it gives people the opportunity to meet people casually before the conference really begins. Also, have you heard that word-of-mouth is the best way to get out information about your…