There are so many ways to connect with professional colleagues, but here are 5 places to start. And if all of these are new to you, choose one and test the waters.
1. Twitter. Sign up, add a bio and a photo, keep your account unlocked and use it for the professional stuff. Follow librarians and other educators (follow at least 100 people to start). Lurk on a chat. And then when you are comfortable, jump in. If Twitter is completely new to you, take a look at Corey's post on getting started.
A few chats to explore:
You can review a huge list of education chats at this site -- pick one or two that appear interesting and see what they have to offer.
My best tip for chat participation is to use TweetDeck. Sign in using your Twitter account and set up the following three columns (use the big + sign):
2. The School Librarians Workshop Group on Facebook. This is a group coordinated by Hilda K. Weisberg. Members post links, questions, and are always incredibly helpful with ideas and responses. This is a great, safe space to learn and get support from colleagues who do what you do each and every day.
4. LM_NET. The most high-traffic listserv in the school library profession. If you subscribe, I recommend setting up a rule in your e-mail so that your LM_NET messages are all put in one place, letting you check them at your leisure. If, like me, you prefer NOT to get it via e-mail, you can always look at postings via the archives site -- the real benefit to the archives is that they are searchable.
5. Google Communities. Like Twitter, there is a huge range of communities relevant to our field. You likely already use Google for ALL OF THE THINGS, so why not hop into communities? Those I tend to check regularly are close to home (internal to my district), but a few broader communities are Global TL: Librarians without Borders and TL Chat. There are others that are more location specific (state or district) that might make more sense for you!
Where do you find support beyond your library? How do you share ideas and get support? I would love to learn about other places that help you connect!
Glad to have you in my PLN,
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