Thing 10: Networking Tools

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Welcome to Thing 10 of Rudaí23, 23 Things for Information Skills, this is the first Thing from our Online Networker section of the course.
The Online Networker consists of Thing 10, Thing 11, Thing 12. Thing 13 is a reflective piece.
For the benefit of the learner we shall give two tasks for Thing 10, you will have an option to choose one. Please note Thing 10 and 11 are closely linked so we would suggest that if you are interested in this aspect of the course to focus on the tasks given in both as it will benefit your learning as you move through each Thing.

Online networking and Face to Face (F2F) Networking

As library and information professionals we attend conferences in a work capacity and for Continuing Professional Development reasons. Throughout your time attending conferences, you’ve probably had the opportunity to attend many networking events.
Networking in person or online is a skill we all need to practice. Like public speaking, we search for the right pitch, the right tone. Being comfortable talking to strangers that share the same profession can be tasking and doing so online is no different than doing it F2F.

As Maleef (2015) states:
“Your network is a resource that you can access when you need advice, are stuck on a problem, or just need someone to bounce ideas off of”

Social media allows us to keep up with trends and new topics around the library world. We can get to know the profession on a global level and should take the opportunity to develop our networking skills.

Learning how to network in 140 characters, or 280 characters as seen with Twitter's newly increased character limit, for example, is a skill that needs precise focus and allows you to transfer this to a F2F setting. Reaching out to people and developing relationships can be instrumental in your career and professional development. As we are focusing on networking in an online capacity, we shall look at two tools, with information on how to engage, and who to engage with.

We hope Thing 10 will give you the tools to build confidence and become a social media networking wizard.

For Thing 10 we are going to provide links to setting up a Facebook and Twitter account, as there are good guides already available on the internet. Saying that, if you have not set up either account and need any help we are available to guide you through each part.
Facebook step by step guide can be found here.
Twitter step by step guide can be found here.


Facebook is a social, personal social media tool. According to Social Media Today

“Facebook is a multipurpose site centered more around direct communication with people you really know”

Many of us doing this course may have a Facebook profile, as Ipsos MRBI, 2017 state

“In Ireland 64% of adults have a Facebook account”

What we’re looking to accomplish in this lesson is not to change Facebook into a 100% professional tool, but to show you ways that it can work for you in a professional way.

Using Facebook Professionally

Set your public username here – so instead of, you can set your Facebook URL to for example.

Check your privacy settings – do you want professional colleagues seeing all your personal photos, videos?
In Privacy Settings you can select which groups of people see your Facebook content.

Profile picture – have a professional looking photo. This doesn’t need to be on a plain background but it shouldn’t be one of you on a night out. You could use the same photo for Facebook as you use on your LinkedIn profile, and your Twitter account. This is often recommended for branding purposes. But really it is up to you.

Professional details – In the About Section on Facebook they have positioned Work and Education at the very top with a section for Professional Skills also. By completing as many of these details as possible you can be found by classmates and colleagues.

Facebook About Section
Facebook Professional Skills Secion

Consider linking your Facebook page to other online tools you use - If you blog you can link your blog to your Facebook page. WordPress will help you do this automatically when you publish a new post. With Blogger it is more complicated. You can link your Twitter account to Facebook too.

Linking Twitter to Facebook

When posting to Facebook the information should be professionally related and verifiable material, be it articles about libraries or interesting research you’ve found.

Groups and Pages


“Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos, and share related content.” (Hicks, 2010)

I am involved with professional library groups on Facebook and my friends and I use various groups for different interests we have in common. It is a good idea to get involved with a few library groups on Facebook. They can provide you with a network of librarians, and as we all know, librarians are incredibly helpful if you need advice. Groups allow you to have a conversation and so they are more interactive than a Facebook page which we will discuss below.

Some Facebook Groups to follow or join:
Rudaí 23 Join the Rudaí23 group on Facebook and introduce yourself.
Irish Librarians Community of Practice – this is a closed group but you can request to join. It is a group of librarians and only started last year. The aim is to shares ideas and advice to librarians across Ireland.
UCD School of Information & Library Studies Alumni – another closed group. You’ll sometimes get jobs posts here.
Library and Information Professionals, Public Group based in Queensland Australia.


“Facebook Pages enable public figures, businesses, organizations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook. […] Facebook Pages are visible to everyone on the internet by default. You, and every person on Facebook, can connect with these Pages by becoming a fan and then receive their updates in your News Feed and interact with them”. (Hicks, 2010)

The majority of public libraries in Ireland and Irish university libraries have Facebook pages. We recommend that if you are job searching follow the Facebook page of the library service you are applying to. You’ll find out a good bit about the library service just from checking out the page. I have often been asked my opinion on Social Media platforms being used by libraries in job interviews.

Getting started with Facebook

Follow a few Facebook Pages that interest you:

There are many library association groups around the world on Facebook that you can follow.

Library Associations: 

Specialist Library Associations or groups within the Library Associations: 

Libraries, national or regional: National Library of Australia, National Library of Ireland, The Library of Congress.


In Ireland 28% of adults have a Twitter account (Ipsos MRBI, 2017).
The uniqueness of Twitter is found in the “short” snaps of information that are passed around at speed. You develop a briefness to your sentences and cull words at a rate that might sometimes worry you [me], all while trying to keep together a coherent conversation. Twitter can be private, but the whole point is to be public and to engage with people you don’t know. It is like being in a room with a lot of strangers and responding to them in a limited number of words.

Twitter was the beginning of the #hashtag, and according to SocialMediaToday became what we now call Microblogging:

“which is also a form of quickfire communication, and very mobile friendly. That is what Twitter is”

Using Twitter professionally

Setting up a Twitter account is the same if not easier than a Facebook account.
You can personalize the look of your Twitter profile with a profile and banner image, along with a few personal details. Again, a good idea here is to keep your online brand consistent across the social media platforms that you use.

Have the same name, same picture (professional), same blog link, same professional information.
Twitter allows us to see what our colleagues are doing in a professional capacity. Other platforms can be used in a more serious way which we shall cover in Thing 11.

Getting started with Twitter

Follow Library Associations, wherever you are in the world:
North America: @SLAhq, @ALALibrary
Europe: @LAIonline, @slaeurope, @CILIPinfo
Australia: @ALIANational
What Library Association are you a member of? Are they listed here? If so follow them.

Follow people who you admire in the library profession:
North America: @LibrarySherpa,
Europe: (Ireland) @niamhodonovan, @martinoconnor3, @michellebreenUL
Australia & New Zealand: Kevin Adams @saywhat32

Find your library champion and get to know them, find them, follow them, and retweet them!
Here is a video we put together to help you.

Follow Library Groups, wherever you are in the world:
North America: @INALJNaomi
Europe: @Rudai23, @uklibchat, @NLPN, @Libfocus @WRSLAI
Australia: @LibrariesAust

Follow Library Lists, wherever you are in the world:
Twitter states that:

"A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list"

Many librarians and library groups have lists which you can subscribe to such as this one by Libfocus which groups together Librarians in Ireland for example.
If you have already followed the people we mentioned above then also check out what lists they are following.

Get involved with Twitter chats, wherever you are in the world:
If you wish to become involved in a Twitter chat, note that Rudai 23 will be hosting one on January 9th 2018, so that will be a great opportunity to get a feel for it!

#uklibchat is another great place to get started. It is a monthly discussion which usually takes place on Twitter between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm on a Tuesday evening. The conversation is steered by the Twitter account @uklibchat. For more information visit their website.

Groups like @uklibchat will advertise the chats on Twitter in advance. All you have to do to follow or to participate is to follow the hashtag #uklibchat or #rudai23 or whatever the agreed hashtag is on Twitter.
For more information on how to follow hashtags and Twitter chats please check out our Powtoon video below.

Your Task for Thing 10 is

Task one:
Choose Facebook or Twitter.
Find a group, page, or list that interests you and join/follow them.

Please Note: If you wish to use Twitter and do not have an account set up please see the step by step instructions at the beginning of the post.
However, do not hesitate to contact the Rudai 23 team, we are here to help


Task two:
Find a # on Twitter and tweet using that #
For example: search for #rudai23 and send a tweet using that #

Further Reading

Network Like Nobody’s Watching: Demystifying Networking as a Skill for the Librarian and Information Professional Community.

Facebook Tips: What’s the Difference between a Facebook Page and Group?

Ipsos MRBI (2017) Social Networking Infographic – August 2017

Here’s a simple guide by Forbes on how to host a Tweet Chat that might answer any further questions you might have.

Today's post was written by Amye Quigley and Siobhan McGuinness.

Amye Quigley is an Executive Librarian. She has recently joined Kildare County Library and Arts Services.

Siobhan McGuinness is a Social Media Digital Marketing Coordinator, she is also part of the Rudaí 23 team.

Siobhan McGuinness
Amye Quigley


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