Slides: Using a community of practice to support librarian bloggers in an academic library

I’ve had a few people ask me for the slides from the talk I gave on October 31 at CMD 2012, and while I am sure they will eventually be published on the CMD web site, I thought I would share them here for those folks who can’t wait! :)

slides: Using a community of practice to support librarian bloggers in an academic library (.pdf)

Here’s the abstract of my talk:

Using a community of practice to support librarian bloggers in an academic library

Weblogs are an established technology that provides librarians with a powerful communication tool for reaching out to their user communities. While the technology may be readily available and easy to use, it is often challenging for librarians to move past the initial launch of their weblog and develop it into a sustainable means of communication. Librarians need to not only learn how to blog in a professional context, what content to produce, and how to use it to support or replace other activities. They need to learn how to use their blogs to engage with patrons and to become effective participants in their professional and academic blogging communities.

Communities of practice provide a social learning context that allows librarians to share their experiences and work together to develop their understanding and skills to become more effective bloggers. The community of practice also becomes a resource for other librarians interested in this practice, a form of organizational memory that persists beyond the involvement of any individual librarian.

This presentation will demonstrate the use of a community of practice to support the launch of a new blogging platform at the McGill Library. An overview of the initial conceptualization and planning of the CoP will be provided, followed by a discussion of how the community came together and evolved as members gained experience as librarian bloggers. Potential applications of communities of practice to other aspects of academic librarianship will also be discussed.

Communities of practice are not something I have talked about here before, but I can guarantee you that you’ll be hearing more from me in the coming months on CoPs and their relevance to IT, librarianship, and academia in general.

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