"What we're hoping is you can give us some background on the GLTU scene. What made you start it and what role you see technology has played. It would be great if you could also tell us how you see GLTU will use technology in the future. Lastly, it'd be good if you could talk about the impact of the tweet ups, e.g. any new relationships / collaborations that came out of it, if it led to other things, any unexpected outcomes."
What is GLTU? Word Cloud of blog tags. Explain some - breast! Actually, name says it all but every word has been contradicted. Not all from Glasgow. Not all on Twitter and last time actually had 2 non-librarians.
Why? Germ of an idea summer 2011. Been on Twitter about 2 years. Talked to people all over world. Reconnected with some I'd known 30 years ago. Even met a few - but generally not library folk. Made no sense! One a few streets away. One in nearest institution. One even in own institution's library! Though to be fair, on other campus and didn't use real name, but still took and embarrassingly long time to join up the dots. Went quiet for a bit, then revived Jan 2012. Sat at home on public holiday and chat with two or three people resulted in (deep breath) agreement on a date! A Friday evening in mid-January.Before get on to GLTU, couple of other contributory reasons. Increasing frustration at lack of cross-sectoral networking in West. ELISA, TAFLIN, Grampian Info. Current move to re-establish CILIPS West Branch another good thing coming out of this, and indeed support from CILIPS has been a tremendous help with GLTU. Also, years with SALCTG - I had form. Gave up when closing Jordanhill, but missing it. Expected 6-10 people. Casual social event to get to know new people (Lauren) and discuss NLD which was just a few weeks away (competition ice-breaker). Enough to gather in the corner of a pub.
Set up a signup page (used various things, but now settled on Eventbrite) and spent a lot of time tweeting everyone I could think of – event soon became much bigger than expected and feelers went out for somewhere with a free, private and quiet area we could use. Drum and Monkey. Over 30 expressions of interest altogether and over 20 arrived on the night! Lots of chat and enjoyment, but learned a) room wasn’t terribly suitable in layout for circulating so people didn’t mix as much as they could have and competition was difficult b) Surprise! – paradoxically, for a Twitter event, Twitter isn’t the best way of communicating! Hit and miss - you can just tweet and hope for the best, but I guess most people drop in and out of the conversation and might therefore miss announcements. Rather than swamp timelines with multiple reminders I resorted to DMs and @messages which are a bit time consuming. A function to message multiple people at once would be handy! Also, you can’t DM people who aren’t following you so not everyone saw all the details. I also had people signing up without their Twitter names which made them difficult to identify. It did ask for that on the intro to the sign up form - another surprise! Even librarians don’t read things, so remember that next time you complain about your users! Still a success, and people wanted more, but these lessons were valuably for future. Allowed more time for planning and made things more structured. Still publicise on Twitter, but sign-up provided basis for an email list so revert to old fashioned methods. Now 62. Also set up a blog so meetings flagged up there too, and reports appear afterwards. Very useful to refresh memory for this! Brings together links to what others write about GLTU.
NLD Shoogle! Feb 12. Only tech involved here was the subway trains! Talk about why we did it. Library crawl idea on NLD site, subway seemed ideal. Publicity – via Subway, Herald and STV website. See my travel blog for feelings on public libraries. People (c10) in other sectors connected again and maybe renewed acquaintance with PL. Myra. GOMA, Hillhead (lunch), Partick, Gorbals.
GLTU2 – GWL. March 12. Had been suggested future GLTUs should have a CPD theme, and this is the pattern we have settled into. Idea of GWL suggested by another participant, 20 people. Talk about GWL. It’s effect on me. 10 went on to Bon Accord.
GLTU3 – Anne Kail. Credo Reference at UKSG, also March 12. BabbityBowster pre-conf for attendees and People’s Palace Reception. Handful went.
GLTU4 – Cellos and Bellows, May 12. Technology – pipes! Talk about it. Meal after.
GLTU5 – Health: it’s not just clinical. June 12. Most structured. Shayna Conn, BCC, Joanna Ptolomey. Discussion between them and floor, many of whom had personal interest. 12 or so. McPhabbs.
GLTU6 – after a summer break. Book Sculptures. Oct 12. Abby Cunnane of SPL and Peggy Hughes from Edinburgh City of Literature. 19 – plus some members of the public hanging on! 14 to Koh-I-Noor.
GLTU7 – Jan 2013. Planning meeting for NLD. Go over some of ideas proposed. This is where could be help later. 13 (slightly different selection) and 8 to Koh-I-Noor (again).
NLD 2013. Storify. Been using for a while – first was MmITS AGM last year! Explain how it was all done. Surprised still some lib auth without twitter feed, or not an easily findable one. What was in it – especially Dundee! (chose not to use cute kids this time). Unexpected connection. Advantages and disadvantages of the tech. How it was used to promote. Lots of tweets and retweets before and after – everyone mentioned in hope they would retweet. Ripple effect. Journalist – Cat supportive (M Smith not). Spoke to J Geddes. Scottish Roundup. IS Scotland. Not sure if out of echo chamber yet?
GLTU8 – Mitchell. 12 and 4 to Koh-I-Noor. Need a season ticket!
Future – more visits. City of Glasgow College coming up.
Library Camp – by definition, not techy but help appreciated.
Develop webpage of why libraries matter. Case studies. More branch studies like Dundee’s? Videos – 50 people, one question – techy people could help. Chartership?
Conclusions – GLTU filled a necessary gap and will go on as long as I can keep it going (or someone else takes over) and people keep attending – know this ebbs and flows. Cross-sectoral links have been made – know of several people who have found material for their portfolio, notably Myra. Moral – if you’re thinking about doing something just go for it. But – be aware it takes time and commitment. People will come with ideas and wait for you to put them into practice! Started consulting (eg by Doodle) on dates etc, but not always easy to get responses so tend to work more as a benevolent dictator these days! Well, I think I’m benevolent. Date has to suit me, and though I do act on suggestions, have to be ones I feel able to organise easily. Objections? Do it yourself! Great thing about not being answerable to anyone. Finally, links shared and sign up to go on list and indicate interests. (Have a sheet for people to sign up. Tick if interested in tweetups, NLD stuff, library camp, flash mob .)Have a book of blog pages, Storify to look at.