Last week our overly-large school district finally released our “Guidelines On the Use of Social Media and Related Electronic Communication Tools”. Fifteen pages of text that only a lawyer could love and which took around three years to finish. Although I was one of many who participated in the process, it’s very hard to spot my contributions.

Anyway, as I was preparing to leave for Educon last Friday, one of our library specialists asked if I would do a session on the guidelines at their mini-conference, one week away. I agreed1, but wrote the description with the idea of spending most of the time I had discussing how and why they should use social media, rather than relating a list of do’s and don’ts.

And the conversations at Educon gave me just the hook I need.

The theme for the Friday night and Sunday morning panels addressed the question of whether schools and educators should be open and transparent about our work (which frankly, was answered with a big yes from everyone I spoke to) and to what degree. As their roles in society rapidly change, librarians certainly need to find new and creative ways to open their spaces and connect them to their communities.

Of course, I will only have 45 minutes to make the case for the professional use of social media but in that time, at least we can get the conversation started.