— #citylis (@citylis) May 20, 2015
I am a longstanding advocate of social media. It is certainly better to have meaningful content out there, rather than not. Content marketing is important, but all of this ‘meta’ activity takes time, and this should be acknowledged. I actually think that we are already at the point where using the term ‘meta’ to describe the need for academics to engage with social media is passé – not so much just publish or perish – more blog or die.
To put a positive spin on this, I think that being able to tell a good story, and to communicate in an engaging manner, is part of the academic role, and it is no bad thing for practitioners either. At #citylis, students are given every encouragement to stand above the crowd with their communication skills. It goes without saying that the #citylis team need to practice what we preach. This could be seen as an extension of information literacy. I personally prefer to think of information professionals as communications experts, rather than ‘teachers’ – although I acknowledge the movement for librarians as teachers etc.
Another of our assets are the dissertations. The listing I keep on thelynxiblog is the page that gets the most hits (annoyingly). Thinking of cool topics is something we and our students excel at (comes from constant horizon scanning), and this not only gives other students some inkling about how to tackle the worrisome dissertation module, but also serves to promote the evolving nature of Library and Information Science – it is more than most casual observers imagine.
We need to keep pushing at the edges of the discipline – everybody, no matter what their profession, can benefit from being able to understand and function within the digital society. Being able to make cakes is good. But understanding information communication allows us all to question everything and come up with some answers.
At #citylis we are unapologetic for our focus on the digital. We have a keen interest in art, comics, fandom and forecasting (i.e. more than science, medicine, business and law). We have the opportunity for original insight into behaviours that can be beneficial to media, education, businesses etc. beyond the traditional remit of libraries to serve ‘users’.
Ernesto Priego edited this version from a longer text.