Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Virtual info desks for library & information professionals

I was reading the latest post from one of the library blogs that I follow, by Brian Herzog, aka the Swiss Army Librarian, and he mentioned a Q&A site specifically designed for library and information professionals. You can read his blog post about it here.

My first thought was- Cool! Where has this been my whole librarian life? After some investigation, I've discovered there is a little catch- the site currently needs people to commit to it, before it gets created.

(Image source: CC BY NC-2.0)

After a bit more digging, I discovered that there are several pages that already have enough users to have fully committed websites on various topics eg cooking, gaming, programming and photography.

I decided to commit, to see what all the fuss was about, and because I am an advocate of sharing knowledge, particularly in terms of my own learning, and helping others develop (especially new librarians, because it wasn't so long ago that I was a new librarian myself!). It seems that all I need to do is answer or ask ten questions as part of my commitment. There is also an 'uncommit' option as well, which is always a good sign. If you're interested in participating, click here.

This type of service got me thinking about all of the Q&A-type services out there. For example QUORA, which some of my academics are on, as well as several other librarians I know. Then there are all of the forums and groups on LinkedIn.

What other forums are there for Q&A that you find useful?  Are there other specific forums for library and information professionals? Would you be interested in one for the ALIA Sydney group? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

- Crystal

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