Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Moderating a Twitter chat

I'm a big fan of Twitter and by the looks of it, I'm not the only teacher librarian who is. I love the sense of community and the ability to talk about books and teacher librarianship with others. I have a fabulous PLN that helps me daily with my professional development.

When teacher librarian Diane Mankowski suggested a summer Twitter YA book club chat, Naomi Bates offered her chat #ReadYAlit for the summer book club. And that sums up the power of Twitter right there - teacher librarians from Chicago, Texas and British Columbia collaborating. One conference call, multiple emails and a double booking later, Diane and I were set to co-moderate our first chat.

To say I was nervous would be an understatement. Fifteen minutes before the chat, I was ready with questions at hand and two computers running just in case one of them mysteriously died. Diane and I quickly sent some last minute emails back and forth and waited, hoping we wouldn't be chatting to ourselves.

At the top of the hour we hit the ground running and I was amazed at how quickly the hour passed. I did struggle with keeping up with the feed and responding to everyone. I was also wondering about the timing of the questions, but I think that in the end, it was fine. Thankfully Diane was managing the technical side of things, having put the questions up on her blog beforehand and she was running the poll to see what our first book club title would be.

The only thing I would change for the next time, would be to create images for the questions so that they were easier for people to spot. Overall though, it was an incredible experience. My husband took my boys out for the hour and he came home to me furiously typing, brow furrowed and commented that the chat must have been stressful. I replied that it was stressful but it was AWESOME. It was delightful to see people from the Okanagan popping in to support me and chat. A big thank you to Naomi for allowing me to co-moderate the chat and to Diane for co-moderating and being so calm and organized through the entire experience.

If you are interested in participating in our summer YA book club, pick up a copy of Sarah Dessen's Saint Anything. We are meeting on July 5th at 6pm PST/8pm CST and talking about the book on #ReadYAlit. Seriously, join us!

If you don't already follow Naomi Bates and Diane Mankowski, you should!

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