“Twitter saves lives and blogs make careers.”

Since I just posted a teaser about my new project in an earlier post, it seemed like a good week to post a more “official” release. So, here it is along with some firmly stated ideas:

I don’t care what anyone tells you about blogging being old news and Twitter being a joke. (Not that people aren’t entitled to their opinions.) No matter what some people think, Twitter can save lives and blogs can make careers.

I am a living example.

I said it to “Sarah’s” class when I guest-spoke (I just made a new verb) last year and I’ll say it now to you, my readers.

Twitter is one of the fastest, most reliable sources I have for information. It’s a way to connect with authors, coworkers, and other like-minded people I would never encounter otherwise let alone converse with regularly. It has given me a chance to talk with some of my favorite authors, one of whom actually recognized me at a signing. It’s a great place to ask questions and share ideas. It also has Maureen Johnson which should be enough all by itself.

As for blogging, well . . . I can’t overstate the value of using an open forum to demonstrate your interests and expertise. People are always reading, and listening, so you might as well say something. Since starting this blog in 2007 I have received recognition from authors, colleagues, and coworkers. It has also led to a lot of great career opportunities in my place of employ and, of course, introduced me to a wonderful community of like-minded bloggers. Tangentially, blogging also brings me ever closer to realizing my plot of world domination through a high Amazon reviewer ranking.

Back to the “official” release side:

I was graciously invited by “Sarah” to be a guest speaker last year at a library school class to talk about blogging and the myriad reasons librarians decide to be librarians. I had a wealth of data on this subject thanks to an informal survey I conducted before starting library school in fall 2008 among my friends and coworkers.

“Sarah” remembered that project (conducted entirely through Facebook and Goodreads incidentally) and asked me to talk about it. She also urged me to formalize it and publicize it. Which I have.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to The Why Libraries Project (YLP for short). At its core, YLP is meant to be a place for people to talk about why they decided to work in a library setting and what they do in that setting. Submissions are open to anyone who has ever worked in any kind of library setting as an employee, intern or volunteer. It takes a lot more than librarians to make a library run and I hope that eventually YLP will reflect that variety in the stories it holds.

Right now you might notice that YLP is thin on submissions, that’s because it’s a work in progress. So please, spread the word and help the project grow. And if you are a library worker, maybe you’ll consider taking part.