Friday, April 17, 2009

Is Twitter a useful communication tool for health librarians?

Dean Giustini and Mary-Doug Wright have published a useful article describing the potential benefits and possible pitfalls of using Twitter by health librarians. The article was published in last Winter's edition of the Journal of the Canadian Health Librarians Association. You can dowload the PDF here.

Twitter is representative of a new generation of information tools—including handhelds and mobiles like the iPhone and BlackBerry—that help to promote ambient information access and on-the-go communication through a phenomenon called "microblogging".
"School teachers are beginning to experiment with microblogging as are academics. Microblogging is starting to gain some currency in all kinds of educational contexts. As a professional development tool, we believe that Twitter can play a role in informal “on-the-fly” learning in the workplace, particularly for health librarians who work in isolation."
Medical library twitterers can join the group tweet MedLib Geeks ( keep up with changes to PubMed, upcoming health care events, and news about biomedical and health databases. Further, health libraries share information about new programs and alert each other about new Web resources.

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