How to collaborate internationally via social media

I want to share what I learned so far from working with amazing people I only met on Twitter for the cause of funding a library in India. We collect funds via social media on our blog. I hope you will support the good cause.

The good news – It is easy to do this:
First let me say that it is easy to collaborate on a project like ours using twitter, emails and wordpress blogs. Of course It takes a lot of time but a project like this would also take a lot of time if it was made by people sitting in the same room. We are four people in the group. Ned Potter who is an academic librarian from the UK, Andromeda Yelton and Justin Hoenke public librarians from USA and I am a public librarian from Denmark.

What tools have we used to communicate?
We use twitter and emails for communicating. Direct twitter messages when in a hurry and Emails for longer messages about plans, strategy and status. We use our spare time and we have families, so sometimes one of us has got a lot of time to put in this project, at other times we obviously don’t – But I am amazed by how far we gone in very little time. It is obvious that it is important that you give what you can and that the others respect when you have other plans. We never spoke about this, it is kind of written between the lines, but I could see the need for some rules in a bigger and longer lasting project.
It would be a good idea to use Skype but it hasn’t been necessary yet. When we reach our goal I think we should set up a Skype meeting celebrating with a drink – but the others don’t know yet (sorry you had to read it here first, guys)

Skype as a tool and why I belive in libraries
I have been so lucky to have a Skype meeting (and one more to come) with Buffy J Hamilton. This meeting was not related to the Buy A Library project. We talked about libraries in US and Denmark and about transliteracy and the power of libraries worldwide. I feel lucky to live in a time where it is so easy to share and communicate. Libraries are more similar across the world than I thought a couple of years ago. What it all comes down to is that we provide access to information and knowledge via all types of media. In some countries the main media is still the book, in others countries there are a variety of important media – but we provide access and support learning and (trans)literacy. That’s why I am a strong believer in the power of libraries.

What tools have we used to promote our campaign?
Our campaign lives on our blog and started as a twitter project. Our followers (and a lot of non-followers too) have been very kind to us helping promote our campaign and supporting with funds. Rosanne Cash who loves libraries supported us with a RT, and she has got more than 17.000 followers – Things like this make a difference. Thank you, Rosanne!
We learned that blogposts supporting the cause made a difference. We can see that in the donation status. We asked others to blog about our cause and have been getting good response… And you can like us on facebook. Please do.

So what to do now?
We will countinue to collect the funds needed for building and funding the library in India. Then we will evaluate and I hope we will have reached our goal so we can celebrate as well.
I really like being in this project. One reason is because it makes a difference and builds a library. How awesome is that? Libraries are closing all over the world, but we are opening one. It’s nice to learn that librarians and library supporters are so generous and the support for our project is amazing. Last but not least it is a great group of wonderful people I teamed up with. I am working with the best and if that does not motivate – what could?

Come work with me – or stay where you are but work with me anyway
I already learned a lot from participating in this project so far – and we are not finished yet. I want to use what I learned to collaborate with even more of you amazing people. I hope you will have the will, the time and ideas to work with a public librarian from Denmark. We could share ideas and thoughts about libraries in different countries or set up Skype meetings with patrons from each of our libraries. I don’t know yet. Maybe you do.
I know that when this project ends I will invite you to come work with me via social media and of course you are all welcome to visit my library.

Please support our cause by donating to Buy a library
[Donate button removed – Yay – we have the money for building the library – Please follow the work on the blog]

5 thoughts on “How to collaborate internationally via social media”

  1. Jan, I consider it an honor and privilege to be your friend and colleague. Like you, I am often in awe of the power of social media to connect people and ideas. Bravo to you and the team for this wonderful collaborative effort to bring libraries to those who do not have one!

    I look forward to Skyping again soon!

    Best,
    Buffy Hamilton

    1. Thank you Buffy. I am still honored that you can find the time in your busy schedule to skype with me, and I am looking forward to our meeting. It´s amazing what you have accomplished since our last meeting. It´s a privilige to learn from you.

      Best,
      Jan

  2. Just a quick correction — I’m actually a recent library school grad, which is to say an unemployed librarian (working on fixing that, though!).

    I’m glad you are sharing these specifics with people. Although we all have been putting a fair amount of time into this lately it’s also amazing to me how *little* work this takes — yes, if we were planning to establish a permanent charity or raise ten times as much money we would have had to think more about infrastructure and process and paperwork — but the internet makes it so much easier to do this than it used to be. There’s so little barrier to doing…so much.

    And I would love to have a Skype celebration with you all :).

    1. Oops! I am glad you corrected me then.

      I would also have thought that the amount of work would be much bigger in a project like this.

      I am looking forward to our skype celebration. The drink is on me :)

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