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Launching #tlmatch: for connecting with that special other librarian


What if we considered some new equations? At a recent webinar the subject of opening our library walls came up. It often does. The subject of equations came up as well.

I love the idea of considering our reach as librarians without borders. Of considering how we might connect our learners in meaningful inquiry beyond the walls of our classrooms and libraries. How we might foster global empathy? How we might encourage children to think of their potential as global citizens?

Back in 2014 I blogged about the value of librarians leading global connections in Going global: a literacy, a process, a call to action (and some resources).

One thing is clear to me: as librarians, we haven’t yet leveraged our true power as global connectors.  Lately I’ve been thinking about our yet-to-be-realized opportunities and how we might realize them.   You see, I see convergence.

Never before have we had truly effective tools for synchronous conferencing and media-rich asynchronous group discussion. Never before have we been able to leverage our emerging online communities of practice.  Never before has participation been so possible.  Never before has our world been so flat. Never before has it be more obvious that the prefix geo might amplify themes in any curriculum.

We too can plan meaningful global learning partnerships, connect learners, classrooms and libraries.

I see this happening as a process, on three levels.

  • Introduction: We learn to use the tools for connection and share their affordances with learners, through engaging, though often one-shot, activities, like Mystery Skypes.
  • Inquiry: Guided by teachers and librarians, students engage in authentic partnerships to address issues and problems, engaged in curricular projects.
  • Independence: Students transfer use of the tools and strategies we’ve modeled, using hashtags to identify global experts, setting  up their own investigatory conversations and events. They become citizen journalists, scientists, collaborative writers and creators.

We need to be able to do some informal, everyday matchmaking. And we can begin by being better able to find each other.

I was thinking that in addition to the Global TL, our G+ Community that may need a little re-seeding, we needed a hashtag for matchmaking.

What if we used #tlmatch as a way to connect our libraries, our teachers and our classes? What if we used #tlmatch together with hashtags that reach either #tlchat or the specific group of librarians who might help us engage collaborately in projects across town or across the world?

What if we played with these social media equations and combined any of the following hashtags:

#tlmatch + #tlchat + globaled + #globalconnections

What might it equal in terms of learning opportunities?  And what if we could focus to find that partner school in Australia or Kenya or Brazil?

Here’s a little document ( on which we can build a list of essential TL hashtags and @signs to facilitate hashtag matchmaking.  Please help me build this list. Please help me hit the start button on #tlmatch!


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You may also be interested in some established projects:

(Thanks to Jane Lofton who was active in the webinar brainstorming.)

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Jane Lofton says

    Thanks so much, Joyce, for yet another innovative idea to help all of us connect and be more effective by working together.

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