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inTLchat(1)#inTLchat (in + tlchat)

It seems so simple that I cannot figure out why it didn’t hit us sooner. Putting an “in” in front of the #tlchat hashtag we’ve been using forever, changes everything.

It’s sticky. It’s (of course) international. And it’s already gaining global traction.

Teacher librarians are the ultimate connectors and I don’t believe we have yet realized our true global powers.

Never before have we had truly effective tools for synchronous conferencing and media-rich asynchronous group discussion. Never before have we been so perfectly able to leverage our emerging online communities of practice. Never before has meaningful partnership been so possible. Never before has it been so possible to connect the children and teachers of the world.

Members of our library community have been trying to launch a hashtag for bridging school librarians and schools across the world for years. #globalTL and #TLMatch just seemed to fizzle. But, as they say, “third time’s the charm.”

The new #inTLchat hashtag should help us build community, amplify our learning, find partners and share projects!

How did this get started?  It’s actually a tale of two conferences.

Conference #1

I was recently invited to the 21CLHK Conference in Hong Kong where I facilitated a full day of professional development for an international group of librarians. During the planning I met Danny Glasner, elementary school librarian, Daystar Academy in Beijing, China, who was coordinating the day. Danny, and many of his colleagues who work as teacher librarians around the world, had been hoping to create similar bridges. So we planned to launch the hashtag in Hong Kong. Danny, a driving force, designed the t-shirts and shared his vision:

School librarians come back from conferences and workshops full of memories and great ideas. The idea for #inTLchat came to me during a Librarian Knowledge Sharing Workshop led by Dianne McKenzie and Katie Day two years ago. Extend the conversations, connections and collaborations! Don’t let the learning and innovating stop!

In Hong Kong I also met Kendra Perkins, Head MS/HS Librarian at the St. Johnsbury Academy in Jeju, South Korea.  She also shared her vision for #inTLchat:

I would love to be able to collaborate more with librarians on events like Battle of the Books. There is a lot of potential to use technology to create fun literacy competition between students. Especially when schools are located far away from other schools, or there is a lack of time or funding to support transporting students to other locations. Students can benefit from meeting students in other cities, other countries.

Another collaborative idea is to share resources, ideas and presentations when library professionals go for professional development. It would be wonderful to have one digital space to explore with resources shared from conferences and workshops that have taken place all over the world.

(One project that emerged for our librarians’ sharing was this Pearltrees board Resources for Globally Diverse Books.)
Among those colleagues I mentioned during my presentations was Arkansas librarian, Stony Evans. A long-time fan of bringing connections into his teaching practice, Stony began following the new hashtag when he noticed our tweets.  And he made an immediate friend. Stony shared that the impact of his activities

has been transformative for me and the learning community I serve. At first, the connections were mainly in the United States, but over the past few years, it has started to become global. A few weeks ago, I learned about the new #inTLChat hashtag. I’m so excited about the creation of this resource since it will be a place that teacher librarians can connect with other educators on an international level. Students will benefit greatly from the endless potential of such connections. We are already collaborating with our new friend, Kristen Billings, a TL in Beijing. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Conference #2:

The Educational Collaborative for International Schools (ECIS) in Chennai, India, followed shortly after and use of the hashtag continued to grow.

Check our Diane McKenzie‘s Storify for a sense of the energy of librarian collaboration and connection at that event.

Shannon McClintock Miller, Teacher Librarian and Future Ready Librarian Spokesperson, who was at the ECIS event, shared:

I couldn’t be more excited about #inTLchat!  This will bring teacher librarians together around the world. Not only will this be a place for teacher librarians to connect and grow with one another, it will also be a place for collaboration to create amazing experiences for our students and communities.  The experiences and expertise we bring one another from different parts of the world, will enrich learning, engage our students and teachers through new diverse relationships, and break down the walls between communities. #inTLchat will make a difference so lets get involved and start making these amazing new connections with others today.  I can’t wait to see what we can do together, friends.

Wanna join us?  Here are several ways you can connect:

1. If you want to include a global audience, when you tweet or post across social media, simply consider using/adding #inTLchat to those other hashtags you may regularly use (#tlchat, #istelib, #futurereadylibs, etc. Check out our AASL Hashtag Bank.)

2. Join our Introductory FlipGrid to help us break the global ice. Our team hopes to regularly pose topics, questions, and projects and to use the space to do a little sharing and match making. Please record a video to introduce yourself and share your own vision for global learning, literacy and leadership, as well as the contributions you believe we might make as librarians.

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 3.58.14 PM3.  Consider joining the #inTLchat Google+ Community (formerly GlobalTL) which is being relaunched with our new branding.

intlchatcard4. Join us for our first #inTLchat fast and slow Twitter chats. The fun starts on Wednesday, February 28th from 8:00PM till 9:00 PM Eastern time (March 1 at 9:AM Beijing time).  This live fast chat will address the questions on this card. (The first Q will be a reflection about 21CLHK, but the rest are open and relevant to all!) A slow chat, about general issues and ideas relating to #inTLchat and our global community, will continue across the globe for the next 23 hours.

As with any other live chat, you can participate on Twitter, or Twitter Search, or Tweetdeck. You may also follow along on Participate where we will host our archive and share a calendar of events on our own Participate space:

You may also be interested in background from these previous posts:

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

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