Skeleton Hand and MouseI’m a night owl.  I mean I am truly one of those people who comes to life at night. So while others are sleeping, I’m either on the computer or watching reruns of my favorite shows on TV Land.  And when I do finally crawl into bed, my brain is still going at about 200 MPH. Seriously, I have some pretty wild thoughts in the wee hours of the morning:

  • How come politicians haven’t figured out that a great cup of coffee and a red velvet cupcake  really does make things better?  Seriously, it’s impossible to stay angry when eating a cupcake, try it.
  • Why do Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna have a reality show?  Yeah, he was hawt back in his LA Law days and, well, it’s hard not to look at her for  a variety of reasons but do they really warrant a 1/2 hour of TV time?
  • Who would notify my online friends if I died?  See, I think about you guys too Or maybe I’m thinking too highly of myself, who knows?

I told you my thoughts are wild, they’re also completely random but what are you gonna do?  I figured the best thing to do is solve the one problem I can and work on the demise of global hostilities and useless reality shows later.

So the first thing I wanted to know is how would some of my favorite social sites handle my passing?   Twitter’s Deceased User Policy essentially states that a family member has to notify Twitter of the account owner’s passing and they’ll either delete the account or help the family to preserve a backup of the public tweets.  Facebook provides a form for family members to submit in order to remove the deceased users account from the public stream and turn the account into a memorial page (although relatives can opt to have the account removed).   For more information about how to close a deceased family member’s accounts, read this post on Une Belle Vie.

The company policies are good but what about the personal side?  The notification, who tells my online friends what has happened?  I assume my husband would do the notifying but the question is how? My husband doesn’t know the usernames or passwords for my accounts nor does he know everyone in my online community.  In fact, I don’t even think he knows all of the sites that I use on a regular basis (and, chances are, neither do your loved ones). I also have a host of face~to~face friends that I’m sure he’s only met in passing.

As more of our relationships with people grow and develop online, I think this is an important topic for family members to discuss.  I  talked over my social media conundrum with my husband and this is the plan we developed:

  • I’ve identified key people from each of my communities with their names, email addresses and phone numbers for him to contact
  • All of my social media sites have been listed along with the usernames and passwords for him to delete or turn into a memorial as he sees fit
  • Special friends have also been identified as people who will notify others within my social circles in both my online and face~to~face worlds

All of this information is kept in a file on my computer as well as in hard  copy format in a fireproof safe.  Excessive? Probably.  But I know that if something happened to one of my online friends I’d want to know about it, just the same as if I’d want to know if something happened to a family member or a face~to~face friend.

What about you, have you ever thought about the notification process if something happened to you?  Would your loved ones know which accounts to close?  Do they have access to passwords and usernames?

This is reposted from my blog Living Outside the Stacks

When I signed up for Twitter 2 years ago, I wasn’t really certain what I wanted to get out of it.  I just knew that as a librarian, part of my responsibility was to keep up on current tech trends (yes, we do more than help you find books) so that I could assist patrons when needed.  Therefore, my first forays into Twitter were pretty tentative.  I tweeted just enough to make my presence known but I didn’t think I really had anything all that clever to say (especially not in 140 characters or less).  Over time, however, I built up a reputation and created some incredibly strong ties with different information professionals then my life changed…

I became a stay-at-home-mom and part-time History Instructor.  This change led to a shift in my perception of myself and how I self-identified.  However, it never occurred to me that my life change would impact how others viewed me until I read Naomi Trower’s post about Twitter Lists.  So I started paying attention to how people listed me and it got me to thinking, is this how I see myself and is this how I want others to see me?

I’m listed 93 times with a majority of the lists having to do with being a “mommy blogger”.  Hmmmm….  Not a bad thing, just an interesting twist.  Does this mean that the time that I took to cultivate my reputation as a librarian/archivist is gone?  I don’t think so.  I hope not.  My hope is that my mom blogging friends and my information professional friends will see my domestic and my research skills and recognize the value in both.

When I created my lists, I started by thinking about how the people I interact with influence me.  I thought about where I’m most likely to encounter that person and went on from there.  Hence, snazzy list names like “Hiding in the stacks” (my library and information professional friends) or “At the cafe” (people I’d like to share a coffee with) or “In the gym” (people who inspire me to get healthy)….

What about you?  What do your friends’ Twitter Lists say about you?  How did you go about creating your lists?  Is there a way that you want to be listed?  Have you even thought about the way people list you?

Thank you to Infodiva Librarian who posted this little nugget about a call for librarians to share their twitter wit with HarperCollins.  They are looking for tweeting librarians who want to share their wit, charm and/or spunk  in Twitter Wit:  Brilliance in 140 characters or less, the first official Twitter book to appear on their newest imprint, It Books.  

In order to enter, all you have to do is:

1.  Visit to start following It Books on Twitter.
2.  Email your favorite tweet to  Please include your name and your library’s name and address for verification.
3.  Entries must be received by 30 April 2009!  Those selected will appear in Twitter Wit this October (with your Twitter user name).

Many moons ago, I asked why archivists aren’t as active in the social networking world as, say, librarians and a lively discussion ensued but I never really followed up on my question.  One of the drawbacks of my AD-Oh Shiny condition…I’m easily sidetracked and amused by what can sometimes be the most insignificant things, like television shows, purple butterflies flitting outside my office window, music on Pandora…  Um, what was I talking about again? 

Oh yeah…

So imagine my surprise when I was catching up on my blog reading and I stumbled across this little nugget on Archives*Open courtesy of Twitter for Archivists.

Now I can follow my fellow archivists on Twitter…Woo Hoo!

One day I happened to be working at the Reference Desk when I was called away to help a student with a printing problem.  Normally, when I walk away from the desk, I close my email and just throw everything else to the bottom of the screen.  I do this as a professional courtesy.  If someone else needs to use the computer, I don’t want them wondering if they are interrupting something important or whatever.  Anyway, this particular time I didn’t do any of the above as I was just walking less than two feet away from the desk and the other computer was not in use.  When I returned to the desk, two of my co-workers were reading what I had left on the computer.  I did a quick mental inventory to see what could possibly be so interesting that my privacy would be invaded in such a bold manner.  Yes, I know, there is no privacy on a company computer.  But, sheesh, how about a little common courtesy.

Anyway, when I arrived back at the computer, my co-workers sheepishly walked away and I opted not to say anything.  My bad.  Anyway, a few minutes later, one of my co-workers asked “What’s Twitter?”  That was what was on the screen.  Twitter.  I was happy that she asked actually, because I saw this as an opportunity to encourage my co-workers to try something new.

I told her that Twitter is a social networking site that encourages people to share in 140 characters or less what they’re doing.  She sort of rolled her eyes, which was my reaction when I first heard of Twitter too.  I started laughing because I remembered thinking Who has that kind of time?   But it’s not like you have to post every minute, just whenever you feel like it.  My other co-worker asked me how I use it and how I find it relevant to library use.

Well, let me list the ways:

  • Because our library doesn’t pay for conferences, I use Twitter as a way of keeping current on what other librarians / archivist’s are learning about at the conferences they attend
  • I find out who is posting something that may be of interest to me for my position as a librarian and archivist
  • Networking, again, this goes back to not being able to attend conferences.  I don’t get the opportunity to mingle with other librarians, so this puts me in contact with people I would never have met otherwise
  • Keeping track of new technologies like Jott (thank you, David Lee King)  

I’m sure there are many other uses that I’m forgetting about, perhaps, you can list some?  I did, however, find this best practices guide helpful and I will point it out to my co-workers.

TwitterNow I’m feeling au courant because I can now use my cell phone to update Twitter.  I don’t know why, but I was having the dangdest time trying to figure out how to use my phone.  Which was really irking me since my husband insisted upon getting me one with all sorts of texting capabilities, web browsers, etc.  And it’s pretty to boot.  🙂  So anyway, you’d think as a librarian I’d just be able to locate help. 

Well, it took me 3 weeks to google “How do I use Twitter on my cell phone?”  And I found the answer.  It’s not brain surgery or anything but I’m just happy that I can now take Twitter with me.  I doubt I’ll ever tweet anything important like an arrest or an earthquake, but if something funny happens, you’d best believe I’ll tweet it.