The November issue of SLA’s Information Outlook focuses on issues of geography, specifically “Working Across Geographical Borders.” This not only touches on the cross cultural divide between librarians working in different countries, but raises the questions, “Where do we actually work? Where are our communities?” Stephen Abram’s article “Virtual Boundaries: Real and Imagined” discusses his widening list of contacts, colleagues, and friends on social and professional networks. The most interesting part is the most obvious. We are no longer separated by the oceans between us. We might not be able to share and stream the same videos as a friend on a different continent, but for the most part our communities online are global and see no boundaries. Abram suggests how a librarian’s skills can be inserted into the virtual environment and offers some classic advice on diplomacy.
This reminds us of the Map of Online Communities infographic. If everyone has a place to live online, how do we translate the benefits of face to face interaction? Is there an app for that?
Abram, S. 2011. Virtual Boundaries: Real and Imagined. Information Outlook. 15(7): 38-39.