After only nine weeks since its inception and with nearly 200 members on board, the British Columbia Teacher-Librarians’ social network has not been without its detractors.

Over the past few weeks there have been several comments on the BCTLA Google Groups forum expressing concern about the extra effort that will be required after joining the new Ning platform. Of primary concern is that of being inundated with emails as the various group and forum discussions increase in frequency. At first glance, it seems to me that many of my colleagues are simply having trouble managing their own email accounts in the first place (by the way, there are means by which one can handle email overload, but that’s not what this post is about). I’m not sure email inundation really has anything to do whether or not one joins an social network. I could be wrong…



Yes, my friends, I get it. Change is difficult. Change can be a pain in the ass. Change is usually unsightly and it is definitely not pretty (at least not at first glance). Sometimes change is…yes, inconvenient.

But change IS necessary.

So, instead of focusing on what’s maybe not-so-good or on the obvious issues that will need to be addressed in the month ahead, how about this: let’s attempt to focus on some of the positives of the new platform.

To date there are:
  • Over twelve chapters with a page for its members to discuss local and relevant issues including a BCTF bargaining page where members are welcomed to join in dialogue as the collective-bargaining continues (sort of);
  • Several progressive and influential provincial education leaders as members including West Vancouver Superintendent (SD45), Chris Kennedy;
  • Twenty-seven blog posts written by teacher-librarians sharing their thoughts and seeking ideas on issues relevant to education and school libraries;
  • Still links to the official BCTLA website (Note: eventually all the material will be migrated over to the Ning, but even the Romans cut Michaelangelo some slack.);
  • The names of several new and young BC teacher-librarians that rarely (if ever) participated in our current Google Groups forum; (This is VERY important to note since this is where the young professionals will be going to meet, connect, learn, and share. It’s called social media, and well, it’s not going away); and
  • Nearly a dozen forums from bargaining to plagiarism to library collection maintenance springing up offering ALL teacher-librarians a chance to continue to cultivate deeper, multi-layered professional conversations (and learn from each other).


So, BCTLA forum via Google Groups will shut down at the end of June. I sincerely hope that those regular contributors to that platform do join the Ning and continue to inspire, enlighten, support, connect, and collaborate.

See you there!

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