You may have heard of Slack, perhaps mentioned on social media, but unless you’re a technical librarian, you’re probably not using it. Yet. There currently are just a few librarian communities on Slack but it seems to be a welcome alternative to social media groups for the technical savvy librarians.
Slack was created to allow private teams to collaborate. So you won’t find an index or search engine on the Slack website to find teams. However, many coder communities have sprung up which are more open in nature. You can use third-party sites to find them. We will maintain a list of them as they are created.
- An Incomplete List of Communities on Slack – On Medium.
- Chit Chats – “A place to discover and join private Slack groups”.
- Slack List – “A handpicked selection of top Slack communities”.
With all Slack sites, you’ll need to request access.
Slack team sites are divided into custom channels. Channels are topic threads. Each site comes with a #general and a #random channel by default.
In addition to normal textual messages, you can drag-and-drop in files, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and links. You can react to others and set notifications.
Of course, Slack allows you to search the entire archives.
Slack also allows members to chat via direct messages.
The free version of Slack allows for unlimited members but a limit of 10,000 messages (with older ones disappearing from view and search).
Even though code4lib has its own website with IRC and a wiki, much daily conversation takes place in its Slack site. code4lib has over 500 users and 24 channels including the code4lib IRC channel.
Datalibrarians of Florida
As you can tell by the name, this Slack community is aimed at technical librarians in Florida.
The LibApps Slack site was started recently as an alternative to the official Springshare Lounge. It has over 150 members and 16 channels covering all Springshare apps and more.
The LibTech Slack site is brand new! It is less technical than code4lib and broader than LibUX, covering all library technology topics. If you want to learn what Slack is about, come join this group as a founding member. Help us reach critical mass and suggest some appropriate channels.
The LibUX site is perhaps the most active of the library Slack communities with over 200 members discussing library user experience topics in 13 channels.
Check for new additions on our Social Media Resources for Librarians page.