Twitter chats

Much of the discussion around critlib takes place on Twitter with the hashtag #critlib.

#critlib chats generally happen every other week. We alternate between Monday afternoons (11am Pacific / noon Mountain / 1pm Central  / 2pm Eastern) and Tuesday nights (6pm Pacific/ 7pm Mountain/ 8pm Central/ 9pm Eastern). Find the schedule of upcoming chats on this page, or add the critlib chat calendar to your Outlook or Google calendar.

Twitter chat basics:

Participating in #critlib chats requires a free Twitter account. Follow #critlib on Twitter during the time of the chat by searching for “#critlib” in the search field, then clicking on the “live” tab to see the most recent tweets. If you’re using the official Twitter app or website, you’ll need to refresh your search periodically to see the most recent tweets pop up.

Chats last one hour. The first five minutes of the chat are a chance for introductions: you might tweet, “Hi #critlib, I’m Miss Scarlett and I work as a reference librarian in a public library in Idaho.” After people have had a chance to introduce themselves, moderators will tweet a question, such as: Q1. Do you like cats? #critlib. You would then reply with: A1. Of course I like cats. #critlib. The next question will be posted five to ten minutes later: Q2. How much do you like cats? #critlib, and you could reply with: A2. I like cats so, so much! #critlib

Providing the hashtag #critlib on your tweets allows for collocation of all tweets in the discussion. When the chat is over, all tweets with the #critlib hashtag will be gathered together in a Wakelet, which provides a digital archive of the conversation.

Tips for a great Twitter chat experience:

  • If you would prefer to tweet anonymously during a chat, you can use the critlib anonymous Twitter relay, created by @metageeky, available at critlib.org/anon. You (and everyone else following the #critlib hashtag) will then see your tweet posted via the @CritLib_anon account.
  • Consider using Tweetdeck, Tweetchat, or another app which allows for automatic loading of tweets. In Tweetdeck you can add a separate column which displays all the tweets with the #critlib hashtag.
  • Remember to add the #critlib hashtag to each of your tweets so people will see them.
  • If your Twitter account is locked, feel free to participate, but be aware that only your followers will be able to view and interact with your tweets.
  • Don’t feel like you need to respond to every question or every comment. Take it at your own pace, and catch up with other comments later if you’d like.
  • Jump right in! The success of a chat depends on lots of folks being willing to share their thoughts and experiences on a topic, even when they’re not experts. We’re glad to have new folks participating!

Need any more help? Feel free to tweet at or direct message @violetbfox or the moderators of the chat and they’ll be happy to help.

Interested in moderating a chat? That consists of three tasks:

  • Formulating 4-5 discussion questions, avoiding yes/no questions or leading questions.
  • Listing 1-2 suggested resources about the topic (optional). Resources can take the form of academic articles, blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.
  • Showing up for the chat, encouraging participation by asking followup questions and saying hello to new folks.

The critlib admins will help you every step of the way. Volunteer to moderate a chat of your own topic by filling out this suggestion form.

Our previous Twitter chats, dating back to April 2014, are available here.