Getting Started with Twitter

Never used Twitter before? Suspicious about claims that it can be utilized as a professional tool? Our goal with this page is to get you up and running with Twitter in just a few minutes, convince you that there’s some serious content out there, and prepare you to participate in #ARLISnechat.

How to get started with Twitter

Twitter has created a lot of documentation about how sign up for an account, personalize it, and start tweeting. We highly recommend working through what they have already expertly created – these pages are easy to follow! There are, however, a lot of help pages. Here are links to Twitter’s help pages in an order that would work well if you’re just getting started:


  1. Some basic info about Twitter
  2. Signing up with Twitter
  3. Follow people on Twitter
  4. Customize your profile
  5. Tweet something!


Remember, most of this is optional. You do need to sign up for an account and login to see what’s happening on Twitter. By following people, you can begin to curate what Twitter will look like for you. If you want to add a photo and customize your account, you can, but it’s not necessary – same goes for tweeting!

A more personal approach

Twitter isn’t just a place for everyone in the world you don’t know to hang out on the internet. Folks you know in person from ARLIS/NA New England are also there, and we’re pretty friendly! Once you have an account, here are some things you can do to connect with us and the larger Twitter community of art information professionals:


  1. Follow the #arlisnechat moderators: @kate_thornhill and @emilyuna_
  2. Practice tweeting by sending us a tweet, complete with a hashtag:
    1. You could say something like: Reading this week to get ready for the next #arlisnechat with @kate_thornhill and @emilyuna_!
    2. We’ll send you a tweet back so you can see how it works!
  3. Subscribe to the lists we’ve curated for you. By viewing these lists, you can get ideas for accounts to follow as well as how others are using Twitter.
    1. ARLIS – this list will give you an idea of what and how information for arts information professionals are sharing ideas and making Twitter a professional development tool.
    2. Art Libraries – how are other art libraries connecting with their communities and the internet through Twitter? Find out here!
  4. Check out some hashtags to see what conversations are already happening on Twitter. Paste or type the hashtags below into the Twitter search box at the top right of a Twitter page.
    1. #arlisnechat
    2. #arlisna
    3. #critlib
    4. #libchat
  5. Have more questions? Feel free to email Kate and Emily and ask us questions.


Still not convinced?

Here are some peer reviewed articles about Twitter and libraries:

Verishagen, Nina and Carolyn Hank. 2014. Are there birds in the library? The extent of twitter adoption and use by canadian academic libraries. First Monday 19, no. 11. Open access:

Forrestal, Valerie. 2011. Making twitter work: A guide for the uninitiated, the skeptical, and the pragmatic. Reference Librarian 52, no. 1-2: 146-151.