Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Thing 18: Jing/Screen caputre/Podcasts (making and following them)

I'm beginning to have trouble keeping up with this now as the start of term and a new set of students to induct looms. So I'm probably not going to go through these tools as it looks as if I won't be able to download Jing anyway. I can see how we could use them though, maybe to make a demonstration of how to search the library catalogue/search online resources for our students and it is something I would like to try in the future, maybe when I have more time.

Podcasts: my colleague here has made some Podcasts for the library in the past. These have been very useful, a library tour one for the start of the year and then some 60 second podcasts for various themes (ILL's reserving a book etc). I guess the main thing I would say about Podcasts is be careful with them, don't use technology for technology's sake. A library at a university where I studied a few years ago (I shall not name and shame them) created a podcast which was about the library but it was literally everything about the library in one podcast, very long and it definetly induced sleep. I would say, if you are going to make a podcast, keep it short and sweet and to the point.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Advocacy: This is something I have not had to do much of as an academic librarian. However, I think it is going to be increasingly important when the tuition fee rise hits next year. Where I work, we are currently going through an implementation process for a reading list management system and I am putting together a report on it and detailing where we are at the moment with regard to reading list management and why we need to have it. This is all so that, if we need to, we can justify to senior management the financial commitment that it is going to entail. I feel this is something we are going to have to start to do more and more here, in order to justify our existence and how we can help the students. One thing that may help is that the subject librarians here are going to get membership of academic programme committee's, this should help to raise our profile and ensure that we can get the message out about what the library is doing.

I do feel I should be doing more with regards to public library advocacy. I have used public libraries since I was a small child and feel very strongly that they are undervalued as a resource and looked upon as an all too easy target when it comes to cutting council funds. I have done something though. I signed and sent a WI petition regarding library closure's round to all my friends a few weeks back and I am a regular user of my local public library.

Getting published: I guess this blog is the nearest thing I have got so far to being published. (if you don't count my adaptation of a story in the middle school magazine, circa 1982). I guess at the moment I don't feel I have enough to say about something to make an article out of it but we shall have to see what happens, maybe when I have more experience under my belt.

Thing 4: RSS Feeds, Twitter, Pushnote

Ok, back from a week's hols in sunny Norfolk, seeing the family and catching up and onto Thing 4.

Twitter: I feel I am quite proactive with this, I use Twitter, although I only log onto it at certain times of the day, so I may miss some things, I also like the fact that you can have hastags for events, as these can be good if you are unable to attend the event although, I'm not sure if I have completely understood how this works yet. We have a Twitter page at work, which I feel can be quite helpful for putting what the library is doing out there. One thing I was impressed with a few months ago on Twitter is when the University of Warwick I think had a very quick, 'tell us what you like/don't like about the library in one tweet' that seemed to be an effective way of garnering feedback from the students without having to recourse to a long and involved questionaire, I would also be interested in what the response rate was if there are any Warwick librarians following this blog as we put out a questionaire last year and it did not have a very good response rate.

RSS: Again an area where I am already quite proactive, the Google Reader is a godsend as it allows me to post the URL of whichever blog I want to follow and then they notify me when something new has been posted, a lot easier and quicker than remembering to go round all of the blogs, especially as I now follow 121 of them.

Pushnote: not used yet, I can't see how I would use this tool at the moment.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events

Attending: This is the easy part. I try and attend as many events as possible. I am a member of my local CILIP committee and I attend a lot of events organised through this as I feel it is important to set a good example. I also try and learn something along the way, like the E-book session I attended last year where I found out that a high proportion of Arts and Humanities students use E-books at one particular academic library. I think there is potential for informal and unexpected learning at these events sometimes, you can pick up information from people you network with at breaktimes and can certainly make contacts.

One thing I have not attended yet is a conference. This is just something that I have never got round to doing. At the moment, my workplace would not fund this as money is scarce also, I would feel guilty for taking the time off as we have lost some staff and have not got them replaced. So, if I went to a conference at the moment, it would have to be on my own time and money which I really do not want to do as both are precious to me in order to keep a work/life balance. I love my job but I do need to have a life outside it.

Speaking: This again is something that I have not got round to doing. I am quite a shy person, although as time goes by I am managing this better, so the idea of speaking at a conference or event for any length of time scares me. Also, the fact of presenting in front of my peers, some of whom may have 20 years worth of experience on me feels quite daunting. I can manage speaking in front of undergraduates, as they are still getting over last night's hangover and the shock that they are at university and have to do some work now.

Organising: This is something that I have a little experience of, I have organised events for my local CILIP committee. I am going to organise their christmas quiz for the third year in a row this year. I also organised a trip to Winchester Cathedral last year. I do enjoy it, even if the organising can be a bit of a headache. I feel that it builds up my confidence and I get to meet people that I would not normally meet. The fact that I am organising an event means I have to put myself 'out there' and cannot lurk in the background as I normally do. The only thing I would say about organising events is be wary of certain times of the year. My trip to the cathedral was literally this time last year and, in hindsight, I would not have organised a trip so near to the bank holiday as a lot of people then dropped out the week before and I think this may have been a contributing factor.

CPD23: Thing 14

Thing 14: Zotero, Mendeley, CiteULike

I'm probably going to skip over these three, mainly because I don't really have a need to use them myself as I'm not writing academic papers or presenting at conferences (more of that in Thing 15). Suffice to say that we use Endnote where I currently work and I can advise on this and I was given a session on Refworks when I was studying for my MA, although I never did get around to using it. I think these bibliographic citation tools are good, although you do probably need to set aside some time to learn how to use them.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and dropbox

Ok, Google docs: this is the one that I use already as a secretary of a sub branch of CILIP. I think it is handy to have a shared repository that committee members of members of a team can access, although I do not find it very handy for editing, unless I am missing something. When I asked my predecessor how I edited or started a document from scratch in it, he said that he tended to create the document in Word but then upload it to Google Docs so that it was accessible to everyone. I must say, it will be handy when I do decide to stand down as my sucessor will have everything there without us having to worry about a handover meeting as such. Also, we do already have a shared folder at work where we can store work that multiple people need to have access to and used it last year when we were updating our webpages.

Dropbox: This looks a good idea, I can see how, I can use this if I am working on a project and need to have other people view documents, this would be useful. I'm sure it would be very good at facilitating working at home, although I am not in this situation myself at the moment.

Wiki's: again something that we do not use where I currently work but I can see how it could be relevant. We have subject guides at the library which we display on our webpage, these are something that could have gone on a Wiki although, we are constantly being told that our webpages, Facebook pages and Twitter page etc needs to adhere to the 'corporate' feel of the university, we could probably use Wiki's for staff documents but not ones that needed to be made public.

CPD 23: Thing 12

Ok, so thing 12 is 'putting the social into social media'. I'm going to approach this by addressing the questions on the CPD 23 website.

1. are there any advantages to social networking in the context of professional development that have not already been mentioned: not at the moment: not really, although there may be scope for chartership discussions within social networking (apologies if this has already been done and I have missed it), so may be a Facebook page or Twitter feed specifically for chartership, revalidation and fellowship and people can post their queries/ concerns and get a response.

2. Can you think of any disadvantages: the obvious disadvantages would be privacy settings and how much information you share online, Laura Woods has written about why she has cancelled her Google + account here and this prompted Laura Wilkinson to do the same.   I guess this is the main disadvantage that I see. Also, if there is some information about you that you are prepared for your line managers to see and some that you are not, then you need to find a way to manage this, which tends to be by having Facebook as a personal network and then finding something else for work purposes.

3. Has CPD 23 helped you to make contact with others that you would not make contact with normally: yes, I am pleased that I have participated in CPD 23, not only has it made me finally start a blog but I have also started following a lot more other people and been aware of other blogs.

4. Did you already use Social Media for your career development before starting CPD23 ? Will you keep using it after the programme has finished: yes I definetly used Social Media before I started CPD 23, I had a Facebook and Twitter page as well as helping to start ones for work also. Some of the tools I have used whilst doing CPD 23, I don't think I will use again as I just don't see how I am going to need it but I can see their relevance to other librarians, so I guess that is the main thing.

5. In your opinion does Social Networking help foster a sense of community: I guess I'm going to say yes and no to this, I am of the opinion that there is a place for face to face networks, which I have to say as I am in a CILIP sub-branch, and the fact that there were CPD 23 meetups arranged a few weeks ago just proves this point. However, I think there is a place for Social Media to be used for professional development particularly in the case of lone workers or workplaces which are in rural areas (my favourite example of this is the Orkney Library twitter page).