Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Thank you

Hello Deb, and thank you for your invitation.
At last I have found some time, and have read your posts with admiration for your openness, and your easy and friendly, yet eloquent, writing style.

I hope to return to it again soon.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Back online!

Well after a little hiatus (of about a year or so!) I thought I would dust off the blog and get posting again. Well, lets be honest; I'm on a long train journey and the flakey internet has caused me to give up considering persevering with any real work.

So what have I been up to since my last post? A new job, a new county and lots of new challenges... One of which is an ambitious plan to lead my wonderful and very enthusiastic library team through our very own 23 Things challenge. Having never made it past Thing 5 over two attempts on my own, the added pressure of designing and uploading the programme has obviously worked; We're up to Thing 6 at the moment :-) Who knows, I may even take over where I left off and actually complete!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Reflective Practice

Shhhh - I'm reflecting

Current Awareness

Thing 4 of our 23 Things gets us to look at Current Awareness. Now for me, this is definitely one of those "do as I say, not as I do" things. I have spent a great deal of my working life showing people how to set up citation alerts, ToC's and RSS feeds to further their academic careers. However, my own chaotic world of information overload continues to spiral out of control.

I guess what I really need, is not another tool to keep me up to date (I already subscribe to Twitter, Summify, various Jisc-mail and other professional body mail lists, and have several ToC's and Blogs pushed to my iGoogle via my Google Reader), but rather something that aggregates EVERYTHING in the one place.

I currently use iGoogle's personal web-portal and have found that quite handy. I am able to separate out my personal and work life through iGoogle, so I have a tab for work, social life, news and one for common tools. The work tab aggregates most of my feeds, and I even have the option of having my RSS feeds sent to Google Reader or my iGoogle account. These appear as the top three stories from each feed in a neat, summary format, which is about as long as my span of concentration can bear.

However, I still have thousands of unread emails from my software vendor, various committees, user groups, help groups, groupie groups... I'm sure some of them are important, but, let's be honest, they are NEVER going to be read! I guess the challenge is to get them into my iGoogle page too.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Personal Brand

Thing 3 in our CPD quest requires us to consider our personal brand. Wow, that's a tough one! The "Old Dog, New Clicks" tag line came to be some years ago (when I was ignorant of both web 2.0 technology AND my need to stay on top of it). I was lucky enough to also secure the name for my (new) Twitter account.  From a professional point of view, this name could work either way - either implying negative connotations of a relic librarian or, hopefully, it could indicate somebody with a continuing desire to learn. 

The blog itself was a lot harder. As somebody who lives several continents away from home, I have taken to Facebook and the possibilities it offers for social networking, sharing and communicating, but I would like to keep my personal and professional lives separate and don't feel that my light-hearted approach to social networking is appropriate for professional networking. So I've taken a little more time to get an uncluttered, more corporate look, free of noisy backgrounds. I've tried to copy this look over to my Twitter site too. As Facebook depicts the happy-go-lucky me, I've also just signed up for a LinkedIn account, which I've heard is the professional equivalent. I'm yet to explore this and see if I can brand it to my needs.

As part of this exercise, we were encouraged to do a vanity search (come on, we've all done it at some stage). I did two. The first one was at the start of this course and revealed that I was, to my horror, a nobody! To be honest, this was really no great surprise.  A little bit of work on the blog and setting up new accounts has pushed me to number two. 

Now this may not necessarily be a good thing. Number two was, in fact, my Facebook account and, while this has a reasonably high security setting, as an anonymous user I was still able to view basic info and my insanely grinning profile pic.  The information available is not overly damaging and I am disinclined to change any of it - it is who I am, but I will need to work on building my professional online presence to boost my rankings there!

New Click: Perhaps I should dig out some old articles I have had published (how old is too old???) and work out how to upload them

A friend just posted this link on background checks. It may be legal to drill down into somebody's social networking account (no indication is given here as to what security settings are breached to achieve this), but as the "News of the World" dust settles, I ask is it moral/ethical? 

23 Things for Professional Development

As the first step in my great leap forward for professional development, I have signed up to 23 Things for Professional Development. According to their Facebook presence, 23 Things is: 
a free, online self-directed course open to librarians and information professionals at all stages of their career.
So, several weeks behind, but non-the-less keen to go, my tasks for Things I and II are to start my own blog ~ done :-) and to have a look around at what my fellow CDP23'ers are posting.

Having looked through some of the very many blogs by my colleagues (several hundred of us!), I am first struck by the sheer diversity within the group - careers, personalities, experiences and expectations. Who said we can be stereotyped!

Paradoxically, I feel both a little intimidated and somewhat comforted by this exercise. While it is daunting to see just how far some people have pushed technology (and reminded me of just how far behind I am), it is comforting to see that I am not alone and just how much people are  willing to share their experiences with others.

Continuing Professional Development

I created this blog at a workshop some years ago, but couldn't see a practical application for it at the time, so it was relegated to the bottom of my CPD to-do list; that impossible list of things that I know I need to tackle if I am to stay on top in an ever-changing environment!

I have recently graduated from library school and since then I have learnt some valuable lessons:
  1. It is so much harder to keep up-to-date with changes without the structure and support of my university and class mates.
  2. You cannot afford to stop learning in the LIS sector. Turn your back for a moment and you become a relic.
  3. No matter how small your library is, there is no reason to feel isolated in this day and age.
Having attended a recent workshop on Web 2.0, I suddenly realised I have ignored all these pearls of wisdom, particularly since a major shake-up at work left me very isolated (both physically and in terms of support) and in charge of a small business college library. This new facility is so different (in terms of colleagues, user group focus, size and budget), but if I wish to build its reputation back and beyond that of its pre-merger state and service the needs of its ever changing and technologically demanding user base, I must look carefully at my own plans for professional development.

Without the demands of study pressing me for time, I no longer have an excuse not to concentrate on CPD. So I have joined 23 Things for Professional Development in an effort to share ideas, develop networks and, hopefully, learn how to use some of the marvellous technology that is available to the LIS sector.

For me it could be a bumpy ride - I'm already behind on my "Things" list, but I'm hoping it is possible to teach an old dog new clicks.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Can the social tools of Web 2.0 assist academia and transform our working lives for the better... and can an old dog like me sort through the proliferation of tools, learn new terminology and technologies and apply them to an academic library?