Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Thing 8: Google Calendar

Well if I've learnt one thing, it's that the word calendar starts to look really wrong if you stare at it for too long! Seriously though, as I already use both iCal and Outlook calendar I really don't want or need another. I have to confess therefore that I didn't go much further than changing my settings a bit on this one. I did find the link to the blog post really interesting reading. It is a really good collection of examples of library use of Google Calendar including screen shots, 'how to' instructions and links to similar blog posts. This was a great source of inspiration and reassured me that libraries are indeed embracing the 21st Century.

Thing 7: Real Life Networking

This is - to be honest - not something I enjoy. At all. Add this to the fact that it is virtually impossible to find the time to attend any event and I think it's fair to say I'm not exactly a networking regular. I am a member of my local CILIP branch, but their regular meetings are in Reading and on my late night at work which is a bit tricky. I did however manage to attend their recent Chartership event in Oxford which was quite useful in finding out a bit more about the chartership process. On the other hand I can't say I really embraced it as a networking opportunity. I went with a few of my colleagues and we all came away feeling like we were more than a bit out of place as public librarians in what was clearly the domain of academic librarians. In hindsight I could have tried a bit harder to find commonalities with other attendees and try to speak to people a bit more. At the time though, I felt safer huddled in a corner with people I already knew! I think the info about networking for introverts on the CPD23 post could help with this. I'll make sure to read "Networking for people who hate networking" before I go to my next event!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Thing 6: Online Networks

Online networks make my head hurt! The problem is, they are all different - they all have the good points and their weak points and attract people for a whole number of reasons. This is great, because there is loads of choice and whatever your particular interest, you can probably find a social networking site that caters to it. The issue for me comes when you have more than one or two interests. I want to follow what is happening professionally in library circles, but also want to keep in touch with my friends. I am a new professional, and would like to network with others who are new to the profession, but I don't want to exclude the voices of experience. Ideally, I want to do all of this in one place, as I am simply too lazy to check the news feeds/tweets/discussion lists/forums etc etc of more than one site. Clearly, my expectations are not reasonable and I will just have to make the effort and be more proactive. The question is, which networks will I find the most helpful? After a bit of exploration of the suggested networks, this is what I came up with. Facebook I am already on Facebook and although I do not often post anything myself, I find it really useful for keeping up to speed with what everyone is up to. I have also in the past used it as a means of gathering info for my dissertation and still receive some residual posts in my news feeds from libraries. I quite like this, as the libraries involved are very sensible about their level of involvement, so I don't get bogged down by their updates but instead get an interesting little titbit every once in a while. It's nice to know what other libraries are up to. I feel like joining more groups on Facebook such as CILIP could provide me with a great source of information, but I am reluctant because I don't want to have to process the sheer amount of stuff that they seem to post! Perhaps some investigation into appropriate groups/pages is in order... LinkedIn I joined LinkedIn for this post, as I have been intending to for a while. I like how much it increases your visibility online and the way your profile can represent your working history and skills to potential employers. The groups that I have explored have also been really interesting, and although I haven't got involved in any discussions yet I have enjoyed reading others' opinions on up to the minute issues in the profession. This is definitely one to be explored further. It would be interesting to know what other people use!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Thing 5: Reflective Practice

As you can see, I didn't get very far with CPD23 last year but I thought I'd give it another go this time round and I'm picking up where I left off: with Thing 5. I'm hoping that I'll have a lot more motivation now, given that I've finished my degree and I'm working towards Chartership. With no dissertation to use as an excuse and Chartership as a driving force then maybe I'll manage to crack on with it. Anyway, enough rambling. It's time for some reflective practice. I think that the amount of time that has passed since I completed the first 4 'Things' probably somewhat degrades the usefulness of reflecting on the experience, but I think it will be a good way to recap what I have already learned and hopefully identify how I can motivate myself to carry on. Just reading through my last post has reminded me how useful Twitter and RSS feeds can be. After the initial burst of interest in using them my enthusiasm waned somewhat so it has been good to reignite that curiosity. Professionally both of these tools could be really useful, especially as one of the aims of my PPDP is to network with other members of the profession and build up some contacts. Twitter in particular could also be very useful in the workplace. We are in the process of setting up an account for the library at the moment and I want to have the experience of what works and what doesn't with my own account when it comes to posting on behalf of the library. It's funny that I haven't forgotten much of what I learned from Thing 4, I just lost enthusiasm. I think this reinforces what I already knew about my issues with self motivation. I'm just going to have to be very strict if I'm going to get this done. I can see now that ignoring my blog for weeks and then doing several posts all in one go is just not sensible. I didn't have the time to action everything I said I was going to and the longer I left it between posts the harder it became to find the time to catch up. So, what have I learned? That I'm lazy! How can I fix it? I guess I'm just going to have to set aside some time each week to write this blog and make sure I keep it up. I have no excuses.