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Catching up with Things!

Yes I have been lagging behind with the Things which is very bad, although I have been dipping in and out of them, just not recording them in this blog.. Do you have to write things down to make them real? Does reflective practice only happen on paper (screen) or can it happen in my head? Actually I think it does have to be written to make it organised so that is just an excuse!

I have been looking at Thing 6 (online networks) with interest, having recently got into Twitter and finding that quite a revelation in being able to connect with other librarians and viewing (occasionally participating in) the topics of the moment. Twitter can provide instant online networks by following other people’s followers etc. I am not sure about LinkedIn as I feel I do not have so much to promote about myself having not published anything and I worry about the privacy issue, although there are settings that can be adjusted. I think I will leave that one for now. Initially I thought that the LISNPN was not for me as I am not really a “new professional”, but on investigation it appears to be a good way to keep up with people and events in the library world. I am more interested in the LATNetwork, as I have to teach in my role and don’t always feel confident about this as I have no formal training or qualifications in this, so I will keep an eye on this – although I can follow this on Twitter too. Having too many online networks could result information overload!

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A little appreciation goes a long way

I am working up to Thing 4 – honest! I have already been getting into the swing of Twitter in the last month or so and am finding it quite dangerously addictive – and that is with mostly following library-folk, not celebrities etc. Am I fooling myself it is for “work-purposes”, “information sharing” or “professional development” when it feels like fun? Not sure yet, although it is great to feel connected to the library world outside the confines of my own workplace. I shall look at RSS feeds and Storify shortly.

But the past couple of days I have been thinking habout ow a little appreciation really does go a long way and if people realised how much it meant they surely they should say thank you more often, or tell someone if they are doing a good job? Too often “management” seems to mean telling people where they are going wrong, not what they are doing well. I am feeling very grateful to have been nominated (along with another librarian colleague) for a Golden Apple Award at the university. This means a lot as the nominations come from the students, so this is actually someone (who I assume that I must have helped at some point) saying yes Ms Librarian, you do do a good job and I appreciate your help. The fact that this means so much makes me realise how rare this is to hear. But maybe I am as guilty as anyone else in not telling others that I appreciate their work, so it is my new resolution to thank and praise others when I mean it and hopefully make their day a little happier too 🙂 For if we get appreciation then it shows we are doing something right and motivates us to carry on and perhaps do even better.

Thing 3 – my personal brand

This Thing I am having trouble with. I understand the arguments for creating an immediately recognisable identity and can see the benefits when it comes to professional networking. It is useful for finding people virtually who you may have met in “real-life”, especially if they use their real name, but there may be circumstances when you don’t necessarily want to be found or easily identified yet still be part of an online library community. If I write about work-related issues do I want others in my workplace to read my inner monologue? People may also have difficult personal circumstances where they do not want to be obviously identified and found in a quick Google search. In Facebook I can determine privacy settings and control who looks at my profile, but Twitter/blogs etc. are open to the world. The balance of professional and personal also requires some careful thinking and probably the most appealing blogs contain elements of both. So I think I am going to keep a little anonymity for now and hide behind my cat-branding. Also I have discovered that librarians love cats (sweeping statement/cliché?!) and this may have drawn people to read my blog already – I have just discovered the viewing statistics section and was pleasantly surprised! Just hope I can blog something worth reading about now..

Thing 2 thinking

This week I have dipped in and out of other cpd23 Things participants’ blogs and it has been interesting discovering the variety of working backgrounds that people are from. I started by trying to find people doing the same job as me, but reading blogs from people who work in very different sectors and environments demonstrates a strong commonality of interests that stretches across the library sector and it is interesting to get  fresh perspective on issues that affect us all. I am still not entirely comfortable with blogging which feels a bit too much like a self-confessional style of writing and at the moment I can see the most potential in using it for my own reflections – and I do wonder who would be interested in reading what I am writing about? I have seen a couple of links to “how to write a good blog” so will be reading more about this. Looking forward to the next Thing now!

There’s no substitute for a librarian!

I was floundering around trying to understand the world of blogs so summoned a librarian who I know uses blogs to help me out. In a couple of minutes she has given me some useful pointers and clarified some things for my poor techno-fearing brain. How much better it is when a human being spends just a small bit of time to help you with something – and most importantly of all they are a 2-way interactive resource so you can ask questions and get an instant response. Technology is great but I don’t think will ever replace the benefits of a human conversation, especially with a librarian!

Trying to work it out…

I am a bit bamboozled by the number of help guides/links to click on etc. here in WordPress, which I am sure are there to help me but instead are confusing me. I have found that I am too impatient to sit and watch a video tutorial and would rather click around randomly and work out for myself how to do things…which makes me wonder if it is worth investing much of my time in creating more video tutorials on using online databases for students who I am sure are just as impatient as me!

Hello world!

Testing, testing… This is my first blog! I am an Education subject librarian working at a University and plan to keep this blog as record of activities that I do and as a tool for reflection.  I am looking forward to embarking on the CPD23Things course next week and learning about all sorts of new and interesting “Things”!