Thursday, 13 October 2011

The end is just a pause along the journey

Well, here we are at the "official" end of 23 Things, but of course what has been learnt will be carried forward so it's not really the end.  I have to say that this has been an excellent course, purely from the fact that I will be carrying lessons learnt forward (you can't say that of all training), and indeed have been using some of the new tools ever since they were introduced to me via this course. 
I have found 23 Things to be very beneficial.  Being introduced to new tools, having a chance to "play" with them, reflecting on their usefulness, and reading through the blogs of others' experiences, has not only given me a range of new tools for immediate use, but has alerted me to the potential usefulness of others.  The course has also been useful in that it really got me to think about my professional image, and really broadened my "library world" through its encouragement of networks, RSS feeds, Google Reader, etc.
23 Things was challenging at times, as I found I had to be very disciplined to keep up to date with the content.  A longer course, with just 1 Thing per week, would have made life easier.
I was very lucky that I was able to complete the course during my working day, as I was able to access all the software via my work computer.  I know others weren't able to do this, and had to work on it from home, which is not such an attractive prospect.
I am happy to think that the course content will be available for me to revisit should I want to.  I can see myself directing colleagues to it, and encouraging them to have a go.

Where to next?  Well I'm up for revalidation of my professional registration mid 2012, and I have a few areas where I still need to complete activities, so my focus will be on those.  Filling these gaps will form the basis of my personal development plan, and the challenge will be in finding courses/material suitable to cover them.  However I have, courtesy of 23 Things, a much broader awareness of where to seek out such resources, so I have confidence I will achieve my goals.

As for this blog...  I'll just have to mull over its future direction.  Guess all I can say is, watch this space

Photo: Dew on fern frond, taken by Anne-Maree Wigley

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


The Experience Catch 22 situation is an unenviable one, and one that I found myself in when I was first starting out in the profession.  I did approach my public library to see if there was any way I could help out, and gain some valuable experience along the way, but they quite rightly pointed out that they couldn't take work away from their paid staff, and get me to do it for nothing.  That is not a good message to be sending the funders, and one the profession still needs to keep in mind.  There are enough people in authority out there already thinking that libraries can be run by volunteers (just look at what's been happening in Britain).   However I was lucky enough to be asking at a time when the NZ government of the day (early 1980's) had a scheme where they would subsidise the wages of a worker who was taken on for special projects, and there just happened to be one going at the library.  6 months later, a permanent position came up which I secured, and the rest, as they say, is history.
At Dunedin Public volunteers are used to help deliver the books to the housebound clients; and at Westland District there are volunteers who come in and help out with the shelving and general tidying of the public area.  Their work is much appreciated, and it allows the paid staff to get on with their professional tasks, and the all important job of connecting the library user with the book/item/information they need.  I totally agree with Jo when she writes "volunteers should be recruited as a complement to, not a substitute for, paid and suitably qualified library staff".

Friday, 7 October 2011

Applying for jobs - my top tips

When applying for a job it is really important to include a cover letter, regardless of whether or not there is an application form to be filled out.  The latter rarely gives you the opportunity to highlight just why the employer should call you in for an interview, let alone employ you.  In contrast, the cover letter allows you to address directly just how you fill the person specification, while your CV can be tailored to fit the job description.
As someone who has been faced with a huge pile of application forms, and needing to whittle them down to the few who will be interviewed, I don't have the time to "read between the lines" of a form or generic CV to see whether or not you have the skills, etc the job requires.  That's the quickest way to get on the discard pile, in my opinion.  You need you to "sell" yourself to the employer, and the place to do that initially is the cover letter.

During an interview, I think it's important, at some stage, to get in a statement about why hiring you will benefit the organisation (as opposed to why YOU want the job).  This gives you an opportunity to show you've done some research into the organisation, and thought about the bigger picture.

And if you don't get the job, don't be too hard on yourself.  In a lot of cases it won't be because you weren't at all suitable, but merely that there was someone else in the running who had the edge over you.  You have to be realistic about the employment situation, take the opportunities that arise and learn from the experience.

These would be three things I'd stress, but of course there's a lot more to it as outlined in Maria's blog entry

Monday, 3 October 2011

Library Routes

I hadn't put a link from my blog entry on Thing 10 on the Library Routes wiki at the time, but have done so at the prompting of Thing 20.  The entries on this wiki make interesting reading as the library profession attracts all sorts.  A common thread seems to be a love of books, and wanting to help connect people with the right book/information for their particular need at the moment.  It is also interesting to note how influential those already in the profession have been on those coming into it.  We must never underestimate the importance of an encouraging word, a listening ear and supportive actions.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Rave about Prezi

The timing for Thing 17 couldn't have been better.  I'd been asked to give a presentation on one of our databases, at a venue which wasn't going to allow for an online demonstration, so I was going to fall back on a good old PowerPoint.  Then along comes the blog entry on Prezi.  I was very excited, and went to work straight away.  As Ange says "there's no better way to get a grip on Prezi than to get your hands dirty".  I'm happy to report that it really is that easy, and even my basic effort looks very impressive.  I can't wait to try out one on a subject which will allow for a bit more creativity.  So once again, thanks cpd23 Things for bringing another remarkable, useful tool to my attention.

I'd come across Slideshare before, and agree there's some good material there.  I do think that if people are going to place their material there though, they should make sure that their slides show enough to make the message evident.  They have to remember that the speaker isn't there to elaborate.  I've gone through some presentations and wondered just what the speaker would have been saying when showing particular slides.  It's a real turnoff if you get several slides in a row like that.

Only 3 more weeks left of this programme - where has the time gone? 

Thursday, 15 September 2011

What I've done with what I've learnt

What an interesting exercise it was to look at the list of everything that's been covered over the last few months, and to consider what has been incorporated into my everyday life.  My list includes:
  • RSS feeds -  I just love the fact that these are sitting in Google Reader, just waiting for me to come along and read them.  No more remembering to revisit numerous sites to see if something new has been added.
  • Evernote - Another tool that has made my life so much easier.  The fact that I can access the content that I've dropped into Evernote from both my home and work computers is just brilliant.
  • Google Documents - Again, being able to work on something regardless of what computer you're sitting at has just the whole task so much more efficient.
  • Jing - can screen capturing be any easier?  I am currently working on a PowerPoint presentation, and Jing is proving invaluable.  When I think of the fiddle I went through in putting together previous presenations involving screen shots I just cringe.
So, as you can tell, I'm very pleased to have been exposed to these tools, and have embraced them.

Two that are sitting in the wings are LinkedIn and Google Calendar.  I can see their potential, but just haven't got round to doing anything more than setting them up.

And one tool I'm not sure about is this blog.  It's fine when I have a purpose, like recording my thoughts about the different Things as part of this training, but I'm diffident about its long term prospects.  I'd be sorry to loose touch with the few people I've been "following" but I'm not yet convinced a blog is the tool to be using to progress the relationships. 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Seeing and hearing online

2 more wonderful tools to explore and play with - thank you cpd23 Things.  I had fun playing around with Jing, and look forward to putting it to some practical use in the future.  Dunedin Public Libraries, where I worked previously, has already moved into capturing screenshots and presenting them online as short videos.  This example is for Health & Wellness database, using Camtasia.  At the moment you can locate the clips through Youtube, but ideally they should be placed on the library website itself.
Podcasting is not something I have done myself, and will hold off doing so until I have a reason to do it as time is precious and I have other things I want to achieve, but I have listened to podcasts.  They are great for catching up on that interesting radio interview you missed or have only just heard about.  Again, Dunedin Public Libraries makes podcasts of its weekly radio show, so you can listen at your leisure.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Speaking out

Personally I use every opportunity I can in my day-to-day conversations to promote the library.  All too often I find people are just unaware of what the library offers, and how the resources/services could benefit them.
When I write activity reports for management and council I try to include the benefits to the community of any activities, resources or services.  I believe it is important to do this, as the library is just one of many council-run facilities which are funded by rate payers, and councillors are always looking to trim budgets to keep rates down.  If they can't see how the library is relevant to the community they serve we just make ourselves easy targets for budget cuts.
At Dunedin Public all job descriptions have a marketing component in them, as it is recognized that all staff have a role in the promotion of the library.
Friends of the Library groups are also valuable for advocacy, especially in situations when library staff can't speak out themselves as that would put them in conflict with their employers.
Professional associations like LIANZA also play a leading role in advocacy.  Currently there is a campaign, here in New Zealand, promoting the idea that Public Libraries should be free for all, and LIANZA is at the forefront of that.

Events - being there in some capacity

Library conferences are great for networking opportunities, getting exposure to new ideas, and getting a glimpse of the BIG picture, and I have been fortunate to attend a few.  They are pretty full-on events, and it is important to take time out to reflect on what you've been hearing and experiencing.
Guess it goes without saying that reflective practice should take place with any event attended.

I have presented sessions at Weekend Library Schools and Library Assistant Days.  Having been through Toastmasters has been a great help with my presentation skills.  They really set you up with the appropriate skills and you have fun doing it.
My top 3 rules would be
  1. Be prepared
  2. Have a Plan B if/when the technology fails
  3. Keep a sense of humour
The same goes for any training event, and I've organised a few of those.  Mainly in-house, presenting packages on library resources e.g. databases, aspects of a new LMS, etc which I've developed myself.  I quite enjoy this aspect of my job, and it is an area that has potential to be taken further.  

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Referencing references

I can well relate to Isla's recollection of laboriously typing up bibliographies.  There seemed to be an unholy emphasis on the correct placement of commas, semicolons, spacing, etc by my markers which meant hours working on them in scrupulous detail.  The joys of library studies in days of yore.  It would have been great to have had access to tools like those described in this Thing 14 blog.
Again, thanks for the really clear, useful introduction to these tools.  I can't see any immediate, personal use for them, but it's good to know more about them, so I can talk knowledgeably (well, to a certain extent) should the occasion arise.
I checked with my daughter, who is currently at university, to see if she had used any of these tools.  She replied that she uses Endnote, and thinks "it's great, certainly gets the job done."
I have Chrome at home, so I downloaded Zotero there, but found it wasn't "intuitive" enough for me to use.  There were help screens, but they were referring to the Firefox interface, which looked different to what was on my screen.  So I just gave up (could be my loss, but time is precious and it wasn't that important to me to "get it right") and moved on to Mendeley.  This time my experience was completely different.  I easily picked up what I needed to do to collect documents into "My Library" before deciding that bed was looking very attractive.  I feel confident about going back though and exploring further.  Watch this space!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Working and sharing online

Another week, and more new things to learn about - great.  First up, Google docs - another one of those tools I was aware existed, but hadn't taken the time to explore fully, so I was more than happy to have the excuse to do so.  Like other Google products it's very intuitive to use, and I can see the potential for online collaboration and file sharing.  I have experienced the nightmare of multiple drafts, so it's great to be able to move on from that scenario.
Dropbox was completely new to me, and I thought Jennifer had written a clear explanation.  It too has potential, but I chose not to download it at this stage.  Good to know it exists, but until I have a purpose for which to use it, it would just be cluttering up my desktop.
Wikis are something I have had previous experience with, as Dunedin Public Libraries set up an in-house wiki as a resource to store all relevant information helpful for frontline staff to know.  Whenever an email came out outlining a change to procedure or a new process, it was easy to copy and paste the content into a new wiki article, tag it, and voila! there it was available for all staff to refer back to. As well as these entries it also has links to useful documents (like the Snow Policy, which given the weather of the last couple of days I'm sure has been referred to).  A very handy resource.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Getting social

Prior to cpd23 I has signed up to LinkedIn and was a member of a couple of other online professional forums here in New Zealand, but had done little more, even though I could see the potential of such resources.  Participating in cpd23 has given me the confidence/determination to make better use of these networking tools.  Indeed, just this morning, I contributed to a discussion, so that's a good start.
As Claire says in her Thing 12 post one of the advantages of social media is that "it creates a more collaborative working space as people are encouraged to share ideas."  But to make it work we have to participate, and I am resolved to be more proactive in the future.  Initially I will stay with those forums I've already joined, and build from there. 
Thank goodness for RSS feeds (another new piece of knowledge gained courtesy of cpd23).  It's so handy to receive notification when new content goes up on a site, as one of the problems previously was remembering to go in and check regularly.
Another advantage that Claire lists, and that resonates with me is "social networking can lead to better communication between individuals who may or may not have the chance to meet otherwise."  By looking at the blogs of other cpd23 participants I have made contact with like-minded colleagues I would probably never have come across.  It will be interesting to see how the relationships develop, as we continue on the interesting path cpd23 has started us off on.

Friday, 5 August 2011


While I have never had an "official" mentor, there have been plenty of librarians who have made a difference in my life.  As a newly qualified librarian working in a small public library, I had my eyes opened to a wider world of opportunity by a boss who gently "pushed" me to broaden my horizons.  Later, joining a larger organization, I was exposed to many senior librarians, who provided role models.  As relationships developed with these colleagues I felt able to seek them out for advice.  I have found that librarians like to help, and as mentioned in an earlier blog entry, there is a lot of goodwill in the library profession.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

My life as a librarian

Although a keen library user I didn't work in a library until the year I left school, and quite by chance picked up a summer holiday job in the Queenstown Public Library.  It obviously paid off that I had developed a relationship with the librarian, albeit a casual one, because when the need for extra staff came up, she thought of me.  That was a great job, and while I knew that I already loved books, I also found I enjoyed working with people. After that summer job, librarianship became my goal, and now, 30+ years later, I am still passionate about books and people.  Public Library work suits me very well.
After that summer I went on to complete a BA (English) at Otago University, then entered the job market.  This was in the early 80s, and entry positions in libraries of any type were hard to come by, so I experienced quite a number of knock-backs, before another Public Library librarian (who knew me as a borrower) came to my rescue.  At the time the NZ Government had a scheme (PEP) where they would pay the wages of an employee taken on by an employer for specific projects.  Miss Dolamore came up with a project, and thus found me employment for 6 months at the Gore Public Library.  At the end of that time she was able to convince the Gore council that an extra position needed to be created at the library, and that I should fill it.
Once there, in a permanent position, I was able to develop my career as a librarian.  The first step was to complete the NZ Certificate of Library Studies (as it was known then).  This involved being employed in a library to gain practical experience, doing assignments through correspondence, and attending 3 6-week block courses at Library School in Wellington.  It took 3 years to complete.
[There was an option of doing a post graduate qualification, but it was not offered remotely, and I didn't want to do another year of study at that stage.  I wanted to be out working, earning some money, having a life as someone other than a student!]
Gaining a library qualification in NZ is quite different today, and information can be found at the following sites if readers are interested: Open Polytechnic and Victoria University of Wellington
Gore Public Library, being a small library, offered me experiences across the spectrum, except for advancement.  After a few years, recognizing that I needed to move on to move up, I found myself a job at Dunedin Public Library (using the usual employment channels this time).  It was an unqualified position in the Youth section, but I had my foot in the door, and indeed Dunedin Public has provided an upwards career path, so I haven't had to consider finding another employer to give me those opportunities.
From that unqualified position in Youth, I went to a qualified position, then moved to Hospital, Housebound and Homes as a team leader, then became Mosgiel Community Librarian, before becoming Information Services Librarian.  Each position has provided me with new challenges, to keep me fresh and interested.
I have also undertaken further formal study over the years to complement those roles.  These have not necessarily been library studies, but have still been relevant.  Qualifications like the NZ Institute of Management's Certificate in Supervisory Management, and a Certificate in Adult Teaching from Otago Polytechnic have proved invaluable. 
Taking advantage of training and professional development opportunities (like cpd 23 Things) has also helped me advance, as has being a member of organisations like Toastmasters.
NZ introduced professional registration for librarians approx 4 years ago, which sounds very similar to Chartership.  Working towards revalidation every 3 years certainly keeps PD to the forefront of the mind, and makes you look for opportunities to develop your skill set and, if you're so inclined, prepare you for advancement. 
I am currently working as Westland District Librarian.  This is a temporary role while the usual encumbent is on an extended OE, and when my term is up will return to my position as Information Services Librarian at Dunedin Public.  I am very pleased to have the opportunity to gain experience in this type of management role, and extremely grateful to my employers in Dunedin in making it possible for me to do so.  There is a lot of goodwill out there, to share experiences and expertise (more of that in the next Thing on mentoring I suspect) if one can position oneself to take advantage of the opportunities that come along.
What am I planning on doing next?  Revalidation is due mid-2012, so I really need to concentrate on ensuring that I have covered all the requirements for that, so that will influence my career activities in the near future.
Longer term, I would like to be more involved at a strategic level, so will be focusing my efforts on achieving that.  No details as yet, but knowing where I want to go is a start.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

An Evernote convert

I got very excited as I started looking at Evernote, as I can see it has huge potential for me, by the sheer fact that you can access the content you put in it from any computer, as long as Evernote is downloaded on it.  I had often been frustrated by having information in a "Favourite" folder in one computer, and not on another.  And then if you no longer have access to that computer, you've lost that information unless you've taken the time to transfer it. 
[As I type this I am thinking that this could potentially be very useful on public library reference desks, to allow staff to share information e.g. "this is a good site to answer x question", but that's sidetracking.] Anyway I started using Evernote straight away, both for work and for personal material.  It's just so reassuring to know that I can get to the information in my notebooks as long as I have access to a computer.  When I leave this job in December, and return to Dunedin I will still have access, and I won't have to do a thing about transferring - what bliss.
I also love the fact that you can have different notebooks, and tag items.  That really appeals to my need to order and categorise things.  No wonder I'm a librarian.

Excuse the random picture, but I have restrained from putting a cat in this blog for 9 Things now, plus it is a good excuse to practise adding images to the site.

Keeping track of what I'm up to

Yet again 23 Things is giving me the opportunity to look at features I hadn't previously taken the time to do so.  The Google suite has a wide range of products, but as I'm not a person who goes looking for the sake of looking, it's only when someone says, "Hey look at this, you can use it to do this" and makes it relevant that I'll give it my attention.
My initial thoughts about Google calendar.   Well it is certainly easy to work with, and I liked features such as the weather forecast and the phases of the moon.
Will I use it?  Probably not, as it would just be yet another thing I would need to remember to check.  My work Outlook calendar is sufficient for my job.  It's there in front of me, and my colleagues in the organisation are able to access it.  As for my personal life, I am happy with my current (non-online) method of keeping track of what I have planned, and it works for me.  As for letting others know what I'm doing, I'd rather tell them and they can put it in their calendars/diaries if it's important to them.
It was interesting to see how libraries are using Google calendar, and good to know the tool is available.

Friday, 22 July 2011


I've just been away for two days attending a meeting with fellow librarians, so this Thing is very timely.  Face-to-face networking is very enjoyable, and highly beneficial.
As far as professional organisations are concerned, I have been a member of LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) since my Library School days, back in the early 80s.  I joined as I felt it was important to belong to a professional group, not only for my own benefit, but to support the work the Association was doing on the profession's behalf.
And they do do some great work, both on a national and regional level.  Conferences are organised annually, and if you can't attend, many of the papers and proceedings are posted on the website for reference.  There are a host of other resources available on the website too, which I've found useful e.g. information on professional registration; copyright; a reader's advisory forum, etc.
Professional development training courses are also organised by LIANZA and offered at various venues around the company, and it's great to have the opportunity to take advantage of these.  The most recent course I attended was on Leadership in times of change, so the training provided is very relevant to the profession today.
The regional committees also do a great job, or at least the Otago/Southland committee certainly does.  They offer activities on a regular basis, and while I am not a regular supporter of these (the topic doesn't always interest me, and sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day) those I have attended have been good value.  And of course, they offer the opportunity for face-to-face networking, often over a glass of wine and some nibbles (always a good incentive to turn up).

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Online networks

Although I joined LinkedIn several months ago my account had lain dormant until CPD23 Things brought it back into my focus.  I just hadn't spent the time on it, but now, after having read Sharlyn Lauby's excellent article, which prompted me to have a good look around the LinkedIn site, I am more aware of its true value.  Finding time to work on my profile will be a priority, but I also started thinking about connections, and sent out a few invites while I was looking around the site. 
Because one can only do so much online, and still have a life, I will concentrate my professional efforts on LinkedIn and leave Facebook, at this stage.  However I am very interested in investigating how libraries are using Facebook, as I can see the potential there.
I have an interest in training, and have completed a Certificate in Adult Teaching, so the Librarians As Teachers site caught my attention.  The site is obviously in its infancy, but already has some useful links.  And it will be good to network with others interested in the same field - which is what this online networking is all about after all.

Friday, 15 July 2011


Blogs, Twitter, RSS feeds, Pushnote, Google Reader and my "brand".  CPD23 Things has brought all these things into my focus over the past 4 weeks, and given me the opportunity not only to learn more about them, but also to think about their relevance from a professional perspective.
I'm finding that I quite like writing blog entries, especially when there is a purpose.  But the real benefit has been meeting some interesting people through blog comments, which gives an extra dimension to the value of blogs.  This is an area I would like to develop, because I often find myself wanting to make a comment, but then find it difficult to focus my thoughts succinctly.  So that's one challenge for me to carry forward.
Being made to think about my "brand" has been another valuable exercise that has come out of the assignments, and it's been reassuring to realise that I can have control over it.  Indeed, it's imperative that I do take control, and use the tools available to create the impression I desire.  Becoming aware of how others, including prospective employers, are using the Web to find out about people, and also seeing how well others portray themselves through their web presence, is making me realise just how useful a web presence can be.  So another challenge will be to reflect, and act, on developing my presence.  Investigating LinkedIn more thoroughly will be a good first step.
Using tools like blogs, twitter, RSS feeds and Google Reader has suddenly made keeping abreast of what's happening elsewhere in the profession, and wider, much easier.  There's a lot of interesting news/material available, and two actions immediately spring to mind as a result.  One, I must be realistic as to how much time I spend looking at these; and, two, it is really important to use headings wisely, if you want others to read further.  Give the reader a reason to linger, otherwise their eyes will just move on down to the next entry.  Others have commented on this, and I agree.  It's just so important to know what the entry is about.
I haven't been able to initiate any changes in my work place yet, as a result of what I've learnt, but I have been able to pass on some ideas that might percolate into actions in the future.  I am hopeful, and in the meantime I am enjoying the process and looking forward to further Things.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Taking note of Pushnote

Been thinking about Pushnote, and how by not exploring it I was leaving part of Thing 4's assignment undone, so this morning I took the plunge and installed Chrome.  From there it was a very simple matter to sign up for Pushnote, and then I went off to leave a comment on a website.  That was quite fun, especially as I was the first one to comment on that site.  Next I went searching other websites to see how other Pushnote users were using the feature, with the consequence that I discovered even more things I need to work out!  The FAQs on the Pushnote site are a little on the sparse side, but as I am a great believer in "learning by doing" I guess I'll eventually find out the green up and red down arrows signify, and the + figure.
Will it be useful?  Only time will tell, but at least we're in on it now.  Thanks CPD23 Things.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Tweets & Feeds - no, it's not a bird

I'm really loving the way this course is giving me "permission" to sit down and spend time exploring things like Twitter and RSS feeds, and thinking about them in the context of my professional life.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I had actually signed up to Twitter prior to this course - last September in fact.  The main purpose was to be able to "follow" the library I was then working in, to see how it was using Twitter as a marketing tool.  And when a colleague was away at a conference I logged in to see what he was tweeting about, but there was so much tweeting happening I had to log off or else I wouldn't have got any work done.  After that Twitter had disappeared off my horizon, until Thing 4 brought it back to my attention.  Thanks for the really clear instructions.  Whoever is writing them is doing a fantastic job.  I also appreciate the way they put forward why this can be a valuable tool for us, in our jobs. 
I was already following Stephen Abram @sabram, as I had heard him speak at conference last year and thought he was quite visionary.  Now I've signed up to "follow" CPD23, Christchurch Public Library, New York Public Library (to see how other libraries are using Twitter to promote their resources and services),  InfoLit Group (because this is an area I have an interest in), and LoneWolfMLS (recommended by a colleague I've met online from doing this course, to help with current awareness).
And I sent my first tweet out into ether, which was quite a milestone.  I can see that as my network grows, it could be a useful discussion tool, but it's early days yet.
Then it was on to RSS feeds, and what a useful tool they are.  Great to have all the updates gathered in one place.  Now of course, I have to build time into my day to have a look at what has been posted.  And because, I have to confess, Google Reader is also new to me, it's going to take some time working out the best/most efficient way to use its features.  One question which immediately springs to mind though - how do you remove items from your Reader account?  Or does material just keep accumulating?
Pushnote will have to stay a mystery to me for a while longer, as I don't have easy access to Chrome or Firefox.  I certainly feel I've learnt a lot from this week's assignment though.

Friday, 1 July 2011

One's Brand

Well, this was a very interesting exercise, as thinking about how I might be perceived by people looking at my existence on the web was not something I'd ever considered before.  Not that there's much out there, at the moment.  Googling myself, I came across my entry in LinkedIn, Twitter, and Oldfriends.  All sites I'd joined at some stage, but hadn't done much with, so it was lucky I could still remember which email and password I'd used for each site.  The other entries referred to work related documents e.g. council minutes, list-serv entries, newspaper or magazine articles, etc. or my participation in the Otago Peninsula Challenge over the last 2 years.
After doing the above search, and reading the articles suggested in Thing 3, I decided I could stop being quite so dubious about how much control I can have over content that appears on the web, and actually take control.  I particularly liked the statement in Andromeda Yelton's article, Person branding for new librarians, where she states "Start with your strengths and grow organically.  If you write, blog...If you're a social media wizard, get out there on Twitter and Facebook...You don't have to be active everywhere, learn what works for you."  So, small steps - get a hang of blogging, because I quite like to write, and don't worry about Twitter (does anyone who tweets ever get any work done?) at this stage.  I also changed the background design on my blog, to reflect my personality more (I would be interested to know what readers of this post think it says about me, if anyone wishes to share their perceptions); revealed my name; updated my profile with a few work-related details; and uploaded a photo.  I did a similar exercise with my LinkedIn entry.  It's a start, and I'm looking forward to the journey ahead.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Exploring blogs

Well, I've been having a look around at a few blogs.  There are so many to choose from the participants list that it is pretty much a "choosing a blog by it's title" scenario.
Adventures of the Red Headed Traveler immediately caught my eye near the top of the list, and while there wasn't anything about 23 Things in her postings I did enjoy having a look at her photos (she's travelled to 15 countries in 5 continents, and is only 20 something) and there was a yummy eggplant recipe.
Using the Delicious tags I was able to see who else in NZ was blogging, and thought that Library Matters  will be worth following.  Joann Ransom has been blogging for a while, and as the subtitle of her blog is "Things Worth Sharing" she has some interesting posts.  I liked a recent one on "10 things you should know about librarianship", where one of the things is "If you're scared of technology, you can't work in libraries".   True, we need to embrace technology, so thank goodness for courses like this one, which will hopefully ease the passage along that path.
I'll explore others as time permits, but if anyone has recommendations - leave a comment.  Thanks

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Let's give this a go

I was quite excited when I saw the publicity for cpd23 come through on a Listserv, as I had heard good things about 23 Things, but hadn't got any further than doing a few searches to see what it was all about.  By being presented with the opportunity to experiment with all the things 23 Things offers, in a structured format, and to have it targeted in such a way that it promotes professional development - well, I thought this is worth a look. 
I am the type of person who needs to see a reason for trying out new things i.e. there was no way I was going to experiment with setting up a blog just for the sake of setting up a blog.  But I have been a librarian for just on 30 years now, and I know I need to try and keep abreast of developments so as to stay relevant.  So I am always on the lookout for opportunities to expand my knowledge.  And I must say, I'm impressed at just how easy this first step has been.  Let the journey begin...