Friday, 14 October 2011

Thing 20, 21, 22, 23 : getting started

Although these are great tips and useful bits of information, it is geared towards the novice or some one looking at a librarian career or just getting started. I've been doing it for some time and have been in management roles, so kinda know how to write my CV/resume and can reasonably bungle my way through an interview.

What would be useful is a Wiki or something where we can state the skills and abilities of librarians either generally or for specific role types. This page wouldn't just be for people like me who can't think up a good phrase themselves, but more for general public knowing what it means to be a librarian and why we are important (hey, advocacy, look at that). Especially in a Google age, where everyone thinks they can do it themselves (and often can), there needs to be a way of us letting people know why we are here, how we can be used, and why we are worth our time. Let me know if there's such a resource out there. I'd love to have a look through it.

Things 15, 16, 17 and 18 : getting out there

The unfortunate reality is I just cannot attend conferences as I could pre-children. Husband works unthinkable hours, no family close by. Hard to find childcare for evening, and day conferences usually conflict with school hours. What I would like to find are lists of web-conferences or rebroadcasts or something. That's where podcasts really come into their own with me. As for organising or speaking, well, when you don't have time to attend, can't really consider organising or speaking.

As I try to move closer to becoming a school librarian, many of these tools look like they might be of use, especially Prezi. Again, I'll note it and come back when I need it specifically.

Things 13 and 14 : Tools

I'm now in a rush to just get through these 23 Things before the end of the year. Such is my life. So a quick reflection on version controllers (Google Docs, etc.) and citation editors (citeulike, etc.)

I think Google Docs is great and not only for version control. It's also got me out of a couple sticky situations of wrong extensions or not having compatible software. Especially between Macs and PCs. Just upload into Google Docs, maybe edit slightly (add a space to the end of the doc), resave and download. Viola, can now open the un-openable document. The one thing I would wish for, is that is was accepted as a work platform at my job. The workplace was very restrictive on what general programs could be used as they are possible security threats. <sigh>. Meanwhile, 10 people with 5 different versions on their personal disk space and no one is quite sure which is the final draft.

As for citeulike, I will mark that as something to remember, but I don't particularly need it right now. So, thanks for that useful tidbit.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Thing 12

I'm not sure if the amount of social media networking that I have been utilising in the past few months had anything to do with CPD23 or was more coincidental with other things that have been happening in my life, but I have been 'networking' more.
I think CPD23 gave me a push to 'be out there' a bit more than I probably would have. And there was some serendipitous timing involved as well.
I wouldn't say, though, that online networking is as satisfactory as face-to-face. I think it has to do with the time I allot to each. When I'm online it's usually short a sweet. If you are face-to-face you need to go the whole way and not just write a quick sentence or 2. But online provides a bit of the random and face-to-face doesn't. Also there are SO many more online than in a conference hall (or grocery store queue or where ever...). And online is more of a needle in a haystack: you're lucky to catch it exactly right.
As I am writing this, I do feel isolated. It is too bad that there isn't more of a group discussion related to CPD23. I could go read some blogs and post my ideas. But, let's face it, I haven't the time.

Thing 11

When I first read the blog on Mentoring I thought: "I wish I had a mentor." And although I haven't ever had a formal mentor, I think in pretty much every position I have held so far I have had an informal mentor or two (or 3 or 4...). This is somewhat linked with networking. In every position you find the people that can answer your questions. I have found that that is usually a variety of people depending on the question. I have friends 'in the business' to support me on general library questions. But also people within in the workplace to answer more work specific issues. I have been grateful to all of them. And who knows, perhaps I have indirectly mentored others.

Thing 10

I think I'll be outnumbered on my opinion here, but I'm going to say it, nonetheless. I don't like the idea of Chartership. Ok, it's out there. Say what you may about me. Here's my two cents, for what it's worth: I think your degree should be all the qualification you need. If you need to get a Charter fairly quickly after degree, then the degree wasn't good enough.
I do agree with CPD and updated learning, don't get me wrong. But isn't that Professional Education and perhaps the dreaded License to Practice idea. Maybe I don't fully understand Chartership. I want my professional body making sure that the University qualification is outstanding. I want it to regulate who's coming out of Uni and to make sure that the international standards are adhered to. I don't want to have to reprove my abilities to get a higher paycheck.
I am an American living in England. I have a Master's from an American University but I work professionally in London. I have applied for and been offered jobs that 'required' Chartership but I am not Chartered, nor do I plan on ever being Chartered as it seems to me to be totally unnecessary. I get the job and the pay because of my qualifications, skills and abilities and I think that is the way it should be.
This is my opinion. It would be interesting to here from others.

Thing 9

I downloaded and installed Evernote, but I don't think it's for me. My problem is the number of computers I use in any given day. I need things that follow me around. And downloadables don't do that for me. Also, I'm deciding how best to get all these Things in one place. I can't be bothered having to go here and there to see various feeds and bits. So if anyone has preferences for capturing it all in one place, I'd like to hear. Right now I have an iGoogle page and a Netvibes page. I'm torn between the two. The each have their pros and cons. So, please, any opinions or alternatives are greatly welcomed.