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.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Thing 8

Google Calendars.
Finally something I've already discovered and have made up my mind about (well, for now anyway). Google calendars are great. The problem I find though, and this has to do with all electronic calendars, is if I don't see the calendar on a daily basis, everything put on it is forgotten. And, as you have to log-in the site (or set it up as a home page, but my organisation overwrites homepages each night), then I don't see it. And my brain is very much out of sight, out of mind. So, I've found a sight that has free calendars to download and print out (there are lots of them). I found one with a very nice look that I've downloaded to my home computer. Then I print out 2 months (current and next) and add all the stuff in different coloured pens and hang it on the wall in front of the home computer. Problem solved! well, at least for home stuff.
As for work, we use Outlook and that's just fine for my needs. Perhaps if I were in a different job, then an electronic calendar and merges home and work might be suitable. But for now, I like them separate and my 'old fashion' calendar on the wall suits me just fine.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Thing 7

Face-to-face networking.
I went to the London CILIP group's networking workshop last week. It was a good opportunity meet other librarians.
I'm a member of CILIP, but only because my current job requires it. I've been thinking about SLA (both school and special), AIIP, ASLIB and UKeiG (not mentioned). UKeiG is part of CILIP so that's a bit of a bonus. But as I'm going towards either school libraries (if that's even possible any more, given this economy) or freelancing, CILIP isn't doing it for me so much. CILIP is just so big, it's hard to discover anything of immediate use to me. What I really want is a more of one-stop-shop of some sort to get the information I'm after, such as jobs, how tos, what's next, etc. Perhaps a LibWiki of some sort could be the answer.

Thing 6

Now we're getting to why I signed up for 23 CPD: trying to get my online 'image' in order and how to do that.
I've had a LinkedIn account for a while and busily add requests to my account. But never got much further than that. I've noticed that I don't have a summary. I'm actually a bit nervous to add one. I want it to be snappy, sharp and a bit witty. I have a profile on my CV, but it's rather dry. So, I may tackle both in one go. Right now isn't the time, but I'll be brooding on the problem for the next week or so.
I only signed up to Facebook to share photos with friends. I actually regretted signing up not to long ago when a serious of people from the past contacted me. I was baffling, confusing, poorly timed with current events, strange and slightly wonderful. Thing about Facebook is it's ubquiousness-ness (word?). Everyone's on it. Everyone uses it. But, unlike seeing a familar face on the street, it's much more difficult to cross the road. I'll keep most of my private side to FlickR. Better security and no one's there.
Very glad to find some new tools! Woo Hoo! Now to get this all organised. Is there a place to organise everything in one go? And who has a Google+ account they want to talk about? Will it be worth it in the end?

Thing 5

Reflective practice.
I think I can fall prey of too much reflective practice. Like most of the blogs I've read (maybe 6 or so), I agree that we tend to do this natural; as part of the process. But, where I fear I can get trapped is the double guess game that comes with 20-20 hindsight. Where I think I did it all wrong because in the cold light of day I can see what I should have done/said but didn't at the time, and neglect how the situation was and why I did/said what I did in the moment.
Perhaps my reflective practice should be 'post-reflective' and reflect on the reflect... Way too philosophical for me on a lovely Sunday evening.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Thing 4

Again feeling my age a bit. I'm not so sure about Twitter. It's a very different way to think about things, such as texting, and I need to find it's use for me. It will come to me, some day, but not yet.

As for RSS... Well, I love them! Escpecially when combined Yahoo! Pipes. Pipes are a bit intimidating at first. But once you get the hang of them, wow are they powerfully. It makes weeding out the chaff a breeze. I've made pipes to filter job searches or to get specific, detailed news feeds. They are great and well worth the intial effort.

Thing 3

When I created this blog, the only thing I thought of was how not to link it too directly to me. Being that this is my first blog ever, and knowing the first attempts at things aren't always the greatest, even if they are sentimental. Hence using a google mail account and naming the blog something generic and refering to a specific activity.
Having said that, I think it's absolutely correct to have a personal brand in the online era. Websites, for all their proposed interactivity are still flat and forward facing. Not the interaction of face to face or even a telephone conversation. So I was relatively pleased that googling my name came up with my LinkedIn account as number one. The rest are all typical sites, Facebook, a jewellery site I tried my hand at (but haven't maintained), and a credit listing (as I'm company secretary for my husband's business). So, nothing surprising there.
Even clicking through the results, happily there's nothing to cause me great concern. Which is good, as I remember years ago, when Alta Vista (remember Alta Vista?) launched and we would search our names. At that time there were a number of porn sites linked to the name Krista. Glad I'm not associated with them any more. There's a good thing with mass quantity on the web.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Thing 2

I have read lots of blogs in the past, but none relating to my career. My blogs of choice usually relate to hobbies or trying to get instructions for a problem I might have. Why is it that I don't turn to blogs for career instructions? My immediate answer is because I'm an information professional and I'm looking for authoritive sources. But, saying that 'out loud' sounds so incrediably prentious. I suppose the real reason has much more to do with me being clueless and overwhelmed.
I had a look around the Delicous list trying to whittle the list down to something useable. Needless to say, I didn't get on well. What I'm suprised at is the number of academic and public sector people on the list. I wonder why that is? Are they more organised than me or just more time on their hands and want to use it to develop skills? I don't know.
The one blog I did find and seemed to stike a cord with is Shannon Robalino's. I think we have similar thinking styles. But, isn't it odd to make connections this way? Maybe I'm just old (well, in my 40s now and I do remember the days before personal computers), but trying to connect to writing is an odd thing for me. Maybe I'll get over it doing these Things.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Why I'm participating in the 23 things

I am participating in the 23 Things for CPD because I qualified as a librarian what seems like ages ago and so many things have advanced before me. And, as my current workplace is closing, this seems an ideal time to get back into the 'pack' so that I'm ready for the next position.
I'm also hoping to get some 'hooks' and phrases that can be used to describe my skills as I have found that most people really have no idea what librarians do. In a sense I'm trying to future-proof myself as best I can.

I'm currently an Information Services Co-ordinator for the General Teaching Council of England. As this is closing, I'm hoping to find a position as a school librarian to help cope with term-time hours (I have a child in school).

I'm hoping to learn about the technologies that have happened, basically without my knowledge. Let's face it, I'm hoping to catch up to this century again. I'm least looking forward to dealing with the constraints, both work and personal related. Job related is the lack of time as we are in a busy time archiving everything and lack of connection to Twitter, etc. Personal constraints are also time and also a small amount of fear in sharing freely across the Internet.

I fear most is blogging. I've never consider myself as a writer in any shape or form. Then the added weight that this will be 'live' on the Internet for anyone to read is, frankly, terrifying. But, I'm taking a Nietzsche attitude of if I survive all the better.