Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Thing 15

Attending, Presenting at and Organising seminars, conferences and other events.
Yes - I've done them all, mainly attending, which I do frequently and have blogged about before, as part of Thing 7 (http://traceytotty.blogspot.com/2011/07/thing-7-face-to-face-networks-and.html), so i'll concentrate on the other aspects.

Presenting at, I have done this only once so far, a Lib TeachMeet earlier this year. I think I mentioned this in an earlier blog post too. In any case the point is that yes I was nervous, I have presented to learners before and to people involved in the library HEBP group but not to peers whom I don't know. It wasn't as bad as I expected and as it was recorded and is available on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipWBEE9uONo&feature=feedwll), I had the most dubious of pleasures in being able to watch myself. This has actually turned out to be a huge positive, as I can see the flaws and work to remedy them. I am going to present again in November at Mini Umbrella, so I am working on my skills for then. Both of these presentations I have / will have co-presented, for the future I would like to try presenting on my own.

Organising, I have organised training days, meetings and events within my workplace, some involving external partners. Although this can't possibly be as demanding as a whole Conference etc, it is still stressful, especially since i'm a bit of a control freak. Endless e-mails, hospitality, instructions on how to find us, who is coming, car park arrangements... the list goes on. In order to help me, I made a to do list of all the things I needed to check, put in place or just basically do and scheduled my online calendar to remind me when these things needed to be done by. OK I probably went on overkill but it worked. I don't have any plans or desire to organise bigger things, although there is a possibility I maybe asked to help in some small way with next year's CoFHE / UC&R Conference.

Thing 14

I choose to look at CiteULike because:
  1. It doesn't need to be downloaded / installed etc
  2. It's like delicious, I have a delicious account and thought therefore it might be similar to navigate and use
From my point of view I don't mind doing references manually, presumably because I've previously never had the option to do them any other way. For my learners, who naturally hate doing referencing, I am yet to find something straight forward enough for them. Obviously many of these referencing tools work with Internet resources well and most are aimed at higher education students. What about the further education students and paper based resources?

I liked the idea that CiteULike say that you can type in an ISBN and the system will get your book details together. That is something my learners can relate to, except it's not obvious how to do it. Why would I look under Post URL for an ISBN? Maybe it needs an ISBN section or should read Post URL / ISBN. It did though at least work once I'd figured out where put the information.

When I manually put the ISBN in, I was faced with an enormous form, which is actually a very scary thing. This seems to be common practice on many referencing tools and makes me wonder why bother using them, after all I can type the same information straight in to my work and heyho my referencing is done.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Thing 13: Google Docs and WIkis

I'd heard of Google docs but I'd never looked into using it until now. That's a shame really because for quite some time I've been thinking about trying to put important stuff onto a virtual platform as a backup and this looks just the thing. I already have an account, so I don't need to remember even more login details. I'm not overly bothered at this point about sharing, although I have done a shared test doc for Thing 13. So this is definitely something I want to explore in more depth and start to use.

At work, I set up a wiki about 5 years ago. My manager wanted an A-Z index of library services. As the LRC uses Blackboard rather than a website to inform our learners, I looked into what functions Blackboard had. It had a wiki tool and I chose to use that. Although all our Blackboard users can see the wiki, it is configured so that only Learning Resources department staff can edit it. It is not as sophisticated as some wiki tools but it does the job I need it to do sufficiently and has proved very popular.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Thing 12: Putting the social into social media

My networks have expanded due to social media, there are definitely people I communicate with that I would not have met. I have used social media for professional development prior to cpd23 and thought of this as a natural progression to what I have already done. I will continue to use it afterwards and hopefully keep blogging.
An advantage for me is that I can get information about most topics i'm interested in very quickly, if I need quick opinions I can Tweet, if I have more time I can send message to a discussion list too. A disadvantage is that I can suffer from information overload.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Thing 11: Mentoring

As I am currently doing my Chartership, I have a mentor. I have never had a formal mentor before and was apprehensive about it, talking to strangers is not my strong point let alone sharing my hopes and fears. It has worked well so far, we have interesting professional discussions, I get good advice and ideas and feel that I am listened to and respected. Each time we have met, I have come away feeling very positive and buzzing with ideas. In between the meetings, we keep in touch via e-mail.

Whilst there are people I consider as informal mentors, there is one that stands out above and beyond the rest - Jane.  She is my friend and a former line manager, she has taught me a lot, encouraged and continues to encourage me and is someone who I can still go to for advice. Although we have both moved on professionally, we still work together through the Higher Education Business Partnership (HEBP). There is a mutual professional respect between us and we have at times asked each other for professional advice. She is the best manager I have had, very professional, very knowledgeable, very well respected and universally liked.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Thing 10

I think my experience as a librarian has been varied so far. I have worked in a public library, prison libraries and currently (and where the bulk of my experience is) FE libraries. I have worked in an FE library for about 10 years, firstly as an Assistant Librarian, then Deputy LRC Manager and now Library Services Manager. What I enjoy most is the variety of tasks I have. This sometimes also creates a lot of frustration for me, as I can't focus on one task for very long. It does though mean I have developed very good time management skills.

I don't know how I got into it really, I worked as a library assistant, enjoyed that and took it on from there by doing my MA. I have then steadily progressed with my jobs. Currently I am doing my Chartership and don't really have any immediate plans beyond that. Realistically if I want to keep progressing, I will have to look for a job outside of my workplace and probably move into a different sector.

Making better use of e-resources

At the beginning of the year, or possibly late last year, an e-mail came through from Credo Reference informing me that some e-books had bee...