Sunday, 31 July 2011

Google calendar - Thing 8 (cpd 23 Things)

So here's the thing. I've not actually used Google calendar myself, so I thought I'd do some reading around and find out what some other folks have thought about it. As a sharing calendar tool the potential for this can be pretty good. I've come across some not great comments though, and for some the prospect of keeping another calendar up to date along with other calendars is not a great lure. At the moment I am one of those who thinks the benefits of this particular tool may not be huge for me personally at this particular point in time but I will be looking out for opportunities to use this.

In my previous role I think I could have made really good use of this, but I just don't do any collaborative work of this nature at the moment. Most of my colleagues don't even use outlook for anything other than an email service, let along any other web-based tools. I know some people outside of work use the mobile.me calendar if using Apple tools as it keeps things consistent.

Personally, I struggle to keep my personal calendar, my iPhone and my outlook up to date- my workplace uses outlook and they don't allow syncing with personal iPhones so I have to do this separately.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Face to Face networks - Thing 7 (cpd 23 Things)

Most of my networking has been done in specific areas of information management - for example, my last role was in careers information, so I was part of a regional network.  It was useful to find out what others were doing in the region's services, and thinking about where the service I worked for ought to be going. 

I'm now part of the CILIP chartering group (which is actually an online network, so I guess it doesn't really count!)  but I do find that useful.  I keep an eye on that for any group meetings, but so far have just had access to the email group.  I've also built up a relationship with my mentor, whom I didn't know very well before chartering, and she has been very supportive despite a heavy workload. 

As haven't so far come across a group for librarians working in alternative roles - perhaps there aren't enough of them yet, or perhaps there are simply too many 'alternative' roles to make such as thing practical.  I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Online Networking - Thing 6 (cpd 23 Things)

Online networks are vital resources these days - even more so for those people like myself who work on their own a lot, or are removed somehow from their professional group. This doesn't necessarily mean that I like it.  I often find online networking a bit of a chore, and the last thing I want to do at the end of a long day looking at a PC is to go home and log onto a PC.  So, I see the value of it but I do it reluctantly, a little at a time. 

This Thing has asked us to look at some well known online networks and comment on our experience on them, or lack of.  Here goes...

LinkedIn
I do use LinkedIn, and it is fairly up to date, although I can't say that it has been useful professionally as yet.  there's hope, though.  I probably need to be a bit more active on it.

Facebook
I'm really naughty here - I don't bother with Facebook unless someone sends me something on it.  I know that  lot of my friends and contacts use it endlessly, but I just find it too time consuming, and a bit cumbersome.  I find myself going round in circles, coming across people's comments about what they had for tea, then I get bored.  And frankly, what people are doing right now are often less than riveting.  And again, (I've said this before) I do get concerned about the amount of personal information available - you can easily in many cases find out where someone works, their email, where they live, etc.  And why do people think it's fine to announce they are leaving their house and going to Marbella for two weeks (hello burglar) but wouldn't put a notice to that effect on their front door?  Do they forget that the whole world can see this stuff? 

I'm so sorry, I went into rant mode there.

LISNPN
I am a member of this, and want to stay in touch with what's going on, so I find this useful in that case, but find it's not so much directed at those recently qualified and not working in traditional library roles.  This may change as more members join, as it's user led which is a great thing.

CILIP communities
Again, I want to keep in touch with what's  happening, and so find this really useful.  I've also used the CILIP site a lot during my chartership, as it has loads of information - not the most easily navigated site I've ever seen, though. 

That actually about sums up my online networking.  There's loads of stuff out there, and I think a key thing is to choose and use what works for you, rather than trying to be on everything.  I've yet to see Google+but I'm interested to hear what those people who are using it already think, and how it compares with the other networks out there. 

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Reflection - Thing 5 (cpd 23 Things)

I've recently tried to incorporate more reflection in my everyday working life. I began this before joining in with the 23 things, as I wanted to create more ways to incorporate cpd in my work, and it was also something I began doing when I started my chartership a little while ago. I've written before about how difficult I find chartering whilst not working in a traditional library role, and being more reflective I hoped would help me with this. I think it has- certainly in this situation a little creativity is needed when it comes to developing ideas and skills.

I'm hoping that this blog will help me take reflection one stage further and perhaps help me get some feedback from others who are beginning the reflective process or are undertaking this process in a non-traditional role. do we have to be that little bit more reflective if we are taking a non-traditional path? I also think that reflection is vital if, like myself, you don't work with other librarians. The simple act of bouncing ideas and thoughts off colleagues doing similar roles can be very useful, and a lone worker will miss this often taken for granted part of work. So, we have to find ways of replacing this 'bouncing ideas' activity - enter the blog!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Personal brand - Thing 3 (cpd 23 Things)

Interesting one, this. To be honest, I don't want to be branded. That's what happens to drinks and sportswear. However I do of course see the benefits on having a recognisable online presence. I think this is a personal area, also. It depends on how much self promotion you're really comfortable with, and I'm not comfortable with that much, but I know I 'should' make an effort in the sense it's good for your career, etc., etc.

In my role at the moment, events and conferences are not available to me due to my work training priorities (my employer is not going to spend money on my cpd as a librarian when I am employed as a researcher), and I spend much of my time working alone. Therefore, you might argue, online presence is even more important. Well, yes and no. I guess I'm just rebelling against the ubiquitous need for personal branding. I want to allow for some spontaneity, and new ideas. I'm not sure that I really like the amount of personal detail available on the web about us either.

I've read some other blogs and comments about this, and I go with the 'profersional' approach: I am consciously creating blend of professional and personal which goes with the ethos of the blog I've just created. We all have separate areas of life, and some of keep these more separate than others, but for me my librarianship training had a lot of personal elements to it, and I wanted to keep my - somewhat tenuous- links to librarianship that way.

Having said that, there are some areas of my online presence that I recognise do need sharpening up. I need to link up my blog, twitter account and linked in account (mortal sin) and make my blog posts a bit more visible. I need to work on my blog 'look'- at the moment I use a template, and would like something a bit more personal. These are things I can do over time, and are going on my to do list. However, I'm still going to retain that bit of
rebelliousness...

Current awareness - Thing 4 (cpd 23 Things)

Gosh, I actually almost feel like a proper librarian. I already use twitter and rss feeds (probably far too many of them). That leaves pushnote, which I hadn't heard of until today, so I duly went over and signed up. Then wondered what was supposed to happen. Ah, I've got to wait for some stars to turn a different colour, and play about with some websites. Sounds good. Will be doing that at an opportune moment. There's a slight drawback in that IE is used at work, so I can't use it there, but I'm sure I'll cope by using my trusty iPad (which I saw absolutely no need for when my other half returned home with one he'd accidentally bought, but which now I use all the time. In fact I'm using it now.)

Wuld be interested to see how useful other people find pushnote.