Sunday, 24 June 2012

Organising things!

Google Calendar

I've had a Google Calendar for a while now, when I decided that buying paper diaries was too expensive and it was about time I went paperless. I have it synced with my iPhone, so I always add/edit from there as I'm usually consulting it when I'm out and about. I never login from an actual computer! Thinking about this now it seems a bit strange, as I'm constantly logged into Google on my home computer...odd huh?! I just opened the calendar for fun today and realised how much I've actually come to rely on it since chucking my paper diary. I also noticed that my group of graduate library trainees used a Google calendar to arrange our events, something I'd completely forgotten - I suspect Google calendar of being one of those really useful tools you forget about until you need it, and then it turns out to be pretty perfect.


Ok. This is one thing I've been really excited about since I started cpd23 as I'd never heard of it and it sounds like exactly the sort of thing I'd like very much, so I dived straight in. While it's obviously a great tool for organising your notes, photos etc. by theme or by project, I can't imagine I'd need to use it for this function particularly - as I have a dropbox for storing my documents for accessing from wherever I am and for sharing with others.
I downloaded the web clipper straight away and played with that function instead, because I think it's genius. Being able to highlight and clip text, save pages, pictures,'s brilliant! I often end up emailing links to myself which get lost in amongst all my other emails, whereas this provides a much more visual and handy way of storing the web tit-bits I come across. I also downloaded the app to my iPhone so I can create notes and access them from there too. Click here to link to a note I prepared earlier.
This is a tool I'm going to be using a lot more I imagine. Can't wait to get to work and download the web clipper there. Fun!

Real-life networks

Having little experience of real-life networks, and feeling as if there is quite a lot more I could, and probably will do, in my career, I thought I'd just write down a few random musings about my experiences in my (relatively short!) career so far...

I am a member of CILIP and have been since I enrolled on my MSc Information and Library Management. I found having Update magazine delivered to my door to be quite useful, and I also often make use of the access to LISA and SAGE journals online that you get. However, since the change in attitude toward public libraries when the coalition government came into power, and my getting a professional level job hiking my membership fees by a very large amount, I have questioned why I need to remain a member. For instance, to be a member of the CILIP information literacy group you don't have to have to be a member of CILIP - a marker of how many librarians feel that CILIP aren't providing the leadership or advocacy the profession needs. Me? I'm still undecided, and I'm still a member. I don't think I make the most out of my membership - I don't meet with my local group or with the CDG group in my area. I delete the emails I'm sent before I read them, and I don't participate in any CILIP communities or other events. So maybe this should be more of a two way thing? I suspect I'll try and give a bit more before I give up.

After reading the extremely extensive list of professional bodies on the 23 Things blog post for this 'Thing' I realised the Association of Librarians and Information Professionals In the Social Sciences (ALISS) was missing. Like most professional bodies ALISS organises events, publishes a journal and circulates e-newsletters with useful links to news, resource and papers. I'm not actually a member of ALISS, but this is mainly because my institution subscribes to ALISS quarterly so I get to read it as part of my at-work professional development time. However, as a librarian in the social sciences, I find a lot that is very useful in the information ALISS sends out, so I recommend them!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Thing 6: Online Networks

Another holiday, another week behind...I do actually go to work, I promise!

So Thing 6 is 'online networks', and we start off with LinkedIn...which I have just exclaimed out loud about in the office at work along the lines of "It's horrible! I hate it!".

I do in fact. For these reasons:

  • Yet another place I have to create an account, maintain a profile, share, comment, discuss...
  • It's so ugly! What an ugly website!
  • I am connected with my mother, my brother and some of my friends. be honest, I don't need LinkedIn to get in touch with those people
  • If I need a job, I'll send my CV out in response to job applications like a normal person...I don't think LinkedIn is going to help me much other than giving potential employers another way to spy on me.
  • Ok, so what about connecting with with other librarians you say - well, there are conferences, CILIP groups, twitter, emails, telephones, blogs, websites...many avenues in which I can do this if I wished. Do I need another?
  • There is SO MUCH information on there. Like, my entire life. I mean, that's a lot to put out there in the public domain. Do I really feel comfortable with people knowing so much about me?
Ok, so I'm going with my gut instinct on this one. I don't have the love to try and get into the social networking side of LinkedIn and I have other ways to connect with my peers and colleagues. Perhaps LinkedIn just isn't for me.

I've already mentioned I keep my Facebook page on lock down, as for me it's a purely social tool for sharing things like photos and birthday messages with my friends, and I don't want to use it to make new ones, and I certainly don't think it's an appropriate place for people to get a sense of who I am in a professional capacity.
Having said that...I DO use Facebook (as an administrator for the Information and Learning Services page for my work institution) to read and respond to student enquiries. So while for personal reasons I choose not to use Facebook to network, I do recognise it has many functions that can make it a very useful tools for libraries and librarians.

LISNPN I realised I joined last year - and then forgot! (Do you get the sense I'm not really into this online networking thing?). However, I like the idea of this network a lot more than LinkedIn, as it's not so large and overwhelming, and I stand a chance of connecting with people who I may get to meet and form actual working relationships with. I may give this one another go - or at least complete my profile!

LAT I didn't know existed, and I feel even more like this is a place I'd like to network than LISNPN...but I'm getting networking fatigue here...

CILIP Communities I've lurked on before, and I do like to read the blog posts and discussion forums that appear here when I get an idle moment, but I never really felt the need to contribute or comment. At this point I feel there are so many voices and opinions out there I'm exhausted with it, and even with myself for adding to them!

As far as professional networking online goes, Twitter is my tool of choice. Without a doubt. Perhaps as my confidence grows through doing this course and getting into the habit of commenting on other people's blogs, I'll feel more able to contribute to online communities like those of CILIP or LAT. But perhaps Twitter is enough! Why not?