While I am aware of all of these tools I have only used a couple of them. I’ve decided to talk about each individual and also included another current awareness tool that I think fits in nicely. In general I think current awareness tools are great. All of them are time savers and some are useful for sharing and getting information quickly and effectively.
Twitter is something I am very familiar with and absolutely love! I mainly use it to follow LIS people and in theory I only tweet about library related things, but in practice that is not the case and is sometimes just the inane! #uklibchat is something that I think Twitter is brilliant for, such a great way to chat and debate with your peers from miles apart. Unfortunately I have not partaken in #uklibchat as much as I would like to but often enjoy reading it back via use of the hashtag.
I think Twitter is really good for sharing information, I get to hear about news and events from other LIS people who I may not have heard about otherwise and the same can be said for event, gigs and news tweeted from organizations I follow.
We also have a twitter account at work and in that context it is a good tool for promotion (although I suppose I should view my personal account as a promotional tool too?!) and a quick and effective way of getting information out about ourselves to a wider audience, especially if it gets retweeted by someone with a larger following.
To summarise – I think Twitter is brilliant
RSS feeds are something I have always been aware of but never really used until recently but due to the being used n my job a lot (embedded into our websites) I have realised they can be pretty useful. However, I have been told that RSS feeds are not being used as much as they once did, so maybe I have arrived too late!
Although not mentioned as part of Thing 4, I feel it is a tool that fits in well here. It is another tool that allows you to aggregate feeds together in one place and here is an example from my work of all the news feeds I need to scan everyday. It really does save time!
Storify is another one that I haven’t used at all before, I can see how it is similar to netvibes, but maybe slightly prettier? I want to spend more time exploring this one, but alas at the moment I have an essay that is eating up any spare time I have so another time!
I spent quite a bit of time at the weekend deciding on my branding, and in the end I haven’t quite met my aims, but it’s been fun and interesting experimenting with backgrounds, themes and generally thinking about my ‘personal brand’ etc.
My focus has been on my Twitter account and blog. I decided that ideally I would like my backgrounds to match for both, as Jo had suggested in the introduction to theme 3, as I think consistency is good and it makes you easily recognisable. Whilst my name and picture are the same, the backgrounds are not. However, my technically skills are not quite prepared for how to make them match… I tried to upload my own picture of a pattern and whilst it worked for wordpress, but was too big for twitter and I did not know how to resize it and do not have photoshop or whatever I might need to do so. So if nothing else, I have realised I need to work on my IT skills further!
In the meantime I browsed the themes of WordPress and found a theme I really like (and am using now) but I do not know if it’s possibly to take the background to Twitter, though I am assuming not.
In all this fiddling around I also lost my original pretty, floral background of my twitter page and, not remembering where I got it from, have replaced it with dreamcatchers. Whilst I am a fan of dreamcatchers, I’m not sure they will be a permanent background and will try to get something more in line with my blog (which has already had positive comments on its look!).
I also performed a google search of myself, I suspected that my name was far too common for me to appear on the first couple of pages and I was right, however my cousin did appear (same middle name and surname, but not first) which was interesting!
Although I have been reading other library people’s blogs for a while now, it has been good to find some new ones and read ones specific to cpd23, seeing how other people are progressing with it and their findings. The majority of people (myself included) express feeling shy about sharing their thoughts and blogs with the wide world and therefore I think cpd23 is a great way to over come this, knowing that everyone is doing the same thing does help.
I have commented on a few blogs too, I always find it nice when someone leaves a comment on my blog it’s quite encouraging and therefore I like to return the favour!
I originally signed up to take part last year, but life got in the way. Since then I have moved from Oxford to London, started work as a graduate trainee librarian and started my postgrad in library and information studies at Aberystwyth…….so although life hasn’t real got much quieter, I am really keen to do !! I think it is good to try reflective writing and I think it will be good for general career development as part of my traineeship.
I am hoping that cpd23 will help me think more about career paths and reflect on my journey in library and information career so far and how I might want it to shape out.
I am mostly looking forward to things 13 onwards as they will be useful to take into real life situations, in particular Thing 15 and Thing 16. I would like to think that one day I will be confident to do a presentation, and am aware than some job interviews even request presentations, so the better I am able to make a presentation look good, the more confident I may feel and the better I might look !! I would also really like to get a paper published, I feel it would be good to say I’ve done it and look good on my CV, it is already something I am looking into at work and hoping Thing 16 will give me some further ideas and inspiration.
I wanted to use my blog more but have not thought of things to talk about, CPD23 is a good reason to blog more and reminds me to read others blogs, it always good to know other people’s experiences and hear about their roles in the library and information world.
DAY 1: Quite surprised to discover only 5 out of the original September 2011 group had made it to second study school April 2012. This was a shame as it would have been nice to catch up with people. No problem though, I quickly made friends with some new faces, including some people in first school and as the evening progressed it was only fair that I show them the way to the pub!
DAY 2: The lectures begin. We were welcomed back and began our introductions top the next modules. One of our first sessions was with Pauline Rafferty for a module Information organization and retrieval. I had pre-judged this to be a ‘boring’ module having never considered cataloguing as something I would be interested in. However, Pauline spoke of the topic with such enthusiasm that it has made me reconsider my previous judgement, classification theory in fact sounds very interesting and it is now one of the modules I am most looking forward to even to the point of considering dissertation topics to do with classification theory (although perhaps I am influenced by Pauline’s enthusiasm and the reality of starting the module without her inspiration will revert me back)!! This lecture did prove the value of study schools, without the introduction lecture, I may not have realised the potential within it. The social meal was held in the evening, and, as last year, a very nice time was had by all (on my table anyway) the only minor embarrassment I had was asking the lady next to me which study school she was attending only to discover she was in fact an archives lecture, she didn’t seem to mind though!
DAY 3 was time for one to one with your personal tutor. Just two days into study school and I have quickly realised that I have slacked off a bit from my original schedule and perhaps wont be able to work my way through the rest of part one before dissertation school in September. I voiced this concern with Peter and although he said he would be “very impressed” if he saw me again in September it wouldn’t be impossible (providing I’m willing to sacrifice any social life). I will try my best to make it to September, but have realised that it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t. We also got a brilliant career development talk from a lady who works in the careers service department of Aberystwyth University. Apparently this is something distance learners aren’t normally provided with but I really hope they consider doing it every study school as I think the majority of us found it extremely valuable. It was also interesting to learn of the services that our available to us in that department including job application checks and mock interviews via skype, it is something I will most certainly use in the future.
DAY 4: The last day already! We attended a talk about preparing for dissertation school, during this week I have been starting to think about dissertation topics, but it’s difficult to properly think about it when potentially it’s a whole year away but it seems like they will provide us with all the support we/ I will need! In the evening we got taken on a bluebell walk – the weather during the day had been a total downpour but a miracle occurred and the sun broke through, providing us with a glorious evening for a walk! It has been lovely to get away from the big smoke and see the rolling hillside and coastline.
It can be a struggle working full time and studying (although this is nothing to the people who have children as well, I really really admire them!) but I don’t think I’ve done too badly, so I’ve worked through it apparently quicker than the average, but I’ve had good marks so far so I don’t think I’m sacrificing anything. Attending study school has been the kick up the bum that I need to keep going.
I’m still determined to complete the course in two years and whether that means sacrificing any kind of social life or accepting it’s going to take more than 6 months to get to dissertation school… I’m not sure yet.