Friday, 1 June 2012

Thing 5 - a reflection and a fresh start

This post has been a very long time coming...
I started the Things the last time the course was run, but as a latecomer I struggled to keep up, and when the course officially ended, my motivation started to wane.  But here I am, and I fully intend to do the Things each and every week... (intend being the operative word).

This weeks Thing of reflective practice has been quite a useful one for me.  Evenutally I would like to start the process of Chartership, but I've told myself to wait until I can find a permanent post.  So in the meantime I can view this Thing as a taster of what's to come.

I've decided to be predictable and simply reflect in the 23 Things course, and am using the 3 steps that were laid out.  (So this can be step 1, recalling it.)

Step 2 - evaluate it
Despite the long gap between posts which may suggest otherwise, I'm actually really enjoying the course.  I'm learning about online tools that I had never used before, and has helped me break into an area that I had never really tried before.  Before CPD23, I had never read a single blog, and had only considered them to a thing of fun rather than to be useful in a work capacity.  But since discover Google Reader I have now signed up to about 10 blogs, all library related, and all great for keeping me professionally aware.  I'm finding this tool great for me as I had been feeling a little isolated in my current post and it's helping me to keep up to date with what else is going on in the Library profession.
In terms of how this could help in the work place, I think Twitter could be the most useful application from what we've learnt so far.  We have an artefact of the month that doesn't reach a very wide audience, but if we could get people to follow the Library on Twitter and upload the think, I think it could be brilliant for making people aware of our Library.

Step 3 - apply it.
I am already applying my new found knowledge.  I have a Twitter account that I am trying very hard to remember to check, and as mentioned above I am heavily using Google Reader.  And I imagine that in the upcoming weeks I will applying more of what I have learnt to the work place and my professional development.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Thing 4 - Current awareness (or lack of)

I'm still not entirely to grips with Twitter and what can be gained from it.  I don't use social media very often in my personal life, only checking the current events on Facebook a couple of times a week at most, so I've been finding it very hard to get in to the habit of checking Twitter on a regular basis. 

I think once I change my habits and start checking Twitter more regularly I will start to see the benefits; already some of my friends and library colleagues are recommending people for me to follow that I probably would never of heard of without Twitter.  But I have already started to encounter irritations.  Some of the corporations I follow are posting so frequently that my timeline is filled by them in less than an hour, so I have a lot to read through on my twice weekly Twitter check.

I have a similar problem with Google Reader - I'm just not in the habit of checking blogs, and keep forgetting to log in to it.  I'm pretty certain that this will change as I've read even more interesting library information from the blogs than I have from Twitter.  I've really enjoyed the blog Rarely Sited.

I'm going to carry on with these tools, and try not to get too complacent in checking them.  These were some of the main reasons I joined up to CPD23, so I don't want to let my new found knowledge slip!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Thing 3, Personal Brands

I have never thought about my personal brand before, or my online presence.  I've Googled myself in the past, but never really with the intention of finding myself, it was more like a game I would play with my friends to see who had the most exciting counterpart.

However, this time I was a bit surprised that I couldn't find myself at all.  On the one hand I find this a bit of a relief as I really don't like the thought of people spying on me online, but on the other hand, now that I'm starting to think more seriously about my career I feel like it might be good to have an online presence I can feel happy with.

I need to do a bit more research on personal branding.  I'm not sure how relevant it is to me at the moment, but I suspect that it will be when I start looking for another job at the end of my contract.  It seems to be quite common place for employers to search for people online, and a close friend of mine has had a mini horror story because she didn't realise this happened so much.

This week I added a picture to my blogger account and re-read my previous posts to see how they come across in hindsight.  I think my blog is starting to take shape, and I have been finding it surprisingly helpful posting my thoughts online (Things 1 & 2 were telling the truth!), so now on to Thing 4!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Thing 2, finally

I have just discovered that moving house and starting professional development activities are quite tricky to juggle.  Common sense should of told me to wait until I had found, and moved into a new home before I attempted to start the Things, but after some really glowing feedback from Library friends I was impatient to get going.

Apart from moving house I also ran into some technical glitches with Blogger, meaning that I was unable to post on other peoples walls, and accidently became a follower of another CPDer without being able to post why...I still need to remedy that.

But after a desperate anonymous post for help (another glitch), the problem has been sorted and I can now freely post on other blogs.  So far I have only commented on one blog, but it's a start, and I am still a little apprehensive about just striking up an online conversation with strangers.  But we all have to start somewhere, and I'm really pleased to finally be moving on to Thing 3.  Hopefully things will speed up a little now.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Thing 1 - getting to grips with this new fangled blogging!

Recently I've realised just how far behind with times I really am when it comes to social media. 

I have never written a blog, never knowingly read a blog, and despite being 28 and (I think) the prime age for it, somehow the whole MySpace thing totally passed me by.  I can get to grips with Facebook, but only as a way to keep up with friends.  And as for Twitter, I always thought it was a way for people to say what they've just eaten for dinner and thrill us with how their children just shoved a pencil up their nose!

But so many of my friends working in the library world are now mentioning who they follow on Twitter in a professional sense, and are recommending useful blogs that could help with career development.  Which is how I discovered about the 23 Things.

I love my current workplace (a specialist library in Camden), and the people that I work with, and would probably stay there indefinitely if only I weren't on a temporary contract.  Unfortunately, because my main role is that of a book cataloguer and general Library Assistant, I know that when my contract ends next year I need a few more strings to my bow so that I don't become pigeon holed and only able to be employed as a cataloguer - of which the jobs are few and far bewteen.  When I look for another job I want to have more options available to me, and I want to experiment with other areas of library work.

By the end of the 23 Things I want to be able to say with confidence that I can use social  media in a professional context and boost my CV with it.