Archive for June, 2012

23 Things – 6/23 and 7/23 Networks

Thing 6 and Thing 7 are both about networks and networking, on-line and in the real world. 

In Thing 1, I said I was looking forward to these ‘Things’ as I thought that they would be some of the most useful of the set tasks.  I’m not a natural net-worker by any stretch of the imagination, so I was hoping for some useful advice and some tools to take forward in my career.  I think over-all, this was, happily, achieved!

For example, some great advice came from a link to Joeyanne’s blog ‘Libraryanne’, on the CPD page. It was called ‘Networking for Introverts‘ which is a review of the book ‘Networking for People Who Hate Networking’ by Devora Zack.  Not only is it a great review but Joeyanne shares some of the book’s tips which I found pretty helpful!

There were a lot of options to choose from in the CPD blog for both ‘Things’, which goes to show just how much info professionals network!  In the end, I limited myself to looking at LinkedIn, CILIP / CILIP Communities and LISPN.  I’m not including Facebook as I’ve decided to keep my FB account private for friends and family only – with so many other options, there’s no need to have library networks everywhere!


LinkedIn is essentially an on-line CV where people can see where you’ve been, where you’re at and where you’re going professionally.  It’s a useful tool for researching a career or a career path you’re interested in and helping you connect to people who can offer the right kind of professional advice.

As I’m not currently looking for a job or working on any difficult projects – LinkedIn doesn’t really seem too relevant at the moment.  I can however, see how it might be useful in the future, which is why I’ve filled in my profile and started making connections to people I already know in the Library world.

Watch this space?


CILIP / CILIP Communities

I became a member of CILIP a couple of months ago, received the membership pack and promptly put it safely in a draw to look at later – last week I finally fished it out again!  The reason I joined CILIP was mainly down to an interest in doing Chartership at a later stage in my career and a vague notion that there were other useful membership benefits. On actually reading the welcome pack, I found out a bit more about these benefits and the ones which stood out most included: events, training and access to a range of professional e-journals.  These are areas I’ll definitely need to explore further, especially ‘Events’ as I’ve heard great things about the CILIP New Professionals Day back in May!  I’ve also found the CILIP ‘Update’ and ‘Gazette’ publications useful ways of staying up-to-date with the latest developments in the profession.

I had a quick look at CILIP Communities too and admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of available information in there – between all of the forums, blogs, branches and groups!  While I’m pretty sure a lot of that information will be interesting and useful, it’s going to take time for me to actually take it all in.

um…watch this space?



Again, as with CILIP Communities, I found myself a bit overwhelmed by all of the available information!  It seems to come down to ‘so much to read, such little time to read it in!’  LISNPN wasn’t quite so overloaded as CILIP though and I did particularly like the ‘Downloadable Resources’ section.   I also noticed a couple of forum threads that I could jump into as they’re relevant to my current situation! 

If I was to choose between the two on-line communities, I might opt for LISNPN as a gentle introduction before attempting to tackle CILIP’s vast communities!

In Sum:

I’ve enjoyed delving into the world of networks, though as there seems to be a need for a fair amount of time to be invested in getting the most from any of the above, I can’t help but wonder if Twitter isn’t a more efficient and effective way to go about networking on-line – at least for me at this current moment in time.  (The number of posts on LISNPN’ forum with ‘No Replies’ suggests that I’m not the only one who struggles to find the time to fit it all in!)

However, if nothing else, these ‘Things’ have motivated me to actually join and explore some of the more popular on-line networking sites, giving me more options should I ever need to use them and also provided me with an opportunity to attended a fun, informal gathering to get to know some other CPDers!


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23 Things – 6/23 Pinterest

Thing 6 is about On-line Social Networks, including LinkedIn, Facebook, CILIP, LISNPN and LAT.

I’m going to be looking at these networks in my next blog post but first I wanted to think about Thing 6 blog post question: ‘Do you think that sites like Google+ and Pinterest offer added value for social networking?’

I’ve heard a lot about Pinterest lately so I decided to focus on this over Google+

Pinterest is a virtual pin board and its goal is described as being: “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”  You upload images and arrange them in an album called a ‘board’.  You can also add comments to go with your images and can ‘re-pin’ other people’s images to your own board. It reminds me a bit of a social mood board.

Helen Murphy (Thing 6) suggested that the advantages of Social Networking come down to:

  1. Becoming better known
  2. Becoming better connected
  3. Becoming better equipped

I found that Pinterest can work to support your on-line social networking…

Becoming Better Known:

Pinterest allows you to create boards that can promote your professional interests or professional achievements.

A great example of this is the University of Sunderland Pinterest Boards, which advertises their services, aims and interests through images of their marketing projects and ‘things we like’.

Becoming Better Connected:

Pinterest allows you to ‘Re-pin’ something to your own board, ‘Like’ a pin or ‘Comment’ on a pin – so you can connect with people or institutions that share your aims or interests and use it to develop ideas.

Becoming Better Equipped:

This is where Pinterest really could shine as it’s all about sharing and developing ideas.  If libraries started to share their ideas visually this way, it could be a useful ‘Go To’ source for the latest trends or information.  It’s also a fun, visual way to share inspiration!

Possible Applications?

  • Highlighting  library displays (As West Warwick Library did here)
  • Highlighting library events (What does your library do that could inspire other libraries?)
  • Highlighting library study spaces (I’d love to see a Pinterest with pictures of all the libraries in Oxford and their services!)
  • Promoting library projects (using Pinterest to follow your project in pictures and words)
  • Sharing favourite library resources (e.g. books, software, people, signs, stationary!)

In my opinion, although Pinterest seems to be still quite a newcomer to the social network scene, it’s got potential and looks like a lot of fun 🙂

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23 Things – 5/23 Reflective Practice

Things 5 is about Reflective Practice.

When I was a teacher, reflective practice was an integral part of my every day work.  I had to write lesson evaluations – reflecting on what had gone well, what hadn’t worked and why and what I was going to do next.  This was essentially Burton’s (1970) model of  ‘What?, So What? , What Now?’.  It was a useful system because it was brief and helpful in recognising positives and improving on areas that were not as successful.

I found ‘Thoughts on Learning Processes and Other Musing‘ a very useful refresher on reflective practice ideas.  I’ve been encouraged by my manager to have a reflective approach to work as a trainee and although I have written some blog posts reflecting on my experiences, a lot of my reflection has been either ‘in-action’  or a more mental reflection.  I think this is because I’d somehow grown a misconception that reflective writing had to be epic in length.  This ‘thing’ has reminded me that, actually, it can be as brief as you like, just so long as it’s pro-active and useful in developing your understanding of the experience and beneficial to practice.

One thing I think is important to add to this is that when thinking about applying what you have learned, using   SMART targets or aims will help make sure your new goals are achievable.

Out of the models examined in the above blog, I found the inclusion of  emotional responses in ‘Gibbs’ model interesting as  it’s not something I’ve seen before but an emotional or intuitive reflection is just as important, in my opinion, as a logical one.

With that in mind, I’ve mashed together a couple of the suggested models and decided on a simple reflective framework to start putting into practice.

  1. What have you done? [training, a project, an everyday task]
  2. Why did you do it? [What was the purpose?]
  3. How did it make you feel?
  4. What did you learn from it?
  5. What will you do next?[Action Plan]

Starting as I mean to go on, here is a brief reflection on the CPD23 process so far:

I joined the CPD23 on-line course in order to increase my current awareness of key library topics, meet some other librarians and learn more about some of the most useful on-line tools.  So far the experience has been extremely positive and although it’s quite time consuming, taking part has been informative and interesting.

I’ve learned a lot of great tips for use with a range of tools including RSS feeds, Storify and Twitter; I’m more aware of the importance of ‘brand’ but I’m not overly anxious about it; I’m more confident blogging and commenting and I’ve read some great blogs by other participants that have made me think and re-evaluate my own opinions or practice.

Action Plan:

  • I hope to continue the learning process by completing the 23Things course on time
  • I’m aiming to become more active on Twitter.  As a first step I’d like to take part in /follow the next uklibchat event.
  • I’m going to continue to use this reflective model after training sessions and projects to ensure I’m getting the most out my experiences

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23 Things – 4/23 [Part 3]

So it turns out I couldn’t actually wait to give Storify a go – especially when there was a major astronomical event just waiting to be ‘Storified’! Behold:  23 Things – 4/23 [Part2] Storify: The Transit of Venus

(I apologise for the lack of library theme, but this event seemed like a good topic to practice on!)

I quite enjoyed using Storify, it was pretty quick and simple to use.  You can choose to set up an account or simply log in via Twitter or Facebook.  The main Storify page looks like this:

You type your key words into the search box (just once!) and can move back and forth between the different media sources, dragging and dropping items into the story pad (on the left).  The media sources present a good range of items to choose from and I was happy to see the Instagram icon though disappointed by a lack of results!  I also found myself having to trawl through Twitter results for a while to find the most relevant items.  I’d recommend putting the ‘Storify Bookmarklet’ to use if you’re after specific tweets – it’s easy to install and after a little time, the tweets I’d selected appeared in the story editor. (Although, now I have no idea how to delete them from there…)

I’m not sure how others have found using the ’embed’ option with WordPress but mine didn’t like it very much so in the end I chose to just ‘export’ the Story to my blog, which worked much better – but (be warned) did instantly publish the Story.

This might just be me, but I do find the end product looks a bit disorganised – I’m not sure if with more time and attention to detail, you can make the stories look a bit more presentable but I think I’d like to see more editing tools available in the future.  However, it’s a great tool for quickly gathering together important and relevant information. For example, today I saw it being put to great use drawing together responses from a recent uklibchat on Twitter: #uklibchat – Libraries and Leadership

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23 Things – 4/23 [Part2] Storify: The Transit of Venus

  1. NASA | SDO’s Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit

    Wed, Jun 06 2012 04:30:13
  2. NatGeo
    Photos: What you’ll see during this week’s super rare transit of Venus #VenusTransit

    Tue, Jun 05 2012 04:08:21
  3. neiltyson
    Venus Transit is historically significant because you can derive the solar system’s size from precision timing of the event.

    Tue, Jun 05 2012 11:11:00
  4. Jonathan__Cohn
    RT @BadAstronomer: Venus Transit gallery: some of my favorite, quirky, stunning pix of this last-in-a-lifetime event:

    Wed, Jun 06 2012 14:09:55
  5. Didn’t have the right eye wear? Check out some photographs instead:
  6. And just in case you missed out – Good News:
  7. perrin124
    RT @newscientist: Missed the transit of #Venus? There’s another one this year, on 21 December. Visible from #Saturn #venustransit

    Wed, Jun 06 2012 14:11:49

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23 Things – 4/23

(Just a little bit late to the party….)

Thing 4 is all about tools for Current Awareness, in particular we’re looking at Twitter, RSS and Storify.

Current awareness tools in the library world are really important for making sure we are providing the best service we can and ensuring the promotion and sharing of good practice throughout the profession!  They’re also a fun way of maintaining CPD and just sharing the news and events that have meaning to us.


(I got bored of writing in paragraphs, hence a diagram! 🙂 )

I do like and enjoy using Twitter the most out of the three current awareness tools we’re looking at for Thing 4.  I think because Twitter only allows such short updates, it’s much easier to see or post what is happening as it happens.  The reTweet feature generally helps to ensure you rarely miss anything important or interesting, creating lists helps to keep tweets manageable and the # feature provides a great way to search out just the information you’re looking for.



Although I’ve known about RSS for a while,  I admit to being a bit confused by it all.  I didn’t know it stood for ‘Really Simple Syndication’ for one and had no idea that Google Reader was just an RSS feed reader!  Once that clicked, RSS became much easier to understand (Huzzah!) as I’ve been using RSS under the guise of Google Reader for months!

I’ve found Google Reader to be a really valuable tool, especially since beginning CPD23 as it would be impossible to keep up with so many blogs without it.  I also follow blogs by authors, other libraries and friends and thanks to a tip from Lizzie’s Thing 4 Blog I’ve now re-organised all of my feeds into helpful folders.  What I also like about Google Reader is that it indicates when new blog posts are available to read very clearly with a number beside the blog name – this just means I can see at a glance who has posted and where I need to catch up!

The only downside I can think of really is that well…it’s not the prettiest of interfaces! But its practical, so that works for me 🙂



I hadn’t heard of Storify before Thing 4 but having looked at a few of the examples given in the CPD23 blog it has certainly piqued my interest.  It’s something I think I’ll need a little more time to fully explore so I’m going to come back to it in one of our catch up weeks!

To end, here is a fun Storyify that was Tweeted the other day: Terrifying French Children’s Books by Jenny Colgan.

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