Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas in the Library

Our Christmas wreath [bought by the Librarian last year], a festive beacon to welcome our hoards of weary researchers

My Santa has indulged in a little too much festive cheer over the years going by his glassy eyes and matted beard but I still love him. No-one else likes him though and say that his eyes follow them around [I don't know what they mean].

The Library on a late December afternoon tastefully adorned with tinsle and baubles.
Nicely understated compared to some of the other departments!

A new addition this year [again from the Librarian], a beautiful cardboard tree with coloured bells from John Lewis.  To those of a certain age, somewhat reminicent to the trees on The Magic Roundabout and The Singing Ringing Tree :-)

And finally, our snow menagerie [Kristine's owl, my squirrel and the Librarian's penguin].
I'd so like to tell you they all get on but...!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Book Ins reading aloud event November 2011

On Saturday 5th November, I took part in the Book Ins reading aloud event here in the Museum. This is the second reading aloud event to be held here, the first was back in March to co-incide with International Women's Day and on the website, Leona Jones [the organiser] describes the experience intriguingly as creating a visual and aural impact in unexpected places. Basically, anyone is free to turn up and bring along a favourite book to read aloud; the choice of book is yours as long it covers that particular events "subject" and this one was travel]. Leona even had a table of spare books and print-outs for anyone deciding to take part on the spur of the moment [and a good few did].

Myself, and two colleagues [including Kristine from Taken for binding] along with a group of willing readers met up in the Main Hall with Leona and were told that we could either stay in the Main Hall or go up to the beautiful Welsh Landscape Gallery to read. Being ‘first timers’, we opted for the quieter gallery and from 12 o’clock until 12.30 we all sat or stood and read aloud from our chosen books [my choice was a vintage guide to Cornwall]. Well there you have it; the half hour went by pretty quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was concerned that all of us talking at the same time would be off putting but it wasn’t; I could hear the others speaking but their voices weren't quite loud enough for me to listen to them. I can tell you that it was a little odd [to say the least] glancing up every now and again to see people sitting reading cross legged on the floor with their backs against the wall just inches from some of our greatest historic works of art! It's been tricky trying to put into words why I enjoyed the experience so much and the best I can do is to put it this way; I think that our group created a subtle hum of energy with the quiet cacophony of our readings floating about the gallery space and I felt like I was taking part in something quite unique [certainly for me anyway]. On a more practical level, it was really nice meeting up with my colleagues for something other than work which we don’t do very often and [if I’m honest] I was proud of myself for trying something new as I don’t do that anywhere nearly as often as I should.

The event was also a good promotion for our Library as Leona had made contact previously and asked for print-outs from some of our earliest travel books including Sarah-Ann Wilmot’s Manuscript journal of tours in England and Wales 1793-1802 and Gerald Cambrensis’ The Journey through Wales/The Description of Wales. We also supplied images from these books along with more contemporary pictures by Shirley Jones [we hold a collection of her special bindings which contain hauntingly beautiful illustrations of the Welsh landscape]; and these were displayed on a plasma screen in the Main Hall for the duration of the event.

 STOP PRESS! The next event [taking place here in the Museum again] has already been announced – find details here on the website J

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Advocacy is something I had never really considered before I did two very important things; firstly, writing my Masters thesis [on how we manage one of our own special collections] and secondly, starting the CPD 23 Things course.

Writing my thesis was the first time I began to consider that we [the library] might be just a tad under valued within our own organisation; and taking into consideration the amount we do and the amazing collections we hold, this was not a comfortable realisation. If that can be taken as a negative, then starting the CPD 23 Things course was most definitely a positive. It opened my eyes to an active and vibrant community of information professionals who not only care deeply about their profession but are not adverse to a good old rant when they feel the need.

My library, just like all the others, needs shouting about – these days it’s not enough that we have been doing sterling work for years; we are now required to prove our relevance time and time again. This post comes at an opportune time as we have begun to discuss how we can we promote ourselves both within and without our own organization. We are going to look at outreach and marketing and improving our online persona and this just the beginning – we have come up with lots of good ideas!

On a practical level I am starting small J I make sure that my blog contains continuous references to my own library and have started Tweeting about both my own and other local libraries’ events whenever I can [last week I re-tweeted events for CLIC and Glamorgan Archives].

As for getting published, this does not currently apply to me. I am a long way from even considering it but [and I know I say this all the time] I’d like to think that in the future I might create something that would be worth publishing.

Ps. Just in case anyone was wondering... I'm the white kitten.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

More Friday afternoon suntraps

After a very busy Friday I was the last one in and [as luck would have it] remembered I had my camera with me when the late October sun came out... I hope I've captured how eerie and gothic our beautiful library becomes.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events

Attending conferences
The benefits of attending conferences are endless; from learning about new things and keeping up with stuff going on in your professional community to making the most of networking opportunities and forging valuable contacts. However, the downside is that these things tend to cost money. This is partly the reason why it has been a very long time since I’ve attended any. Even with discounts offered by organizing bodies such as CILIP, ASLIB and ARLIS, the costs can be pretty high. That said, if something came up that I felt I really needed to attend I think that my line manager would try and get it sorted.

The benefits were brought home to me recently when my colleague Kristine at Taken for binding went along to the very first Library Camp UK and came back with lots of new and interesting ideas. She has written a series of posts on the sessions she attended on her blog.

Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to attend some presentations and workshops organised by Cardiff Libraries in Co-operation [CLIC] and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Mostly they are presentations given by different kinds of Librarians in and around the South Wales area. In fact, the next one I am attending is this month and is on the subject of social media in libraries. CLIC events are very well organised but retain a relaxing and informal atmosphere and quite frankly, there’s nothing I like more than listening to other Librarian’s experiences especially when they work in a library so very different from my own. The great thing about these types of events is that they invariably conclude with a tour of the hosting organisation and I really enjoy a good old nose about!

This is something I have a serious problem with – speaking in public. I’ve always been the same. When I was doing my first degree we had to give weekly seminars to the rest of the class [only about 25] and I worked myself up into a right state over them. I struggled through but was always being told I rushed them and I got the most terrible headaches after doing them. Well, that was all a very long time ago and I have been fortunate enough not to have had to do anything like that since. However, things change and there will probably come a time when will be called on to talk publicly about my place of work and I would hate it if I had to cry off. I hope I’d be okay, I’m certainly not as nervous as I used to be and think that if I was 100% organised, I could get through it. I loved reading Phil Bradley’ article on speaking in public; it actually made me feel like I really could do it!

The exercise for this thing was to blog about experiences with conferences [which I have done] but also about organising them; which is something I have never done. I am a fairly organised person so I think I’d probably be okay [and enjoy] the leg-work but I can imagine that the actual event could be horrendously stressful but ultimately immensely fulfilling and exciting. Maybe I'll get the cahnce to organise something here in the near future, I do hope so.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The lonely red

This lovely little red is to be found in one of our many excellent natural history dioramas at the Museum. Now whereas most of them contain groups of animals, this little chap sits all alone with only a couple of toadstools and pine cones for company; and he’s old, seriously old going by those arthritic little claws. However, just across the way in the main diorama there are friends aplenty [a fox, three badgers and a stoat]; and we all know what happens in a museum at night don’t we…

Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / citeulike

I admit to not being familiar with any of these particular bibliographic reference tools and that in itself is a bit of a wake up call. In my defence though, during my first degree the whole course was hand written [yes, it was THAT long ago] and my dissertation was typed up by a friend [can you believe that?]. During my MSc [Library and Information Studies] I probably would have been able to use one of these tools or something similar but at the time I wasn’t sufficiently aware of them [I’ll never forget how difficult and time consuming sorting out the references was and I spent many a dark hour in front of the lap top on the verge of frustrated tears trying to catch and pin down that develish data as it swam before my eyes; happy days!].

As it stands, I currently have no need of this kind of reference management tool but I am more than happy to familiarize myself with it so I may impart the knowledge if needed. However, time is short and I am fully aware that there are some incredibly conscientious people that have actually finished the CPD23Things [yes FINISHED and ON TIME]; so for this reason, I am only going to look at one of these tools.

In order to choose I took CPD23 advice and looked at two citation reference comparison documents; the first by Martin Fenner was quite helpful but the comparison table on Wikipedia was just too much for me [take a look for your self – far too much information in one small area]. Next I watched the three introduction videos and from these I ended up choosing to look into Mendeley [although I thoroughly recommend Library Wanderer's witty [and well written] post extolling the delights of Zotero].

According to the Mendeley website, it seems to cover all bases with regards to general referencing needs plus I also found this informative comparison table. I think the free space is a tad limited compared to some of the others but to purchase an upgrade is reasonably priced.  However, it is limited in that it’s a desktop application only and there were comments on the website asking if there were plans afoot to introduce a portable version. The next step would have been to download the free version but since I have no need of it at present and time is of the essence, I’m leaving it there.

Incidentally there is another good post [in two parts] discussing Endnote, Zotero and Refworks on the Cambridge 23 Things blog here.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Thing 13: Google Docs, Wikis and Dropbox

The only one of these three file sharing tools I am already using is Dropbox and this has been primarily for personal photo sharing and it works very well. After looking at the other two I find Dropbox to be the most straightforward. The idea of an independent platform for file sharing would be very useful if I were to embark on a new project which I’m sure I will at some point. When I was writing up my MSc thesis it would have been great as I kept everything on a memory stick and along with always forgetting to put it in my bag I also kept uploading photos that exceeded its size capacity. The good thing about Dropbox is that it can be used simply to store files; you don’t have to have them all on share mode. So with this, I could have kept everything on file and ready to use and I would have had the added security of it being downloaded on my desktop and backed up on the web. However, I have only recently noticed that there is a 2GB free storage limit which would quickly be eaten up with multiple images.

Google Docs seems to be almost exactly the same as Dropbox but I’m sure there are small differences. However, Wikis look to be a little more involved, almost like creating numerous mini blogs which could be very useful. I do plan to contribute to the Library Routes Project and that will give me some Wiki experience.

For the time being I will continue to use Dropbox but now [thanks to CPD23] when the time comes I am now familiar with other file sharing services.

Friday afternoon suntrap

When a sunbeam hit the Librarian's spider plant it almost looked like a firework going off

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The forgotten robin

Isn't he lovely? I found this forlorn [and ancient] looking robin in a quiet corner of our newly refurbished Clore Discovery Centre and in amongst such shiny newness it looks like someone forgot to collect him. Like Bagpuss in the shop window…

Thing 12: Putting the social into social media

This is the one Thing I have not been looking forward to as I’m quite ANTI social media generally; however, that mostly relates to my personal life which is not on discussion here [thank heavens]. No, as far as using social media for professional and work purposes, I am finally coming to the realisation of just how beneficial it can be. Therefore, this post will mainly cover my experience of social media as a tool used for 'professional purposes' rather than an active tool for career develpoment as promotion of one's workplace is in essence, promotion of oneself.

I started off by reading Debbie Raven’s CILIP article with interest; she discusses how the images of sites such as Twitter and Facebook when used for work purposes have changed recently and are now seen in a more positive light. Moreover she says that by being part of what she calls an active community of practice helps the individual’s professional development. She mentions the research carried out by Karen Butterworth in LIS professional’s use of blogs and the surprising statistics this has unearthed [e.g. 54% regularly reading blogs with only 5% never reading them and 93% reading LIS specific blogs]. These LIS professionals saw this activity as a practical strategy making their daily networking and information-gathering tasks more efficient. However, on the downside Raven comments on the fact that there are still many libraries that do not encourage such activities in the work sphere and [apart from the odd tiny bit] I am not actively using these new social media tools during my work day but I hope this might change soon.


I also read a few Thing12 posts by other CPD23 participants and found those by Dark side of the catalogue, Palely loitering and Taken for binding not only very well written but also encompassing a lot of what has been my experience with social media so far. For me personally, the most amazing benefit [with regards to social media] from CPD23 is the access to a vast melting pot of like minded professionals who are all sharing their experiences and opinions via their blogs. The majority of them are streets ahead of me but that’s okay – I’m constantly learning about new things and picking up tips all the time. Secondly, I am really starting to get into my stride with Twitter but it has taken time. I didn’t take to its immediacy and transient languages straight away but have persevered and am now starting to Tweet about LIS and work related subjects instead of just replying to others and re-tweeting [although I am also enjoying a bit of Downton Abbey chit-chat J]. Thirdly the very act of writing these posts about my library experiences has given me [as an LIS professional] a new confidence and relevancy I have been [in the past few years] sorely lacking.

 I have only signed up to the very minimum of the social media tools covered during CPD23 but I can honestly say it is only because the time I can spend on this course right now is very limited and not because I couldn’t be bothered. That said, I also need to remember to use them when I do get the time and I can give you two examples of missed opportunities over the last few weeks. Firstly, we [that is my Library] were on television – prime time Welsh news [BBC Wales Today]! The Librarian had been contacted by the BBC and asked if we had an early Welsh map [yes just a fewJ] so he brought out a Humphrey Lhuyd map [published 1573 and showing the original county boundaries] as they wanted to show it in relation to a news story on recent new Welsh county border shifts. So he was filmed with said map along with two other members of staff working dutifully by [I was on leave - another opportunity for stardom missed]. Now, the Librarian did tell me about it two days before the piece actually aired, ample time for me to have a good old Tweet or blog about it but did I? Err no. The next example concerns the Librarian again, this time giving a lunch time talk in our lovely shiny new Clore Discovery Centre [on Powys: Land of Castles?] which by the way, was full to capacity. Now again, I knew about this talk months in advance but did I Tweet or blog about it? Err no. That said; I am getting better and only last week I Tweeted [in good time] about another talk given by the Librarian [on Siege and Destruction at Raglan Castle but this time at St Fagans: National History Museum] and you can see it in all its glory if you care to follow me at @SquirrelLib. I did sign up early on to follow Stephen Fry on Twitter but he posts so many Tweets and it was taking so long to trawl through them I had to “unfollow” him; am now concerned I have committed a sacrilegious act of epic proportions.  

In conclusion and with regards to personal career development, my blossoming relationship with social media has made me feel, on the negative side, a little "exposed" but on the positive side, more "visible" and I think both will do me good.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Monday, 12 September 2011

Thing 11: Mentoring

A good thing about doing this course alongside a colleague [Taken for binding] who is always that little bit further ahead is that in this case she has already written the majority of what I wanted to say! I too have never had an official mentor but the Assistant Librarian [who is also my Line Manager] is very supportive and I have no qualms about asking her just about anything [and there have been some really daft things but she’s far too nice to say]. The Librarian too is always ready to listen and lend a helping hand and I can honestly say I don’t think I would have got my thesis finished without his helpful advice and expert editor’s eye.

Thing 10: Graduate traineeships, Masters degrees, Chartership, Accreditation

My route to librarianship has been a rather quiet path and I certainly didn’t always want to do it. From the very begining I loved anything to do with art history and therefore my first degree was in the History and Theory of Art and Design [Post 1850] which I completed at University of Wales Cardiff [Howard Gardens Campus]. I chose to do my dissertation on the Welsh sisters, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, and the story of their own private printing press set up during the 1920s in Newtown, Powys only because we had covered the subject on the course but I have been fascinated with them ever since.  It is odd therefore that I have ended up working in the very Museum to which they donated such an amazing collection of Impressionist Art. However, here we are focusing on their books and I came to the Library here for research as it holds [on extented loan] Gwendoline's  own personal collection of special bindings produced by the Press.  

After I graduated I came to work in the Museum as a Gallery Assistant; my plan being to wait until a plum job came up in the Art Department and just after two years a job did come up but I didn’t get it. However, after a few dark months I was lucky enough to get an administration job in the Visitor Services department which I did for another year until a job came up in the Museum Library as a six month maternity cover. From the minute I started I knew that this was the job for me [as luck would have it the person I was covering chose not to return] and when I was given the opportunity of doing an MSc in Library and Information Studies via distance learning at Aberystwyth, I jumped at the chance. I started the course in April 2003 but didn’t finish it until Sept 2009 [I had to take a year out during 2007]. In all honesty, starting back on the course in 2008 was one of the hardest things I have had to do as it was, quite simply, the last thing I actually wanted to do [I had been through a very tough 2007]. However, both my Line manager [the Assistant Librarian] and the Librarian gave me lots of support [and the odd gentle shove] so that week by week I chipped away until it was finally done. Appropriately enough, my thesis this time was a case study on how we manage the Davies Sisters' Gregynog Press books here in the Library, the very subject that first brought me here all those years ago.

Before posting this I looked at some of the other blogs and am now feeling rather self conscious that my story is somewhat uninspiring. For good or bad, I am one of those people who, when they find something they enjoy, stick to it. I know this is not the right attitude to get ahead and friends of mine who are now in high powered and well paid jobs are those who hop skipped from job to job briskly moving up the ladder. I found something I enjoyed and stayed. That said, this course has made me think seriously about taking on another challenge and Chartership is something I might consider in the future. Although, as I have mentioned before; I do have a tendency to put things off…

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Thing 8: Google Calendar & Thing 9: Evernote

I just spent the best part of an hour trying to embed Google Calendar into my blog so I could have a play around with it that way but the task proved too much for me and I kept getting a message that the code I was continuously trying to paste in contained illegal characters [what a cheek]. So much for a time saving gadget! I will try again of course as I was obviously doing something wrong and I certainly do need to start using an electronic web based calendar. However, for the time being I’ll carry on using my tried and trusted combination of Microsoft Outlook Calendar and old faithful hard copy desk diary. I’ve always carried a diary and kept pretty calendars in relevant places as the very act of writing in dates helps me on the road to remembering them.

I’ve had a little more luck with Evernote to which I gamely downloaded and signed up to this very evening. I started by using my own blog to save links, notes and images and it seems to have worked okay. On the negative side, I find the general template of Evernote rather complicated and I think it’s going to take a bit of getting used to but I will persevere. I love what the concept promises but I’ll need to learn how to use it properly; and in order to do that I must put the time in. Having a little trouble doing that lately… 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

ARLIS Christmas card competition

In 2009 the Assistant Librarian and myself thought it would be a bit of fun to enter the ARLIS Christmas card competition which is open to all members and [wait for it...] my colleague won! The prize was a Fortnum & Mason festive hamper and [more importantly] her design was used as the official ARLIS Christmas card for that year. See her winning entry below; it is titled Recycled snowflake as said flake was hand made from the page of an old art catalogue retrieved from the recycling bin.

Okay, so we’ve decide to enter again this year [they didn’t run it last year] so here are some photographs I’m going to enter [all three were taken by myself in my own lovely Library]. So do wish us luck and we'll keep you posted J

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Thing 7: Face-to-face networks and professional organisations

CILIP [Chartered Institute for Library Information Professionals] Our Librarian has always held a personal membership and donated his copies of the journal to the Library. However, since he will be retiring in the next few years [none of us likes to talk about itL] we have recently taken out an institutional subscription as well. The up side to this has been multiple copies of the journal [always a good thing] and the chance to sign to some of the CILIP special interest groups. We currently receive e-updates and newsletters from their Information Services Group. The CILIP journal is always a great read and I used it obsessively whilst writing up a thesis for my MSc in Library and Information Studies [via distance learning at Aberystwyth]. In the past I haven’t really considered taking out a personal membership but now I realise that I probably should.

ASLIB [The Association for Information Management] We have been members of ASLIB for many years and currently receive three journals [Journal of Documentation, ASLIB Proceedings and Information Management]. Apart from these journals we don’t really get any other benefits from this organisation.

IFLA [The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions] We currently receive the Forum for Interlending and Information Delivery Newsletter [FIL] which is produced in part by the IFLA.

ARLIS [Art Libraries Society] We are institutional members of ARLIS and receive both the journal and newsletter. ARLIS is very good at disseminating information via flyers through the post and emails and we are also signed up to receive emails from other members who wish to dispose of duplicate art journals. Again, since I have access through this membership, I have no need to take out a personal subscription.

LISNPN As already mentioned in Thing 6 I am a member [although I don’t check it out anywhere as often as I should].

CLIC [Cardiff Libraries in Co-Operation] We signed up with CLIC in its very early stages and my colleague and I have benefited from some really great workshops that have been both informative and social.

In conclusion
In writing this post I have realised that I’m not very good at making the effort to attend networking events [and it’s not like the opportunities don’t come up]. I am also rather lacking that personal interest in those professional organisations that could [if I put the time in] benefit my own personal and professional development.  

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Thing 6: Online networks

LinkedIn was the first network I looked at and my first instinct was that this would be a good thing to sign up to. I then read Charlie White’s interesting article How people are really using LinkedIn in which he discusses how professionals are using it as the business equivalent of Facebook – and therefore keeping their personal and professional profiles distinctly separate. However, he also writes about it topping the hundred million user mark in March of this year and that it is also adding a new member every second and I find statistics like that quite off putting – when something gets too big my instinct is to back away but I will give it some thought and I suppose there’s no harm in signing up for a while to see what comes from it.

Facebook had become massive before I even started to register what it was and by that time everyone I knew was on it so [me being me], I stayed away and haven’t signed up yet. Of course I do see its value for social networking and professional networking too especially when browsing through suggested pages such as Voices for the library and ALA. That said, it’s is not something I’m going to sign up to right now and whereas I do acknowledge its 750 million membership status, Andrew Brown’s article Facebook is not your friend  most definitely affirms my decision.

LISNPN [LIS New Professionals Network] is the only network I was signed up to before I started this course and it’s been a helpful resource to dip into if only to be aware of the current topics under discussion. I was sorry to miss out on a recent face-to-face networking event in Bristol in June - my colleague Kris at Taken for binding went along and really enjoyed it. In fact, it was Kris who told me about LISNPN in the first place and also about CPD23 which incidentally, she heard about on LISNPN so it’s been a VERY useful resource to date [and Kris is very useful colleague to have around J].

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Thing 5 - Reflective practice

I read quite a few other posts on this subject before tackling it myself and quickly realised one thing: no-one seems particularly comfortable with reflective practice! However, many look to have had some experience of this during past studies but it's a first for me. I am therefore using the CPD23 template to organise my thoughts.

What did you learn?

So much! I admit to being one of those people who puts their eyes down to a task and just gets on with it. The downside to this of course is that one can become somewhat blinkered and end up shying away from new challenges in an effort to simply get the job done. Therefore [I am rather ashamed to say] Blogging, Twitter, RSS and Pushnote were sadly neglected areas - I knew of them but I hadn't actually tried any of them out. I’m happy to report that's all changed now thanks to CPD23!

What did you enjoy?

I enjoyed creating/maintaining my blog and experiencing a real sense of achievement publishing posts and reading/learning from those comments others are kind enough to send. I had been thinking about creating a blog for ages and now I’ve finally done it I’m just infuriated with myself for taking so long.  I’m also enjoying getting to know other like minded people, we all have so much in common [!] and there’s a real sense of camaraderie.

What worked well?

Taking time to embrace the new and thoroughly enjoying it has been a revelation since I generally put such things on a back burner until I have some spare time which we all know is lethal.

What, if anything, went wrong?

The big problem for me has been falling behind. I took two weeks annual leave in July and have found it very difficult finding the time to catch up. I didn’t realise this course would take quite so many man hours! It’s a double edged sword – when I do manage to put the hours in I enjoy every minute BUT finding the time to put those hours in is proving troublesome [and that’s putting it mildly L].

What would you change?

Well, there is one little thing …

Now whereas I’m sure that the majority are more than happy with the CPD23 timetable, for me it’s a little “full on” – I could do with having two weeks to complete each thing rather than one. 

What (potential) impact could this have in your workplace?

The sky is [as they say] the limit!

In conclusion

I rushed this post [a little] but have hopefully been clear about how positive my experience has been so far – I’m so glad I signed up J 

Monday, 8 August 2011

My space ...

My beautiful library

Professor Snowcloud [Gaurdian of the Books]

Sun trap

And finally ...... MY space :-)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Thing 4 – Current awareness: Twitter, RSS and Pushnote

This week I opened my first Twitter account [@SquirrelLib] with a little help from my colleague Kristine [@KrisWJ] as she has kept to the CPD23 time table and did hers weeks ago. Well it’s all very exciting but I also find it somewhat overwhelming and I’m only following 15 people! That said, the immediacy of Twitter is amazing - in fact I signed up to follow my own institution and never realised there was so much going on J Oh yes, and I signed up to follow Stephen Fry… I couldn’t help myself. On a more practical level I’m following a nice diverse selection including the National Library of Wales, Glamorgan Archives, British Museum, CILIP, LISPN, Metropolitan Museum of Art, BBC News and of course CPD23 [with helpful and interesting tweets from Katie Birkwood [@Girlinthe] and Lauren Smith [@Walkyouhome] to name but a few]. It’s early days yet but I will endeavour to acquaint myself with this new phenomenon; my first task is to build my tweets and followers into double figures.

RSS Feeds
Now, this is something I’ve really taken to. It’s such a practical tool – a one stop shop [via Google Reader] for all the news from your favourite websites and blogs in a few seconds and just couple of clicks! As suggested I subscribed to the handy bundle of all the CPD23 blogs [courtesy of Shannon Robalino] and there they all were with updates bouncing back and fourth all over the place! So much easier than trawling through them via the website and when you have access to all the blogs you realise that there are so many more that you wish to explore.  However, I wonder if this is one of those things that I get really excited about then hardly ever use - only time will tell.

I've signed up to Pushnote but quite frankly I'm not very impressed with it [although Stephen Fry seems to love it] so, since I'm seriously behind schedule I'm going to leave it for now and plough on to Thing 5 ... onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Thing 3 - Personal branding

I find the whole idea of personal branding a totally alien concept as it is not something I have ever considered before. My first thoughts are of someone looking at my blog titled ‘Squirrel Library’ alongside cutesy picture of a noble grey as my profile picture and thinking that here is someone hardly taking this exercise seriously. However, first impressions can be deceptive! A squirrel is an industrious creature, always on the go and looking ahead storing away precious commodities [nuts in their case] for future use. Sounds familiar? Squirrels are all about forward thinking and essentially working in tune with nature by taking what they need whilst it is available so they will have access to it during that time when it is not. Isn’t this what Librarians do, preserving and recycling precious data for future use [and generations]?

Therefore the squirrel motif stays J

I looked myself up on the internet as suggested for cpd23 Thing 3 and not surprisingly there are lots of Jennifer Evans’ – the three foremost being an American actress who starred in the delightfully sounding ‘Evil Aliens’, a young contemporary artist based in South East England and an epidemiology consultant at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This particular Jennifer Evans however, did not appear. Only when searching with Jennifer Evans Library National Museum, did my contact details appear on my employer’s website; so I am there but securely hidden away from all but those who know me well.

I have enjoyed Thing 3 [even though thinking about how other people see me is a rather unsettling concept] and I will now give some serious thought as to how I can create an online persona that I am comfortable with.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Thing 2 - Explore other blogs

Hello again everyone, thank you so much for your comments! Be assured that I have tried to return the compliment but am currently having a problem with comments on my blog [I can read them but not reply to them]. However, I will endeavour to get this glitch sorted as soon as possible.

In the meantime, in reply to Laura’s comment, YES to cute pictures of squirrels [just as soon as I can work out how to upload them]! I have an on-going battle with the Librarian as he favours the beautiful [yet diminutive] red squirrel whilst I favour the noble [yet much maligned] grey. We’ve had some fun over the years J

In reply to Sally, I do love working in a Museum Library. My first degree was in Art History and when I originally came to the Museum as a Museum Assistant I thought about a job in the Art Department. However, as luck would have it, a position came up in the Library [maternity cover] and within the first few weeks I knew that library work was for me.

I’ve so enjoyed making contact with you all and I must say that, so far, I’m really enjoying the cpd23 experience.

Ps. I just noticed that “Thing 3” was posted yesterday so onwards and upwards!

Monday, 20 June 2011

CPD23 Things

Thing 1: Blogging

Hello everyone, I am a library assistant working in a museum library. We are primarily a support to the curatorial staff but do accept relevent outside enquiries. I am responsible for journals management, accessioning, enquiries and [of course] all other library associated duties.

I've signed up to CPD23 as I have steadfastly avoided the world of blogging until now but feel the time is right to embrace a new challenge!  I am looking to create a positive online presence and hopefully achieve familiarity with concepts like networks and  filesharing but mostly I'm looking forward to being involved in a new project with other like minded people :-)

All the best from Squirrel Library [aka Jenny]