Thing 19: Integrating Things

3 11 2012

By far the most useful thing that I’ve taken from the CPD23 programme so far is use of Twitter.  Previously I used to collect RSS feeds on Google Reader and use this as a way of keeping up to date with the latest developments in healthcare and in ‘library land’.  Since joining Twitter I barely look at my RSS feeds anymore.  I find Twitter is much more immediate and the 140 character limit allows me to scan through a large amount of information quickly.  It has also allowed me to connect and network with other information professionals and I’ve discovered a whole online network of librarians that I never knew existed.  I actually feel a bit ashamed that I didn’t join Twitter earlier; it is such a valuable professional tool that I don’t know how I managed without it!!!  I have started raving about it to anyone I meet who is working towards Chartership or keen in engaging with the wider library community.  It’s something I’m definitely going to continue to use once CPD23 is over.

The other major impact of CPD23 so far has been this blog.  Previously, I used to keep a reflective learning log on my Chartership wiki.  It was private, only viewed by myself and my mentor.  It was a great way to reflect on my learning experiences but I wasn’t engaging with other librarians about the issues that I was writing about.  Now that my thoughts and reflection is public, I have started discussions with fellow professionals, my writing is much more considered because I have an audience in mind, and I have started to read and comments on other people’s blogs.  I really really hope I can continue to blog once I’ve finished CPD23.  Lately I’ve been using the WordPress mobile app to blog from my iPhone so I can blog on the move, which is great because I struggle to find time at home and at work!


Thing 4: becoming a Twit

6 06 2012

I know everyone has a smart phone these days.  Don’t they?  Well, I didn’t until 3 days ago when I became the proud owner of my husband’s cast off old iPhone.  After 3 days of constant use of my new gadget, I’m converted.  I’m also fairly sure that not having a smart phone has been what has been holding me back from online networking all this time. 

Thing 4 is Current Awareness (Twitter, RSS and Storify).  Has it occurred to anyone else that Current Awareness might be discriminatory against people who don’t have smart phones?  Do people really use Twitter via a PC or laptop?  Anyway, I can now proudly announce that I have joined Twitter and I am now a Twit 🙂  I’m following 20 or so library related people / groups and a couple of celebrities too #guiltypleasures.  I can see how it may become addictive.  So that’s what people are doing when I see them engrossed in their smart phones on the bus!  I can join in now! 

I already use RSS feeds a lot for work (for creating current awareness bulletins for our users) and I find it’s a really good way of keeping up to date myself too.  Storify looks fabulous, I’d love to use it and am wracking my brains to think of ways in which I might employ it.  I think I may need to get more firmly embedded in the social networking world first.

Thing 2: investigate other blogs

21 05 2012

I feel like I have quite an active and supportive real life professional network, but WOW there is a HUGE online network out there, which is something I’ve not really explored until now.  I’m starting to feel really excited about starting CPD23 now.  How did I miss this last year?  Oh yes, I was having a baby!  Ah well, better late than never 🙂

What has struck me about the people I’ve come across online so far is that there are so many library and info professionals out there who are so passionate about their vocation.  Which is really heartening.  It sounds obvious, but it’s not something I come across a lot in real life – working in the NHS at the moment is pretty much doom and gloom so it’s really motivating to hear others’ stories and why they love their jobs.  It’s also made me think that a lot of my skills are transferrable if I ever want to cross sectors at some point in the future. 

There is so much debate about the image of librarians and how we should overturn misconceptions and assumptions about library work – well, here are people doing it in fabulous style (and without resorting to the “wacky librarian” sub-type). 

I’ve been exploring the list of recently joined CPD23 members and posted a couple of ‘hellos’ (someone posted a comment on my blog over the weekend and it was really encouraging to know someone is reading, so I wanted to do the same for others!).

I have also been seeking out some fellow health librarians via the CPD23 Delicious tags and have been reading how others have been progressing so far.  One of the blogs that I found most memorable was Bex Without Spex who is posting a photo of herself outside various libraries that she has visited.  What a great idea (why I didn’t think of it first?!) but then again she’s visited much more exotic libraries than me (Hong Kong and Belize!!!).  It leads me to think, yes words say a lot, but photos and images do too – and if someone hasn’t got a lot of time to sit and read your posts then surely images are the best way to capture their attention?

Thing 1: blogs and blogging

18 05 2012

I’m long overdue in setting up a blog.  I have been a ‘lurker’ in the blogosphere for years, reading and enjoying other people’s blog posts.  I use blogging software to create and distribute current awareness bulletins as part of my job.  I’ve been writing a reflective learning log on a private wiki since 2009.  And yet it’s taken me until now to create my own blog.

Writing a blog plays on a lot of my insecurities: fear of looking stupid and self-consciousness about my own opinions.  I love writing but I am used to writing in a more formal way – reports, articles and research.  I keep a reflective log but that is for my eyes only!  I can rant, write nonsensical things and make mistakes and no-one will hold it against me. 

I suppose it’s a measure of my increasing confidence that I now feel ready to join the hundreds (thousands?) of librarians and information professionals who are all blogging.  But will they like me?  And will they let me join in?

Another thing that has prompted me to start blogging is that today I discovered the CPD23 project.  I’m a little bit behind but I couldn’t resist joining in with a project that is so inspiring.  So this blog is Thing 1 and I hope to be catching up with the remaining 22 Things very soon!

My first post

18 05 2012

I hope to use this blog as a reflective learning log to chart my learning experiences as an information professional.  I’ve been keeping a private reflective learning log for a few years and now it’s time to share it with the world! 

Reflection has become a big part of my professional practice since I’ve been working on my CILIP Chartership submission, and I want to continue that reflection in the wider blogosphere.  So there may be a bit of Chartership angst thrown in here too…

I’ve just been updating the ‘About’ page on the blog and started to write a list of my ‘professional interests’.  Then I got stuck.  What are my professional interests?  I’m not really sure.  I’m staring at a blank screen waiting for light bulbs to start pinging above my head.  The theme tune from annoying CBeebies show, ‘Everything’s Rosie’, that I’ve been watching this morning with my son is on repeat in my head.  I might have to come back to this one.  Maybe this blog will help me work it out.