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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Social networking

Social networking has certainly taken off in the last few years and I am sure that many wonder how they managed with out it. It has replaced the art personal interaction such as letter writing, phone calls and meeting people. Where perhaps one once wrote to an individual, one can now write to many and never move from the comfort of a favourite chair. Whilst it is a great way to communicate I cannot help but wonder if something is being lost and if things will eventually turn full circle once the novelty has worn off? Although we can chat away and network for hours, how well do we know these new found 'friends'? Will the professional contacts made make any real difference to one's career? I would be very interested to know if there has been any studies into this area of social networking.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Mentoring - a Mentors view

I have been a CILIP mentor for 6 years and have found it to be a very rewarding experience. I decided to become a Mentor because when I was a young 18 year old trainee I had a wonder Mentor myself. His name was Mr Sainsbury and he was the Deputy Borough Librarian. Unfortunately he died a few months after he retired and just after I qualified so he was not able to follow my subsequent career. His mentorship was unofficial (no CILIP Mentors in those days!). It came about because we always got to work early so we used to sort the newspapers and journals together (all supplied by a local newsagents). He was a very fatherly figure and took a keen interest in my career. He not only provided encouragement and made suggestions but was also able to transfer me to a variety of departments that ensured that I gained experience in all aspects of the public library service. He was a wonderful man and really gave me a good grounding in librarianship.

In recent years I have also been an unofficial mentor to a number of young librarians. I think that the environment that we now work in is changing so rapidly that if one is able to pass on information, encourage or support someone starting out in their career then I shall be doing good and giving something back to the profession that I love. Having someone who is genuinely interested in your career can make you fill a bit special and its great to be able to receive support and to talk through ideas. Mr Sainsbury was a kind, generous man who taught me a great deal. I am sure that he would be proud if I am able to do something similar for the next generation of librarians.

Career Development

I qualified many years ago under the old system during the Library Association's day. It was easier to become a librarian then as it was not seen to be a graduate profession.

Chartership was achieved by just working in a professional post for 12 months - no portfolios etc... with few librarians thinking about CPD. However seeing how important it was to obtain a Masters if I was to progress after having a career break, I embarked upon the Aberystwyth distance learning course in the mid 90's and more recently I have achieved a PhD in information science. I am not sure what I shall do for the remainder of my career as I have worked in a variety of sectors: public library, FE & HE. Unfortunately fate has intervened and has meant that I have had to think about this more seriously. So watch this space....................................

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The end of pens and papers?

Goodbye to all this?
Evernote is an interesting tool. I can see that it has great potential particularly at a conference. It will save you carrying a lot of notes around or produce the necessary documents if you have forgot to bring them. I like the flexibility it has and that it isn't limited to one computer. I am not sure how much I will use it though, perhaps it is just a matter of getting use to working a different way. It is certainly worth knowing about. The current awareness that cpd23 is providing is fantastic. Keep up the good work. Its back to the garden now........

Whats occurring?

As I am on leave this week I am pleased that Thing 8 is easy. I am a great fan of google calendar and have used it all the time since I was introduced to this last year. I find the reminders a great help in ensuring that I am at the right place at the right time. Once I got into the habit of remembering to enter meetings etc.. it has worked well for me. I am sure that there are other programmes out there but this seems to work for me. Now when am I supposed to return to work................?  

Monday, 25 July 2011

Professional involvement

In the past I have not seen the value of becoming involved with CILIP etc.... how wrong I have been. In the last 5 years I have taken a more active interest. Wanting to give something back to the profession now that the offspring have spread their wings, I first became a CILIP Mentor, then a CDG committee member and more recently have become the group's treasurer. I am also the Secretary for the Association of British Theological & Philosophical Libraries. I must confess I did not realise how rewarding these actives could be and wished I had found the time years ago. I have learnt new skills, made new friends and gained a tremendous amount of confidence. I would certainly recommend becoming involved particularly if you are a new professional as you will be able to increase your network and acquire a lot of useful skills. These days networking and a wide ranging portfolio are essential if you want to achieve your full potential. I wish that the opportunities now available were around when I was working towards chartership etc... 

The list of possible organisations is certainly useful and there are two that I shall explore more fully. I am sure that I am not the only one who finds it difficult to keep abreast of the the large number of organisations that are appearing almost daily. That's why awareness courses like this are great. Well done all :) 

Is there anyone out there?

Very interesting Things this week. Although I signed up to LinkedIn last year I have not really use it until the last few months when I have had a number of 'link' requests so have used it a bit more. This weeks Thing seems to be about LinkedIn v Facebook. I would agree with Reid Hoffman that Facebook is for home and LinkedIn for the office. I have accounts on both and have always taken the view that LinkedIn is my professional networking whilst Facebook is for keeping in contact with friends. My husband says that his company actively uses LinkedIn for recruitment, training etc.. .  I think LinkedIn is invaluable for becoming better known particularly if you have a business or a particular skill to promote.

Although I tend to think that Facebook is really a 'social' space I can see the value of promoting the library service or having a presence on it. Saying this I think that it is really important that the library Facebook page is not allowed to stagnate and should be updated at last twice a week to keep it fresh and interesting.  We intend to setup a Facebook page for our libraries for one term to see if this method of communicating information would be of benefit to our users.

I have not used LISNPN but can see it would be of great use if I were a new professional - I wish this had been in existence when I first qualified (some time ago now!). I must admit I did feel rather isolated and this site would have been brilliant.

I was interested to learn about the LATnetwork, I think that this could be really useful. I have thought for sometime now that library training should have some element of teaching experience incorporated. This is particularly useful for anyone working in education - librarianship has come a long way from stamping books.

I was not aware of Google+ but am not surprised that they want to introduce something like this - world dominance springs to mind. I think one of the problems is that there are now so many networking sites that soon we shall need a guide to where to start. I think that these sites will have to start to specialise in order to make their site stand out. It also gets confusing for a novice like me. Soon we shall spend all our time in front of a computer, the art of old fashioned face-to-face conversation might become a Thing of the past!