Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Things 10 and 11 reflecting on social networking mainly

I can see that it would be useful to have a mentor in life. But I'm not motivated enough to get one! Next!

Back  on more comfortable networking.  Here is where Facebook is really handy for communities.  For example, there's a group of volunteers who do conservation work on the hill opposite my house.  Their FB page shows how their work is improving the conservation and facilities on the hill.  I haven't seen a slowworm for decades, but there's a great photo of one found on the hill and now I can't wait to go and find one!  I like being able to share my own pictures and reflections.    Also Bridport has an active twitter community and I have been to one of their "tweet ups" at a cafe so I do recognise the people I'm following.

Not sure I like the terminlogy "lurk".  Are we all lurkers now..?  Discuss...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Thing 10 - Masters degrees, qualifications

I can clearly remember who planted the seed of doing a Masters in Information Studies in my head - it was one of my pharmacology tutors, probably thinking "Jill will never make it as a lab scientist".  But how right she was on both counts.  Turns out that pharmacology degree + MSc. Information Studies is a killer combination for pharmaceutical employers as it means you understand the scientific terminology but handle information rather than pipettes and chemicals.  So that's what I did, with a year as a Graduate trainee in the Library at the (then) South Bank Polytechnic in London.   I did my Masters at Sheffield University.   I see they now offer an MA in Information Literacy or an MSc Information Management - looks like my course was a cross between the two.  The course gave me a really good grounding in information retrieval and database management and I have used these skills extensively in my career.  For me, the thorny question is whether to bother with Chartership.  Would it really be worth the effort at this stage?  I have managed very well without it thus far...views welcome please!

Image credited to Snowyowls

Thing 9 - Evernote

I am beginning to use this a bit now and can see that it could be good for synching work and home internet favourites lists for example.  I like the "add to Evernote" button which makes saving things to Evernote very easy.  However, it does require some input from the user with tagging and folders/notebooks.  I found the notebooks are not well explained.  I would have liked a more engaging tutorial - perhaps Youtube has one. I had a look at the case studies - mostly creatives "types" in California...its great for working up your latest movie pitch apparently!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Thing 8 - Google Calendar

Although banned by my current employer (!), I have used Google calendar in another NHS region (I don't make the rules) and it was very useful to have read/write/edit rights on someone's calendar when they spent a lot of time out of the office.  In the library office, the shared calendar on MS Outlook is sufficient as everyone in the team can access and edit it.  One website I really like for scheduling is access to other people's calendars is required. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Thing 7 - working the room...

The NHS libraries in the South West where I'm based do have a strong network that benefits the library community.  Most of the day to day contact is through the LIS emails, but there are opportunities to meet up too.  I have been able to attend meetings on Copyright, Marketing and a Christmas get-together and put faces to those email monikers. 
I am a member of the regional "Circulation group" and "Trainers Group".  The former tends to have webex meetings, but I have attended Trainers' Group meetings in person which has been useful.

I am an Associate member of CILIP and am fortunate in having the subscription paid by work.  I have not been to any of the meetings yet - as others have noted, they do tend to be in London.  However I find the newsletter of interest and if you are job seeking it is an expectation for many professional roles to have membership. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Thing 6...gonna get myself connected...

I'm not doing badly on this Thing.  I've had a profile on LinkedIn for several years and I do use it as a sort of handy CV.  Most of my connections are from my previous roles in pharmaceuticals, where job stability is a rare commodity.  I like the fact that you can have recommendations on your profile and that is a good thing to have.  Of course they are going to be from people that have something positive to say about you/your work, but it's better than a dry statement from some HR person you've never met who will respond to any reference request with only your dates of employment and salary and who will not comment further for fear of being taken to court.

I have Twitter and Facebook accounts  - for personal matters.  I look forward to having Library accounts from my workplace but I wonder how long that will take to be approved.  One thing the NHS Library is good for is the networks - I am on several and they really are useful.  For example, LIS-MEDICAL which is for  the UK medical & health care library community. All sorts of questions are asked...and answered by the LIS community so it is a very valuable resource.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Thing 5 Reflection...You what? Why not..?

I've been dragging my feet over this one.  Reading about and doing more in the way of reflective practice are of course on my to-do list (near the bottom, but hey, they're on there!). At first glance I like the sound of the pithy 'what -so what- now what' model (Borton), so will start with that.  It occurs to me that the annual apprasial at work is something I spend time reflecting on and planning outcomes/what next so I guess I am doing it a teeny bit already.  It is the "Review" part of the cycle that is the hardest for me - planning and doing are not too bad at all.  Also, assessing "impact" is a big thing for NHS Libraries and I have tried to get more feedback on this from people who have asked me to do literature searches for them, or people I have run information skills training for.  I feel that reflective practice cannot be done in isolation without would be too subjective.