Final Thoughts (Thing 23 – CPD23)

My 6 word summaries

Keep learning, keep trying, keep reflecting

Learn new “Things”, meet new people

What has CPD23 done for me?

I’ve met some fab people both online and offline. Through going to the Cambridge meet up I realised that there is a supportive network nearly on my doorstep. Plus through CPD23 I found even more people to follow on Twitter.

I have discovered that I really am not good at writing, I have found writing the posts difficult and not a natural process to me. This has been especially brought home to me by the excellent posts written by others that I’ve read during the CPD23 program.

It takes time to stay up to date. Even with a guided program like this, taking time out to try things and then write about them has been a considerable commitment but an important one to make. Hopefully I can maintain this effort and I certainly hope to keep records of what I do on this blog, from conferences I attend to interesting papers I read.

What’s next

I’d like to spend some trying some of the “Things” that I didn’t have a chance to try properly. My 2012 projects from this program are :- screencasting, sorting out my bookmarks, creating my CV database and improving my general web presence.

I think I also have to continue writing on my blog, with the hope that continuous effort improves my writing.

Huge thanks to everybody who organised this program for us all.

My CPD23 journey

Thing 1: CPD23: Thing 1

Thing 2: Meet the Neighbours (Thing 2 – CPD23)

Thing 3: Lynne the Librarian (Thing 3 – CPD23)

Thing 4: What is the difference between currants, raisins and sultanas? (Thing 4 – CPD23)

Thing 5: Mirror Mirror on the wall (Thing 5 – CPD23)

Thing 6:It’s good to tweet, or Thing 6 – Online Networks

Additional Thing 6: Additional to Thing 6 – CPD23

Thing 7: Bodie and Doyle aka The Professionals aks Thing 7 (CPD23)

Thing 8: Never forget (Thing 8 – CPD23)

Thing 9: Evernote = Everknit (CPD23 Thing 9)

Thing 10-11: The well travelled road and the not so well travelled road (CPD23 Thing 10 and 11)

Thing 12: Phew – are we nearly there yet? (CPD Thing 12)

Thing 13: Would you like my last Rolo? (Thing 13 – CPD23)

Thing 14: The battle of Zotero versus Mendeley (Thing 14 – CPD23)

Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events (Thing 15 – CPD23)

Thing 16: Speak up – I can’t hear you (Thing 16 – CPD23)

Thing 17: You spin me right round, baby, right round (Thing 17- CPD23)

Thing 18: Video killed the radio star (Thing 18 – CPD23)

Thing 19: Catch me if you can (Thing 19 – CPD23)

Thing 20: The long and winding road (Thing 20 – Library routes)

Thing 21: Promote yourself (Thing 21-CPD23)

Thing 22: Volunteering (Thing 22 – CPD23)

Volunteering (Thing 22 – CPD23)

As much as we all don’t want to work for free, there are good reasons to volunteer. The summer before my final year I volunteered to work in a lab so I could get work experience. I lasted a few weeks but didn’t make it all the way through the summer break. Lab work just wasn’t for me, however I still rate this experience as without it I would never discovered that I didn’t want to work in labs until it was too late.

I also do a fair amount of volunteering in my spare time, previously volunteering for my local NCT and now being a governor at my children’s local school. This has given me lots of transferable skills that I can use in my current role, e.g. event organisation, time management, dealing with data and people skills.

Would I volunteer in my local library if threatened with closure, that is the hard question. I would want to keep this invaluable resource open to all, but not sure I could replace the fantastic staff that work there. Not only because I believe the libraries need staff, but also because I am in awe of the work they do, to my mind it is the staff that work there that make that library brilliant.

So if you can spare time to volunteer I would say there are advantages to doing it, but I am also very glad to be paid for the work I do.

Promote yourself (Thing 21-CPD23)

Librarian Lynne during training

What do I like to do

I like training and helping people, especially the buzz you get from a good training session. I also like staying up to date with technology and with research into information skills. I’m normally a give it a go person as well. In my free time I like knitting and logic puzzles (probably explains why I like being able to track down hard to find items). Both of these probably lend themselves to working with the detail which I also get to do in my current role.
CV’s
A CV database is a good idea. When I started in my current post I had a handover file which went through procedures, contacts etc. During my time in post I have edited and added to this basic document. It’s not that I expect to be given the boot at any time soon, but I think a document like this is still useful to me in my post as it provides guidance on what I am currently doing, notes new directions that my post has taken and indicates any areas that I may need to spend more time on. The same is true of my CV, which has been sadly neglected recently. I think it’s time to create a skills database.
Interviews
I weirdly haven’t had that many interviews. The advice given in the post does ring true though, the interview should be for you as well, so if you aren’t gelling with the interview panel it may be best not to work there. I also liked the CAR advice, in the interviews I’ve had where I didn’t get the job it was because I had forgotten that basic piece of advice, so would urge anyone applying for a job to think of this. Also preparation is the key, know the workplace your applying to, know your own skills and experience and think ahead of the questions you may be asked.

The long and winding road (Thing 20 – Library routes)

I talked about my route into Librarianship in post 10 so I won’t rehash here, especially as my route was quite some time ago and a lot has changed since then. What I have noticed is that routes into librarianship vary greatly and it is interesting to see how people came into librarianship.

 

I find the Library day in the life project interesting, just to see how different each others days are. However, I do find myself less inclined to take part in the project as time goes on. We will be up to round 8 in January and I find myself wondering  if our posts ever do escape the “echo chamber” or do they even present librarians in the best light. I find it far more interesting to follow people on Twitter, I can find out what people are up to on a daily basis and this can lead to great information and lots of sharing that happens all the time, not just a certain time of year. You also get to hear about the fun stuff that doesn’t necessarily happen during the Library day in the life project.

Perhaps this is my jaded, cynical side coming out. Can anyone persuade me otherwise?

Catch me if you can (Thing 19 – CPD23)

Although it is more I’ll catch you if I can as I am so far behind on CPD23. This post is about the bits and pieces I am using and finding useful since CPD23 started. The main Tool I have picked up is Evernote. I really like this, especially as I now also use it for something beyond knitting patterns. With a new bit of software called Ifttt I now have my favourite tweets going into Evernote automatically. Which is great for me as I tend to favourite tweets that have links in so that I can read them later. Of course the question is, do I read later? Well sometimes I do, sometimes I realise that I don’t want to read the link after all and that is fine as I haven’t wasted any time, but for those I do want to follow up I can read it and keep the note so have a permanent link to the URL.

One thing I do want to do it tidy up my bookmarking. Delicious seems to have settled down for a bit and I know lots of people have left due to all the changes but I still find it quite useful so will stick with it for now. However I do need to go through and make sure all those bookmarks are still valid. Another Project 2012 job?

These 2012 jobs are building up, at least it will be an interesting year.

Professional Development wise, CPD23 came up at a good time for me. I’d already started reflective thinking through starting my PGcert but this program has made sure that I continue to reflect on my practice. Also the more I do it, the more it becomes embedded and second nature to me. Another area that this program has highlighted is to be not only be far more aware of what I am writing and saying, but also be far more aware of the wider library sector outside of my little section. This is something which over the years I have neglected so it’s good to be reminded of it.

Finally, looking at the last few posts I really need to think more about images for my posts as they are looking a bit bland. I hastily found an image for this post at least. Visual imagery isn’t my strong point however.

Video killed the radio star (Thing 18 – CPD23)

Unfortunately this is a Thing that I cannot try due to limitations on software and what I can download at the moment. It is something I have been interested in for a while but has always fallen to the bottom of the pile. However I have recently discovered that we have a very nifty bit of software at work, Lecturecast, so I am trying to negotiate access to that, which means I should be able to at least do some screencasting in the future. I think using this software we can add to the growing list of web tutorials, guides and handouts that supplement our training sessions. It’s always interesting to find new ways of presenting training material to people, I wonder if there have been any studies on the effectiveness of these, perhaps comparing different ways of presenting material to see which is more effective. Would certainly be interesting to find out before spending time creating them. Does anyone know of any studies looking at this? Although perhaps providing multiple ways to present material is good as addresses different needs of individuals.
Roll on 2012 and having the time to do this. At least I now have a fantastic list of podcasting and screencasting software to look at it when I can investigate this further.

You spin me right round, baby, right round (Thing 17- CPD23)

This will be the super speedy post. I tried Prezi and I didn’t like it. I know it’s the hip thing to do, but maybe my age is beginning to tell, or perhaps I have just seen some really bad ones, but there was way too much zooming around (I do get travel sick rather easily). Having said that, just in the last few weeks I have seen some really good Prezi’s, which are making me rethink my position. However this also relies on me having enough design talent to get the most out of Prezi and I’m not sure I have that either.

What Prezi has done is open my eyes to new ways of presenting information. Prezi has made more visually aware of how I present my information. I still use powerpoint (well actually Google docs) but I try very hard to make it more visual and  steer clear of the dreaded bullet points. Although I do wonder if we can get too hung up on the technology delivering the content at the expense of the content itself. Also Prezi’s can only do so much, but it is ourselves, delivering the content, that perhaps can make the biggest impact.

I do have two presentations to deliver next week which does give me an ideal opportunity to try Prezi again and time-permitting I will. If I manage to create one I will put it up here and would appreciate any feedback that anyone can give.

Slideshare

I used this extensively for my first two years delivering skills training. It was a way to provide access to slides and handouts that wasn’t available on the library website or virtual learning environment. It was interesting to see the amount of views and downloads, although part of me did wonder who was viewing and downloading the slides, as what I had on slideshare was quite specific.

I also found it good for finding presentations on areas I hadn’t delivered training on before to give me ideas on what I could do.

However I haven’t spent time on Slideshare this year, either uploading or looking. This is mainly to do with time, I felt as though I had barely enough time to prepare the sessions, never mind the uploading of them to slideshare (admittedly it doesn’t take long to upload one document but when you have 2-3 per session, then multiple that by the number of sessions I have run so far this year, time was a consideration). Also the upload process was quite faffy, sometimes documents wouldn’t upload and it would take a few goes to get there. As for looking for new ideas, I feel more confident in the sessions I deliver now and most of them are repeating previous sessions so I am familiar with the topics. What I really should do is make sure I take down the old slides and handouts, especially as it is very likely that some information will be out of date.

As for putting up my CV, I can see why some people do, but who, in the sector I work in, goes to slideshare to look at CV’s, so I don’t think I will be putting my CV up.