Monday, 16 July 2012

Thing 11- Mentoring

Mentoring - It's a great idea when it works. It takes commitment and some work from both parts.

I have a mentor since I decided to take on the chartership challenge. We met regularly in the begining but have been finding it harder for the past 6 months.

We work for the same institution but in different buildings and with different collections, which means having advantages as well disadvantages. She, due to her seniority, can advise me on best ways of accessing traininig activities and material which are not so readily available to me. However, it also means that we might try less experimental approaches to problem solving because we both know the limitations posed by the institution.

Anyway, although progress on the chartership has been slow, I must say that if I had no mentor it could easily mean forgetting about the whole thing for now. However as it is, my mentor every now and then get's in touch and I'm prompted to reflect and report on my activities.  This boosts my enthusiam and puts me back on track and away I go. We're do to meet in a couple of weeks...

Monday, 10 October 2011

Thing 10 - routes into librarianship

I started to work in libraries as a way of supplementing my income whilst studying for my Environmental Science degree. I finished the course and stayed on for one of the Library's summer projects and haven't left the academic library world since.  I moved from project worker to Library Assistant, working at the issuing desk and as part of the acquisitions team. It was only 7 years after graduation and 3yrs after my son was born that I decided to go for the MA in Information Services Management.

My second son arrived right at the end of the MA which meant a temporary break from CPD/job hunting (librarian post). It was time to develop new networks - baby groups, the playground gang, and some evening volunteering in a Law Centre. It was in the Law Centre that I finally understood the mechanics of faceted  classification.

Once back at work,  I started cataloguing and was offered the opportunity to work with a special collection, (TUC material) before moving into the Women's Library. After a few unsuccessful attempts to get a librarian position, I decided to register for the Chartership programme, to make my CPD more official and give me some sort of a structure to it, albeit a very loose one. 

Getting the Personal Professional Development Plan (PPDP) together for the Chartership took a while - not easy to incorporate "Chartership-level" projects into a LA's work schedulle.  Having joined CPD23 has given me some great ideas to explore, just wish I could go a bit faster....

Monday, 3 October 2011

Thing 9 - Evernote

I've started using Evernote some time ago and more so when I got my first smart-phone.  That's where I keep photos, sites that I want to go back to, my notes about them, etc.  I'm sure there are many other ways to achieve this but by using Evernote saves me having to go through my "mini-peadia" of tags, I can select what I want to use in a particular piece of work/reminder and save them here. It stops me from getting distracted.

I just hope no one pulls the plug and it all vanishes....

Google calendar - thing 8

I've just got Google calendar at work. It's potentially a great tool which can allow different teams find out about each others activities. Signing up has been slow but I'm sure that by the end of the month we'll all get over the stumbling blocks and be using it for all sorts of things (home, work wardrobe renewal ...).

I've got a home and family ical (google) and love it - have created separate ones for the children and can have them superimposed onto mine. At a glance I can remind myself of what to expect on the coming day/wk. My older son (11yr) can add events to his and keep me update, great!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Face-to-face networks - thing 7

Networks are great whether face-to-face or virtual ones.  They allow different takes of the same topic to be heard, shared and discussed. Having said that, I am one of the introverted people for whom the one-to-one contact is more productive than the one in a crowd. I've read Jo Alcock’s blog and have added "Networking for people who hate networking:..." to my Kindle wishlist.

Earlier this year I reactivated my CILIP membership, it had expired after I'd completed my MA. I've signed up again to get on the Chartership programme and as an add-on there was the potential for practical development which I still have to realise (main obstacles being costs, time and relevance to my current position - library assistant).

It is only since I've started with CPD23 that I've started exploring the possibilities of networks beyond CILIP.
Now I'm  signed up to a few networks (LISNPN, WebJunction) and have added a few comments here and there but still not brave enough to start a new topic for discussion. There are still a number of "Things" to get through, more tools to get used to....thing 8 here I come!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Thing 6 - networks

I think online networks are great. They allow me access to a large number of people and information which otherwise would be off bounds - not easy to go for a quick drink after work when childcare is always an issue.  However, there is so much information and people to follow/read about that I tend to find it rather paralysing. 

I have a facebook account which I use sporadically, mainly for personal purposes.

My LinkedIn account tends to get more attention, it's where I get many of the professional updates. It was through linkedin that I'm now connected to Webjunction and Social Media, a subgroup of Webjunction. Updates come to me via email which means I can easily check them. It was through them that I attended  my first Webinar "Trends in Library Training and Learning"

Having an American based webinar in the UK meant that it took place after working hours. However, it turned out to be a bit of an ordeal as real world and the virtual one collided - partner and children on one side side and the seminar on the other. The seminar itself wasn't easy to follow - there was the speaker's voice coming out of the speakers, the presentation at the centre of the screen and the attendees/participants tapping away on the right-hand corner of the screen. Next time I must make sure to find a corner in the shed. Not yet quite sure how to deal with the interesting but constant stream of comments.

I've just signed up to LISNPN and  found in it quite a lot of great stuff such as the downloads pages and blogs by  Ned Potter, thewikiman. I also have now CILIP in my group of networks.

I haven't done much of the participation bit yet but hope to do it soon - too shy? too slow? maybe, but haven't given up yet.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Reflective practice - thing 5

My preferred model is Burton's - What? so what? now what? Know what you're putting yourself through,  find out whether there are better ways of achieving the same end then decide on how/what you're going to use it for.

So when I signed up for CPD23 I knew I was signing up to an online self-directed course which was going to introduce me to online tools to keep me update. So far I've reactivated my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, did my vanity check, found interesting sites, Twitts and networks, got my google reader bursting out with news feeds.

So far, the overall feeling is frazzled but satisfied with achievements. I'm no longer at the bottom of the valley and soon will get to steady ground to fully appreciate the view.....

 Well, am I better informed now than I was a couple of months ago? No is the short answer. The problem is they all scream for a level of interaction which as time goes on I'm finding it paralyzing.  Now what?

Time to go back to the beginning, visit more blogs/twitts and find out what I've missed.