Thing 10 – Hangin’ out on Google

rudai_tweet_When I first saw this post I contemplated signing up but then got a little bit scared by the fact that it would be aired online for everyone to see and resigned myself to be an observer…

But when I was approached to take part I couldn’t say no because the whole point of this course is to learn about new tools and to try things that I am not familiar with. It’s just an online chat with people… I can do that right!?

I was worried about a few things to begin with:

  • Worried my laptop would play up
  • Worried that the microphone wouldn’t work and I would sound terrible
  • Worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect and join the conversation (technical difficulties)
  • Feeling self-conscious and worried I would say something silly in front of a lot of people

I sat down about an hour before the start time to set up my microphone and prepare for the discussion. The email the Rudai23 team sent me was really helpful and covered everything I needed to know. Here are the example questions which I prepared for:

Can you introduce yourself and tell us where you work?
What’s your favourite thing?
How do you manage your time?
Are you enjoying it?
Are you looking forward to any of the upcoming things specifically?
Do you find the course a lot of work?
Did you think the course would be this much work?
Have you applied any of your knowledge in a practical sense yet? Although there hasn’t been much time for that yet!!
When or how do you think you would use each of the things in your library setting?

My laptop worked fine and I literally just plugged the mic into my laptop and that was it. I then logged into Google + and waited (I was a little bit worried how easy it was – I was convinced I’d missed a trick but it really was that easy). They just called me into the Hangout and I just had to click a few buttons that was it, we were online!

I am really happy that I took part because it was a really good experience. Because I had prepared some answers to the questions I felt it was easy to get involved in the conversation. The only difficulty is timing – so speaking when no one else is speaking otherwise it is very difficult to hear what people are saying. Overall I think we did OK with this though and everyone had their chance to speak and get involved. It would be easy to spend at least on hour on there because it takes a while for each person to have their say and we only got through a couple of questions in the 20 minutes.

The only drawback of Hangouts is that if you can’t get online and join the Hangout, lose your connection or the connection isn’t great in the first place it can make the experience difficult. But this can’t really be helped by anyone and should be considered when doing things online.

I will certainly be involved in the next one because it’s great fun and it’s nice to see everyone and have a real chat. If you have an agenda and a list of things to talk about like we did and the technology is reliable then I think Google Hangouts is a really useful tool. It would be really useful in the library to share a meeting with people who can’t make it in person. I think there is a lot of potential and I am going to explore it a little further. I haven’t hosted my own yet so I might have a go with that next.

Thanks again Rudai23! 

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

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My Battle With JING – Thing No.9

I think I have finally got over the initial horror of seeing and hearing myself on video… I am not used to recording myself or hearing myself speak… It was really odd at first and I think this has been the strangest experience of the Rudai 23 course so far but it has also been the most fun I’ve had because it’s something new that I’ve had to learn from scratch. On reflection, thing 9 has been the most challenging for me so far because it has allowed me to use software and technology that I am unfamiliar with and to really learn something new, something which I was a little bit nervous about. Many of the things that have been covered so far have been tools that I am familiar with so it’s been useful to learn about them in more detail but they haven’t been completely new to me.

Google hangouts and creating my own video are both things that I’ve never done before and have really enjoyed playing with. More on the Google Hangout in the next post.

I used Jing to create my short screencast because I already had it installed on my laptop. I use the screen capture function regularly on Jing because the icon is right there on my screen and it’s really easy to use so I figured I would have a go with the video function. I always see it and have never got round to having a play with it. To be honest I’ve never felt that I’ve had anything interesting enough to share. With a little inspiration from the Rudai team, I decided to do a short screencast on the basics of using Twitter.

As a newcomer to any website or software, it can be a little bit daunting and I’ve learn that some people are reluctant to just jump straight in and start using it and would benefit from a bit of an introduction first. I am doing a project on social media at the moment and have been asked by some colleagues to demonstrate how to use Twitter so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone by doing this video.

It is a lot easier to create the actual screencast than I thought it would be and it’s worrying how fast the 5 minutes fly by when you are demonstrating something. 5 minutes really isn’t enough time so I had to really condense the information and really it isn’t that great of an introduction because if you had never used Twitter before, you would need something a lot more comprehensive. It could work as a series of short 5 minutes videos so people could learn step by step. I think I might do something along these lines for my project: Maybe a 6 part mini-series on Twitter Basics… Look what you’ve started Rudai 23! 🙂

It took me a long time to create the screencast because I kept saying something silly or spent too much time talking about one thing so I literally rerecorded it at least 20 times… I kept putting on some strange sort of telephone voice for no apparent reason so I kept starting from the beginning and I did get a little frustrated I’ll admit. I think you definitely need to have a plan of what you are going to say in front of you when creating these kinds of videos. It is really easy to start talking about unrelated things so if I’ve learn one thing it’s have a plan and stick to it!

Also Jing doesn’t make it easy! I had to convert the SWF file to a format which could be uploaded onto YouTube. I tried various free software packages available and it didn’t seem to work. I then used the Moyea video converter which worked but because I only used the free version my video now has their watermark all over it and it converted into 5 minute video into a 20 minute video with 5 minutes of content and 15 minutes of blank… I might try it again but with screencast-o-matic instead because this whole process took far too long (my entire Saturday afternoon).

I have learnt a new skill which I think will be really useful for the library. I’ve seen videos that colleagues have created on how to use the Summon search functions and the library catalogue and I’ve always wondered how you make them and now I know, so thanks Rudai 23!

Here is my video… I’m officially a YouTuber!! 🙂

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

August Update

I am trying to get the most out of the time I have left as a graduate trainee because it is ever so quickly coming to an end. I only have 4 full weeks left! This is both exciting and distressing at the same time. Exciting because I am starting a new course and I have a new job (more on that later) but also distressing because I know the next few years are going to be hard work and I have to leave behind all of the lovely people I’ve met at the JBP library.


I’ve had the opportunity to do some really interesting things over the last few weeks which have allowed me to continue to learn new skills and gain some valuable insights and experiences. What follows is a whistle-stop tour of August.

  • We spend an entire day sorting out around 10 large boxes full of journals and pamphlets for the Commonweal collection. We sorted each box into alphabetical order across the floor and when we could no longer see the floor, we put the papers into alphabetical piles. We did this around 5 or 6 times, interfiling the papers into their correct piles. We then packed them into boxes to be catalogued at a later date. We did an amazing job! So proud of ourselves for getting it all done in the time we had, it flexed my brain muscles and we had fun. All in a day’s work ey.
When I first entered the room and saw this sight I cried a little inside… crying with excitement of course!

When I first entered the room and saw this sight I cried a little inside… crying with excitement of course!

Goodies like this... Librarians for Peace!

Boxes full of goodies.

Goodies like this. Librarians for Social Change!

Goodies like this. Librarians for Social Change!

  • The library is recruiting their next batch of Student Learning Champions. They are University of Bradford students who work in the library shelving and assisting users with basic IT and reader enquiries. Part of the interview process is to complete a task and a colleague and I have been managing this task. It’s been a really good experience because I’ve been in their positions just recently and interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s very strange to be on the flipside of the interview process. Jawad and I have tried to make them feel as comfortable as possible and make sure they understood what they needed to do. We then figured out a way to assess their work and reset the task as quickly as possible. I think we make a cracking team.
  • The library has an hour set aside each week for staff training and this week we learnt how to deal with a wet books disaster. This was great for me as it was reiterating what I learnt a few months ago at the RRN Kit Training Day and I was happy that I had remembered a lot of what said. You need to move quickly, be aware of your surroundings, put health and safety first, assess the damage and contain the leak. Triage the damaged books and if there is not a professional librarian on site, you need to make a decision on what should be kept as drying out wet books is a very time intensive activity. Purchasing new copies might be the better option. In a recent emergency at JBP it took an entire week to dry out just 50 books.
Trying to heal the books (discards)

Trying to heal the books (discards)

20150820_095140

Sorry sight but it can happen. Be prepared!


  • I was able to help out with some library inductions for the first time! I wasn’t able to help out with these at the start of the academic year because I started in December. With a special interest in the experiences of international students and being a temporary member of the international library group, it was really good to be able to help out with the inductions for international students. We gave them a brief introduction on how to use the library catalogue to search for books and journals then we gave them a tour of the library. This was also my first library tour! I will be assisting with some more for general library induction tours before I leave I think which I am looking forward to. I like being a tour guide.
  • The VC came to visit the library for his annual departmental visit and this was really interesting. The Library and IT Services demonstrated some of the projects they have been working on this year. These included short presentations on the library’s new reading list software, creating better WIFI connectivity across campus, how the library supports researchers and streamlining the referencing styles used in the university. He couldn’t believe how many referencing styles are actually out there! The VC seemed impressed and did not hold back with his questions. It is clear that there is some excellent work going on in this department and it is great to be able to showcase that the senior members of staff in the university.

Finally, I have a new job! I am so relieved because I was really worrying about what was going to happen in September. I had to find a job to fund my studies but I had to find a job that would work around my studies as well. It was important to find a position in a library because I want to be able to put the theory into practice and gain more work experience. I have been very lucky as I have got a job at a 6th Form College in Manchester as a part-time learning facilitator in the library. For the interview I had to do a presentation and I used Prezi for the first time and it went really well! The role will be varied and will involve supporting users in the retrieval and use of resources, planning and delivering inductions and study skills sessions, liaising with departments to develop collections and much more. I am really happy to be working with young people and supporting them in the college education.

This graduate traineeship role has developed my skills and confidence in more ways than I initially thought and I am so grateful. I didn’t have enough time in the interview to talk about all of the things I’ve done! It has opened up so many opportunities and has laid the foundations of my career. I’ve had so much support and encouragement from everyone and I am really not sure where I’d be today had I not applied.

I can tell it's going to be an emotional goodbye... 

I can tell it’s going to be an emotional goodbye… https://www.flickr.com/photos/jenosaur/

Thing 8 – Curation Tools

I absolutely love Pinterest. It’s one of my favourite things. I use it a lot more on my mobile devices than I do on my desktop. I think this is probably because I use it a lot during my leisure time; when I am on lunch or waiting for something, or before bed, or when I am bored; so quite a lot actually. I have pinned 4400 things onto 33 boards… Ooops!

In all honesty, I think of myself as some sort of interior designer. I got so many ideas from Pinterest on how to decorate my flat when I moved in to my new place. It’s easy going and fun because unless you’re interested in following the link to the websites, you can just have a look at the pin and save if for later. I like scrapbooking and Pinterest is just a really easy electronic version of that. My account is full of boards of all of the things I love and would like to have, places I would like to go, my favourite people and pretty houses.

I have been using Pinterest for a good few years and have only really used it for personal reasons. Until this course I never considered the potential of Pinterest in terms of using it in the library. I can really see its potential for advertising new acquisitions and purchases in the library, for book displays, a visual and fun addition to reading lists and subject themed boards.

I have been searching for information literacy and library workshops on Pinterest and have found loads of interesting things that I’ve pinned. I am starting a new job in September at a 6th form college library so I am looking for inspiration so that I am prepared and so far Pinterest has been really useful. They are wanting to establish a social media presence for their library so I am hoping to be involved in this process. I can definitely see Pinterest being something that I look into for the library (so excited about this). Any advice on setting this up for the library?

Check out my Info Literacy & Teaching board. Below is an example of some of the cool infographics I’ve pinned. I love infographics and have been inspired to create my own. I’ll pin them when I’ve completed them.

This is an example of something that I've pinned in preparation for my new job. http://http//www.scoop.it/t/we-are-teacher-librarians https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26740191514755817/

This is an example of something that I’ve pinned in preparation for my new job.
http://http//www.scoop.it/t/we-are-teacher-librarians
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26740191514755817/

Storify & Flipboad?

Flipboad was installed on my phone when I bought it and I tried to use it but I could never get into it. I like it in principle and I like the “flipping” motion but in reality it irritates me a little bit. The only thing I like it for is for reading the news but I don’t use it very much and I don’t feel the need to start doing so. I have my Pinterest so I’m good… Sorry Flipboard.

Storify is great! It’s really good for compiling updates about events. It was used recently to compile all of the tweets about the VC’s End of Year Celebration Tournament at work and it was good to have a summary of everything rather than having to look it up yourself. It’s really good for Twitter chats as well. I can see the potential of Storify for events and I will keep it in mind for when I start my new job. I don’t feel like I have enough going on on my social media accounts to create a storify yet so I think if you’re an account moderator for the library or are a special interest group then Storify could come in very handy.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

Three Centuries of the Written Word

Check out my thoughts on the Chetham’s Library Tour on NLPN’s Blog

NLPN

Chetham’s Library Tour 8th August 2015

I would like to thank the NLPN for organising the Chetham’s Library tour which took place on Saturday in Manchester. There was a great turnout, the weather was lovely and the library was beautiful. I think I can speak for everyone when I say it was a fantastic afternoon and the organisers and the tour guide, Kathy did a great job.

I have walked past Chetham’s Library so many times but have never taken the time to go in. I am disappointed with myself because it is a treasure that isn’t even that well-hidden. It is right in the centre of Manchester, just a two minute walk from Manchester Victoria Station and across from the National Football Museum. I can’t believe I visited the National Football Museum before I ever thought to visit Chetham’s Library; libraries are way better than Football.

The building…

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Podcasts: Consumer or Creator?

Podcasts are something that I’ve never taken the time to get into but I appreciate that they are a great thing that I am definitely missing out on. I’ve heard about Serial and really wanted to give it a go. I’ve tried to listen to audiobooks and I do enjoy them but I find it difficult to sit and listen and do nothing else. I like the fact that I am being read to and it’s really relaxing but I can only sit and listen for so long. I definitely prefer to read books myself.

I don’t know the best way to actually listen to podcasts – when and how do people listen to them? How do you fit them into your day? Please let me know because I’d like to find more time to listen to them.

I miss reading and studying history and I admit, I really don’t have the time at the moment to be reading my history books. They’re safely waiting for me in my tiny library. I’ve made a promise to myself that I will read them again. They aren’t going anywhere that’s for sure and I will keep buying more.

A snapshot of my neglected history collection – ignore the Batman comic

But I guess this is where podcasts can come in handy because I can listen to them and do stuff at the same time… As long as the stuff I am doing doesn’t require too much brain power; cleaning, bathing or sitting on a train for example.

I’ve just discovered this podcast and I am definitely excited by it. The Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor takes us through the History of the World in 100 Objects which can be found in the British Museum. Telling the tales of history through things is what museums do and it’s one of the most entertaining ways to learn about history. This podcast, first broadcast in 2010, examines human history through some of the things that we have created during our existence.

Podcasts can definitely be used for entertainment and leisure purposes – I think I am definitely going to take a bath and carry on listening to this podcast.

I think podcasts could definitely be used in the library. As far as I am aware no one creates their own podcasts in the library I work in at the moment but I can see their potential, especially when thinking about “100 objects” projects and blogs that are used in libraries and special collections to inform people about their star objects. It’s nice to have the option to learn about things in different ways and they could be useful for creating accessible content. The enthusiasm and knowledge of archivists, curators and special collections librarians would come across really well on a podcast. I will also be keeping my ears open for new podcasts and listen to some more of the podcasts on “Circulating Ideas” because they are really useful for professional development. I really enjoyed epidode 64: Troy Swanson & Heather Jagman talking about their book Not Just Where To Click: Teaching Students How To Think About Information. Thanks Rudai 23 for introducing this to me.

On that note however, I think I am going to be a podcast consumer rather than a podcast creator because at the moment, I don’t feel like I have enough interesting things to talk about. Plus, I hate the sound of my own voice, it’s weird!

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional development.

Adventures

My line manger and I went on a little adventure today.

Image: Flickr – Hrund Thorsdottir http://bit.ly/1E8XLwg

Not that kind of adventure. More like…

minus the pretty rainbow... Image: Dave Brotherton, Flick http://bit.ly/1P75YHJ

minus the pretty rainbow…
Image: Dave Brotherton, Flick http://bit.ly/1P75YHJ

It was really fun and it got us out of the library for the afternoon. We did two trips to Leeds and back to rehome some duplicate books and journals from the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. Google Maps managed to get us there and back without incident… OK we did get a little lost but only for about 2 minutes while the bossy Google lady had a moment of confusion.

We packed probably about 40 boxes worth of stuff and it was a great workout for all involved. It was a joy to behold the archaeology librarian’s excitment. I also felt very happy myself about adopting all these lovely new things for the library. It’s safe to say, the archaeology librarian’s books are the prettiest in all of the J.B. Priestley library land (excluding Special Collections of course).

It was really good to be involved in the rehoming of books and journals and it made me think about all of the books and the written material that throughout history didn’t manage to get rehomed, was thrown away or destroyed and it made me a little bit sad.

Flickr: Kristina Alexanderson http://bit.ly/1nV98U7

Flickr: Kristina Alexanderson http://bit.ly/1nV98U7

But then I remembered how awesome libraries and archives are and especially The British Library; you rock!

Thing 6 – Reflective Practice

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

I am currently completing a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

Before I started working in a library I had never really had the chance to do any reflective practice. At uni, once my assignments were handed in, I was more than happy to see the back of them. In work, I just did my job and went home, happy to see the end of the day.  I’ve really started to enjoy blogging and find it is a useful tool for reflecting on what I’ve been doing at work and just generally build on the knowledge I have and to learn more. It’s also really great to read about other people’s experiences, especially as many people are a lot more experienced than I am. I feel a little bit silly admitting this but I hadn’t considered how much librarians actually need to reflect on their work. It’s important to keep up to date with what is going on in the library, information, publishing, education, political worlds and to connect with other librarians so you can share your experiences. I am now aware that I am entering a profession that will involve life-long learning and reflective practice and I’m cool with that. In fact, it’s amazing!

Here are some of the blogs I’ve really enjoyed reading:

  • The Daring Librarian’s blog was really useful. Point No. 3 is something I hadn’t really considered but makes so much sense. There is no need to apologise if you haven’t blogged in a while and that’s something I’ve definitely done before. I think I should start trying to schedule my blogs so I can reflect more regularly which will be more beneficial to me generally. I mainly blog for the purpose of reflecting on what I’ve done and if my experiences can help someone else, then that’s a fantasic added bonus. Also I think I might try and start adding more graphics and images to make things more interesting.
  • I love the livedinlibrarian blog tag line, it made me laugh “Dispatches from the good ship librarianship”. It’s interesting to ready everyone’s stories and opinions. I also like to see how people have designed their blogs. They’re all so different which is a testament to people’s creativity.
  • I like MU Library Lady’s blog post on reflection. She mentioned that blogging gives her some headspace which is something that I can relate to. It’s difficult to actually think about what you’re doing during the day when you’re so busy doing it…
Flickr - John Morgan  http://bit.ly/1MKs7NI

Flickr – John Morgan
http://bit.ly/1MKs7NI

I think the worst thing is that there just isn’t enough time to read everyone’s blog           posts! I want to dedicate more time to doing this I think because it is a really          useful way to learn more about the sector. I am still just a newbie after all.