Thing 21: Infographics

I really like infographics. It is one of the best ways of displaying information simply and interestingly. Check out my attempt at creating one using Venngage which is a free infographic creator. It is really easy to use and there are loads of themes and icons available for you to use. I didn’t use any stats or data, it’s just a social media top tips infograph. I can’t download my infographic with Venngage unfortunately so next time I think I will use easelly, it looks just as good and that functionality is really important you are going to use it in the library.

I think infographics could be very useful in the library especially as a way of getting important information to students. I think information that is colourful, attractive and gets to the point quickly is more likley to be read in the first place.


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


Thing 18 Communicating Through Pictures

I mentioned this article in one of my previous blog posts but I am going to mention it again because this post is looking specifically at Instagram. I think every library should have an Instagram account or an equivalent. You can’t see all of the pretty book covers when they are stuck on the shelves… but you can see them in Instagram (or Pinterest!).

There is a really interesting fittingly titled “#selfiesinthestacks” which looks at how Instagram can be used by libraries to conduct library inductions and in doing so, alleviate library anxiety in new students, increase user engagement and offer active learning experiences. The author questions how much information students realistically retain whilst attending traditional library inductions, especially when so much is going on at the start of term. She developed a fantastic library induction using Instagram which introduced new students to the library in a fun, social and modern way.

  • She downloaded the Instagram app on the library’s iPads and created a library account ( She then logged into the account on each of the iPads (6 of them). This obviously depends on the library having these kinds of resources available for students to use. Tablets can be expensive and although a lot of people have their own mobile devices, not everyone does. I am unsure how well this would work if you had the students using their own devices. We are lucky that we have around 8 tablets at work that we would be able to use for this sort of thing. It would be possible then to have groups of students sharing a tablet and doing these activities.
  • She presented a short PowerPoint which was a brief introduction to the library, directing students to the library catalogues, describing the layout of the library and explaining the task. This is still ensuring that the students are getting the information they need to be able to use the library. I think library inductions need to be short and sweet and it is not necessary at this stage to go through things in a huge amount of detail. Academic, research and study skills can be saved for later.
  • Students were asked to get into groups of three to five people and choose a team name. This is the fun bit!
  • Each group received an iPad and a sheet of paper with the following prompts listed. All apart from the specific book title are open to interpretation:
  • The weirdest book
  • Something confusing
  • The best study spot
  • This book (each group was given a different book to find)
  • Your group and a member of library staff
  • A DVD you want to watch
  • Students would then use the iPads to take photos based on the prompts and upload them to the library’s Instagram account. The groups were given 30 minutes to explore the library. This is obviously an activity that would require the students to talk and it would be quite a noise activity and it depends on the kind if library as to whether it would be appropriate to have groups of students running around. But I think an activity such as this one would help students to develop a better opinion of the library. If their first experience in the library environment is a positive, fun one then they are more like to see the library as a dynamic environment where they want to spend time, rather than a place where they are constantly being shushed. A sixth form college library is never silent! Therefore, I don’t think we would need to worry about the students making too much noise in this environment. What we may need to worry about is students uploading images that are not based on the prompts if you know what I’m saying… I guess you would just need to moderate the posts before they are made public.
  • When they returned they looked through all of the images on a projector together and had a discussion about their experience. We have our own classroom in the library that is used for inductions and lessons so we would be able to take the students in there for the presentation and once they have completed their activity.

I really like this idea and I really want to do it! Our library needs an Instagram account first but it is something I am working on. I convinced Bradford University library and I will convince Ashton! I have plenty of time to plan a session such as this one and introduce it to the team. I think everyone will like the idea, fingers crossed.

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.

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.

Are we a generation of social media addicts?

Everyone seems to be using social media nowadays don’t you think? An estimated 2.03 billion people have active social media accounts which is equal to around 28% of the population. That’s one hell of a lot of cat videos, selfies and general viral stupidity. We spend a LOT of time using these things – only 39,757 years collectively spent on Facebook per day, no biggie. It doesn’t help the situation when you can carry them around with you everywhere you go. Nice one mobile technology.

The interesting infographic I’ve posted below prompted to think about social media and question whether or not it’s all just a passing trend? Social media sites fall in and out of fashion and yes, I’m thinking about you Bebo and Myspace. But I don’t think it is a passing trend. The sites we are using today might fall out of fashion yes, but I think the concept is here to stay. Gone are the days when we had to rely on actual face-to-face interactions if we wanted to socialise and gone are the days when we had to read a newspaper to find out what’s going on in the world… But does this mean social media “addicts” will withdraw into their online worlds, never to return to reality? No. Social media just helps us to communicate with each other in an increasingly busy world.

We shouldn’t forget about all of those people who aren’t using social media – 72% of the world’s population. In the UK 34% of adults do not have a social networking profile and in 2014 there were 4 million households (24%) without internet access; chances are they aren’t overly active on social media. It’s probably quite difficult to define what an “active” social media account even is. Lots of people have accounts but rarely use them. And despite the popularity of social media, I think a lot of people still need help setting up their profiles and using them. This is something that librarians can certainly help with.

Social media opens up a whole new world for people in terms of support networks, socialising, entertainment, professional development and so on. It provides a whole range of possibilites and opportunites and give you access to SO much information. This is a fantastic thing as long as you’ve got your ‘who wrote this’ hat on. If you are conscious about your online privacy and safety, think a little bit about what you’re posting and don’t take it too seriously – you can have a really useful and meaningful social media experience.

I’ll admit it, I think I might be a teeny weeny little bit addicted to social media. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Here’s why:

  • I’m part of the 16% who use Facebook/ Twitter as my morning news courier. But I also use the BBC, Guardian and Metro news apps and all of the others that I’ve liked and followed. This helps to me get a broad view of some of the crazy stuff that’s going on in the world. I don’t think you should rely solely on social media for your daily news dosage, especially on April Fool’s Daybut it’s useful to have news on your social media feeds. Plus I wouldn’t say no to some of the Metro “news” articles posted on their Facebook page, they are hilarious! It’s good to get your news from a variety of sources and I try not to trust everything I read on the news anyway. I don’t take part in the debates that happen online about the news either, but I do like to read them because it gives me a good idea of people’s differing opinions and ideas (and it’s fun).
  • I do spend a lot of time on social media, probably more than 2 hours a day… I mainly use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn and I think it helps me to become a more knowledgeable, interesting person – hopefully… I find out a lot of stuff that I didn’t know before and you can learn more about your specific interests by following the right groups, people and pages – essentially the information comes to you. If all else fails, it certainly helps break the ice when you can talk about that hilarious viral video that’s doing the rounds… and if they haven’t seen it, you can show them! Everyone loves a bit of ninja cat right?   
  • My social media accounts serve as a gentle reminder of all the things I’ve done since I’ve had them. Timehop is a great app which shows me my photos and updates from this exact day in history. Because I’ve shared something that I’ve done with the world, it’s out there like a little cyberspace scrapbook, reminding myself and others that are interested that I do cool things sometimes. My blog is especially useful as I can use it to reflect on the stuff I am doing at work and share it with others.
  • My family and friends follow me. It means we don’t have to see each other everyday… (This is a joke – if they read my blog they can tell me off). Seriously though, life can get busy at times and it’s a shame that you can’t always spend as much time with loved ones as you’d like. But with Facebook I can at least keep up to date with what my family and friends are up to and my mum can keep track of me.

  • You can use social media for work stuff as well, who’d of thought it?! This is actually one of the reasons I end up spending so much time on Facebook and Twitter. Before I started my graduate traineeship I never knew librarians loved it so much. There is a huge community of them out there willing to share their expertise and knowledge and the best way to speak to them is via online networks. You can get involved in Twitter conversations such as #uklibchat and there are many Facebook groups and Twitter lists that are dedicated to discussing issues within libraries and sharing ideas. I’ve just joined the Libraries & Social Media Facebook group and there is always something interesting on there to read. I am planning on asking them about my grad trainee project which I am doing on social media in the academic library (will blog about this soon). I am going on a tour of Chetham’s Library which has been organised by the New Library Professionals Network. I signed up for the event on NLPN’s Facebook page and if I hadn’t of been on Facebook/ Twitter, I probably wouldn’t have even known about it. This is the case for pretty much every library event I’ve been to actually. I always find out about them on social media before I get chance to read about it in an email. I personally use social media for professional development and for fun simultaneously. I don’t really feel the need to seperate the two because my work is a huge part of who I am… and that’s enough cheese for one day.

Thanks to @rudai23 I am currently undertaking a free mobile learning course that teaches social media through social media for professional devlopment.

Check out these crazy stats from GO-Globe.

Social Media Addiction

Scary huh?

Infographic by- GO Globe Singapore