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.

Thing 13: Professional Organisations

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) 

As a new professional I think being a member of CILIP is really important because it is the leading, authoritative body which represents library professionals and aspiring library professionals. It is a good place to learn more about the library profession, professional values and ethics and library advocacy.

Anyone who is studying to become an information professional or anyone who is undertaking a graduate traineeship is entitled to free membership and it is definitely worth taking advantage of this. There is lots of information available about starting your career in libraries, salary guides and there is LISJOBSNET which is where I found my current position yay.

CILIP has a VLE which is for members and allows you to access learning materials, CPD resources and webinars. I watched a webinar on how to write a CV and it was great because it was aimed at information professionals. Most CV information out there is very generic and isn’t really all that helpful so this was great. Members also have access to the Impact Toolkit which helps librarians develop as professionals and provides resources on how to demonstrate impact in the workplace. There are loads of other resources such as your own personal portfolio which you can populate and there are template CVs and other things for you to use as well.

There is also the Professional Knowledge Skills Base (PKSB) which I have only looked at briefly but is an excellent resource. It brings together generic, technical and professional skills which can be used as a CPD/ self-assessment tool. I’m too busy with my new job and University work at the moment to look into this but I may look at it in more detail over the summer and when I am a qualified librarian (2 years).

Attending events is also another reason to sign up. I’ve attended a few free events now which I’ve seen on the CILIP website on in email newsletters. I was supposed to be going to the New Professional’s Day but I decided to give it a miss (I’ll go next year) because I was just starting a new job but my new employer is enthusiastic about me attending these kinds of events so being a member of CILIP is advantageous if you want to go to events and workshops.

I wrote a piece for a newsletter for the CILIP Yorkshire and Humberside and NLPN ‘Get Career Ready’ event. If you can write for CILIP or for one of the special interest groups or regional networks it is a really good opportunity and experience. Everyone has varied experiences and opinions and through CILIP people can share their thoughts and it is the best way to keep up to date with the profession and the changes that are happening all of the time.

The CILIP Update magazine is also an added bonus. It can be a really interesting read and I have it on the app that they have created which is really useful. I will be keeping my eye open for grants and bursary opportunities because I would love to get funding to go to a conference. That would be too amazing!

As a member of CILIP you are entitled to membership of two special interest groups and as I’ve just moved into FE, I have changed my membership to the Academic & Research Libraries Group and the Youth Libraries Group so I will hopefully be able to get more involved and learn lots from those two groups in the near future.

It is nice to be a member of a professional body; knowing that you are not alone and there are people out there to talk to and get advice from. The codes of professional practice and CILIP’s ethical principles provide librarians with a framework on how to conduct themselves and manage their responsibilities. I got a little tingle of happiness when I read them as I feel like I am part of something bigger and that all of the other librarians and myself can take on the world!

Flickr - Yassin Hassan

Flickr – Yassin Hassan

I work in a library!

So I’ve technically been here around 7 weeks now, minus 2 weeks for the Christmas vacation and I am starting to feel like I work here. I know that sounds weird! I dislike being the new person and I like to feel like I know what I am doing and I am starting to feel like I know what I am doing so yay! I also feel so happy to be working in a library – it’s Monday morning and I do not dread coming into work! Overall I’m feeling much more confident out on the enquiry desk. I have pretty much got to grips with Millennium and the simple tasks such as checking books in and out, dispensing laptops, checking and taking fine payments. It took me at least a week to get my head around sensitising and desensitising books – I just couldn’t remember which one was which and kept forgetting to do it but I’ve now got the hang of that! I feel you can only really learn the processes on the counter by actually working on it so I have to remember not to beat myself up too much if I forget how to do something or can’t remember how to do something which I’ve only been shown how to do. I don’t feel nervous or scared any more at the prospect of helping students. I will happily give it my best shot and if I get stuck I can always ask. I can’t emphasise how friendly everyone is, especially my buddy, Katherine. She has really helped me settle in. She had previously worked in public libraries so only recently everything was new to her as well so it’s really useful to know that I can always go to her if I have any issues or am confused about something and I don’t want to admit it to anyone else. Things are getting a lot busier now, especially with ASG. I have a couple of ongoing projects including a Wiki I am developing for all staff in the library so I will give a more comprehensive update on that when I have got a little further with it.

That’s all for now as I have library stuff to do! 🙂