Thing 22: Goodreads (Mobile Things)

I had a go with the GUM app but it would not work with my iPad for some reason so I am going to review Goodreads instead.

“Knowledge is power, and power is best shared among readers” – Otis Chandler, CEO and Co-Founder of Goodreads

Goodreads is an online “social cataloguing” site and app. I am going to review the app because it is what I use the most and I prefer to use it over the website. You can search the user-populated database that boasts over 1.1 billion titles. I am actually considering signing up to be a Goodreads librarian. I would be able to help improve the metadata on the database to ensure that people can find books and get the best possible information about the titles they are interested in.

goodreads2

These are my Goodreads bookshelves

goodreads

These are the books I’m reading at the moment.

I regularly use Goodreads to track my reading process, add books that I want to read and to keep a record of the books I’ve read. I always come across books that I want to read so I simply add them to my to-read shelf with the scan function which I LOVE! It works so well. I’ve never had a barcode that wasn’t scanable on Goodreads. I don’t know about anyone else but I find it really entertaining scanning books.

goodreads1

A screenshot of the barcode scanning function in action. You need to get a little closer than this to scan but you get the idea.

My favourite function is the reading challenge. When I set my self a goal it makes it a lot harder to fail. So by setting myself a reading challenge on Goodreads I am essentially forcing myself to read which is good because I like reading… But it is easy to fall behind on my reading when I am busy and setting myself a yearly challenge helps me to keep up with my reading. I am not sure how many books I should set myself next year… How many books should a librarian be reading each year?

goodreads 3

I’ve read 20 books this year.

My least favourite function is actually the social element of the app. I am not really that interested in what everyone else is reading… I know that sounds kind of horrible but I think it is probably because not that many of my friends are using Goodreads. I do however check out other reader’s book reviews if I am unsure about a book and they usually help me to decide whether I should go ahead and start reading it. Most users are serious and respectful and will warn you if their review contains spoilers.

Goodreads has great functionality, it’s a fun way of tracking your reading process and it’s great for reading inspiration. One of the best apps on my phone! 🙂

rudai

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

 

Advertisements

Thing 21: Infographics

https://infograph.venngage.com/p/44226/library-social-media-top-tips

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.

rudai

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

Thing 15: Advocacy for Libraries

I genuinely believe public libraries exist for the good of the people and they deserve to be bragged about. I am going to be telling you about some of the things that I think are great about public libraries but I am also going to tell you some things that are not so great.

Who am I kidding, public libraries are great. What’s not so great is the fact that we have to actually speak up for libraries in the first place, defend them and justify their existence and relevance. The way the media portrays libraries also doesn’t help the situation but of course they wouldn’t have any attention grabbing news stories if they simply reported on the fantastic, everyday occurrences that take place in libraries. Instead headlines such as ‘UK libraries out of use by 2020’ grab the readers… The positive stories that come out of libraries just don’t make the news. The negative stories in the news are actually quite dangerous! They suggest our libraries are riddled with underachievement, failures and underperformance which absolutely contradicts what library staff are doing on the ground. It is unfair to make these assumptions and to share them in the news where everybody believes what they read. Library staff make positive contributions to members of society every day and stories such as these are simply untrue. Utter garbage actually! With the advent of the internet and popularity of e-resources libraries have been deemed to be “no longer relevant”. If you agree with Terry Deary, then you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about (to put it politely).

See below for short videos from the three libraries that have been shortlisted for the CILIP Libraries Change Lives Award

Libraries provide vital services to people from all walks of life under the convenience of one roof. They offer a sense of community, they are nice places to spend time, they encourage you to learn, provide endless amounts of information, free to use books and e-books, parents don’t have to face the daunting homework task alone, local history, family history, language support, book groups, supporting businesses, teaching people how to research and make informed decisions, helping people find legal information, getting people online, boosting people’s confidence, encouraging reading, supporting the elderly… what’s not to like?

Nick Poole puts it best “public libraries provide everyone with opportunities for learning and inspiration. They help people find work and set up their own business. Libraries are places where children and young people discover the joys of reading, learn new skills like coding and get help with their homework. They tackle social exclusion and isolation. They improve health and wellbeing and help people get online. Everyone is welcome and the space belongs to the public, which is increasingly rare in our communities.” (Nick Poole, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals)

Around 15% of Brits do not have access to the internet at home. Can you think of a place where they can go to use the internet for free and get support in doing so? Even if people do have access to the internet at home, it doesn’t mean necessarily mean they know how to use it. I’ve recently been volunteering in my local public library offering IT taster sessions and it really has opened my eyes to what libraries can offer people and how important they actually are.

Libraries mean a lot to people; they did in the past and they still do today. Check out the Library Stories project for examples of what Sheffield libraries mean to the people http://www.librarystories.co.uk/ and I challenge you to not get emotional! What a great project for library advocacy! They’re on Twitter too https://twitter.com/library_stories

http://www.librarystories.co.uk/present/

http://www.librarystories.co.uk/past/

I really liked the Voices for the Library campaign! Some interesting info here about library closures and what you can do about them http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/campaigns/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-library-closurescampaigns/

P.S. *PREACH* If you don’t have a library card, you need to get one! 🙂  If you really want to be a library advocate, use your library! *PREACH*

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. http://rudai23.blogspot.co.uk/

Check out these crazy stats from GO-Globe.

Social Media Addiction

Scary huh?

Infographic by- GO Globe Singapore